One of the most exciting new technologies in gaming is ray tracing, which calculates how virtual light sources affect the items within their environment. Ray tracing can make a game instantly look more realistic and draw you into an environment. And now Minecraft is ready to enable ray tracing for all Windows 10 players. Well, all players with a powerful enough graphics card, that is.
That’s because not just any graphics card can handle ray tracing. It’s still a new method and requires a lot of power. You’ll need something like GeForce RTX 2060 GPU or better to benefit. But if you have the horsepower, you’ll notice the results immediately.
Microsoft implemented a special, physically based rendering texture pack into Minecraft. As long as the world you’re in uses that texture pack, you’ll get ray tracing effects. That includes realistic sunlight, shadows, and reflections.
It’s still visibly a Minecraft game, blocky components and all. But despite that, it looks like a different class of graphics. It’s like stepping up from a game made for Playstation 2 to Playstation 4. Depending on how powerful your graphics card is, Nvidia promises you’ll get ray tracing and at least 60 FPS at 1920×1080 resolution. More expensive graphics cards, like the RTX 3080, can run Minecraft with ray tracing at 60 fps and 4K resolution.
The ray tracing update is free for all Windows 10 Minecraft players, and it will come with two words: Colosseum RTX (available now) and Dungeon Dash RTX (coming soon).