Someone correct me if I’m wrong in anything I’m saying here because I’m not an expert when it comes to Apple’s regulations and development tools.
AFAIK, you absolutely need an Apple dev account in order to deploy a project on an iOS device. However, you do not need to have the paid one for testing purpose. You can run the game from Xcode rather than from the editor as you can use Xcode automatic signing to generate a temporary certificate.
You still need to make yourself a free account.
You need Xcode installed for this.
Here’s the steps to deploy from Xcode:
Make sure you have at least 1 C++ file in your project so you can get a Xcode project.
Generate the Xcode project if not already done. (Right click on your .uproject and select the option to generate Xcode project)
Open the project in Xcode.
Set the Scheme (Product > Scheme > Edit Scheme) so your build configuration for every steps (Run, Test, Profile, Analyze and Archive) is set to Development and not Development Editor as that would open the editor.
Go to Xcode > Preferences > Accounts and add your Apple ID account there (You should be able to make a free Apple Dev account)
Go to your project Settings (select your project in Xcode’s project navigator) and in the General tab, under the Signing section, check the “Automatically manage signing” option and select the team your Apple account is linked to.
Connect your iOS device and target it by selecting it next to the play button at the top of your Xcode window.
Run the project using the play button. If no building errors, the project should now be deployed on your connected device!
If there are any errors when trying to deploy related to signing, go fiddle around the options found in the Project Settings under the Build Settings tab in the Signing section and listen to what the error message tells you.
If the project gets deployed properly but fails to launch, go on your iOS device and make sure it allows your application to run by going in the settings under General > Device Management and trusting the application.
Now, obviously, having a paid Apple dev account would be easier as it would allow you to use the Editor to do all of that by having an actual certificate you can use as well as allowing you to remote deploy from a Windows machine. But for testing purpose, this should work.
I’m Having this same issue, spent a few days fixing some issue with my signature but even after building from Xcode a blank project, unreal still won’t build because
Error: [DD] Failed to connect to bundle
Error: SystemNullReferenceException: Object Reference not set to an instance of an Object
Error: RunUAT ERROR: AutomationTool was unable to run successfully.
Error: Launch Failed! Unknown Error