Static Baked Lighting: Are Soft Shadows more expensive than Hard Shadows? Is there any runtime performance or memory disadvantage to using baked soft shadows vs hard shadows?

I’m working on mobile VR and performance is important. We need fast and we need to use memory well.

The documentation at (Unity - Manual: Shadow troubleshooting) clearly says that “Soft shadows have a greater rendering overhead than hard shadows but this only affects the GPU and does not cause much extra CPU work.”

What I don’t understand is how this could be the case if lighting is pre-baked into textures before runtime. Does this statement hold for baked static lighting and, if so, where is the performance hit incurred at runtime for these prebaked shadows?

I know runtime (dynamic) softshadows are more expensive than runtime hard shadows, but when building lighting ahead of time (baking) is there any real performance or memory disadvantage to using soft shadows over hard shadows (other than more time needed to build lightmaps)?

The way I understand it, is this: pre-baking lighting is prebaking lighting. My understanding is that all the lighting computation is done on the frontend and is cheap for performance at runtime (the only expenses being applying the texture shadows.)

Aside from longer lighting build times, are there any disadvantages to using softshadows over hardshadows in terms of performance/memory?

I wouldn’t think so, but I want to be sure, so any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

That docs page in question is solely about realtime lighting and shadowmap performance. Baked lighting is all precomputed and stored in textures, so performance will remain constant regardless of what is actually placed into the lightmap.