How to Enable Ray Tracing in Minecraft

You would probably never have guessed, but the extremely popular gaming title, Minecraft, has been blessed with an upgrade in terms of realism. It is called ray tracing and it is introduced by the famous chipmaker, Nvidia. Although originally intended for PC gamers, ray tracing will be made available for Xbox Series X as part of the new Minecraft RTX.

Here is how to enable ray tracing in Minecraft.

What Is Ray Tracing?

To understand how you can enable ray tracing in Minecraft, you need to understand what ray tracing is first.

Yes, it is a rather obscure term that not every gamer is aware of. But it will definitely affect your gaming life unless your game of choice is Solitaire.

The portrayal of light and shadows in videogames has always been sort of problematic, the same with digital SFX. It seems that the most difficult thing in achieving top-notch realism is in this department. Up until recently, a game had to guess to portray lighting as accurately as possible.

Nvidia has recently introduced the new ray tracing technology based on its innovative RTX chipsets. Ray tracing makes lighting absolutely gorgeous in games, regardless of the genre. And so, Minecraft enthusiasts have quite something to look forward to.

RTX in Minecraft

Enabling ray tracing in Minecraft isn’t something that requires messing around with hardware and software. No, it is as simple as installing the appropriate version of the game.

More specifically, Minecraft RTX. Yes, enabling ray tracing in Minecraft is as simple as downloading, installing, and running the new Minecraft version.

How to Enable Ray Tracing in Minecraft on Windows 10 PC

As mentioned, enabling ray tracing in Minecraft requires the installation of Minecraft RTX. It really is as simple as that. However, in terms of compatibility, Minecraft RTX is exclusive. You’re going to need Windows 10 and that is it for the moment.

To activate Minecraft RTX, you are going to need to install Minecraft for Windows 10, the latest PC client for Minecraft. You can find it on Microsoft Store for $30. Here is how to install Minecraft for Windows 10.

  1. Step 1

    Click Start.
  2. Step 2

    Type in Microsoft store.
  3. Step 3

     The Microsoft Store app will open. Go to the app’s search bar and type in Minecraft for Windows 10.
  4. Step 4

    Buy the game and install it like you would any other app. You can also check out the free trial.

However, running Minecraft for Windows 10 won’t automatically enable ray tracing in the game. You need to install the Xbox Insider Hub to enable it. Find and install the game in the Microsoft Store. Once the app is installed, here is how to enable ray tracing.

  1. Step 1

    Run the Xbox Insider Hub app.
  2. Step 2

    Navigate to the Insider content tab located in the left part of the screen.
  3. Step 3

    You should see a tile called Minecraft for Windows 10. Click it.
  4. Step 4

    Then, click Join.
  5. Step 5

    You will be offered a list of options. Select Minecraft for Windows 10 RTX Beta then select Done.

Now, RTX Beta should be automatically installed and applied to your Minecraft for Windows 10 version. Yes, this will enable ray tracing for you.

Be careful, though, as switching to Minecraft RTX will delete all Minecraft worlds. So, make sure that you have done your backups first.

How to Enable Ray Tracing in Minecraft on an Xbox One

Unfortunately, as of yet, Minecraft RTX is exclusive to Windows 10. With the imminent release of the new generation of the Xbox console only a couple of months away, do not expect RTX on Xbox One.

However, Xbox Series X and S are very likely to have access to Minecraft RTX.

How to Enable Ray Tracing in Minecraft on an Android or iPhone

A decade ago, having more complex videogames on our phones was not expected. That has changed, of course, as we have much more complex games than Minecraft on our pocket computers. So, can you get Minecraft RTX for your iOS or Android device? No, at least not for now. Ray tracing requires modern graphics juggernauts, and smartphone and tablet technology is still years away.

What Else Do I Need to Do?

You might want to make sure that you set everything up for ray tracing. It is, after all, an advanced and demanding feature. So, the first thing you need to do after installing and enabling Minecraft RTX is to update your Nvidia drivers. Here is how to do it.

