Terrain water performance?

Imagine I have a huge flat piece of terrain water (an ocean) in my game. How will this affect performance? Am I better off using normal parts? Is it largely place-specific? Imagine I have no other terrain but this.

Sorry if this has been asked before (I believe it has too). I couldn’t find any info on Google.


Terrain water is the laggiest of the terrain materials. If the terrain is large enough it would cause performance issues. However all in all, terrain water shouldn’t make a massive difference in performance so long as it’s not a massive area.

The only major issue with terrain is that it can use up quite a lot of memory.

In terms of whether you should use normal parts instead, it depends what game you are making, some games need terrain water others do not so its your call.


I mean, the water looks good in the game. The whole rest of the game is using parts and it’s on a pretty large map. I would be using it in huge areas.

This is a tough call.

I totally agree with you that terrain water looks so much better. I would only consider using a massive amount of terrain water if water is important within the game. Are the players going to be swimming, will there be boats etc?

Also what kinds of devices are going to be playing the game. If its just PC you might be able to get away with it but if you are going for mobile as well, you might want to consider using parts.


This is helpful. I’m definitely aiming for mobile compatibility and while the water would add to gameplay, I can live without it.

I suppose I can use this custom water I made. It looks cool and should be more performant. Thanks for the info!

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Terrain water in general will always cause less performance than a normal part created counterpart. If you are creating massive bodies, I would stick with using normal parts. Normally the polygon count is a major part of the performance and the related issues. Although the terrain generated water may look nicer, it really depends on how much lag you want. For something such as a water biome (generated on massive), it would not cause any noticeable performance issues.

If you were to use the biome generator tool to render a water area, something I would recommend is to use the regions tool to remove all the unneeded unescessary terrain beneath the map.

Here is a picture that would show an example in case you decided to use terrain.


I stumbled on to this water effect awhile back, not entirely sure if this would be worse or better for performance.

Though for 2014 standards I’d say it’s surprisingly running smoothly.


Yeah, that’s similar to what I have. Just some image labels being changed on the client. Thanks >:)

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Imo the terrain water only looks incredible with a high graphics quality anyways. Do you need people to swim in it tho?