Microsoft Starts Testing Minecraft Ray Tracing on Xbox

Microsoft Starts Testing Minecraft Ray Tracing on Xbox


Picture: TheVerge

Microsoft has begun testing Minecraft ray-tracing capabilities on Xbox Series X / S consoles. Xbox Insiders may now download a new Minecraft Preview version with limited ray tracing capability. The most recent test build is also identified as optimized for Xbox Series X / S, implying that a next-gen patch is on the way.

What Is Ray Tracing?

Ray tracing is a graphics technique that simulates light, shadows, and reflections accurately. Previously, games frequently employed 'baked-in lighting' to imitate light in their scenes, but this may sometimes appear when contrasted to how a place would be lighted in real life. Real-time ray tracing in games was previously impossible due to the enormous graphical capacity to create these realistic light beams. Still, since 2018, we've got actual ray tracing-capable graphics cards that can finally do it properly. Since then, ray tracing has snuck into many titles, including Minecraft.


Picture: NME

If you wish to use RTX ray tracing in Minecraft, you'll need a powerful PC. The following are the prerequisites for ray tracing in Minecraft:

  • Operation System: Windows 64-bit

  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 20 Series or higher, or AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 or equivalent

  • RAM: More than 8GB

  • Version: Minecraft 1.16.200 or higher

RTX ray tracing is now only accessible in the Minecraft Bedrock Edition on Windows 10, so console players will have to wait for updates to see if ray tracing will be available in Minecraft on other platforms. These ray tracing features are not available in Minecraft Java. However, several shader packs are available to make your Java worlds seem great.

Microsoft Has Started Testing Ray Tracing Support In Minecraft For The Xbox

We've been playing around with the newest Minecraft Preview and have successfully enabled some ray tracing capability. However, it is not an easy switch. Ray tracing in Minecraft is allowed through extra resource packs, and there is currently no convenient method to acquire and install these in the Xbox version of the game. There is a workaround. With the packs enabled, you may host a Minecraft session on a Windows PC, and an Xbox player can join that session, and ray tracing will be allowed.

Then, from the options menu, you can toggle ray tracing functionality on or off. While there is an option for upscaling support, it appears to be confined to Nvidia's DLSS on the PC side for the time being. Hopefully, AMD's FSR 2.0 support for Xbox will follow, as will other upscaling solutions.

Minecraft Xbox gamers have waited a long time to hear about ray tracing on Xbox Series X / S. Microsoft first revealed Minecraft ray tracing for Xbox Series X two years ago and included the feature in the most recent preview release means it might be coming soon.

Minecraft's blocky look was first improved as part of the game's ray tracing launch for Windows 10 in December 2020. The ray tracing is most visible in water reflections or shadows in Minecraft and texture packs with more detail.

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Jessica Vieira
Jessica Vieira
Jessica Vieira is ProductReviews's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology.