One of the most popular games of all time is being granted official support for one of the hottest graphical effects of today. Minecraft is getting real-time ray tracing.
Announced as part of Gamescom 2019, NVIDIA has announced an official partnership with Microsoft to produce an officially supported real-time ray tracing feature to the game.
The reveal came alongside a more detailed announcement posted on the official Minecraft website. There, they expand more on what the graphical effect, while also announcing Render Dragon, a graphical update for Minecraft Bedrock Edition,
Our sympathies to any Java Edition users, but ray tracing will only be available on the Windows 10 version and on devices that can run DirectX R. They conveniently mentioned that an NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPU would do, but that it would be expanding outward in the future.
For those unfamiliar, ray tracing is a quickly developing form of processing and rendering graphical effects like lighting, shadows, reflection, and refraction. It's a powerful new technology and makes a tremendous improvement to the ambiance of Minecraft.
The official release of the ray tracing option isn't quite ready. But for those willing to deal with some bugs in exchange for early access, players will be able to turn on the "Optional Graphics with RTX" option in the game settings in an upcoming version of Minecraft Beta.
While the ray tracing was the meat and potatoes of today's reveal, Minecraft also announced a new graphical improvement for Minecraft Bedrock Edition. Named Render Dragon, this update will improve edge lighting, introduce new lighting techniques, and improve a variety of graphical aspects. So if your computer can't handle ray tracing (it's meant for beefy PCs after all), then you'll at least have these improvements.