Unity VFX Graph and Particle System are 2 efficient tools that you can use for creating virtual effects in the Unity.
But which one is more suitable for your project? In this article we are going to compare these 2 great tools for the VFX.
Unity Particle System (Pros and Cons)
Unity particle system is not new feature of Unity. It’s developing by Unity for years. Most of artist or developer using particle effects for small projects.
Main reason using particle system in small projects, easy to use. But why you shouldn’t use for detailed VFX?
It’s simple because particle system using CPU to process particles. That’s because while working with so many particles it’s overload the CPU.
But there is a good news, Unity offers GPU instancing it’s far faster than CPU rendering. For more information you can check this official Unity link.
Particle System handle with collisions perfect, if you need applying physics to your visual effect choosing Particle System can make your job easier and more efficient.
Fast workflow and easy to use are strongest weapon of particle system, everyone can use particle system with little effort.
Unity VFX Graph (Pros and Cons)
In 2023, Unity VFX Graph got so much updates and it’s really strong tool for VFX artists. For example, at GDC 2023 VFX Graph got so much update for lighting (Watch from here).
Working with million particles in VFX Graph so easy because VFX Graph communicating with the GPU directly.
Of course, you can use VFX Graph for small projects too but there is an disadvantage, using VFX Graph can be challenging than particle system (it’s a preference).
VFX Graph offers parallel computing it means VFX Graph way faster than Particle System.
In VFX Graph shader controlling is easy. But beside all of these good features, there is a problem ‘handling collisions very limited‘.
It means if you need using physics engine with VFX Graph you can experience hard times. We still recommending using Shuriken (particle system) when need physics.
Both tools have their strengths and weaknesses, the choice is ultimately up to you, do not hesitate to use different tools depending on what you are going to do.
I would like to point out that performance is very important in a game. For real-time vfx, balance your use of particle system and VFX graph.
Nobody wants to play a slow game. Avoid CPU overload. Thank you for reading!