Unreal Engine 5.1 is available today, building upon the groundbreaking feature set introduced inUE5 to enable even easier and faster 3D content creation. A range of stress-tested newfeatures and improvements in 5.1 make Unreal even more robust, efficient, and versatile forcreators across all industries.
As over half of all announced next-gen games are being created with Unreal Engine, developers
can now take advantage of updates to the Lumen dynamic global illumination and reflections
system, the Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry system, and Virtual Shadow Maps
(VSM) that lay the groundwork for games and experiences running at 60 frames per second
(fps) on next-gen consoles and capable PCs. These improvements will enable fast-paced
competition and detailed simulations without latency.
Additionally, Nanite has also added a Programmable Rasterizer to allow for material-driven
animations and deformations via World Position Offset, as well as opacity masks. This
exciting development paves the way for artists to use Nanite to program specific objects’
behavior, for example Nanite-based foliage with leaves blowing in the wind.
UE 5.1 also adds several features to improve efficiency for developers of games and other
large-scale interactive projects, helping teams be more productive. For instance, Virtual Assets
decouple the metadata from the object data, enabling developers to sync only what they need
from source control systems such as Perforce—resulting in smaller workspaces and faster
syncs for developers who don’t need access to the full object data. The new automated
Pipeline State Object (PSO) caching for DX12 simplifies the process needed to prepare a
game for shipping in DX12. And lastly, on-demand shader compilation compiles only the
shaders needed to render what is seen on screen while working in the Unreal Editor, which can
result in significant time savings and increased interactivity.
For developers building massive open worlds, this release also delivers additional functionality
and improved workflows. World Partition now supports Large World Coordinates, enabling
the creation of massive open worlds without loss of precision. Users can also enjoy accelerated
source control workflows with World Partition, thanks to an improved user experience
around managing, filtering, searching, and viewing files and changelists. It’s also now easier to
find content in the world from within your changelists, and vice versa. In addition, new HLOD
(Hierarchical Level of Detail) support for water rendering and streaming enables users to
create large water bodies in open worlds with better performance and a smaller memory