Unreal Engine 5 Early Access Release Notes

An overview of new and updated features in the Early Access release of Unreal Engine 5.

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Unreal Engine 5 is the next major evolution of Unreal Engine, redesigned and enhanced for the next generation of games, real-time visualizations, and immersive interactive experiences. It will empower game developers and creators across all industries to realize next-generation real-time 3D content and experiences with greater freedom, fidelity, and flexibility than ever before.

  • A generational leap in fidelity — UE5 unlocks stunning new levels of realism and detail through features like Nanite virtualized geometry, Lumen real-time global illumination, and MetaSounds — a completely new paradigm for immersive audio rendering. You'll be able to bring incredibly immersive and realistic gaming experiences to life.

  • Build bigger worlds — With current-generation tech, open-world games and simulation projects quickly hit technical limits on terrain size and struggle with the increasingly complex authoring and streaming workflows needed to keep within memory and performance budgets. To meet these challenges, UE5 introduces built-in workflows for partitioning and streaming large levels, while easing collaboration between multiple people working in the same virtual world. With UE5, you'll have the tools to create truly expansive worlds for your players to explore, using content that scales.

  • Made by creators, for creators — With the size and complexity of next-generation assets and projects, maximizing efficiency and minimizing iteration time are essential for all roles in the project team — artists, programmers, build engineers, and more. UE5 introduces a new and refocused UI, integrates more asset design and authoring workflows into the editor to reduce the need for external apps, and offers new tools for working more smoothly with targets like consoles and mobile devices.

New Editor Look and Feel

In UE5, the Unreal Editor gets a makeover, with an updated visual style, streamlined workflows, and optimized use of screen real estate, making it easier, faster, and more pleasing to use.

  • Unreal Engine 5 offers a more immersive experience, minimizing distractions so you can focus on the viewport. For example, the Content Drawer offers a new way to temporarily pull up the Content Browser when you need it by pressing Ctrl + Spacebar. After you're done interacting with it, it automatically minimizes until the next time you call it up.

  • We've redesigned menus and toolbars to improve groupings and focus on the things you use most often. You can even mark settings in the Details panel as favorites, floating them to the top.

  • You now have more options for customizing the Editor to suit your own tastes and workflows. For example, you can create color themes, and dock tabs on the side of the viewport that you can pop out for quick actions.

For more information on all the changes to the Unreal Editor interface, see the Editor Improvements documentation.

Rendering Features

Lumen Dynamic Global Illumination and Reflections

Lumen is a new fully dynamic Global Illumination and reflection solution that immediately reacts to scene and light changes, offering artists and designers the ability to create more dynamic scenes with greater realism. Change the sun angle for time of day, turn on a flashlight, open an exterior door, or even blow up a ceiling, and indirect lighting and reflections adapt accordingly. The system renders diffuse interreflection with infinite bounces and indirect specular reflections in huge, detailed environments, at scales ranging from kilometers to millimeters.

Lumen Dynamic Global Illumination

Artists and designers are no longer tied to static scenes with precomputed lighting baked into textures — a huge time saving when you can see the results of changes right in the editor, without needing to rebuild lighting or to set up lightmap UVs for individual static meshes.

Lumen implements efficient Software Ray Tracing, allowing Global Illumination and Reflections to run on a wide range of video cards, while supporting Hardware Ray Tracing for high end visuals.

In the UE5 Early Access release, Lumen is still actively being developed to target the next generation of consoles and high-end PCs. It may not yet support some features well (like instanced foliage), or at all (like reflections on translucent materials).

For more, see the Lumen Global Illumination and Reflections documentation.

Nanite Virtualized Geometry

Create games with massive amounts of geometric detail with Nanite, a virtualized micropolygon geometry system. Directly import film-quality source art composed of millions of polygons — anything from ZBrush sculpts to photogrammetry scans — and place them millions of times, all while maintaining a real-time frame rate, and without any noticeable loss of fidelity.

