Lumen & Nanite on MacOS

I’m on a 14" M1 Macbook Pro and lumen works great. This is a completely dynamic scene with no baked lighting with lumen dynamic global illumination. This scene is a red cube in a white room with a single point light.


how? are you sure its Lumen? How can you be sure?

yes, it is lumen, i can use the lumen debug visualization modes and see clearly it’s enabled. i can also toggle lumen on and off and the global illumination also disappears/appears accordingly. I am using UE5 Preview 2 and MacOS 12.3. This is what also appears when i type “show VisualizeLumen” in a packaged build:

lumen reflection is also working:


This is great news.
Does hardware raytracing work too? Lumen looks best when usint hw raytracing but I don’t know if that works on m1.

No, it does not. M1 Macs don’t have Raytracing Hardware on Chip. The Metal Graphics API however, does have a Raytracing API that runs on Compute shaders on the GPU but does not run at interactive rates. At this time, It’s meant to aid in offline renders in software such as Blender and others. I personally believe that apple will eventually add specific Raytracing Hardware on Chip but who knows exactly when that will happen.


What I want to know is when Nanite will be supported on MacOS. It’s one of the main features of UE5, so it really sux that UE5 shipped without implementing it on MacOS. The documentation states it even works on PS4 and Xbox One (though not very well), and I know that Nanite is largely software rasterised. Given how fast the M1 processors are and that Nanite can even work on old GCN GPUs, it should be more than possible getting it working on M1-based MacBooks. Has anyone heard anything?


Hi, does it still work? It worked for me even on an intel mac on preview2. Now it doesnt work anymore.

I’m not sure what you mean by ‘it’, but I assume you mean either Lumen or Nanite. Short version, Lumen works, Nanite does not. I’m pretty sure preview 2 didn’t support either of those features, the final release does support Lumen though.

Around Nanite support: no one has been able to provide me with a solid technical reason why Nanite couldn’t work on the Mac. I’ve heard various reasons thrown around like M1 GPU not supporting tessellation, but that’s false, it does, but even if it didn’t, Nanite is mostly software rasterised anyway, so it wouldn’t explain why it couldn’t work on the Mac.

Meanwhile, Epic has been dead silent on the topic, the documentation doesn’t even mention if it’s supported on the Mac or not and they seemingly refuse to make any sort of statements or respond to any comments involving Nanite support on Mac. Meanwhile you have people like myself that don’t know how to proceed as we just don’t know whether Epic intends to implement Nanite support for the Mac or not.

I’m extremely disappointed that Unreal Engine 5 launched in the state that it did, with the Mac version completely missing one of the most important features that the new engine has to offer.


Hey, thanks for your answer. I meant lumen. And it did work for me on intel Mac on preview 2. And it stopped working after that. I have no idea why. :confused:

The only other thing I can suggest trying is to create a new project in UE5, and in the Project Settings, under Platforms->Mac, make sure that you’ve got the latest version of Metal selected and that everything looks like it’s on desktop-based settings.

Thank you! I will try that!

Also make sure when you create the project it’s set to high end desktop, not one of the mobile settings since that will obviously disable Lumen.

Hi there, It seems like Epic have actually commented on the state of Unreal Engine on M1 Macs. Take a look:

I quote: “Future versions of Unreal Engine will introduce direct support for M1 Macs, but in the meantime, you should expect a performance impact when running Unreal Editor on M1 Macs and newer.”


I’m not talking about M1 support, I’m talking about Nanite support on Mac.

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Well… I think it’s safe to say that if M1 receives full support some day, proper support for Lumen & Nanite would come alongside it.

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How is that safe to say? M1 support simply means that the editor/engine is compiled as an ARM binary instead of an Intel one. That has nothing to do with Nanite.

Point taken. I guess we’ll just have to see.

while that is 100% true, i think that when epic decides to buckle down and fully support the apple silicon, they will be in a mindstate that they start to implement everything else they intended to at some point


It will be nice to put together hardware info for MacOS users, which Macs work with Lumen and Nanite.
I have a 5k retina, and Lumen, Nanite, and Backinglight don’t work.
Screenshot 2022-05-05 at 17.09.53
… and I have a MacAir 2020 M1 and Lumen and Baked Light, work. Ninate didn’t check yet.
Screenshot 2022-05-08 at 11.10.11

Also the question for me if it is related to the hardware that the M1 is not supported, or just the Metal API that is not fully integrated / not supporting it.

e.g. if i see the screenshot above, the Radeon Pro 570X seems like it does not work in the Mac, but should on windows?

It might take some rendering engine developer who can share some insights what it is lacking off, time to integrate, hardware support or software api support