The hydraulic free piston engine is a complex mechanical-electro-liquid system, in order to simplify the complex system of the single hydraulic free piston engine, a new method for the driving of hydraulic free piston engine is proposed. Hydraulic differential drive achieves the compression stroke automatically rather than special recovery system. The structure and principle of hydraulic differential drive free-piston engine are analyzed and the mathematical model is established based on the piston force analysis and the hydraulic system working principle. In addition, the control strategy of this novel hydraulic driving engine is also introduced. Finally, the transient results of dynamics are obtained through simulation. Then we compare our results to the ones from the hydraulic free piston engine made by the company Innas. The results show that: 1) the simplified engine can achieve the similar performance of the Innas BV concept. 2) The maximum frequency and the maximum power of the engine are increased. 3) The indicated work of the novel engine decreases and the BSFC increases by 2.3%.