Difference between a Pawn Character and a Controller

I’ve noticed some tutorials will either use a Player Pawn or a Player controller, I’m just wondering what’s the difference, how and when I would use them.

An Example, Most AI tutorials have the user duplicate the Player Character Pawn class and turn it into the AI, and then others (Mainly more experienced users would make controllers instead (I think)).

Then yesterday I started to use the Built in Damage System and there is an input that will only accept Controllers and not Pawns. https://i.gyazo.com/cf632701aa68039f22529f9eb3bb0a53.png

But at the same time the default Player Characters in the Default Project Templates use Pawns and Not controllers, which makes me wonder, is Epic also trying to set me up to fail?
Online documentation on the subject makes me even more confused

Take into account that my game is attempting to have Online Multiplayer capabilities as well, so does this also affect the choice.

I just want to know the proper ways of doing things, sick of being taught one thing, then realising there’s a correct way of doing things and having to go over my project correcting everything, I learn not much and it confuses me even more.

p.s Sorry if the above is hard to read, English is a second language and I’ve been trying to get in the habit to speak proper English :slight_smile: And I’m now very confused because I’ve had to learn 100 systems in a week.


This a very common question and has been answered many times. Take a look at this post in the forum that is very complete and also at this question and this one.

Summarizing it a lot:

A Pawn is an Actor that can be an “agent” within the world (with its skeleton and animations). Pawns can be possessed by a Controller, they are set up to easily accept input, and they can do various and sundry other player-like things. I understand it as input, the body of the agent and what can he do (basic actions like shooting, reloading…) always including the animations.

A Controller is an Actor that is responsible for directing a Pawn. A controller can “possess” a Pawn to take control of it. This means that is the brain, the logic that captures data from the environment, thinks and makes a decision that is sent to the Pawn (Move, Shoot). The Controller controls the Pawn with a specific behavior, telling the Pawn when to execute a specific action… Usually there are three types of controllers:

  1. you locally, or another player locally
  2. AI controlled NPC or co-op AI that allows drop-in/out coop.
  3. remote player that connect to your game or a dedicate server. (your case).

Try doing a deep research in the forums, there is a lot of information about this. Then if you don’t know how to work with a Controller being possessed by a remote player that is a different question…