The Ultimate Unreal 5 FPS Optimization Guide

Looking to improve FPS?

Ok, so you’re booting up Unreal Engine 5, and you notice your FPS is a bit laggy, what do you do? You’ll need to do some optimization, to get your quality to FPS ratio to a good level. Here are some easy tips to improve your FPS.

You should probably go through this article on RTX vs Lumen, so you can make decisions about optimization of lighting systems. Do you want higher quality lighting or better performance, work it out here.

And my personal recommendation, is to save articles for later, hon, and just jump right in and start developing in Unreal 5. Baskin can wait, download it here:


Seriously I’ll wait. Come back and read it I worked hard on this, but some things you can’t learn from a tutorial, you need experience, you need to sit down and start working with the engine, learning, gaining experience, developing games. Trust me soon you won’t need Baskin, except to thank me.

How do I make Unreal Engine 5 run faster?

How do I make Unreal Engine 5 less laggy?

  • Try turning Shadow Quality and Post Processing to high or medium
  • Set Quality Settings to Medium, and then Low if that doesn’t work
  • If you set your quality settings to low, try turning on Temporal Anti-Aliasing Upscaling
  • If nothing else words turn off either nanite or lumen
  • If that doesn’t work turn off the other one

Is Unreal Engine 5 CPU or GPU intensive?

Definitely CPU intensive. You can run Unreal 5 on a modest graphics card, an RTX 2080 will do, but Unreal 5 likes a strong CPU, it wants 12 cores at 3.4 Ghz.

A word regarding minimum specs

Writing a guide on Optimization for Unreal 5 is a bit of a challenge for me, because I only have a minimum spec PC, GTX 1080 ti with an i7 920 and 32 GB of RAM. There was a time when I said those words proudly, but now it is a topic of embarrassment. My current rig can’t really run the nanite demo level, let alone compare high settings to low settings, but I have been trawling the internet and I found this video and I think I have identified which settings will give you the most gain.

So what do you need to run nanite and the valley of the ancients?

You will need at least a twelve core processor, running at 3.4 Ghz, 64GB RAM, and an RTX 2080. So it’s looking like Unreal 5 will be very processor heavy, very RAM heavy, and a middle of the range graphics card is fine. Actually technically my graphics card can meet the minimum reqs, but the above is recommended. If you have an 8 core processor running at 4.3Ghz you might be able to get away with it. But I would recommend saving up for the best machine possible, and make yourself future proof….

Like I did…. when I bought the 1080 ti. I remember people being like, WOW you have THAT CARD?? Then sadly recount their much less powerful cards. This pleased me immensely.

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How do I optimize Unreal 5?

There are a lot of settings you can tinker with to make Unreal 5 work better, one of the easiest is render resolution, it makes everything look sharper and more high rez, but it also is a performance hog, so you can chop that one down to size as an easy way to optimize your games for lower quality machines.

Shadow quality is a main option to consider

The lowest shadow quality setting is obviously the fastest, but it looks pretty terrible, as for the other three settings, if you are not going with the lowest setting, choose epic because the difference between medium and epic in FPS is minimal, but low to medium is a big dropoff, so consider it if you have no other option, or you’re just maximizing FPS at all cost.

Post Processing will also bring you some pretty big gains

If you turn your post processing to medium or high, instead of epic, you’ll see a pretty big increase in FPS, sometimes just tinkering with these two settings alone is enough to kill off any lag in your game, sometimes you’ll need to do a little more than that.

Texture quality is virtually flat

Texture quality doesn’t seem to affect FPS much at all, so keep it on the Epic Setting…. unless that 2 FPS is really important to you.


This is another mostly negligible setting, you’re looking at a 4 fps drop from low to epic settings, meaning if you want lots of anti-aliasing in your game, you can do it pretty cheaply, I guess if you max out every single setting it’ll start to add up, but Unreal has made optimization a pretty easy task this time around, making it very easy to max out your game.

Post-FX Quality

This setting doesn’t really have a huge impact on visuals, it makes things a little bit nicer around the edges, however, the drop from low to epic is 2 FPS, so again, unless you are having huge framerate issues, you may as well set this one to epic.

“Quality” Presets: Epic: 38 FPS High: 51 FPS Medium: 73 FPS Low: 127 FPS

EPIC (recommended)

Okay, on this guy’s RTX 3070 and a 4k desktop, when you get to the outright quality settings, without tinkering with every last switch and dial, you just want to cycle through presets. Here is my conception of these numbers. Epic is obviously the lowest, hitting 38 FPS, but I would genuinely consider it anyway, considering how ungodly beautiful that’s going to look. I never cared too much about FPS, as long as it was still playable.

