Unreal Engine 5 Early Access available now with DirectX RayTracing, NVIDIA DLSS, and NVIDIA Reflex support.
Today, Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) is available in Early Access, delivering the next-generation engine from Epic Games that will further propel the industry forward.
Unreal Engine is used by more than 11 million creators, making it one of the most popular game engines in the world, and one that continuously pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with real-time technology. UE5 represents a generational leap in both workflows and visual fidelity, extending the engine’s support for DirectX Raytracing, NVIDIA DLSS, and NVIDIA Reflex, and adding new features such as Nanite and Lumen that make it faster and easier for games to implement photorealistic visuals, large open worlds and advanced animation and physics.
In 2018, NVIDIA launched our RTX technology alongside a stunning Star Wars demo called Reflections, which was built on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4. This laid out a vision of a new era of computer graphics for video games that featured photorealistic, ray-traced lighting, AI-powered effects and complex worlds with massive amounts of geometry and high-resolution textures.
Enabling this vision were RTX GPUs with dedicated cores for ray tracing and AI, as well as new hardware capabilities for increased geometric detail and texture streaming. The RTX games that have been released over the last three years, including Fortnite, Metro Exodus and Cyberpunk 2077, have stepped us closer to this vision.
Dynamic Open Worlds Full of Geometric Detail
With the introduction of Nanite and Lumen in UE5, developers can create games that contain massive amounts of geometric detail with fully dynamic global illumination.
Nanite enables film-quality source art consisting of millions or billions of polygons to be directly imported into Unreal Engine — all while maintaining a real-time frame rate and without sacrificing 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 levels of detail. This allows users to focus less on tedious tasks and more on creativity.
With Lumen, developers can create more dynamic scenes where indirect lighting adapts on the fly, such as changing the sun angle with the time of day, turning on a flashlight or opening an exterior door. Lumen removes the need for authoring lightmap UVs, waiting for lightmaps to bake or placing reflection captures, which results in crucial time savings in the development process.
UE5 is making it easier to develop expansive open worlds and provides developers with the GPU-accelerated tools to better animate characters and build audio pipelines.
“We’ve utilized RTX GPUs extensively throughout the development of Unreal Engine 5 and all of the respective sample content released today,” said Nick Penwarden, Vice President of Engineering at Epic Games. “Thanks to a tight integration with NVIDIA’s tools and technologies our team is able to more easily optimize and stabilize UE5 for everyone.”
NVIDIA DLSS and Reflex in Unreal Engine 5
DLSS taps into the power of a deep learning neural network to boost frame rates and generate beautiful, sharp images. Reflex aligns CPU work to complete just in time for the GPU to start processing, minimizing latency and improving system responsiveness.
NVIDIA Reflex is available now in Unreal Engine 5, and we will be releasing the DLSS plugin for UE5 in the coming weeks.
Learn more about DLSS, and experience it by downloading the NVIDIA RTX Technology Showcase.
Get more information about NVIDIA Reflex and its impact in competitive games by watching this on-demand GTC session.
Take Unreal Engine 5 for a Test Drive on RTX GPUs Today
Developers can download Unreal Engine 5 Early Access from the UE5 Early Access Branch on GitHub here. Grab an NVIDIA RTX GPU and install the latest NVIDIA graphics driver on your system for the best experience.
With the processing power of RTX GPUs and the next-generation Unreal Engine 5, there’s no limit to what you can create.