Nanite intelligently streams and processes only the detail you can perceive, largely removing poly count and draw call constraints, and eliminating time-consuming work like baking details to normal maps and manually authoring LODs, freeing you up to concentrate on creativity.

Nanite Virtualized Geometry

In the UE5 Early Access release, Nanite does not yet work with all engine features or all material types. In addition, it has specific GPU requirements beyond the base requirements for UE5.

For more, see the Nanite Virtualized Geometry documentation.

Virtual Shadow Maps (next-gen shadows)

Virtual Shadow Maps provide the next generation of shadowing, with the consistent, high quality needed to shadow film-quality assets and large open worlds taking advantage of Nanite, Lumen, and World Partition.

Traditional shadowing techniques have often been limiting for artists and designers for medium and large-sized worlds, forcing them to make unsatisfying choices about where to sacrifice quality for performance. They also typically require developers to combine multiple different approaches, such as using both Cascaded Shadow Maps and Distance Field Shadows for dynamic shadowing in a large world.

The virtual shadowing technique introduced in UE5, by contrast, offers a single, unified shadowing method that automatically applies quality where it's needed the most. This means that shadows can now have consistent quality for small to large objects over greater distances, with more realistic soft penumbra and contact hardening, all at a lower performance cost.

Percentage-Closer Filtering (PCF) blurs uniformly, | removing important detail

Shadow Map Raytracing (SMRT) produces plausible | soft shadows with contact hardening

In Unreal Engine 5 Early Access, Virtual Shadow Maps are still being actively developed. They support a wide range of geometry and material types. However, in cases where a geometry or material type is not yet supported, UE5 will fall back to traditional shadow mapping. Additionally, Nanite geometry only supports Virtual Shadow Maps, and we expect to make further improvements on quality and performance.

For more, see the Virtual Shadow Maps documentation.

Temporal Super Resolution

Nanite micropolygon geometry and the fidelity demands of the next generation of games have increased the amount of detail displayed on screen like never before. To meet these demands, we've written a Temporal Super Resolution algorithm from scratch that replaces UE4's TemporalAA for higher-end platforms.

Temporal Super Resolution has the following properties:

  • Output approaching the quality of native 4k renders at input resolutions as low as 1080p, allowing for both higher framerates and better rendering fidelity.

  • Less ghosting against high-frequency backgrounds.

  • Reduced flickering on geometry with high complexity.

  • Runs on any Shader Model 5 capable hardware: D3D11, D3D12, Vulkan, PS5, XSX. Metal coming soon.

  • Shaders specifically optimized for PS5's and XSX's GPU architecture.

In Unreal Engine 5 Early Access, Temporal Super Resolution is enabled by default in your project settings.

4K frames rendered at Native 4K resolution | Frames Per Second: 20.57

4K frames rendered at 1080p resolution (r.ScreenPercentage=50) | Frames Per Second: 44.22

By default, the rendered geometric detail will adapt to the rendering resolution leading to difference seen in the comparison above. However, the geometric details can optionally be tweaked to use same geometry as Native 4K rendering to reach an output a lot closer to native 4k.

4K frames rendered at Native 4K resolution | Frames Per Second: 20.57

![4K frames rendered at 1080p resolution (r.ScreenPercentage=50) | with same geometric level of detail as Native 4K | Frames Per Second: 43.33](image_6a.png)(convert:false)

In each of the comparison sliders, the 4K images are limited to the width of the page. To see their full uncompressed resolution, Right-click on either image in the comparison sliders and choose Save As to save a copy to your local drive.

World Building Features

World Partition

World Partition is a new data management and streaming system used both in the Editor and at runtime, which completely removes the need to manually divide the world into countless sublevels to manage streaming and reduce data contention.

Using World Partition, the world exists as a single persistent level. In Editor, the world is split on a grid and data is partially loaded based on your area of interest. This makes it possible to handle massive worlds that would take a long time to load. When cooking or launching PIE, the world is divided into grid cells optimized for runtime streaming, which become individual streaming levels.

Opening the World Partition editor Choosing which cells to load

You can toggle World Partition in the Project Settings, or by selecting the Enable World Partition option in the World Partition section of the menu. A commandlet is provided to convert level-based or World Composition-based scenes to use World Partition.

While we still support level based streaming, we plan to make World Partition the default way to create worlds in the future.

For more, see the World Partition documentation.

World Partition — Data Layers

Data Layers for World Partition provide a way to conditionally load world data by activating and deactivating layers at runtime. You can use it to handle different scenarios in your game (for example, different setups for night and day, or changes to the world after completing quests). You can control Data Layers from the Data Layers tab in the Editor or from Actors' Details panels.

Data Layers

For more, see the Data Layers documentation.

World Partition — Hierarchical Level of Detail (HLOD)

Working with World Partition, the new Hierarchical Level of Detail (HLOD) system creates a proxy mesh from the Actors in a grid cell and gives you a way to visualize the content of unloaded cells at runtime. These proxy meshes are generated from the original Actor geometry, but simplified to reduce memory usage and draw calls.

For example, the following images show two streaming sources, represented by white spheres. All the cells intersected by these spheres are fully loaded (including some larger Actors that cross over into other nearby cells). The contents of cells outside of these radii are not fully loaded; instead, they are replaced by automatically generated HLODs, as shown in the image on the right.

HLODs off

HLODs on

HLODs off

HLODs on

When a streaming source moves out of range of a loaded cell, the contents of that cell are automatically swapped with the cell's HLOD representation.

For more, see the Hierarchical Level of Detail documentation.

Level Instancing

Level Instancing provides a modular approach to populating environments.

You can create and store arrangements of Actors in reusable sublevels. You can move, rotate, and scale these sublevels using a specifically designed Actor, and you can edit them seamlessly in context without having to jump from file to file. The world can contain any number of instances of a specific sublevel, making it ideal for use in creating assemblies of environment assets that are reused across your project.

Create a Level Instance from selected Actors New LevelInstance

For more, see the Level Instancing documentation.

One File Per Actor

The new One File Per Actor system makes collaborative editing in a large world much easier. The level editor saves individual Actors to their own files, rather than grouping them all into a single, monolithic level file. This means users only have to check out Actors they really need from source control, rather than the entire level.

For more, see the One File Per Actor documentation.

Animation Features

Authoring Animation and Cinematics

Author incredibly detailed characters in dynamic, real-time environments with Unreal Engine 5's powerful animation toolset. Working in context, you can iterate faster and more accurately, without the need for time-consuming round tripping.

Artist-friendly tools like Control Rig let you quickly create animation rigs and share them across multiple characters; animate them in Sequencer and easily create natural movement with the new Full Body IK solver. Combine runtime animation systems with Control Rig to create some truly dynamic performances.

Animation Tools in Sequencer

It is now easier to pose and animate characters in Sequencer, our linear cinematic animation tool. By bringing commonly used animation utilities into Unreal Engine 5, you can spend more time animating and less time navigating between different software packages.

Take advantage of the new Pose Library to quickly save, mirror and blend poses on any Control Rig setup. The Pose Library can also create Selection Sets to reuse frequent selections on your rig. Find this and other utilities like the Tween and Snapper utilities on the Animation Panel toolbar in the Level Editor.

Control Rig Pose Library

Full Body IK

The experimental Full Body IK (FBIK) plugin has been updated with a new underlying solver, providing significantly improved performance, faster evaluation, and deterministic poses. Combined with Control Rig, FBIK provides you with the tools to create reactive, dynamic characters driven by gameplay or authored in Sequencer.

Position Based IK

For more, see the FBIK documentation.

Control Rig

In Unreal Engine 4, we introduced the experimental Control Rig feature, bringing animation authoring directly into the engine. In Unreal Engine 5, Control Rig moves out of Experimental status, becoming a fully supported and powerful tool for the community. Being fast and flexible, Control Rig can be used in both runtime and keyframe workflows. To further extend the capabilities of Control Rig you can create Functions and Collapse Nodes in your Rig Graphs, allowing for creating reusable logic, smaller graphs and greater extensibility.

For more, see the Control Rig documentation.

Animation Tool Scripting

With Unreal Engine 5, we wanted to open up the animation system to be more accessible than ever before. The first phase of this process can be seen with the introduction of Animation Tool Scripting, refactoring our animation system to integrate Python and Blueprint-based scripting. Read and write bone and curve data directly into Animation Sequences with the ToolMenus API, now extended to animation-related editors.

The example below showcases a Python-based Animation Editor extension, in the form of a toolbar button. This button copies world-space bone animation between a source and target bone with a frame offset, predicting the bone position in the future.

Animation tool scripting example

Runtime and Gameplay Animation

New and Improved Blendspace Nodes

We have introduced new Blendspace nodes with a variety of improvements. Rather than creating Blendspace or Aim Offset assets, these new nodes now contain the Blendspace graph, which you can access by double-clicking the Blendspace node.

The new Blendspace nodes and their samples are also visible in the AnimGraph tree. Samples are no longer simple animation sequences, but are now their own subgraphs, allowing for broad customization.

Blendspace nodes

Motion Warping

Motion Warping is a new Experimental feature which allows you to manipulate root motion animations to adapt them to the world with fewer custom assets. Motion Warping represents the first of many exciting improvements the Gameplay Animation team is making to character locomotion.

In the example below, you can see it adjusting a mantle montage to align to obstacles with different heights and lengths.

Motion Warping

To use Motion Warping, you must enable its plugin. Once enabled, you can access the feature by adding the MotionWarping component to your Actor Blueprint, then by referencing the component in your Blueprint Event Graph.

For more, see the Motion Warping documentation.

Audio Features

With UE5, we're introducing a fundamentally new way of making audio. MetaSounds is a high-performance system that offers complete control over audio DSP graph generation of sound sources, letting you manage all aspects of audio rendering to drive next-generation procedural audio experiences.

Read more about Audio in Unreal Engine 5.

MetaSounds

Analogous to a fully programmable material and rendering pipeline like the Material Editor, the new system lets you manage all aspects of audio rendering to drive next-generation procedural audio experiences.

MetaSounds provide sample-accurate control and modulation of sound using audio parameters and audio events from game data and Blueprints.

Metasounds also come with significant improvements to performance over Sound Cues and offer a fully extensible API that can be used by third-party plugins.

For more, see the MetaSounds documentation.

Audio Modulation

Audio Modulation makes parameter control and modulation available through a generic Parameter Bus. Now, anything can be a modulation source, and anything can be a destination. With Audio Modulation Parameter Buses, audio designers can now define their own parameter groups and control them how they want.

Quartz

Quartz is a feature set that brings sample accurate timing of audio events to Blueprints. Quartz handles the complexity of scheduling audio to play at precise times and is designed to support custom interactive and procedural music systems. Quartz also sends precise timing events back to Blueprints to support synchronized gameplay logic and visuals with audio.

Audio Analysis

Audio Analysis is a set of technologies that offers non-realtime and real-time audio analysis. These tools work with Niagara and Blueprint scripting and will provide integration into Unreal Engine 5's editor for the creation of UX and debug analyzers, as well as runtime audio analysis to drive gameplay and graphics.

Physics Features

Chaos Physics

Chaos Physics is a lightweight physics simulation solution available in Unreal Engine 5, built from the ground up to meet the needs of next-generation games.

Chaos Physics

The system includes the following major features:

  • Rigid Body Dynamics

  • Rigid Body Animation Nodes and Cloth Physics

  • Destruction

  • Ragdoll Physics

  • Vehicles

  • Physics Fields

  • Fluid Simulation

  • Hair Simulation

Chaos comes with significant improvements in performance and major new features, such as Asynchronous Physics simulation and networking, a robust destruction system, and Physics Fields.

Rigid Body Dynamics

Chaos Physics provides feature-level parity with the legacy physics system for rigid-body dynamics. This includes collision responses, physics constraints, and damping and friction.

It also adds a number of features, including Experimental async physics ticking.

Rigid Body Animation Nodes

Chaos Physics comes with a new Rigid Body Animation Node (RBAN) simulation system that provides feature parity with the system in UE4, as well as additional improvements to the workflow and increased performance and stability.

Chaos RBAN uses the same Physical Editor as before, while providing more stability at lower iteration counts compared to our previous implementation, and better joint stability for longer chains.

Cloth Physics

Chaos Physics comes with a cloth simulation solver that brings both improved simulation accuracy and performance. Chaos Cloth empowers its users by providing even greater control over the simulation results, along with a suite of debugging tools.

Chaos Cloth provides more accurate simulations by removing any hard limits for collision primitives per cloth mesh, up from the prior maximum of 32 primitives. This enables the user to determine the best setup for quality vs. performance.

Developers get increased control over the simulation results by exposing cloth parameters in an easy-to-use interface. The cloth Backstop Radius implementation is now more intuitive, allowing users to more easily author the mesh backstop to prevent clipping between the cloth mesh and mesh collision.

Chaos Cloth parameters are now exposed to Blueprints for unprecedented control over the cloth simulation at runtime. Users can now modify simulation parameters based on gameplay conditions for specific use cases.

Chaos Destruction

The Chaos Destruction system is a collection of tools that can be used to achieve cinematic-quality levels of destruction in real time. In addition to great-looking visuals, the system is optimized for performance, and grants artists and designers more control over content creation and the fracturing process by using an intuitive non-linear workflow and a new asset type called Geometry Collections.

Chaos Destruction

Chaos Destruction comes with significant improvements to the physics simulation and many new features, such as Damage Thresholds per cluster and Connection Graphs to customize how a structure collapses when it takes damage.

In addition, Chaos Destruction comes with a new Cache System that allows for smooth replay of complex destruction at runtime with minimal impact on performance.

Chaos Destruction easily integrates with other Unreal Engine systems, such as Niagara and Audio Mixer, which can read Chaos Destruction Break Events and Collision Events to spawn particles or play specific sounds during the simulation.

Chaos Vehicles

Chaos Vehicles are part of Unreal Engine 5's new vehicle physics system.

Chaos Vehicles support any number of wheels — from two-wheeled motorcycles to vehicles with six, eight, or even more wheels. In addition, the system supports any number of forward and reverse gear configurations.

You can configure Chaos Vehicles with any number of aerofoil surfaces that provide downforce or uplift at specific locations on the chassis. These surfaces can simulate automobile spoilers, or even aircraft wings.

You can add a number of arcade-style forces to provide more direct control of the vehicle chassis. Common examples include applying direct torque to keep a motorcycle upright, or directly controlling the pitch or roll of a helicopter.

Chaos Vehicles also support the new Chaos Async Physics mode, which allows for predictable physics simulation that can be replicated over a network.

Physics Fields

With the Physics Field System, you can directly affect Chaos Physics simulations at runtime on a specified region of space. You can configure these Fields to influence the physics simulation in a variety of ways, such as exerting force on rigid bodies, breaking Geometry Collection Clusters, and anchoring or disabling fractured rigid bodies.

Physics Fields

The Physics Field System can communicate with Niagara Systems by using a Physics Field Data Interface to notify Niagara of break, collision, and trail events happening on the physics simulation. In addition, you can make the system affect Materials by using built-in functions to sample the Field at a specific location.

For more, see the Physics Fields documentation.

Asynchronous Physics Simulation

In Unreal Engine 5, users can now enable Tick Async Physics across the engine. When enabled, this new feature runs the physics simulation in its own separate Physics Thread as opposed to running on the Game Thread.

The main advantage of running physics in its own thread is that the simulation runs on a fixed tick interval, which improves the determinism of the simulation and allows for predictable results.

You can use this feature to fine-tune your simulations to always behave in a predictable way. This behavior also serves as the foundation for networked physics, as it allows the server and its clients to tick physics at the same rate, making it easier to synchronize the results.

Async Physics Disabled

Async Physics disabled

Async Physics Enabled

Async Physics enabled

For more, see the Async Tick Physics Overview.

Gameplay Framework Features

Game Features and Modular Gameplay

The Game Features and Modular Gameplay plugins establish a system for developing fully encapsulated, standalone features.

Echo's Light Dart ability

Developing in this way offers several key benefits, including:

  • Shorter time for new team members to become productive, because standalone features can be developed without having to learn the inner workings of the rest of the project.

  • Fewer bugs and more readable code. Self-contained code is inherently easier to unit test, and naturally avoids being built with unexpected or unnoticed dependencies on other code.

  • Easily share features across multiple teams or projects. Building each feature separately from the project that uses it naturally encourages abstraction and robustness, and avoids dependence on project-specific code or data types. Developers who work this way do not need to spend time abstracting the key functionality of a feature to separate it from project-specific implementation details when moving it to another project.

  • Projects with multiple teams working simultaneously on different features are better protected against unexpected interactions between systems due to the standalone structure built into this system. This is especially effective in larger or more distributed development environments.

  • Live products, including those using the "Games As A Service" model, can cycle features like new game types, items, characters, or user interface features in and out with ease, or quickly and safely remove a feature if it causes problems.

With Game Features and Modular Gameplay, you can develop classes, data, content, and even debug/cheat codes that your project can easily access. The system includes project-side support functionality to determine which features to add and how to add them, enabling feature-encapsulating Components to apply only to the Actors or types of Actors you designate. The end result for developers is code that's cleaner, better insulated from bugs and unexpected interactions with other systems, and easier to test, maintain, and reuse.

For more information, see the Game Features and Modular Gameplay documentation.

Data Registries

The new Data Registry plugin provides an extensible, efficient storage system for global USTRUCT-based data, including standard Data Table Rows and Curve data. Data Registries are designed to support both synchronous and asynchronous data access, and enable users to configure caching behaviors for each data source. You can configure your Data Registry to load or generate data from a variety of different sources, using a combination of directory-scanning searches and manual registration.

Data Registries are similar to Composite Data Tables, but can store curve data in addition to standard table rows, and use an indirection layer rather than manually compositing multiple tables together. Similar to the Asset Registry, Data Registries give developers a central location to load, cache, and access important global data. They are fully usable in both C++ and Blueprint Visual Scripting.

Data Registries in Blueprint

For more information, see the Data Registries documentation.

Enhanced Input System

Enhanced Input is a more robust and flexible input system based around the concept of Actions rather than raw inputs. You can use it to handle everything from simple binary input, like key or button presses, to complex three-dimensional vector input devices. The system provides Modifiers and Triggers that enable developers to use built-in filters, like radial dead zones, or conditions, like requiring a short hold before an input registers. These features are fully extensible, so developers can also write their own Modifiers and Triggers in either Blueprint Visual Scripting or C++.

In addition, Enhanced Input implements Chorded Actions, which can take user-defined player states and other input Actions into account when activating situational commands. Developers can use Input Mapping Contexts to apply or remove Actions to an individual user's inputs, creating state-based or context-sensitive behaviors, and can remap button inputs at any time. Enhanced Input uses in-editor Blueprint Assets, so designers can adjust any aspect of the project's controls without needing to recompile source code.

For more information, see the Enhanced Input documentation.

Performance and Platform Management Features

Memory Analysis Tools for Unreal Insights

Unreal Engine 5 features improved memory tracking and profiling support through the Memory Insights module of the Unreal Insights tool. This external tool helps developers to understand how their applications use memory, identify allocation and deallocation patterns to improve performance, and even find and resolve memory leaks.

The tool runs in parallel with the engine or editor, either locally or on a remote server. Developers can view live sessions in real time, or stream to disk, enabling them to review and analyze sessions at a later time, or share them with teammates. Data associated with memory usage can be correlated with CPU timing events and with time-based data from other parts of the Unreal Insights system.

Memory Insights grants developers powerful tools to query tracked memory allocation information. With it, they can:

  • See a snapshot of all allocated memory at any given time during a session.

  • Compare snapshots of all allocated memory at two different times.

  • View the callstack for each memory allocation.

  • Identify long-living and short-living (or temporary) memory allocations.

  • Find memory leaks.

After querying information, Memory Insights can filter, sort, and aggregate it by one or more of the following data fields:

  • When each allocation happened, and when (or if) the allocated memory was freed.

  • The size of allocated memory blocks.

  • The category (called an LLM Tag) associated with the allocation.

  • The function callstack leading to the allocation.

Memory Insights also has the ability to graph the changes in memory allocation data over time. This makes it easier for developers to notice usage patterns, such as identifying times of high or low memory usage, detecting memory leaks, and recognizing periods of frequent or infrequent allocation and free events. The Memory Insights tool shows variations in several stats over time as a graph:

  • The total memory allocated over a session's lifetime.

  • The total number of active memory allocations over a session's lifetime.

  • The frequency of memory allocation and free events during a session.

For more, see the Memory Insights documentation.

Unreal Turnkey

Unreal Turnkey is a new system for simplifying platform support, including SDK installation and flashing devices.

To use Turnkey, your organization needs to host SDK files in an accessible location. Turnkey supports Perforce, Google Drive, or local file paths for hosting SDK files. After that, users can download and install the necessary SDKs for your selected platforms with a simple "one-click" process accessed from the Platforms menu inside Unreal Editor. Select Install SDK from the sub-menu for the platform you want to support, and Turnkey will automatically perform the necessary setup.

Platforms menu

Alternatively, you can access advanced options and fetch SDKs with a command line interface. In your commandlet, navigate to your engine's install directory and use the command RunUAT.bat Turnkey. The command line provides a list of numbered options. Type in the number associated with the option you want and press Enter to run it. You can also provide arguments to automatically run these processes when you start the .bat file.

Command line

Use 7 (Help) to get additional information on the available options for installing and managing SDKs. The Help guides also contain information about setup for specific platforms.

In the Early Access release, Turnkey supports desktop platforms and consoles, and has Beta support for Android. iOS still requires manual setup due to the provisioning process, but we are planning to improve Turnkey's support for iOS in the future.

For more, see Platform Management With Unreal Turnkey.

iOS Toolchain Improvements

We have improved the reliability of the remote build process for iOS on Macs and added a cross-platform library to improve the reliability of interacting with iOS devices over USB.

Mobile Rendering Improvements

We have made several improvements to both efficiency and fidelity on Mobile devices.

  • The Mobile Renderer now uses the Rendering Dependency Graph.

  • Distance Field Ambient Occlusion and Global Distance Fields are now available for use in the Mobile renderer.

  • DirectX Shader Compiler (DXC) is now the default shader compiler for Android Vulkan in UE5. Additionally, we have added DXC support for OpenGL ES.

Mobile Deferred Renderer

UE5 Early Access improves the performance and stability of the deferred rendering mode for Mobile introduced in 4.26. Image-based lighting, deferred decals, IES profiles, and other lighting features now match the desktop renderer in quality. The deferred renderer also now uses significantly fewer shader permutations.

