When googling articles on how to copy / migrate assets from one project to another, you might encounter terms “copy” and “migrate”. What’s the difference between migration vs. copying, if any?
Let’s make this clear: copying and migration is not the same, although they sometimes used as interchangeable terms.
What is asset copying?
Copying from project to project suggests bringing one or more .uasset files — in which most assets inside Unreal projects are kept in — by physically doing so in the Explorer, for example. This method is not recommended since you’re copying files, and not assets per se. So if you copy the material, it will most likely be broken in the target project since all of the dependencies like textures or material functions will not be copied unless you bring their respective .uasset files as well.
But it may work in case you’re copying the whole Content folder. This way, you keep the dependencies since you’re bringing all of the files.
If we’re talking about copying assets within the same project, then it’s an entirely different notion. You are using the Copy function from the contextual menu, and Unreal creates the duplicate of that particular asset, managing dependencies for you, leaving everything intact. But since we’re talking about moving assets between projects, this is most likely not what you had in mind, but I thought I’d mention it just in case.
What is asset migration?
Migration, on the other hand, is the process where you select one or more assets from within the Content Browser and let Unreal do the job for you — it will scan for all of the asset(s) dependencies and will suggest carrying them over as well to make sure your migrated asset is not broken.
You can read another post to learn how to import assets from another project: How to Copy Blueprint to Another Project in Unreal Engine 5.
Hopefilly, this post helped you understand the difference between copying and migration in Unreal Engine.