Build Announcements

Visual Assist 2024.2 release post

It only has been a minute since the last performance-focused release but Visual Assist 2024.2 is here, squeezing even more performance to set it apart from other coding assistants! Continuing the theme of the last version, this release is focused on getting rid of interruption or downtime, and overall just making the Visual Studio experience as responsive as possible.

Download the release now from our website.

Significantly faster plugin startup time—especially in large solutions.

This update refers to the time it takes for Visual Assist’s features to become functional. Every time you close and open a solution, the plugin’s features take a few moments to load—or at least that’s how it was before. With this update, time-to-functional is more or less instantaneous even in extremely large solutions

As soon as Visual Studio calls on Visual Assist to start loading, you can immediately see coloring, syntax highlighting, and all the navigation and features are accessible. (Note: How Visual Studio initializes plugins and components is indeterminate; results may vary slightly depending on how many components it loads first before Visual Assist.)

This is not to be confused with the initial parse time update that we did in VA 2024.1 which is only a one-time process that happens with each new solution.

Further improvement to our initial parse time.

As mentioned above, we made significant improvement with the initial project parsing. Most of the benefits from 2024.1 were the result of optimizing how Visual Assist goes through files as it traverses references and includes. 

To summarize, Visual Assist used a cache for parsed directories so that it does not have to access the hard disk when an include is referenced multiple times—this significantly reduced the initial parse time.

In 2022.2, however, the developers have squeezed more performance by optimizing smaller items such as string operations, parse logic, etc. This produced a relatively modest but still significant decrease in project parse time.The result is a up to 50% faster parse time versus the previous version. Or in absolute units, that means VA 2024.2 is around 20 seconds faster than VA 2024.1 in our test scenario, where the Lyra demo is now ready in under a minute.


Initial parsing time is defined as the point where the Visual Assist starts parsing up to the end where it completes it. This project used the latest Visual Studio 2022 version 17.8.6, again on the Lyra sample game project provided by Epic Games. This is using the same high-end PC and laptop setup used to test the 2024.1 changes.

Setup 1:

Run 1Run 2Run 3Average
Visual Assist 2024.101:0901:0501:0301:06
Visual Assist 2024.200:5400:5100:5400:53
Setup Specs: AMD Ryzen 7, 7800X3D processor, Team T-Force Delta 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM, Crucial T700 Gen5 NVME M.2 SSD on 


Setup 2: 1.19x faster

Run 1Run 2Run 3Average
Visual Assist 2024.101:3001:3101:2701:29
Visual Assist 2024.201:1801:1501:1201:15
Setup Specs: – CPU: 12th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-12950HX, DDR5-4800 (2400 MHz) 32 GB (2×16 GB), 2 TB SSD,  ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 SE (2022) G733CX laptop on UE 5.2.1 Lyra Game


Setup 3: 1.54x faster

Run 1Run 2Run 3Average
Visual Assist 2024.102:1502:0202:0602:07
Visual Assist 2024.201:2801:1601:2401:22
Setup Specs: – CPU: 12th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-12950HX, DDR5-4800 (2400 MHz) 32 GB (2×16 GB), 2 TB SSD,  ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 SE (2022) G733CX laptop on UE 5.3.2 Lyra Game

Improved add include for Unreal Engine.

Adding includes when working with Unreal projects has been improved in two ways. First, add include formatting in C++ generally uses either alligator brackets or quotation marks. Generally, <> are for system includes and “” are for user includes, however, there is a stylistic convention when working with Unreal. 

This update adds logic such that when you’re adding includes in an Unreal project, Visual Assist will consistently choose quotations—the preferred style for Unreal development.

Second, the include directory that is used when adding includes will now produce more accurate paths. Visual Assist will try to make sense of directory paths, subfolders included. This is especially useful when working with Unreal Engine which is known to arbitrarily produce paths.

Unreal Engine changes how solutions are generated; and while these are not actually used to build your game, these incorrect include directories are still read and used to generate other include paths when adding new includes. VA adds includes perfectly for normal C++ projects, but this situation may pose issues with some UE solutions, because some solutions could have incorrect include paths set up. 

This manifests as very long and unwanted paths, such as this one when adding the player controller: #include “../../../../../../../Source/Runtime/Engine/Classes/GameFramework/PlayerController.h”

Now, VA instead traverses the directory structure and figures out the paths, instead of trusting the solution. We replaced our logic to mostly ignore the include directories given to use by the solution in lue of traversing the directory structure ourselves. This lets us build our own ‘effective’ list of include directories which we will use to generate include paths for new includes.

For the above example, it would now add: #include “GameFramework/PlayerController.h”—which is what you expect and want as a UE developer. 

Fix syntax coloring in C# for Visual Studio 2022.

A recent Visual Studio 2022 update changed an API that Visual Assist uses to provide coloring and syntax highlighting. This update broke Visual Assist’s coloring and syntax highlighting for C#. 

A near total rewrite has been implemented and syntax coloring should be working now. However, there may be a slight difference in how Visual Assist colors C# files as we reoptimize with the rewritten code.

Syntax highlighting and coloring in C++ has remained unaffected but Visual Assist plans on implementing the new API setup for it as well. This should also fix some minor coloring issues. 

Fixed compatibility issues with GitHub Copilot.

Visual Assist is now completely compatible with Copilot, Microsoft’s AI coding assistant. 

Earlier this year, a bug report was filed on our forums describing a situation where Visual Assist seems to be interfering with Copilot’s chat functionality. This has led to the unwanted situation wherein users have to disable either Copilot or Visual Assist, as some features may not work simultaneously.

All known incompatibility issues have been resolved and addressed in 2024.2. If you encounter any similar bugs, please send us a bug report.

Fixed Open File in Solution issue when the filter starts with a dot.

When starting a query with a dot (.), Open File in Solution may sometimes fail to display the expected results. 2024.2 fixed the ‘dot’ filtering which was a common user complaint.

Search filtering features are available by starting with a dot to find files that begin with the filter, or contain the dot and substring. A filter that ends with a dot matches the ends of file names. For example “string.” finds files whose base names end with “string”. This dot filtering is also possible in other dialogs of Visual Assist that support filtering.

Bug Fixes & General Improvements

Apart from the above major fixes, we have a couple of minor bug fixes and QoL changes. The complete list is below.

  • Fixed UI conflict with GitHub Copilot.
  • Fixed issue where Add Include would sometimes not add the new include.
  • Fixed long Add Include paths for some symbols in Unreal Engine 5.3.x.
  • Fixed issue where Open File in Solution would sometimes not display results when the filter starts with a dot.
  • Fixed issue where C# syntax coloring would not be applied in Visual Studio 2022 17.9.0.
  • Fixed issue where readability-magic-numbers Code Inspection would not properly underline hex numbers.
  • Fixed issue where GoTo would not navigate to classes without a constructor.
  • Fixed issue where suggestions could show suggestions for non-existent types.
  • Updated Create Account link to point to the correct page.
  • Added Alt+O to Recommended Keyboard Shortcuts as Visual Studio 2022 now uses that binding.

Send us a message or start a thread on the user forums for bug reports or suggestions.

Visit our download page to update to the latest release manually. Happy coding!

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