HIGH (for optimized framerate)

However, you can take a drop in quality and get 51 FPS at high, this is the minimum I would recommend you use. With Unreal 5 you want as much beauty as you can pack into the machine, and high settings are going to look pretty damn beautiful, and 51 FPS is not that bad, very playable, maybe not for a twitch shooter, but still very playable.

MEDIUM (for 71 FPS)

At medium settings, expect things to look very nice still, you will get most of the gains of Unreal Engine 5’s visual quality, and you will also average 71 FPS, not bad all things considered. For the Call of Duty crowd, the itchy trigger finger people, 71 FPS is what you want for your game. That is the setting the author of this video recommended, and if that’s the kind of game you’re building, then by all means, pay for the drop in quality.

LOW (why?)

Low settings…. Why are you even using the Unreal Engine 5 at this point, would be my question, but if their answer is HAHAHAHAAHA OMFG 127 FPS HAAH YUSH HAHAHAHAH OMFG ROFL AHAHAHHA, then I guess this person really wanted that 127 FPS. Oh wait I recognize you now, you are the guy who made 3089, you’re building your new game in Unreal Engine 5, graphics are not an option, you just want optimization. You want your game to run at the lowest requirements and still function, or you just love FPS moving faster than the human eye can differentiate.

Temporal Anti-Aliasing Upscaling

If you’re running on the lowest quality settings, you can turn on Temporal Anti-Aliasing Upscaling, if your Anti-Aliasing settings are very high. This will make the lowest setting look a lot nicer, it will look pretty crummy, but it’s a big jump up in quality from nothing, and if you’re optimizing on the lowest settings, consider going with this.


I know, I know, Unreal Engine 5 is about the Lumen, what’s the point of Unreal 5 without Lumen, well if you’re cutting down settings and you’ve run out of options, you can get a pretty big gain in FPS if you switch off the lumen system entirely. You’ll have to bake your lighting, and you’ll miss lumen because it’s wonderful, but maybe you’re more concerned with performance than you are with lumen brightening up your day as a game designer.

Ray Traced (Depricated)

But if you still want some lumen, but maybe functioning at lower quality setting so it’s faster and more efficient, then you can turn go to Project Settings->Rendering->Global Illumination and change lumen to “Ray Traced (depricated)” This is going to still give you something resembling lumen, just not at the same outrageously high quality, consider this as an alternative to turning off Lumen entirely when you’re running out of options.

Screen Space (beta)

If you’re turning off lumen entirely, go with “Screen Space (beta)” and under Software Ray Tracing Mode choose “Global Tracing” then go to Engine->Rendering->Shadows-> shadow map method, and choose “Shadow Map” then go to reflections and change reflection method to “screen space”.


Yeah, you’re programming on a old rig and you’re out of options, you’ve tried everything else, you even tried lumen and it only got you part way there, well, you can turn off Nanite for some massive gains as well. You’ll be disabling one of the nicest features in the Engine, but maybe your game won’t run without disabling it, it’s an option, trying anything else, then cut down lumen and nanite if you have no alternative.

Console Command: Start UnitGraph

One of the handy things in Unreal is that you can call up the console at any time and type in commands, one of these commands is Start UnitGraph, this will give you a box that will tell you the upper and lower ranges of your FPS with a handy line graph that updates as you move around your level, this gives you a good idea of what the problem areas are in your level, and what’s working well. It also covers draw time, and some other factors. Very handy for optimization. Go through this video if you want some more extensive tips on optimizing your game, there’s a lot to get through.


Unreal 5 has some heavy requirements, although it can be run at low settings on a more modest machine. You should get a machine capable of running your game at max settings if you’re a serious developer. I know I need one.

Unreal has so many options for improving your FPS gains that it’s hard to know where to begin and I have only covered a fraction of what’s available, still, if you go over the techniques covered in this guide, you can probably get your game running at a decent framerate to quality ratio, and make something you’re really proud of.

Unreal tends to run really well at high settings, even the Epic settings on everything is still very playable on a decent rig, but if you drop down to the lowest settings, you can get either a huge framerate increase into the triple digits, or perhaps you can just get your Unreal 5 game to run on a machine like mine.

I know I’ll be developing in Unreal 5 when it releases in full in 2022. I’m very excited about the future of this industry, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a stable version.

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