Skeletal character performance

Hello everyone :slight_smile:

TLDR: What can I do to increase performance of a skeletal mesh?

I’ve been testing performance in UE5 to see how it handles larger crowds of NPCs, which unfortunately seems to be quite poor, at least as I’m doing it right now. I know there’s all kinds of tricks to be used, like ex. Baking animation into textures etc. That said, I don’t really need huge crows and the game is top down so…

I am however surprised how taxing a skeletal mesh is on the system. Did a quick test with a Mixamo character which I decimated to around 2k tris, no changes to bones. Creating a character using it in UE and duplicating it ~80 times completely tank fps.

I was kinda surprised to see how much of the GPU was in use, had assumed I was CPU bound. Its a very low poly mesh, 1 base material (default, no textures) - using 100% running on a GTX3080ti. Perhaps skinning etc. is delegated to the GPU. Keep in mind, this is ONLY the mesh in the scene. No AI controllers, BT, Ai navigation etc., its simply standing there in t-pose.

I tried doing the same in Unity, and could get at least 10 times the characters on screen before running into issues (~1000), that was with animations running and characters pathing to different spots using navmesh.

So, am I missing some crucial thing?

Edit: This is of cause with things such as tick disabled.