Optimizing Your Map - Quick Tips

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TUTORIAL: Optimizations to your Map

While making a map for ARKyou are going to be adding LOTS of static mesh and other assets to it, with this the maps size will grow and with that the amount of assets the engine has to process to setup a scene or a location will also grow..thus, slowing your game down considerably. STUCK? need some ideas to help you minimize the load and make your map run faster?

These suggestions below are proven and I tested every one of them on Thieves Island.

Looking at your map live and noticing it's got issues? Here’s some tips on what may be the cause and what you can possibly do to fix it.

Excessive Foliage CAUSE: way too much grass or flowers clutter up your map space. SOLUTION: Consider lowering the count of your clutter layers significantly or where they show. Perhaps taking some areas and making them more barren or just edit the clutters Layer in the editor and reduce the amount that will spawn in the layer.

Too many assets CAUSE: rocks, cliff parts that are not part of the Foliage (harvesting) but used as set pcs, decorative to create ambiance and setting SOLUTION: Lowering the LOD can help

  • Items smaller than a truck - LOD should not be more than 14k
  • Items Larger than a truck but smaller than a house: LOD should be at 14k
  • Items the size of a single family home: LOD should be 24 to 38k
  • Items larger than a 2 family home to a 10 floor apt building: 30k to 75k
  • Any item that is the size of a small hill or mountain: 75k to 100k
  • NEVER make anything have an LOD of higher than 64k as the engine will draw this into field of view and slow your map down


  1. Click on the item you want to reduce the LOD on
  2. Go to the DETAILS window once the item is clicked
  3. Scroll down to RENDERING and click to expand LOD
  4. You want to change MAX DESIRED DRAW DISTANCE to the numbers I use above

CAVES: Caves are great but they suck on frame rate ...UNLESS CAUSE: Caves under the island you made...cause a slight dip in framerate SOLUTION:

  • Reduce the LOD on all assets that make up the cave to 14k
  • Add a Cull Distance Volume around the cave (this is best if it's a cave UNDER your island)
  • Shut off Dynamic Lighting on the cave surfaces / assets (caves are usually dark, you don't need the Dynamic Lighting and it eats up a LOT of CPU power)


Btw this should actually be done on ANY assets that is: IN or around a cave, under or in water, embedded into the side of a wall or the ground.

  1. Click on the asset / mesh you want to change.
  2. Go to the DETAILS window
  3. Go to LIGHTING
  4. Under LIGHTMASS SETTINGS, 4th one down "CAST DYNAMIC SHADOW" click that off.

Again, 90% of the dynamic shadow lighting for objects can be shut off, only use it for dramatic effects on certain vistas or settings.