The voxel-based world of Minecraft has a signature look to it, and now those blocks can benefit from ray tracing. Today, a number of graphical upgrades including ray tracing support have officially been added to the Microsoft Windows 10 client.
Minecraft's RTX Windows 10 beta went live earlier earlier this year via a special standalone client as part of a partnership between Mojang, Microsoft, and Nvidia. The update today brings ray tracing, as well as additional graphical options like Nvidia's DLSS, into the official Minecraft Windows 10 client.
To celebrate, two new Minecraft worlds are on their way, bringing the lineup of official RTX-enabled worlds to 15. One will feature dungeons, while the other looks like a version of the famous Roman Colosseum. Players will be able to play all ray tracing worlds and maps with people on other platforms using the Minecraft Bedrock game clients. Those with ray tracing visuals enabled will see all the fancy new lighting upgrades while other platforms will see the basic Minecraft visuals.
The original ray tracing update was pretty impressive, even if the idea of beautifully-lit blocks doesn't stir something in your heart. The term "ray tracing" can still seem ambiguous at times given how its implementation differs from game to game, but in Minecraft it's pretty easy to see the effects as the sun moves through the sky and the world adjusts in real time.
Minecraft might be a very old game, but it's still had a number of recent developments, especially this year. Alongside this ray tracing update, Minecraft's unofficial mascot Steve managed to an invite to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and intrepid players discovered the exact seed for its menu screen world. Even earlier in the year, while stay-at-home orders were being enforced, some musicians turned to Minecraft to host concerts, creating venues with merch, pits, and chill areas to recreate the live music experience in voxel form.