How to Enable Ray Tracing in Minecraft

You probably never guessed it, but the trendy game titled Minecraft has been blessed with a 2021 upgrade in terms of realism. It is called ray tracing, and it was 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 relatively obscure term that not every gamer is aware of, but it affects your gaming life unless your game of choice is Solitaire.

The portrayal of light and shadows in video games has always been sort of problematic, the same with digital sound effects (SFX.) It seems that the most challenging thing in achieving top-notch realism lies within 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 gorgeous in games, regardless of the genre. And so, Minecraft enthusiasts have something to look forward to.

RTX in Minecraft

Enabling ray tracing in Minecraft isn’t something that requires messing around with hardware and software—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. However, in terms of compatibility, Minecraft RTX is exclusive. You’re going to need Windows 10, and that is the only option at the moment.

To activate Minecraft RTX, you need to install “Minecraft for Windows 10,” the latest PC client for Minecraft. Here is how to install Minecraft for Windows 10.

  1. Click “Start.”
  2. Type in “Microsoft store.”
  3.  The Microsoft Store app launches. Go to the app’s search bar and type in “Minecraft for Windows 10.”
  4. Buy the game and install it like you would any other app. You can also check out the free trial.

Minecraft for Windows 10 won’t automatically enable ray tracing in the game, even after installing the latest version. You need to install the Xbox Insider Hub to enable RTX functionality. Find and install the app in the Microsoft Store. Once the app is installed, here is how to enable ray tracing.

  1. Run the Xbox Insider Hub app.
  2. Click the “menu icon” (hamburger icon) and select “Insider content” located in the left part of the screen.
  3. Click on “Minecraft for Windows 10” found under “Games.”
  4. Select “Join” to become part of the Windows 10 Beta experience.
  5. In the list of options that appear, select “Minecraft for Windows 10 RTX Beta,” then click on “Done.”

Now, RTX Beta should automatically get installed and applied to your Minecraft for Windows 10 version. Yes, this procedure enables ray tracing for you.

Note: Switching to Minecraft RTX deleted 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, Minecraft RTX is exclusive to Windows 10 for users of Nvidia RTX graphics cards. Silence has become the topic of interest at Mojang, especially due to the facing challenges of bringing ray tracing to the XBOX ONE S/X consoles with AMD RDNA 2 GPUs.

Regardless of the current ray tracing status on Minecraft XBOX One S/X, it is still possible that the technology will succeed in the future. After all, AMD is progressing with ray tracing too.

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

A decade ago, having more complex video games on smartphones 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 are still years away.

What Else Do I Need to Do?

You might want to ensure that you properly 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 GPU drivers. Here is how to do it.

  1. Head to Nvidia’s official website and download the “Google GeForce Experience” for Windows 10, then install it.
  2. Launch the GeForce Experience app.
  3. Browse to the “Drivers” tab.
  4. The app suggests installing the latest drivers automatically. 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 ray tracing on and off on the fly, use the semicolon key (;) on your keyboard.

Note: Not every Minecraft world supports ray tracing, only RTX-enabled worlds for now. You’ll find various choices in the Minecraft Marketplace. Alternatively, you can 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 information 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 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

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

Is It Worth It?

If you are heavily into Minecraft, 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. The lighting, the shadows, it’s all perfect.

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

If you do not have the correct setup, though, you might not feel inclined to upgrade. However, new game releases will use ray tracing; it is destined to become the industry standard. Therefore, upgrading might be something that you want to consider.

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.

Additional FAQ

What does Minecraft use ray tracing?

Ray tracing in Minecraft is no different than ray tracing in any game. The technology is used 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.

Is ray tracing a big deal?

Yes, ray tracing is a massive deal to 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. Games and consoles have a long way to go yet to use ray tracing technology effectively.

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