Unreal Engine: Scalability Settings (Optimize Editor Performance)

It doesn’t matter how long you have been working in Unreal Engine 5. Understanding how the engine’s scalability settings work is essential, and it’s particularly useful, especially if you are working with a low-specification computer!

The Scalability options allow you to modify the quality of different elements of your game, ensuring optimal performance across multiple platforms and hardware configurations.

If you enjoy playing video games, the process is very similar to configuring the game settings based on your computer specifications. On a powerful computer, you’d play on ultra settings, whereas on an older computer, you’d adjust everything to medium or low, depending on the game.

So let’s get started!

Where can the Engine Scalability Settings be found in Unreal Engine 5?

The Scalability options within the editor can be accessed through the Settings menu on the toolbar.

Go to Settings -> Scalability -> Engine Scalability Settings

Now choose the level of quality that best suits your needs while using the Unreal Engine editor, with “Low” being the lowest quality and “Cinematic” being the highest.

Unreal Engine Scalability Settings

The default quality setting in Unreal Engine 5 is Epic, but you’re welcome to decrease it to medium, for instance, to enhance the FPS while working in the engine.

However, changing these settings will only affect the editor and not your game or project. If you want players to have control over these settings, I’ll cover that in a later section of the Unreal Engine Developer Roadmap.

Where can the Engine Scalability Settings be found in Unreal Engine 5?

The Engine Scalability options section gives rapid access to the most frequently used options from the BaseScalability.ini file.

If you’re interested, let’s find out what they mean:

  • Resolution Scale: Unreal Engine can make scenes look better by rendering them in a smaller resolution and then upscaling to the target resolution. You can pick a value from 10 to 100, or just use -1, which means 100%.
  • View Distance: refers to how far the player can see in the game world, and objects can be hidden or removed from view as they get farther away from the player to improve performance and reduce processing demands.
  • Anti-Aliasing: is a technique used to reduce the jagged or pixelated edges on objects and textures, creating smoother and more realistic visuals. It works by blending the colors of pixels along the edges of objects with the colors of their surrounding pixels, which helps to create a smoother transition between different colors and shades. This process helps to minimize the staircase-like appearance of diagonal lines and curves, resulting in a more polished and visually pleasing image.
  • Post Processing
  • Shadows
  • Global Illumination
  • Reflections
  • Textures: in modern rendering engines textures use a lot of GPU memory for things like images and maps, which can change based on screen resolution or quality settings. Some of these are compressed and loaded as needed, and you can adjust how aggressively they’re managed to affect image quality, smoothness of the game, and loading times.
  • Effects
  • Foliage
  • Shading

Official Documentation