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2D Vs 3D Games: Differences, Benefits and Costs

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2d vs 3d dimensional games

Game addiction is the next big thing. With the gaming industry gaining pace now than ever, has evolved a lot over the years. If we look at the numbers, in 2019 alone gaming industry generated over $152 billion. 

This is huge enough a number to get some serious thought and consideration. Game developers are coming up with innovative and creatives ideas, launching new games every day. Games are no longer limited to 2D designs, 3d has entered and is gaining popularity. 

But this in no sense means, 2D is being left behind. Both 2D and 3D games have their own space and own public. Both have respective pros and cons. In short, 2D or 3D, games have made quite a strong foothold in the online industry. People are spending playing games now more than ever before. 

However, online or console games is not a new concept. According to the stats, console gaming is the fastest growing market with a hold of over $47.9 billion around the world. 2D games have been there forever, and 3D games marked its entry in the 90s and started gaining attention. But now that the technology and the Internet have advanced to a different level, the gaming industry has also touched the sky with rocket speed.

If you are thinking about stepping into this industry, stop giving much thought to it. This is the time to put your thoughts into action. Over the years, games have evolved from updates in versions to different formats. This has brought in some arguments and debates with the concept of 2D and 3D games. 

To clear all the doubts, in this blog, I am going to talk about the difference between 2D and 3D games, their benefits and cost. Let us begin with one at a time.

What Is The Difference Between 2D and 3D Games?

Of course, other than the obvious difference of the dimensions, there are a lot of other differences between 2D and 3D with respect to their application, designing, cost, etc. 2D games ruled the market before the advent of 3D games in the 90s. 

The basic difference between 2D and the 3D game is of the ‘D’. I am sure you are aware that ‘D’ stands for ‘Dimension’. 2D games are flat and are rendered in 2 dimensions only. While on the other hand, 3D games have volume and depth. This basic difference leads to some other influences like movement, environment, controls, and goal in the gameplay.


In 2D games the movement of the character is linear. They move within the screens in different directions, usually in a forward motion. 2D games usually have a start point and an endpoint where the character moves. 

While in 3D games the movement is unrestricted as it has both volume and depth. The character moves in any direction and is not limited in the forward direction. 

Again comes in the dimensions. Since 2D games are flat, the environment created in the games is also visually flat. They do not focus much on the environment of the game.

In contrary to 2D games, 3D games have a far better visual appearance with more focus on the details of the environment and visuals of the game. 

Since it is linear and in 2 dimensions, the controls in 2D games are quite easy and simple. Even a beginner can adapt to the game easily. 

3D game controls are a little more complex. With the character able to move in any direction, it needs a little practice to get used to playing 3D games. 

In 2D games, the goals are very straight forward and since the controls are simple, the mechanism of the games is also easy.

However, 3D games offer more possibilities and more goals to explore.

What are the Benefits Of 2D and 3D games?

Both 2D and 3D games have their own advantages and each type is suitable for respective certain games. Have a look at the benefits of both 2D and 3D games. 

Benefits of 2D Design

Simple Controls: since the controls in 2D games are simple and straight forward, it is more of a choice for the beginners. This brings them more audience.
Easy development: The development of 2D games is much easier and cheaper. It takes less time in developing a 2-dimensional game as the design is flat. Also, it is easier to update the games later. 
Easy Instructions: 2D games are simple ‘tap to play’ games with easy instructions. It has a simple interface and flat visuals. 2D games have very limited or no plot and the size 2D game is small. 

benefits of 3d and 2d dimensions

Benefits of 3D Design

Real Feeling: dedicated gamers or people who are addicted to playing games prefer to have more realistic feelings and 3D games give exactly that. With depth and volume in the characters and environment, 3D games give a more realistic feeling.

High-Quality Graphics: the graphics of 3D are of extremely good quality and really creative. One of the reasons for more attraction and popularity of 3D games is the complex graphics it offers to gamers. 

Versatility: game developers have more options and genres to create 3D games in comparison to 2D games. 3D games also offer more complex goals and missions to achieve, unlike 2D games. 

