[Level Design] [Question] BSP vs Static Meshes, Wich one is better?

I’ve been toying with the engine a lot lately, creating some levels and even touching some BPs, but I have a question about level design and so.

I’m doing a simple game, top down (Diablo-ish style), open world, and I’ve been using the geometry from the editor itself to create the buildings and so on, filling them with props I make and that kind of things. But, obviously, creating the buildings in maya/3dsmax is easier for me, more options, but anyway, both are perfectly valid as I only use geometry for the basic shape of the building.

So my question is, regarding materials, performance, polishing, etc. Wich method is better?

Also, have in mind that I’m a total noob so don’t be too technic.


I would recommend you to use static meshes instead of BPS due to those facts:

Static meshes are better, better performance and easier to create more detailed meshes. The only advantage of BSP is that it’s already in the editor.

A general related question:

As a third option, users can also convert BSPs into static meshes within the engine. Since this functionality exists, is there any performance or other drawback (beyond the ability to add multiple material channels in the 3D program) vs. simply importing a similar static mesh?


On a static mesh in a separate program you’d be able to have more control with the UV’s, but on a BSP converted to a static mesh you wouldn’t.

Hi Nebuchaddy,

BSP’s are great for blocking out a level, however they are not ideal for final package/shipped products. However, you can convert BSP’s that you have utilized to static meshes to reduce their performance costs and keep your level in tact. Have a great day!

I use no brushes at all anymore nowadays. However they are fine for testing or for simple things such as UT2 or UT3 style level building (some big floors or walls brush, 90% of the rest of the level in mesh).

Converting brushes to meshes should never be done, unless it is for temp/test meshes. Brushes cut everything up they touch unlike meshes. But converting a brush will make those cuts transfer over to meshes. You will get immensely messy and unclean meshes, plus a lack of lightmap/pivot/uv/collision control.

You would be good to research a modular mesh workflow.

As everybody said, SM are better for final results but, BSB are important too. You can use BSB to block your level and make a lot of gameplay tests, when the gameplay are good and you have a nice playable level now it’s time to work in your level art with modular pieces, where you can take from your bsp base modules and make the art using same size, etc, just putting your “skin” of whatever you want on that. Bsb are very good to create the main idea and prototype your level, it’s easy and quick to create and test your idea.
You can find a lot of tutorials on how to work with your level and modular pieces, Hourences have great ones.
Hope this can help :slight_smile: