Finding Asset References

Describes how to use the Reference Viewer tool to quickly find Asset references.

The Reference Viewer displays a graph of assets that reference or are referenced by any assets that are currently selected in the Content Browser.

To display the Reference Viewer, right-click a selected asset (or assets) in the Content Browser, and, on the context menu that appears, click Reference Viewer.

Reference Viewer

  1. Other assets that reference the selected asset(s).

  2. The selected asset(s).

  3. Other assets that are referenced by the selected asset(s).

You can also access the Reference Viewer by right-clicking a folder in the Asset Tree. The Reference Viewer will display a graph of references for all assets in that folder.

For more information about the Content Browser, see Content Browser.

Search Options

In the upper-left corner of the Reference Viewer, you can see two options related to the search used by the Unreal Editor to build the graph.

Search Options



Search Depth Limit

The depth to which the engine will search for references. For example, a value of 2 means that the graph will display not only the assets related to the selected asset, but also the assets that are related to those related assets.

Search Breadth Limit

The number of references listed in a given column (reference or referenced by). For example, if an asset references 20 assets, but the value of the Search Breadth Limit is set to 10, only 10 assets will be displayed in that column.

Context Menu Options

To view options for an asset in the graph, right-click the asset. A context menu will appear.



Find in Content Browser

Finds the selected asset in the Content Browser.

Re-Center Graph

Recreates the graph around the selected asset, with assets it references and is referenced by.

List Referenced Objects

Displays a list of assets referenced by the selected asset.

List Objects That Reference

Displays a list of assets that reference the selected asset.

Make Collection With Referenced Assets

Creates a Collection with the assets that reference and are referenced by the selected asset.

Show Reference Tree

Displays a Reference Tree for the selected asset. Note that depending on the complexity of your game, this may take some time.

Reference Tree Tool

The Reference Tree is a tool that allows you to list the reference chains for a specific asset. A reference chain is a list of references in which each object in the list references the objects below it in the list. The Reference Tree Tool allows you to easily find how objects are being referenced.

In the following image, you can see that the root of the tree is a Material named M_RTS_Env_Lava_01. The root of the tree is always the object being examined. You can see that the Material is referenced by six Static Mesh Actors.


Using the Reference Tree

You can access the Reference Tree from the Reference Viewer, which is a tool that displays a graph of asset dependencies. To open the Reference Viewer, right-click an asset in the Content Browser, and then click Reference Viewer.

In the Reference Viewer, if you right-click an asset in the graph to display its context menu, you can then click Show Reference Tree, which will display the Reference Tree for that asset.

For more information about the Reference Viewer, see Finding Asset References.

The initial load of the Reference Tree window may take several seconds, depending on how complex your game is and how many objects you have. Although the Reference Tree can be a useful tool, if you want to see the dependencies between assets, you may be able to find the information you want in the Reference Viewer itself, which typically loads more quickly than the Reference Tree.


View Menu

  • Rebuild Tree - Regenerates the tree and examines all loaded objects. This may take some time, but it is useful if you have changed references to the asset being examined.

  • Expand All - Expands all nodes in the tree.

  • Collapse All - Collapses all nodes in the tree.

Options Menu

  • Show Script Objects - Displays script objects (references to assets in script), which are not displayed by default.

Context Menu

If you right-click an item in the Reference Tree, you will see a context menu with the available options.

  • Open Editor - Opens the asset in the appropriate asset editor. (For example, a Static Mesh would be opened in the Static Mesh Editor.)

  • Show in Content Browser - Browses to the asset's location in the Content Browser, and selects it.

Double-clicking the asset in the Reference Tree also browses to the asset's location in the Content Browser and selects it.


  • The Reference Tree Tool only shows browsable Objects or Actors.

  • Due to performance reasons with the tree, only the first 100 items in each leaf of the tree are shown. If there are more than 100 items, a node will be added saying how many more there are.

  • This tool is currently a work in progress.

This page was written for a previous version of Unreal Engine and has not been updated for the current Unreal Engine 5.1 release.