Perhaps you are a bit artistically challenged, or you are looking for resources to prototype your 3D games? Where can you find the best free 3D models? This page is a collection of some of the best resources for 3D models with permissive licenses. If I’ve missed a resource you use, please let me know in the comments down below.
If you are using a game engine, specifically Unity and Unreal, both host several free models for download. Generally the license limits you to use those assets in those engines. Also keep in mind that you will see these assets commonly in asset flips due to their direct integration with their collective game engine. Also be careful to respect copyright laws. Just because you found a freely available Boba Fett model with a commercial license, doesn’t mean you can use it in a commercial project! Existing copyright and trademark laws still apply.
Unity Asset Store
To limit to just free models, go to the 3D category and search for something. You can then filter by price, including $0 as an option.
The Unreal Engine asset store is a fraction of the size of the Unity store. The majority of free content is directly from Epic, but is of an exceedingly high quality. The above link searches for just free content. Products are freely usable in personal and commercial projects as long as you use Unreal Engine.
TurboSquid is one of the oldest model resources on the internet and has a huge collection of free assets. The link above links directly to the free models, you can then filter down by addition requirements (rigged, poly count, etc)
OpenGameArt is a repository for free assets aimed at game developers. The above link is directly to the 3D objects section. This is an non-curated collection, so quality varies massively.
This site is dedicated to Blender and contains tons of Creative Commons licensed resources. You are given a daily download limit if not a member, although a free login option exists.
Sketchfab is quickly becoming the place to demonstrate your artistic abilities, with full WebGL previews available. The above link is for resources tagged as free and downloadable. Unfortunately their search interface makes searching for free assets needlessly complicated.
Google Poly is a resource for free 3D objects, with VR/AR in mind. Models tend to be low poly and flat shaded instead of textured.
CGTrader is another online game marketplace with a large number of free downloads available. The above link is for free assets only. Be careful of licenses, royalty free licensed assets can be used in commercial projects, while editorial licenses cannot be used in commercial products.
This is the Microsoft alternative to Google’s Poly. It’s aimed at Paint3D usage, so you have to open first in Paint 3D (a free Windows 10 only application), then export to a format such as FBX.
Yeah, that NASA. They have a large collection of space related models and textures available. Granted a very niche collection, but invaluable if you are making a space related game.
Another site with a huge archive of free 3D models for download. Currently over 130K models on the site.
Yobi isn’t a model site, it’s a search engine that searches free sites. It searches several different free sites. Be aware the license varies from site to site, so be careful before using results in a commercial project.