Differences between Triangle Terrain and Roblox Smooth Terrain & Performance wise

I stumbled upon this this morning thinking, what could be the difference between Triangle Terrain and Roblox Editor? Maybe the DevForum can help me here?

Some questions I would like to discuss are,

‣ How are they different from each other?
‣ How do they both (or one) affect game performance wise?
‣ I know that Roblox parts contain a high quantity of vertices; Triangle Terrain is basically a Roblox Part but angulated differently. Wouldn’t that also impact the performance of the game?
‣ Does Roblox Smooth Terrain contain anything such as vertices?

Please feel free to @Veraxin with some thoughts or ideas, or you can feel free to drop a message and discuss with everyone else!


I have seen similar discussion before and it is safe to assume that roblox terrain is superior. Roblox smooth terrain is very well optimized compared to the triangle terrain, if you misuse triangle terrain you can affect your games performance significantly but honestly as long as you know what you’re doing it comes down to the style choice you are going for. With smooth terrain it is alot harder to make your game lag and that comes from personal experience.

Smooth terrain relies on voxels, which is very efficient for storage and rendering compared to the roblox part. You can read more about here: https://blog.roblox.com/2017/04/voxel-terrain-storage/

As long as you know what you are doing, you will generally not bottleneck yourself with terrain but in terms of raw efficiency, reliability and optimization the voxel smooth terrain wins here by a large margin.

EDIT: This is basically a discussion on roblox part vs voxel terrain, voxels store alot less data compared to a part and have their own dedicated tools.

  1. The Roblox terrain editor is in game realistic surfaces, this can include grass, sand, stone, brick, etc. However, using a triangle terrain is a manual process of using parts to create surfaces, I usually use this for low-poly worlds.

  2. I believe triangle terrains affect game perfomances much more compared to Roblox terrain as it is part by part not just one entire surface. However, most of the time using triangle terrain looks more realistic in some cases or more developed compared to the original Roblox terrain use.


I agree and thanks for the reply! I was always questioning myself how (if) triangle terrain creates more parts to lag up the game. The reason behind this post was because a game I am developing with a friend, should we use Triangle Terrain or Roblox Editor? It was clear that Triangular Terrain would create more parts since… It’s obvious but, I never knew the difference in Roblox Editor. Like whats inside of the terrain and how it affects performance wise.

Thank you for the reply back!

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Thanks for your response!

I was always thinking maybe Triangle Terrain was better, it sure does look better than Roblox Editor! Roblox Editor is just for a more realistic personality I propose. Triangle just makes it look more…blocky

Anyways, now knowing Roblox Editor is better and doesn’t affect the games performance, I will surely use this to the best of my knowledge when creating a game me an my friend are doing!

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From a technical standpoint, yes smooth voxel terrain is superior however that is not always the case for the aesthetic or style. Although I like using smooth terrain and I support it, it may not be the best choice for the games art or aesthetic to go for it. You essentially need to balance this between; Is the style appropriate for my game and is it going to affect the performance in a significant way?

Do not go off purely with the technical standpoint, follow also what you think will look good for your game as these kind of things are really just trivial to worry about. Unless you’re making a 10k by 10k massive world you will see this to have minimal effect on performance compared to other parts of your games (such as scripting efficiency or model polys).

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The game will look best in Roblox Editor, I am not so confident in Triangle Terrain at all even from before posting. Thanks for your time Solar!

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I believe these are two completely different things.
Triangle Terrain I believe is where the user creates hills and etc out of parts and shapes. RobloxEditor is the built in tool that can create, generate and seed realistic terrain. I think how they got the different types of terrain for RobloxEditor was that they took pictures of different terrain then uploaded them, same method as you would if you were uploding images from the Google Maps Car to Google Maps, beg if I am wrong.

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It all boils down to what you want to achieve with your project. Do you want perfect fidelity and full control over the result or do you want high visual quality, especially eye-candy?

Everything Roblox provides is “generalized”, which means that it was designed to cover as many use cases with reasonable sacrifice of fidelity. This means that smooth terrain is excellent for games where not being able to see other players because of decreased quality isn’t a big issue, such as racing and social games. They are also much better when it comes to uneven terrain.

Let’s say you are making a game like Apocalypse Rising. Not being able to see another player because your settings are on 5, while their are set to 10 means game over. This is definitely a red flag and why a custom chunk based triangle terrain system would be much more appropriate.

As for memory efficiency which was addressed here, I don’t exactly know what the system memory footprint is when comparing the two, but I’d expect it to be roughly the same. There are already games with over 10k parts, so 1k more shouldn’t cause you to crash.

What I can say is that smooth terrain beats classical triangle terrain when it comes to the file size; however, this is only because smooth terrain encodes vast volumes of repeating materials as one, while triangle terrain is just a table of instances. If you were to write an efficient custom compression for triangle terrain, then it would definitely end up smaller.

Voxels aren’t very efficient when it comes to storage. If you had to save a triangle shaped 100x1x100 surface, one or two parts would cover it all, while 4x4x4 voxels would require 25 lines + partially filled volumes for the diagonal edges.


Im gonna leave here my tutorial for triangle terrain to let you tests both to the extremes.

Triangle terrain is bad on perfomance but done this way it can cover a lot more space and at the end make sandbox experiences better, it also goes to the smooth terrain not being able to hold with all styles of building, i personally dont use it.