How to profile a standalone (or packaged) game?

I am using the Unreal Frontend started from the Editor to run the profiler. This works well for PIE games. However, that way also the Editor’s updates and rendering (e.g. slate) becomes part of the profiling data.

So I want to profile just the game itself. Thus I started the standalone version of the Frontend and launched a game from the session manager. That itself works fine, however, now when I select that session and want to preview data in the profiler, nothing happes. It looks as if no data can be collected from the launched game.

What do I need to do in order to profile a launched or packaged game, so that I don’t see all the overhead from the UE Editor itself?

This is a bit old so maybe you’ve already figured it out, but I was trying to solve this as well. I found that when I launched the game it didn’t automatically select that in the session dropdown, I had to do it manually. In the top right there’s a gray box where you can choose the session.

Then I pressed the “data capture” button and it started recording data for me.

Thanks for the feedback, I will have a look at your solution.

Hmm… it seems I am not able to do as you suggest. First I start the Session Frontend, then I run the game in standalone mode. But then back in the Session Frontend I cannot change the session, or better: the only one I can see is “This application”. There is not second instance listed for the standalone game. Any ideas? (PS: This is an old thread, I am running UE4.10)

FWIW I was having issues trying to figure out how to connect Frontend standalone with packaged game. My packaged game was using custom source code so just realized that you have to build Frontend as well. This is documented here: and states:

Please note that if you are using a source build of the engine, you will need to build UnrealFrontend from Visual Studio or XCode first.

After building unrealfrontend, the communication between packaged game and unrealfrontend just worked.

and to add… based on the original question on this thread. I am unable to profilegpu on a packaged game. I’ve tried all the packaging options including “debug” “development” “shipping”. When I run the packaged game and bring up the command console using “~” and type profilegpu or use “ctrl + shift + ,” the game seems to pause for a second, but I don’t get any window showing me the gpu timing breakdown. This does work when running the game from within the editor, but as @haimat mentions, this won’t be accurate as it includes overhead for the interface / UI / etc. What gives? I don’t get it.

You may have already found the solution, but when you activate the GPU profiler in a packaged build, it adds the profile data for the frame to the log. After you close the session, you can find the log in the saved folder of your package files. Scroll through it to find the data. I recommend taking several frames in one session. :slight_smile: