I’m a newb to Unreal. I was wondering, do I need to purchase the professional or expres visual studio or would the free version work fine? Also what are the other softwares that I need to install to get started? I heard something about the directx sdk but is there anything else that I need to set up in order to start programming? I would highly appreciate your help.
You can use either the Professional OR the Express version of visual studio.
Windows SDK 8.0 (Windows SDK archive - Windows app development)
Latest DirectX Runtime (you do not need DirectX SDK only the runtime)
Before you install Unreal engine 4, make sure you have installed Visual studio and the above per-requisites. If you fail to install those and install the engine first, sometimes the engine wont be able to build your code.
Go through this resources for IDE setup:
Or Visual Studio Community Edition
They recently announced that Visual Studio Community Edition would be free and would have basically the same features as the VS Pro (without some database stuff you don’t need I believe) so I’d use that one.
VS Community is what you want.
Yep you only need the Community version. Pro includes DB and Team foundation stuff that you don’t need.