Minecraft’s ray tracing feature for Windows 10 has made its way out of beta eight months after the feature first became available for testers. The addition of ray tracing support for NVIDIA's RTX graphics cards transforms the sandbox game’s aesthetics into one that’s, well, shinier. As we said in our hands-on post earlier this year, the realistic lighting, reflections and shadows the feature brings make Minecraft feel more immersive. Yes, the game is still as blocky as ever, but the in-game sunlight looks so real, for instance, and shadows and reflections could make you feel as if you’re inside the virtual world.
To be able to experience what ray tracing adds to the game, you’ll need to run it on a PC with one of NVIDIA’s GPUs that’s capable of ray tracing. The improvements it brings will only be visible in worlds and maps that use a special physically based rendering texture pack, but you don’t need to do anything to enable it — it’s already switched on by default. Other players who don’t have access to the feature will simply see those worlds in the game’s standard visuals.
In its announcement, NVIDIA says ray tracing makes greater demands on your GPU, so it uses its DLSS AI rendering technology to ensure Minecraft with RTX can keep running by at least 60 FPS at 1920x1080. More advanced GPU models (RTX 3080 and 3090) can run the game at 4K at over 60FPS.
You can download worlds you can enjoy with ray tracing on from the Marketplace or create your own with help from NVIDIA’s starter pack, if you need it. Minecraft and NVIDIA are also releasing two new worlds for free: Colosseum RTX is already available, while Dungeon Dash RTX is coming soon.