HoloLens, unreal engine

HoloLens 2 Unreal Project Template

Each time I wanted to create a HoloLens 2 Unreal Engine project I found myself recreating a blank level, setting up a GameMode and configuring the project. Like any programmer doing anything twice that can be automated is unpalatable, so…

Unreal Template Selector


Navigate a browser here peted70/hl2-ue-template (github.com) and carry out the instructions to install a project template configured with:

  • Plugins (UX Tools, Graphics Tools, OpenXR)
  • Recommended settings for a HoloLens application
  • A map containing a cube that you can use your hands to interact with

That’s it for the short version but stick around here for some more details about how this was created.

Creating a Project

Here are the steps I usually go through:

  • Create a new Project
New Project

Whilst I am creating test and sample projects I will often add and enable plugins:

  • UX Tools & Examples
  • Graphics Tools & Examples
  • OpenXR

Some of these would come from Unreal marketplace and I would have them preinstalled to the engine and some I would clone from Github and copy into my project’s Plugins folder.


After restarting Unreal you will be prompted to recompile:


Then I would follow roughly the guide here to configure for HoloLens. Then I, added a ‘player start’ at (0, 0, 0), a cube with a simple textured material. So, the level looks like this:

MR Level

And I have these items in my content folder:



This is a bit time-consuming to carry out each time I want to create a quick test or sample project so I decided to automate it using a project template https://docs.unrealengine.com/4.26/en-US/Resources/Templates/

The basic idea is to copy the project you want the template to be based on into a folder here [Unreal install location]\[Unreal version]]\Templates and configure it using a TemplateDefs.ini file. There are plenty of examples in that folder already so if you want to create a template I would suggest looking at those as they are well commented.


Unfortunately, it is possible that you would hit the issue around windows path names being too long

See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/fileio/naming-a-file#maximum-path-length-limitation

I used the instructions here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/fileio/maximum-file-path-limitation?tabs=cmd#enable-long-paths-in-windows-10-version-1607-and-later to get around this issue.

And also, in the Unreal Editor, check the “Enable Long Paths Support” in the experimental settings dialog.

The registry key Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem\LongPathsEnabled (Type: REG_DWORD) must exist and be set to 1

If you hit an issue with long path names when compiling for the first time then just moving to a shorter root path for your project is a possible workaround.

Create a New HL2 Project with the Template

Create New Project
Select Template
Project Settings

When you hit create the project files will get copied over from the template and the plugins will be compiled (this could take a while). After that you will have a project that looks a bit like this. Hitting play will enable you to use the dummy hands to interact with the cube:


In order to deploy to a device you will need a developer certificate which you can generate by navigating to Project Settings > Platforms > HoloLens and choose to generate a new certificate. Then you can create an app package by choosing File > Package Project > HoloLens and you can subsequently sideload the app package using the HoloLens Developer Portal – details here.

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