Space Engineers tries to not limit how complex worlds you can create. At certain points you will probably reach the memory limit of your system and won’t be able to add more objects, but that’s the only limit we imposed.
We need you to understand that performance depends on the complexity of your world and the configuration of your computer. Simple worlds run smoothly even on low-end computers, but a more complex world with rich object interactions could overload even high-end computers.
Performance means how smooth the game runs. It is defined by FPS (frames per second) as well. The higher the FPS rating, the smoother the game runs. 60 FPS is great, 30 is good and even 20 is OK. If the game gets below 20, you will start feeling the delay. FPS doesn’t impact the physics simulation. FPS influences only your experience and perceived smoothness.
We can’t say where the line between a simple and a complex world is drawn. Please use your judgment and experiment a lot.
The basic rule is: more objects require more computations and more memory.
To help you understand what impacts the performance, we can provide the following advice:
- Armor blocks are cheap on performance. Other block types are a bit more expensive, especially blocks that have some sort of functionality and require electricity. In other words, a simple mother ship made of armor only is better for performance than the same mother ship with hundreds of reactors, thrusters, doors and other objects.
- Interior lights are better than spotlights (they don’t cast shadows).
- Spotlights are expensive on performance and should be used moderately.
- Blocks that are “under development” (they look like scaffolding) – are less performance friendly than fully constructed blocks (they have more polygons and the game can’t do visibility optimizations).
- Crashes, penetrations and deformations – the performance will depend on the type of objects colliding. Armors do well but other blocks are more expensive. The shape of the object and its interior impacts performance as well (e.g. a group of small ships parked inside a mother ship that crashed to an asteroid will require some heavy computations).
- Think about it this way: when two objects collide, they usually collide at multiple collision points. More collision points mean more computations.
- Don’t build mother ships and stations using small blocks. That would be inefficient. Use small blocks for small ships, and large blocks for mother ships and space stations.
- A static, immovable grid requires a lot less computation that a dynamic space ship grid.
Note: The 64-bit version can increase the amount of objects in a world almost to an unlimited number but it doesn’t mean that it increases the performance. The performance will still depend on the configuration of your system.
System Requirements are available here.
PERFORMANCE GUIDE & TIPS
Multi-player performance glitches (lag) can be usually caused by:
- Copy-paste – it’s highly advised to disable copy-paste in multiplayer
- Too many objects – floating objects, destroyed parts of ships floating away
- Too many gatling guns shooting into ships
- Explosions, missiles
- When the dedicated server is overloaded, it may cause rubber banding (an effect of lag and synchronization in online games) to the connected clients
- Drilling with a large number of drills can cause slow-downs
- Shooting from a large number of launchers into objects
- Looking on asteroids with complex shapes
- Using too many refineries and assemblers which are producing something at the same time
- Switching physics primitives ON (in F11 screen) can cause slowdown, which will disappear after switching this feature OFF
Single-player performance glitches (lag) can be usually caused by:
- Large and complex ships moving near asteroids or other ships
- Too many floating objects in small space
- Too many gatling guns, rocket launchers shooting, explosions
- Creating a huge plane of blocks in creative
- Multiple turrets searching for targets
- Asteroids made from complex shapes
- Large structures made from glass or solar panels
- Having too many cargo ships in the world
What you can do in order to make your game run more smoothly:
1. Use SEToolbox: a very useful utility, created by our community, which players can use to delete floating objects that create lag
2. Delete objects made from glass (by using SE Toolbox)
3. Lower the graphics settings