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What are the best OpenGL alternatives?

OpenGL is described as 'is the premier environment for developing portable, interactive 2D and 3D graphics applications' and is a very popular app in the development category. There are more than 10 alternatives to OpenGL for a variety of platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac, Online / Web-based and Android. The best alternative is Vulkan, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like OpenGL are WebGL, Bevy Game Engine, Microsoft DirectX and Allegro.

This page was last updated Apr 8, 2021
OpenGL
  176
  • FreeOpen Source
  • Mac
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iPhone
  • BSD
  • Haiku

OpenGL is the premier environment for developing portable, interactive 2D and 3D graphics applications.

Learn more about OpenGL

  1. Vulkan

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • Chrome OS
    • Tizen OS
    • SteamOS

    Vulkan is a new generation graphics and compute API that provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices from PCs and consoles to mobile phones and embedded platforms.

    Vulkan vs OpenGL opinions
    Most users think Vulkan is a great alternative to OpenGL.

    Because Vulkan is OpenGL's successor.

    Positive comment over 4 years ago
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    -5

    I spent half a year studying this wretched API and was very disappointed, it is not designed to work with graphics.

    This API is made only for implementation in ready-made solutions on opengl to slightly increase the number of frames per second (+5 - +10) in exchange for really titanic efforts (unreadable code in> 10,000 lines).

    Unfortunately, Vulkan API - fail. Better try DirectX.

    Negative comment about 3 years ago
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    -1
  2. WebGL

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Online

    WebGL is a cross-platform, royalty-free web standard for a low-level 3D graphics API based on OpenGL ES 2.0, exposed through the HTML5 Canvas element as Document Object Model interfaces. Developers familiar with OpenGL ES 2.

    No screenshots yet


  3. Bevy Game Engine

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux

    A refreshingly simple data-driven game engine built in Rust. Free and Open Source Forever!

  4. Microsoft DirectX

    • FreeProprietary
    • Windows

    Microsoft DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming and video, on Microsoft platforms.

    Bundleware

    Bundled with Bing Bar.

  5. Allegro

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • iPhone

    Allegro 4 and Allegro 5 are cross-platform, libraries mainly aimed at video game and multimedia programming. They handle common, low-level tasks such as creating windows, accepting user input, loading data, drawing images, playing sounds, etc.

    No screenshots yet


  6. GDI

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows

    GDI++.dll is a replacement for the Windows default font rasterizer, which gives you a better font-smoothing capability, just like Mac OS X.

    Discontinued

    Abandoned since 2006... : http://drwatson.nobody.jp/gdi /download-en.html

  7. Amethyst Game Engine

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • Linux

    Amethyst uses gfx-rs to render graphics with Vulkan or Metal. It is meant to be used for 2D and 3D, with various utilities for both types of games. It should be beginner friendly but also allow more advanced uses such as custom render passes and GLSL shaders.

    No screenshots yet
  8. Metal

    • Mac

    Metal provides near-direct access to the graphics processing unit (GPU), enabling you to maximize the graphics and compute potential of your apps on iOS, macOS, and tvOS.

  9. Mantle

    • Windows
    • Linux

    Mantle is a graphics API specification; the software component that makes it easy to apply programming techniques and optimizations written for consoles to PCs with Graphics Core Next (GCN) Architecture.

    No screenshots yet
  10. Crystal Space

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux

    Crystal Space is a mature, full-featured Software Development Kit (SDK) providing real-time 3D graphics for applications such as games and virtual reality. It is free (LGPL) and cross-platform (Windows, GNU/Linux, Mac OS X).

    Discontinued

    Discontinued since July 2012 : http://www.crystalspace3d.org/main/Download

    Crystal Space vs OpenGL opinions
    pros, cons and recent comments

    Crystal Space is a software using 3D rendering/drawing APIs. OpenGL is a rendering/drawing API.

    Negative comment over 4 years ago
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    -1
Showing 10 of 10 alternatives