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Debug C++ with Rider for Unreal Engine

Hello Everyone! I would like to share a trick that took me some time to figure out. I’ve started using Rider for Unreal Engine which is an IDE developed by JetBrains. As a full-time Backend Java developer, I use IntelliJ for development. So when I started my game development journey I was not too comfortable with the Visual Studio. You can guess the level of my excitement when I heard the news about an IDE for Unreal Engine developed by JetBrains. Needless to say, I’ve joined the test program as soon as it gets online and started to develop my games with the help of Rider. But the issue was, I didn’t know how to debug with Rider.

Rider for Unreal Engine is a modified version of the standalone Rider which is a .Net IDE from JetBrains. That’s why it’s more similar to Visual Studio compared to IntelliJ. It was felt great to use the very useful shortcuts that I’ve used to use in IntelliJ like Ctrl + W and Shift+Shift. But I still had a lot to learn about the features derived from Visual Studio.

In this particular case I’ve tried to debug it as I’ve always done in a Java project but no luck. Starting the project with Shift+F9 did nothing but starting another instance of UE4. Later that I’ve found out this is not how you debug on Rider for Unreal Engine.


Needless to say, you need to download the debug symbols in order to debug the engine source too. It takes time if you have a slow connection, so be aware.


After installing the debug symbols open up the Rider for Unreal Engine and place your debug point where ever you see fit. After that Start the game from the UE4 and return to the Rider. Then you need to press Ctrl + Alt + F5 to open the Attach To Process menu. You’ll see a list of processes running on your local machine (you can search by the project name) find your game and hit enter.

Rider for unreal engine attach to process menu
Rider For Unreal Engine Attach To Process Menu

After this, you’ll notice a menu pops up at the bottom of the IDE which is also capable of visualizing memory usage and many other things. After attaching the process to our game instance which is running you’ll be able to stop and debug the game whenever it hits a breakpoint.

Rider For Unreal Engine Debug Tab

After this point, it’s just another debug process. Hit F8 to step over hit f7 to step into. This was hard to figure out because there isn’t any easy way to locate a button for this screen. It’s under the Debug menu in Visual Studio but it’s hard to locate it in Rider. I’ve found it by using Ctrl+Alt+A. Which is a useful command to search for actions.

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