Redesigned VRTemplate

We built the new VRTemplate using the OpenXR framework, the multi-company standard for VR development. The template is designed to be a starting point for all your VR projects. It includes encapsulated logic for teleport locomotion and common input actions, such as grabbing and attaching items to your hand.

Teleporting

Grabbing

The VR platforms currently supported by VRTemplate include:

  • Oculus Quest 1 and 2

  • Oculus Quest with Oculus Link

  • Oculus Rift S

  • Valve Index

  • HTC Vive

  • Windows Mixed Reality

The OpenXR plugin in Unreal Engine supports extension plugins, so you can add functionality to OpenXR that isn't currently in the engine.

It is highly recommended to create your VR project using the VRTemplate in UE5, because the project settings and plugins are already configured for the best VR experience. If you create a VR project in UE5 Early Access, you must disable Lumen by setting Project Settings > Rendering > Global Illumination to None. Lumen is an Engine Default in UE5 and is not currently supported on XR platforms.

Apple Silicon Support

Apple Silicon support has been improved with the following:

  • The UnrealEditor and pre-packaged UnrealGame application bundles build and run as Intel (x86_64) binaries. This means Blueprint projects will run using Rosetta 2 by default.

  • Support is also available for packaging Native Apple Silicon, Intel-only and Universal 2 binaries.

The Steam SDK and Vivox libraries do not contain an ARM64 slice. Projects that use these features are restricted to targeting the Intel architecture only.

New: Platform SDK Upgrades

In every release, we update Unreal Engine to support the latest SDK releases from platform partners.

Platforms and devices

  • Windows

    • Recommended:

      • Visual Studio 2019 v16.4

    • Minimum:

      • Visual Studio 2019 v16.4

    • Windows SDK 10.0.18362

    • .NET 4.6.2 Targeting Pack

  • IDE Version the Build farm compiles against

    • Visual Studio - Visual Studio 2019 v16.4.3 toolchain (14.24.28315) and Windows 10 SDK (10.0.18362.0)

    • Xcode - Xcode 12.4

  • Android

    • Android Studio 4.0.2

    • Android NDK r21a - r23a

  • ARCore

    • 1.18

  • ARKit

    • 4.0

  • Linux "SDK" (cross-toolchain)

    • v17 clang-10.0.1-based (CentOS 7)

  • Oculus

    • 1.44

    • API Level 23

  • OpenXR

    • 1.0

  • Google Stadia

    • 1.53

  • Lumin

    • 0.23

  • Steam

    • 1.47

  • SteamVR

    • 1.5.17

  • Switch

    • SDK 10.4.0 + optional NEX 4.6.4

    • Minimum Firmware Version: 10.0.2-1.0

    • Supported IDE: Visual Studio 2019

  • PS4

    • Orbis SDK 8.008.011

    • System software 8.008.041

    • Supported IDE: Visual Studio 2019

  • PS5

    • Prospero SDK 2.00.00.09

    • System software 2.20.00.07

    • Supported IDE: Visual Studio 2019

  • GDK (Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Windows)

    • Windows SDK 10.0.19041.0

    • GDK April 2021

    • Recovery March 2021 QFE1 10.0.19041.6737

    • Supported IDE: Visual Studio 2019

  • macOS

    • Recommended

      • Latest macOS, latest Xcode 12

    • Minimum

      • macOS Catalina 10.15.7, Latest Xcode 12

    • Machine Architecture Note

      • Added preliminary support for native Apple Silicon for macOS targets

      • Some SDKs do not yet contain ARM64 slices (e.g. Steam, Vivox).

  • iOS / tvOS

    • Recommended

      • Latest Xcode 12

    • Minimum

      • Xcode 11.3.1

    • Target SDK version 13.00 - 14.XX

You can now use the Turnkey system to see up-to-date info for any engine build. Run the following command line:

RunUAT Turnkey -command=VerifySDK -platform=All

For more information, see the Turnkey documentation.