Nvidia, Mojang add DirectX Raytracing to Minecraft

Alonzo Simpson
August 19, 2019

Now Microsoft has partnered with Nvidia to offer something else: Support for hardware-accelerated path tracing via DirectX Raytracing (DXR) when running on a system with compatible hardware.

The update improves the way light bounces around game scenes to make Minecraft environments look more "realistic".

Nvidia just released bunch of ray tracing trailers for existing and future games, including Control, Watch Dogs Legion, Vampires: The Masquerades, Call of Duty, SYNCED: Off-Planet and a new ray tracing effect for Metro Exodus that'll ship in the The Two Colonels DLC. I will, of course, be doing a thorough test of the game's RTX performance once the update is available, but here's hoping you'll still get reasonable ray tracing performance on both lower-end RTX cards and Nvidia's Turing-based GTX 16-series cards.

The free update will bring more realistic shadows, lighting and colors to Minecraft.

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'Ray tracing sits at the centre of what we think is next for Minecraft, ' claims Saxs Persson, franchise creative director of Minecraft at Microsoft.

"In normal Minecraft, a block of gold just appears yellow, but with ray tracing turned on, you really get to see the specular highlight, you get to see the reflection, you can even see a mob reflected in it", he said. If you're down, keep an eye out: Minecraft will run an RTX beta "in the new year". Support from all of these games will help bring ray tracing from a novelty that's only supported by a few titles to a nigh-ubiquitous presence in AAA releases.

Minecraft is famously moddable and the raytraced effects and capabilities of Minecraft RTX will be part of that flexibility. In a joint announcement by NVIDIA and Microsoft at Gamescom 2019, the GPU brand said that it will be helping the game's developer, Mojang, in providing its RTX technology for the game.

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