Migra­tion vs. Copy­ing in Unre­al Engine

When googling arti­cles on how to copy / migrate assets from one project to anoth­er, you might encounter terms like “copy” and “migrate”. What’s the dif­fer­ence, if any?

When googling arti­cles on how to copy / migrate assets from one project to anoth­er, you might encounter terms “copy” and “migrate”. What’s the dif­fer­ence between migra­tion vs. copy­ing, if any?

Let’s make this clear: copy­ing and migra­tion is not the same, although they some­times used as inter­change­able terms. 

What is asset copying?

Copy­ing from project to project sug­gests bring­ing one or more .uas­set files — in which most assets inside Unre­al projects are kept in — by phys­i­cal­ly doing so in the Explor­er, for exam­ple. This method is not rec­om­mend­ed since you’re copy­ing files, and not assets per se. So if you copy the mate­r­i­al, it will most like­ly be bro­ken in the tar­get project since all of the depen­den­cies like tex­tures or mate­r­i­al func­tions will not be copied unless you bring their respec­tive .uas­set files as well.

But it may work in case you’re copy­ing the whole Con­tent fold­er. This way, you keep the depen­den­cies since you’re bring­ing all of the files.

If we’re talk­ing about copy­ing assets with­in the same project, then it’s an entire­ly dif­fer­ent notion. You are using the Copy func­tion from the con­tex­tu­al menu, and Unre­al cre­ates the dupli­cate of that par­tic­u­lar asset, man­ag­ing depen­den­cies for you, leav­ing every­thing intact. But since we’re talk­ing about mov­ing assets between projects, this is most like­ly not what you had in mind, but I thought I’d men­tion it just in case.

What is asset migration?

Migra­tion, on the oth­er hand, is the process where you select one or more assets from with­in the Con­tent Brows­er and let Unre­al do the job for you — it will scan for all of the asset(s) depen­den­cies and will sug­gest car­ry­ing them over as well to make sure your migrat­ed asset is not broken.

You can read anoth­er post to learn how to import assets from anoth­er project: How to Copy Blue­print to Anoth­er Project in Unre­al Engine 5.

Hope­filly, this post helped you under­stand the dif­fer­ence between copy­ing and migra­tion in Unre­al Engine.