Minecraft is one of the largest and best-selling games of all time. This notoriety means that companies are very eager to use it to advertise themselves and their products. One of the best examples of this is how Minecraft is one of the first titles that received RTX support.
RTX is a revolutionary way of rending light that until very recently had been too computationally demanding for application in gaming. However, both Nvidia and AMD have brought GPUs to market for consumers that are powerful enough to support the feature.
Detailed below is what RTX is, and how players can use it on their Minecraft worlds, for both Java and Bedrock editions of the game.
A guide to using RTX for Minecraft
What RTX is
RTX is Nvidia’s proprietary ray-tracing technology. Ray tracing is a rendering technique that traces the path that light travels through a scene, rendering it in a much more realistic way. This is the best way to render real-time lighting visually, though it also comes at a very high computation cost.
The two biggest visual improvements offered by RTX are global illumination and better object reflection. Using traditional methods, dynamic light is unable to bounce off of objects, and therefore cannot affect areas outside of its initial target. Ray tracing can instead draw out the path that light moves, making both lighting and reflections much more realistic than they would otherwise be.
The Prerequisites for RTX
RTX, as mentioned earlier, is Nvidia’s proprietary system of ray tracing. This means that RTX is only available to players that have Nvidia GPUs within their computers. Additionally, only certain GPUs will be able to handle ray tracing, due to how much computation is required for it.
While many GTX cards now support for RTX though driver updates, the performance hit makes ray tracing unusable with them. This means that players who want to use the feature will need an Nvidia RTX graphics card. The lowest powered recommended card for using RTX is the RTX 2060, with all higher-powered cards also being great choices.
How to use RTX in
The first thing that players are going to want to do is make sure that their graphics card drivers are up to date.
This is just to ensure that the most optimal version of RTX is available to them, helping to keep Minecraft running as smoothly as possible. Players can either use Nvidia’s website, or the Geforce Experience application to detect, download, and install drivers for their graphics cards.
Further, they should follow these steps:
- Bedrock players will simply need to launch the game, and make sure they are logged in to their Microsoft account.
- Go to the marketplace, and search for “RTX”. Assuming they have an RTX card, its content packs should be available. Players should download one of these, and hit the Create this World button.
- Once in the world, players should pause, go into the settings, scroll down to video, and make sure that ray tracing is enabled near the bottom of the list of video settings. They can also change the distance that ray tracing renders, if performance is an issue.
Java players wanting to use ray tracing have a bit more on an involved process.
- They will need to install either Optifine or Iris, which are the mods that allow for shaders on Forge and Fabric respectively. From here, they will need to find a shader that supports ray tracing, and install it.
- From there, they will need to make a new world, and make sure that the shader is applied properly in the settings menu.
By following the above-mentioned steps, players can easily make use of ray tracing in Minecraft. While the computational cost is high and many devices will not be able to support it at playable framerates, it is a great option for those who can use it.