What you need to know
- Minecraft is a fantastic game, but its visuals haven't changed much over the year, favoring versatility over fidelity.
- However, Mojang Studios and NVIDIA partnered to bring RTX ray tracing to Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Windows 10.
- After months of testing and updates, Minecraft with RTX is officially releasing on Windows 10 and is available to everyone.
- Ray tracing brings better lighting, shadows, textures, and more to Minecraft, and has a dramatic effect on the game's visuals.
Minecraft is undoubtedly a classic in the video game world and continues to collect more and more players with every update. However, the game's visuals haven't dramatically changed since Minecraft's release in 2009, with a distinctive visual style that fits in well on any device and any hardware. Now, at least on Windows 10, Minecraft with RTX ray tracing is officially releasing for everyone to enjoy. Ray tracing brings considerable visual upgrades to Minecraft with superior lighting, shadows, reflections, textures, shaders, and so much more. At first glance, it truly looks like a totally different game. You can check out the release trailer below for a quick look.
Minecraft with RTX has been in beta testing since April of this year, and finally picked up the Nether Update a few months ago, bringing it up-to-date with the non-RTX version of Minecraft. Now it's officially available to everyone that has the necessary hardware, so if your gaming rig is set up with an RTX graphics card from NVIDIA, you can experience Minecraft with RTX ray tracing too. Even better, it's still compatible with Minecraft's classic visuals, so you can toggle ray tracing on or off, or play with people who don't have an RTX-compatible card.
Alongside the release of Minecraft with RTX, Mojang Studios is also releasing two new maps for free in the Minecraft Marketplace that show off what ray tracing brings to their open-world creative sandbox. Interested players can also create their own texture packs to start from scratch with ray tracing.
Unfortunately, there's no word on Minecraft for the Xbox Series X|S, so ray tracing isn't coming to Minecraft on the Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S at this time. If you have a gaming PC or are working on building one and want to experience ray tracing for yourself, consider some of the Best Graphics Cards for Gaming to get an idea of what you should be looking for.
A gaming masterpiece
Available everywhere you play.
Minecraft is an inarguable and complete success. It has sold copies in the hundreds of millions, has a huge following of dedicated players, and lets you unlock your every creative desire. It's also available on every platform imaginable, including Xbox One, Windows 10, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Play with anyone, and play anywhere.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.