Fortnite Will Get Ray Tracing Exclusively for Nvidia Cards

Fortnite Will Get Ray Tracing Exclusively for Nvidia Cards

When those new 30 Series GPUs arrive, it'll be the only game with all the latest features.

Today's a big day for PC gamers with deep pockets. Nvidia revealed the new 30 Series graphics cards powered by Ampere, coming in at the low end with the relatively cheap (but still pricey) RTX 3070 at $499. In addition to new GPUs, though, Nvidia unveiled some latency tech that'll benefit new and old Nvidia owners. The first game to showcase this tech in concert with Nvidia's much-vaunted RTX ray tracing and DLSS features? Fortnite.

Yes, this month the PC version of Fortnite will receive an update across the battle royale, survival, and creative modes that adds options for ray traced lighting and reflections plus DLSS, Nvidia's proprietary tech that lets RTX cards push higher resolutions thanks to AI image reconstruction. Games like Control and Wolfenstein: Youngblood already serve as showcases for these graphical features, but Fortnite will also be tacking on Nvidia Reflex.

Reflex is not a new graphics buzzword, nor will it be exclusive to Nvidia's most recent cards. Starting this month on September 17, Reflex will be added in updates for three titles: Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Valorant. On GPUs from the 900 series and above, Reflex will be integrated directly with the games supporting it to cut down on system latency, or the time it takes from the moment you press a button to the moment a game displays the next frame after processing that input.

The takeaway here is that for any supported game, there'll be less of a trade-off between enabling high-end graphical features and maintaining low latency. Nvidia claims that for "popular mid-range cards, like the GeForce GTX 1660 Super," Reflex will deliver up to a 33% improvement in responsiveness.

Ray tracing or DLSS won't help you nab a Victory Royale like Reflex will, but you'll be able to take in the graphical improvements in a more chilled-out scenario. With the coming update, Fortnite will also get an "RTX Treasure Run" map for creative mode that'll highlight all the fancy lighting, shadows, and reflections.

So, at least for a while, Fortnite will be the only title to feature Reflex alongside ray tracing and DLSS. More games, including Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (which will also get ray tracing and DLSS) and Destiny 2 will receive Reflex latency integration on PC later this year.

Since adding RTX ray tracing, DLSS, and Reflex all require bespoke work and only benefit PC players with appropriate Nvidia hardware, the list of games that support all three features may stay pretty small for a while. Call of Duty will soon join that list, but for now, Fortnite—a game that also scales down to mobile phones—will serve as the benchmark for all of Nvidia's latest bells and whistles.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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