Roblox Lighting Modes | What do I use for my game?

Roblox offers 4 lighting modes:

  • Voxel
  • Compatibility
  • Shadow Map
  • Future

Which is the best mode to choose?

If you want to experience realistic graphics, then you should go for Future mode

Here’s why:
A light in future mode

The same light in voxel, shadow map:

However, when your looking to make a game for mobile devices and all other devices, this isn’t recommended as this might drop player device performance slightly

But if your game genre is Obby then you should go for Voxel or Compatibility, most obbies disable shadows in their games for more FPS

Here’s is how you do it:
Lighting > Properties

Global shadows

Would lighting modes impact performance alot?

Yes, if your game is huge, the client have to load shadows for every corner of the map

No, if your game is small and simple
However, it might take up more client memory

Client memory change

Future mode = 700 MB average
Compatibility = 450 MB average
Shadow Map = 550 MB average
Voxel = 600 MB average

No shadows at all = 450 MB average
With full shadows ( future mode ) = 700 MB average

What is compatiblity mode?

Its a simple mode, where the rendering is low

It does not have any shadows, and it looks like day, even thought the lighting is set to Night

This mode is for huge maps like CDID and CDISWF
Car Driving In Indonesia or in South West Florida games, where there are alot of roads, low poly buildings, this helps alot in those games

Future mode in that games are 1150 MB average
Compatibility in those games are 850 MB average

Shadows are costly in client memory usage, thats the only reason why obbies disable it, because obbies needs a good fps


This is a very well made tutorial, but I’d recommend putting this in #resources:community-tutorials. as you’re not offering a resource per se. Keep up the good work though!

Something important not mentioned here:
Your graphics level (the one in the escape menu) has a MAJOR effect on lighting!

On PC, in a game with future lighting, Levels 1 and 2 look most similar to “Compatibility” lighting. 3 and 4 change to “ShadowMap” (I think?). 8 and 9 are the true “Future”, while 10 adds some extra effects.

On mobile, I don’t believe you can go above the equivalent of Level 4 on PC.

I recommend testing your game at graphics levels 2, 4, 8, and 10 to make sure it looks good for all users, especially when using Future.


Yep. Not testing on these can result in some very odd-looking games on graphics 1-4 (on settings). My game I’m working on to have good graphics with future graphics looks quite nice on the highest settings, but once you go down below 5 (which disables future lighting) it becomes really bright. All of the lights are a lot brighter because of the way they work on voxel. I just use scripts on the client to lower the brightness of all lights for clients below quality level 5 (qualitysetting I think is somewhere around 10).

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