  1. Google GeForce experience, and install the app. Download the tool on Nvidia’s official website.
  2. Once you have installed the latest version of the GeForce experience app, run it.
  3. Inside the app, go to the Drivers tab.
  4. The app should suggest installing the latest drivers automatically.
  5. If it does not, check for updates by using the appropriate button in the upper-right part of the app.

Once your graphics drivers are up to date, you’re ready to enjoy Minecraft RTX.

Turning Ray Tracing On or Off

Provided that you have done everything properly and your computer is powerful enough, you can freely turn this feature on or off at any time you please.

  1. Go to Settings in Minecraft.
  2. Then, select Advanced Video.
  3. Click DirectX Ray Tracing.
  4. Enable it

Alternatively, to turn the effect on and off on the fly, use the semicolon key on your keyboard (;).

Keep in mind, though, that not every Minecraft world supports ray tracing. Only RTX-enabled worlds support this feature for now. You can find these worlds in the Minecraft Marketplace. Alternatively, use your ray tracing-enabled resource pack.

Minimum Requirements for Minecraft Ray Tracing

You should think about your particular graphics card if you want to run Minecraft RTX. As you’ve been forewarned, ray tracing is a very resource-demanding feature. According to Nvidia, you should go with the GeForce RTX 2060 or newer if you want things to run smoothly. With this in mind, here’s a list of graphics cards that are RTX-compatible.

  1. GeForce RTX 2060
  2. GeForce RTX 2060 Super
  3. GeForce RTX 2070
  4. GeForce RTX 2070 Super
  5. GeForce RTX 2080
  6. GeForce RTX 2080 Super
  7. GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
  8. Titan RTX

However, having one of the above still doesn’t mean that things will go absolutely smoothly. Your system specs will influence how the game will behave. So, here’s what you can consider as a minimum.

  1. Intel Core i5 10400 or AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  2. Corsair DDR4 RAM 16GB or 32GB
  3. Samsung 860 EVO SSD 250GB or Samsung 970 EVO SSD 250GB

This setup, in addition to a supported GPU and Windows 10 Home 64 bit, should be considered as minimum requirements to run Minecraft RTX properly. Go any lower and you’re risking frame drops.

Is It Worth It?

Well, if you are into Minecraft, yes. You may find the whole idea a bit weird. After all, Minecraft is not about the graphics but pure gameplay fun. However, after trying Minecraft RTX, you are bound to fall in love. Ray tracing technology makes even this basic-looking game gorgeous to look at. The lighting, the shadows, it’s all perfect.

If you have the right build for it, you do not have to buy the game – you can give the free trial a go and decide later if you want to spend $30.

If you do not have the right setup, though, you might not feel inclined to upgrade. However, you can rest assured that new game releases are definitely going to use ray tracing – it is destined to become the industry standard. So, upgrading might be something that you want to consider.

Additional FAQ

1. What is ray tracing in Minecraft?

Ray tracing in Minecraft is no different than ray tracing in general. This technology is used in modern video games and movies to render graphics in a way that bounces light off in-game objects. Unlike the guesswork technology of the past, ray tracing works on its own, performing all lighting functions in real-time. This, of course, is very hardware-demanding, which is why a completely new Minecraft was released – Minecraft RTX.

2. Is ray tracing a big deal?

Yes. It is actually a huge deal for the future of PC and console gaming. It is said that this technology is set to become the norm in all upcoming big game titles. Currently, only a select number of GPUs can support the technology.

Minecraft RTX

As long as you have the right hardware components and are willing to spend $30, you can enable ray tracing in Minecraft. It is not too complicated, either. It’s just downloading and installing two Microsoft Store apps and making some tweaks within them. If you want to try it, you can give the trial version a whirl and decide whether you like it by yourself.

Have you managed to enable ray tracing for Minecraft on your computer? How do you like it so far? Let us know about your experiences with ray tracing in the comments below.

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