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Ray tracing in Minecraft

April 16, 2020.

Minecraft RTX.

Minecraft RTX. © Qualcomm.

Minecraft fans have been waiting for years for a major visual overhaul of their game. On Thursday, the beta version of Minecraft RTX with ray-tracing rendering was finally made available as a free update, exclusively on Windows 10. One major caveat, though, is that to enjoy ray tracing, you must have a DirectX 12 API, i.e. you are locked into Nvidia’s GeForce RTX graphic cards. Which is not surprising, since, as the name implies, the beta version was co-developed with Nvidia. We’re still waiting for ray-tracing on AMD’s Radeon cards, but this should happen this year. In any case, judging from the screen captures and video released so far (below), the effect is stunning. Stunning enough to convince those who don’t already have a GeForce RTX card to get one, which is probably Nvidia’s goal.

YouTube, “Minecraft with RTX | Official Beta Announce Trailer.”

Ars Technica, Sam Machkovech, “The biggest ray-traced game yet: Minecraft RTX Beta debuts April 16 on PC.”

Ars Technica, Sam Machkovech, “Minecraft ray tracing is now live on PC—and it’s a must-play, if you can.”