How often to update project to newest engine?

So I had my project at 4.18 for a while, when I started to have really long compile times. I heard that the newer versions run faster, so I looked up how to convert my project to the newest version and I did.

Pros: It runs a lot smoother, compile times are much faster, the lighting and colors even look better.

Cons: Had to fix a slew of issues, such as Navigation not working when packaged, and manually changing the code in the DefaultEngine.ini file. One of the supposed solutions to my issues was to add source code to the project, which I did. I then closed and attempted to reopen, only to find that it could no longer be opened unless I fixed the buggy code through VS. Ultimately I scrapped the whole updated project and tried updating again from my old 4.18 project (losing work). It’s now working, packages correctly, and nav works when packaged, but this whole process leaves me wondering if updating your project is worth it.

How often should I update? Do professionals update as often as they can, or does that just cause too many problems? It seems to me that there are so many changes in engine updates that it’s likely to break your project in a variety of unpredictable ways. Please weigh-in and let me know what your opinion is on when it’s appropriate to update, and what the risks/benefits are. I’m hoping to hear from professionals who have seen the risks first hand please.

You can Do it anytime u ant just make a backup of the project before doing it.

It’s a judgement call on a case-by case basis. Our team is working with VR which is pretty new to the engine itself so in every new update Epic has done a lot to improve VR tech which we need. Because of this we aim to update as often as possible, but knowing it will take time and it will break things, we make sure to not update should we have a client deadline coming up any time soon.

It is a balance between the time cost of making the update vs the benefits of getting access to those fixes and improvements in the newest release.