UE5 EA vs. Main - Please give us an update

I’m reading stuff like “UE5 EA is old, the main branch is much better, this and that works much better in the main branch.” and I am wondering. Why dont we get a new early access version already? Forums and Discords are full of problems that dont exist in the main branch. Its been a long time and “normal” users could really use an update.

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Perhaps they think it isn’t really ready yet? The main branch has currently some issues, too and is by far not perfect.

That is why they always said:“Don’t use it for production work, it is not ready, yet”

Having worked with a UE5_main build that’s less than a week old, I think I can answer that question somewhat. While it is true that the feature set is generally very expanded and performance is significantly better to UE5_EA, it is also profoundly buggy. EA2 underwent QA testing to my knowledge, and even if the performance is relatively poor, it was at least shippable enough to run Valley Of The Ancients (don’t know about the version used in the Matrix Demo however).

I’ve been using UE5_main for testing purposes, and while it gives me a good idea of how UE5.1 will run, it also has a number of strange problems (water actors and landscape dissapearing, odd volumetric fog behavior, etc).

Not saying EA was bugless (I lost multiple weeks of work to their OFPA system), but I think it’s generally stable compared to _main, not nessesarilly better.

5.0 will be releasing soon. I can’t say exactly when, but I can say it’s quite soon indeed.

5.0 is far and away ahead of 5.0EA in terms of features. Some say performance is better too but I haven’t really compared the two in that aspect.

Given how old the base of 5.0EA is at this point and how soon 5.0 will see its full release, I don’t think we’ll be seeing any more preview releases for 5.0EA. I can understand some frustration if you started or moved development over to 5.0EA, but that wasn’t why it was released. As others have said, it wasn’t meant for production work, it was meant to be a means to gather feedback from real world users.

It’s not a long wait now, so hold strong :slight_smile:

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Did they implement VERSE for it? (new scripting).

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My work has nothing to do with Verse, but looking at the source code I can see there is a lot of groundwork laid for Verse at this point.

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Thank you, i am waiting for it.
So tired of huge blueprints and pointers crashing everything in C++.

“is valid” everything. Fixed.

Yes it can fix almost everything, however when i am in the zen coding zone i usually forget to make sure all pointers are valid (or i did not added yet those checks, because i just wrote this new code) before compiling or trying to run, and C++ loves to make crash to desktop, had even few reboots, project corrupted etc. And that is no fun.

So my only salvation is verse. Or GODOT.

Haha, hold strong is what we do! :wink: We dont use it for production but we also cant continue testing and developing with this old version. Lumen, Nanite and VSMs are very important for us. I just wish there where at least some updates on how development is going. Just as an example: will there be translucent/masked materials on nanite meshes? That would be a real gamechanger but we have no idea if this is coming and when. Its kind of hard planning without any information. So we can only wait and hope that 5.0 will really be released soon.

So they dont want to spend the time getting it stable for another EA version. I get that. Lets hope that means 5.0 is coming soon. The Matrix demo is running on a newer version for sure. Lumen looks better there. Also there are reflections on translucent materials.

Compiling Unreal Engine 5 is not that difficult.
So you could give it a shot and try the new features out.
You don’t need to be a software engineer and can learn in a day how to do it.

I tend to use the 5.0 branch rather than 5.1/Main.
5.0 is updated almost daily, is virtually the same and more stable.

However, 5.0 is far from production ready and crashes on a regular basis.
Features such as the Retarget Manager have been removed and I am sure other functionality that people use daily have too, so new work flows will be required in some projects.
Lumen is much better but far from production ready and still does not work on skeletal meshes etc.

Thanks for the infos! You are painting a dark picture! Doesnt sound like the full release is coming anytime soon.
Gonna get the 5.0 branch then so we can continue.

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From what I can see it appears like 5.0 is either really close to locking down its features for launch or already at that point. The main branch has things that will not be ready in time for a 5.0 launch and those modules are not present in the 5.0 branch. It’s just not ready for the point where Epic can hand on heart say that it is ready for production.

Building the engine is very storage intensive, my ue5 main folder is around 280gb. Also, if you do it, make sure you get vs2022 if you are building on windows and .net sdk 6 or one of the projects won’t build.

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… Considering that when they say that in ALL past releases over the last year - NOT ONCE has the engine actually been ready for production, I think Epic will say stuff is ready whenever they have to satisfy TenCent’s nagging.
That’s all.

If you’re serious and not just playing around, SSDs in the nTB range are pretty cheap these days ($300 range). Basically not an issue given the current prices of GPUs.


I build the 5.0 with vs2019 two/three days a go and it went well.
It is just long to build it, on my computer it is around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Maybe it is more fast with vs2022 on the same computer … i have to install vs 2022 and see how fast it is.

Do vs2022 will become required in near future ?

Yes, the vs2022 compiler will be required in the near future. You can also use Rider instead.

1 hour 15 minutes is pretty good! It takes my PC almost 2 hours and I have to build daily. Some of my colleagues have threadrippers and report sub-30 minute build times. If only Razer would make a threadripper version of this laptop, I’d be very happy.


Incredibuild cuts your times to half or less - get a trial license.

If you have some other PCs, you can even use the trial of 30 days up to 16 cores on each additional networked PC.
Each 16 cores cuts the time about 15% or so.

After the license expires it still works for 16 cores on the local machine.

When you have to build daily, I’d also consider buying an actual license, though they arent cheap - about $700 per machine yearly…

Also, afaik from actually trying it, VS2022 doesn’t compile ue4 sucessfully. I assume that would be the same for 5 unless the Bat file to generate project files takes in the -2022 option…

That’s good to know, thanks! It doesn’t look like Incredibuild supports Rider (or maybe Rider needs to support Incredibuild) at the moment and I’m over VS’s crashes at this point so I’ll be waiting to see if this eventually works with Rider.

Maybe VS 2022 is better in that respect and startup times, no idea. I would hope so, in 2019 it was painful.