A Perforce alternative for your next Unreal or Unity project

Learn how Git can be a good alternative to Perforce for game development using Anchorpoint, which compensates for all of Git's natural shortcomings.

Matthäus Niedoba
February 8, 2023
min read

If you want to work with a team on an Unreal or Unity project, you need a version control system. Perforce is a well known system, especially used together with Unreal Engine.

Strengths of Perforce

Perforce is the industry standard for AAA game development. Perforce shines in scalability and access controls, because it's a centralized version control system.

Industry standard for AAA

If you would like to learn a source control software and you are sure to go the AAA career path, it makes sense to get your hands on Perforce.

Best usage for single file operations

Unlike Git or Plastic, Perforce does not require you to update your project when you want to submit changes of single files. You can keep submitting an asset without interruptions.


Perforce it known for it’s huge scalability of TB sized repositories. This is a typical requirement for AAA development.

Security options

Perforce provides access control on a file and folder level. This is more granular than Git, where you grant the whole access to a repository including all the files.

Unreal Engine Plugin

Perforce has a great Unreal Engine plugin that allows to submit change lists from the editor.

Weaknesses of Perforce


Perforce does not expose public pricing, and users report it to be very expensive. The only way to host Perforce via a plug and play solution, which is common in Git, is via Assembla. It’s free for a team up to 5 users.

Branches (streams) are not as good as in Git or Plastic

Branching and merging is not as fast in Perforce compared to Git.

Once internet connection is gone, you cannot work

Because of it’s centralized design, you cannot do anything when your internet connection is gone. Even when it’s interrupted, a file submission has to be restarted, which is cumbersome.


It’s a closed system. You cannot choose between hosting providers and desktop applications.

Anchorpoint as a possible alternative to Perforce

Anchorpoint uses Git as its version control system and extends it with powerful features such as file locking. Git is the most popular system out there and a great comparison to Perforce in game development. Git is open source and has a much larger ecosystem of servers, tools, and communities. This prevents a lock-in effect to a particular vendor. Here are the reasons why:

Lower costs

If you want a plug and play solution for Perforce, the only way to get it is through Assembla. Each user will cost you $627 per year. If you go with Anchorpoint (for your desktop application) and Azure DevOps for file hosting, you pay a combined $312 per user per year. That's a savings of $315 per user. If you multiply that by 15 users, you would save $4,725 per year in subscription fees.

Anchorpoint as an alternative to Perforce. Costs for Perforce are much higher than for Anchorpoint and Azure DevOps combined
A cost comparison between two plug and play solutions. Left: Anchorpoint and Azure DevOps (based on Git); right: Assembla (based on Perforce).

Greater independence

With Perforce, you are locked into a single vendor. If they raise prices, you have to live with it because the cost of switching to another solution is way too high.

Anchorpoint is built on Git. So if you ever decide to move away from it, you can choose any other Git client or use the free Git command line. You also have access to a variety of cloud providers such as GitHub, GitLab, or Azure DevOps.

Both solutions offer integration with other applications (Unreal Engine, Unity, Godot or development tools). Due to the open source nature of Git, the integration landscape is of course larger.

Git has a much bigger ecosystem than Perforce regarding tools, communities and servers due to it's open-source nature.
The ecosystem of Git (left) and the ecosystem of Perforce (right)

User experience

The perception that Git is hard to use is based on using the Git command line or a desktop application designed for developers. If you're an artist, you're not going to use it that way. Anchorpoint simplifies Git to a two-button solution that any artist can understand. The only thing they need to know is how to pull (download files) and push (upload files) to the server. Everything else happens in the background (staging, configuring the Git LFS, merging).

Anchorpoint's user interface when working with Unreal Engine
The Anchorpoint desktop application

The Perforce p4v desktop application is fine for UX, but it is not able to show thumbnails of files, which is very helpful for seeing a visual history.

Perforce p4v ui
Perforce Helix P4V desktop application


If you are not hosting your Perforce server on Assembla, you will have to take care of setting up, configuring, and maintaining the server yourself. If something breaks, you have to fix it.

Using Git in combination with Anchorpoint and a server like GitHub gives you a plug and play solution with a huge support forum for questions.

Feature comparison

HelixCore (based on Perforce) vs Anchorpoint (based on Git) comparison table
Comparing Helix Core (in 2023), Perforce's version control product with Anchorpoint, which is based on Git

How to get started

Take a look at this tutorial to learn how to use Git with Unreal Engine and Azure DevOps. The same procedure applies to other game engines like Unity and Godot. All you need is your current Unreal or Unity project, an account on Azure DevOps and Anchorpoint, which you can download here.

Get started with Anchorpoint

Anchorpoint is the alternative for Perforce for game development. It optimizes Git and offers built-in asset management.
Learn about Anchorpoint

Frequently asked questions

What is Git LFS?

Git LFS is a module that supports the handling of large binary files. Since Git was originally designed to version text files, Git LFS was added to Git a few years later. Today, Git LFS is part of the official Git installer and almost all desktop applications and cloud providers.

How scalable is Git?

Git is scalable due to the recent development of Git features like sparse checkout and partial cloning. Today, companies use large monorepos that are versioned in Git. They essentially merge multiple repositories into one for simplicity.

What is the difference between GitHub and Git?

Git is the system, and GitHub is the cloud provider that relies on the Git system. GitHub allows you to host files that are versioned in Git. There are alternatives to GitHub like GitLab, Bitbucket or Azure DevOps.