What you need to know
- NVIDIA and Mojang are partnering up to bring NVIDIA's industry-leading RTX ray tracing to Minecraft.
- The endeavor was announced in August, 2019, but we don't have a definitive release date.
- It seems we may be close to the final release, with NVIDIA releasing new showcases and guides.
- The guides are a technical overview for interested creators looking to experiment with ray tracing in Minecraft.
Ray tracing coming to Minecraft isn't a secret, but over six months after its initial announcement, we still don't know when anyone can experience the graphical overhaul for themselves. We finally have some more information, with NVIDIA releasing two new videos going in-depth on building ray tracing into Minecraft, as well as showing off more creations. NVIDIA also confirms that existing worlds that you create or convert in Minecraft: Bedrock Edition will all be able to take advantage of RTX ray tracing.
Unless you're diving into the very in-depth technical information that NVIDIA has released, there isn't really any new information here that we didn't already cover in our comprehensive guide to ray tracing in Minecraft. The most interesting thing here is that ray tracing is now "coming soon," while we also get more practical information and guides to prepare, and a look at more worlds. With NVIDIA releasing so much documentation for ray tracing in Minecraft, it shouldn't be more than a few months before we see it in public.
Ray tracing in Minecraft promises to be a big departure from the shader packs many hardcore Minecraft fans are familiar with, because Minecraft will be built from the ground up to support it. Instead of an overlay that uses pre-renders and algorithms to "guess" how things should look, ray tracing in Minecraft will work on every single layer of the game and accurately protray the way light moves through a scene. This means better textures, shadows, details, reflections, lighting, and a whole lot more, and it'll all be dynamic and natural. The difference is pretty dramatic, but where the difference between ray tracing and shaders is most apparent is when you're actually playing the game.
If you're interested, you can check out NVIDIA's blog post for all the new guides and how-to's on their site.
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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.