Unreal Engine 4 Performance

Hey everyone,

So I’ve seen some threads around the internet (reddit / Unity3D forums, Unreal Engine forums, etc) stating that Unreal Engine 4 is quite heavy on resources, and that games made with it are not - generally - very friendly to lower-end hardware. Obviously it would depend upon the complexity of the rendering of the game, as well as the game logic, though I’ve heard that even very simple scenes tend not to run as well as they should on low-end hardware, and that other engines like Unity3D perform better in regard.

I just wanted to hear how much validity there is to these claims? Is it something I should be worried about if I want to make, say, a 2D game in Unreal Engine that should also have reasonable performance on hardware that’s not high-end? I’ve heard Unity3D is better than Unreal Engine 4 in regard, but I wanted to see if any of you more experienced users have any valuable input on point :slight_smile:

Thank you all for your time!

In a lot of cases, people simply don’t know how to adjust their settings correctly to get good performance on their machines. Unity starts at a very low level graphically, you start adding things and then the performance goes down there as well. Unreal on the other hand already starts at a higher level so you would have to turn off things to get down to the level that Unity starts at.

UE4 definitely uses more resources than Unity3d (by default, depends though), but the two engines don’t really compare, as UE4 is a so called “next-gen” engine (targeting Xbox One/PS4), where Unity3d is a PS3/Xbox360 targeted engine. A better comparison will be available once Unity 5 comes out, but as it will also be a next gen engine, it will be more resource hungry as well.

The games made with UE4 may require slightly higher specs, but is really dependent on the game being made, and how well the developer optimizes the engine for that game. Out of the box, it will require more performance, but most (if not all) features can be turned down &/or off to enable the game to run on lower end hardware. The fact that you can make a hyper realistic simulation all the way down to a small 2d platformer game really says a lot about how well you can scale the engine (for example, the Tappy Chicken game only uses 30mb of data, possibly less can’t remember at the moment though).

So really it is up to the developer making the game deciding on what features will be used that controls whether you need the better specs or not. The engine can handle just about anything in that regard. :slight_smile:

Thank you for the replies guys! A very helpful community indeed :slight_smile:

So it seems to be mostly down to how well the developer actually uses the engine and knows his/her way around the mechanics of it.

Well I don’t think that there is an engine out there that does not have performance issues in one area or another and a selection of a given engine does not automatically means your project inherits those issues.

What I believe it comes down to is the line between what would be considered casual players verse hard core players who buy gear with game playing in mind so the question is whats the expatiation of an off the rack rig as to whats necessary as a minim spec to play a next generation game versus a game like Tappy Chicken as a mobile game ?

If anything is a developer choice when facing many different platform choices.

What I do think makes Unreal 4 different from other engines is Epic does state what areas or features represents a performance hit if it’s used in excess as well are quick to fix performance bugs and I’ve personally noticed an improvement in performance with each release of a new engine.

I do agree that a given engine might have a better performance curve, for now, but I’m comfortable with the idea that if I can post an that can be repeated that it will be fixed as a bug and anything else if a hurts performance then don’t use it to excess as a design decision.

I believe you can select your characters camera, and check/lower the post settings from there, without having to add a new PP volume.

I don’t think you can get that far down to the Unity level. On my laptop with Intel HD3000, even the simplest map (only 1 bsp brush) with all scalability settings set to zero only gets around 10fps. I had no problems running a simple game made in Unity with 30-40fps though. Unless there are other settings / I can turn off to get more FPS which I don’t know about?

The scalability settings don’t control everything. Unity at its starting state has almost nothing in it

Could you elaborate on that? :slight_smile: What other graphics features can be turned off to provide significant performance boosts?

There’s things within object settings that can control quality, and there’s some things in the config files you can adjust further. The reason not everything is an easy adjustment as far as quality controls is because everyone’s game is going to be different and in some cases there’s no way for the engine to know how to improve performance of something.

Are there at least lists of these “things” in the documentation? The only settings I could find are under .unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Rendering/PerformanceProfiling/Options/index.html but they don’t really improve performance in my case.

In it’s current state if you wanted to know if you can make a game that works well on laptops or low end mobile devices, I would say “forget it”.

Yeah I can’t really get any performance out of it… I mean I have an Radeon HD 7950 royalQueen + an Intel I7-3770K @ 3.50GHz with 16 GB RAM. (which isn’t really state of the art but still should get more then 60 fps in an empty scene)

I can play most games with really great performance but UE4 is giving me really bad framerate somewhere between 20 and 40 if i’m lucky.

I tried all kind of things suggested on the forums but after latest update it is even worse…

Speaking of performance, how hard is optimizing UE4 games for the PS4 right now?

Propably not too hard. Not much difference to pc. However, you know, that getting a license for consoles, and getting the devkit, isn’t really easy so you shouldn’t bother about it.

Well were working on the PC version first and then going to try and scale it down for PS4 later. But I can tell it won’t be “Simple” as such, keeping that in mind we are trying to keep performance high as we go along especially as ours is a big game. Keep shader complexity to a min, all the heightmaps are 1009’s that are just spread out and offset when imported, keep verts low on meshes and bake as much as we can get away with…

Just the usual really, even with Unity when you start adding post / dynamic shaders and lighting / filling the place up with foliage things start getting a little heavy in areas.

Turns out from the Koola Arch viz video’s UE4 is the of cubes anyway, it’s a matter of keeping things as simple as possible and letting lightmass do the rest to make everything pretty. So were thinking of dropping the TOD system, because it’s just going to make life a living headache trying to use any sort of dynamic lighting and keeping performance under check so it’ll have a cats in hell for console.