Looking at the benefits of 2D and 3D games, you might be wondering that entering the 3D game development industry is better. Well, this might not be true. The benefits of 3D do not in any way pull down the future of 2D games. Both 2D and 3D games are best in their respective niche and do not overrule each other. 

What are the Development Tools For 2D and 3D games?

There are different development tools for each type of game. As stated mentioned earlier, designing and developing a 2D game is easier, faster and cheaper than a 3D game. Below are some tools that can be used even by beginners. 

1. GameMaker Studio
This software is perfect for designing 2D games and offers a free trial also. GameMaker Studio 2 can be the best choice for beginners as it has an easy interface and provides many tutorials for development. 

2. Construct
The game developer does not require any special coding skills. This tool is specifically used for 2D games and uses an HTML5 platform. Another advantage of using this tool is you can export the rendered 2D game for any operating system like Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. 

3. Unity:
Unity was first used only for developing 3D games but later was integrated for 2D games as well. Unity is the most preferred tool, especially by indie developers. Creating 2D or 3D games with tool needs some coding skills and knowledge of C#. However, it does offer several video tutorials to help developers. 

4. Godot:
Godot is one game development tool, that is free and open-source. The tool supports both 2D and 3D designing but is more preferred for 2D game development. The tools offer drag and drop facility and use its own GDScript language. However, Godot does not provide video tutorials. 

5. Unreal Engine 4
Unreal Engine 4 is one of the most advanced and professional game development tools. It does not require any intense knowledge of coding. The developers can either use an in-built blueprint system or code their own. The downside of Unreal Engine 4 is, it can get slow or crash sometimes.

What is the Cost Of Developing 2D/3D Games?

A lot of factors decide the final cost of developing a 2D or 3D game. The cost depends on the level of complexity of the game, the tool used for designing, the level of graphics, the quality of soundtracks, etc. 

The fact that you design the game yourself or outsource it to a company also contributes to the cost. The cost range can vary from $300 to $265 million. For instance, Flappy Bird’s development cost was $300, Candy Crush type games cost up to $100,000 and games like GTA can go up to $265 million.

However, considering all the factors, 2D game development is cheaper in every way. Then, of course, the use of technologies like augmented reality and artificial intelligence can also add up to the cost. Some basic factors that influence the cost of game development cost are:

cost of 3d games

1. Operating System: 
Both 2D and 3D games target specific operating systems like Windows, iOS, Android or Mac. Some games support all the systems. And choosing the operating systems you want for your game plays a vital role in the development cost. 

For example, the administration system and payment integration in Apple devices are 10-20% costlier in comparison to Android devices. Though you can always go for a hybrid version, however, you have to handle the cost disadvantages of both systems.

2. Pre-Development Expenses:
If you have a well-planned strategy and documentation for the story of the game, designs, levels, environment, characters, etc you can avoid any last-minute cost adding up to the budget.

If your game design is a little complex, this might add up to the cost as you will need the help of an expert game developer. 

2d and 3d dimensional games cost

3. Level/Size Of The Game:
This is the most important stage of deciding the cost of your game. You need to decide what type of game you are planning to develop. It can range from mini-game that may cost between $3K to $20K, casual 2D game and cost from $20K – $60K, mid-level games may range from $60K – $120K and high-level games can go up to $120K to $250K. 

However, these prices are just approximate and may vary depending on the above-mentioned factors. 

4. Post-Development Expenses:
Development is just half the work done. You need to keep aside the budget for post-development expenses as well. This includes marketing of your game, testing stages, updating and upgrading of the games at regular intervals, and adding up more levels/stages if required. 

So this was all about 2D vs 3D games, their differences, benefits and development cost. If you also wish to explore this industry and wish to try your hand in developing a 2D or 3D game, visit the best game development company AppsHunts.

AppsHunts team of expert and experienced game developers specializes in game designing, concept game development, 2D and 3D game development, digital animation, and art, game development for all operating systems, Unity game development, casino game development, console game development, etc. 

You just name your requirement and AppsHunts delivers nothing but the best satisfactory results.

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