Unreal Engine 5.4 released: improved TSR, higher performance and faster hardware ray tracing

EU 5.4 now available

Unreal Engine 5.4, announced several weeks ago, is now available to all game developers, bringing significant changes and improvements. Once implemented, gamers should expect better image quality, fewer features, and higher performance.

One of the biggest updates is Unreal Engine’s TSR (Temporal Super Resolution), which is an alternative to other competing technologies including NVIDIA DLSS, AMD FSR, and Intel XeSS. TSR technology has an advantage over all of these technologies: it is cross-platform and integrated with Unreal Engine, without developers needing to add third-party plugins for it to work.

The biggest problem was its quality compared to other technologies, but UE developers are clearly not giving up on this super-resolution technology and progress is being made to improve the quality. The release of Unreal Engine 5.4 with improved TSR proves this.

Unreal Engine 5:

  • May 2020: Announcement
  • May 2021: Early Access
  • April 2022: Formal launch (5.0)
  • November 2022: Unreal Engine 5.1 released
  • May 2023: Unreal Engine 5.2 released
  • September 2023: Unreal Engine 5.3 released
  • April 2024: Unreal Engine 5.4 released

One of these improvements is “Historical resurrection”, a new feature that will be added to High, Epic and Cinematic antialiasing. Once TSR removes details for various reasons, such as occlusion, shading changes, or the simple fact that something is now off-screen, the reaccumulation could have caused artifacts. History Resurrection will retain historical TSR data which can be used to display data gain unless a better match is found in more recent images. This feature will improve the stability of the TSR and ensure that the output can be predicted. Plus, it means less ghosting.

TSR visualization, Source: Unreal Engine

Developers will have new visualization modes that will help understand how TSR works and how it can be adjusted to achieve specific performance goals.

Unreal developers have also noticed that many developers are targeting 60Hz in their game design. In EU 5.4, significant efforts have been made to improve rendering performance. Systems were restructured to allow for better multitasking, and elimination of GPU instances was introduced to improve hardware ray tracing. This update also includes optimizations for shader compilation, which speeds up project loading times.

Speaking of ray tracing, Unreal Engine 5.4 introduces experimental support for Vulkan Ray Tracing. This means that the Vulkan API now has parity with DX12, and it also means support for ray tracing on Linux. Developers will be able to use Hit Lighting mode in lumen and path tracing.

(Unreal Engine) Unreal Engine 5.4 Feature Highlights (10,641 views)

The patch notes also mention that Hardware Ray Tracing (HWRT) should see an increase in performance thanks to additional primitive types. Unreal Engine 5.4 path tracer is said to be 15% faster than 5.3.

While these highlights are interesting, Unreal Engine 5.4 introduces many other changes that mainly concern game developers. Ultimately, the decision to implement UE 5.4 is theirs, and it’s their choice to take advantage of the new features. The game called Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra is one of the games that takes advantage of Unreal Engine 5.4. This is shown in the EU teaser above.

Source: Unreal Engine

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