Minecraft may be a decade old, but it’s still one of the most popular games in the world. Last year alone, Minecraft had over 100 billion views online. It’s been ported to almost every console imaginable, and when it comes to PC gaming it’s consistently the fifth most popular game played on GeForce hardware.
Considering all the great games that have come out in the years since Minecraft launch, that’s says something about its staying power. So it makes sense Nvidia and Mojang are teaming up to give the game something special; Minecraft with RTX
The Minecraft with RTX beta will be bringing a whole lot of goodies to the table. Not only will Minecraft be getting ray tracing in this beta, but also physically based rendering (PBR) and DLSS 2.0. But what does all this mean? It means that thanks to ray tracing, Minecraft will now have more realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections done in real-time. And thanks to physically based rendering those newly lit surfaces will now look like their real-life counterparts.
You see, base Minecraft textures only use two maps: base colour and opacity. PBR will be adding a further 4 on top: light emission, roughness, depth and metallicity that combine with the ray tracing to enable lighting effects such as reflections, refraction, translucency, transparency and global illumination. This will mean that instead of the basic dull surface of an iron trap door, it will have a nice metallic sheen, allowing your enemy to see their reflection before they fall to their death.
With all this extra graphical fidelity, you would expect the performance to take a hit. But that’s where DLSS 2.0 comes in. Thanks to an AI, deep learning, and some definite computer wizardry, DLSS 2.0 will make sure that you have a smooth experience while looking at all the dazzling graphics. On Minecraft alone, running at a resolution of 1920×1080, DLSS will provide a performance boost of 1.7X greater than average; that’s glorious graphics with a 70% increase on frame rate.
To celebrate the open beta of Minecraft with RTX, NVIDIA has worked with some of the most talented Minecraft creators to make six new Minecraft worlds available to gamers that show off the dramatic possibilities that ray tracing and PBR textures bring to the game. Selected due to their fantastic track record of making captivating contributions in the Minecraft community, these creators delivered exciting results.
There will be six free community created worlds available with the beta launch; each one designed to show off the full potential of this upgrade. The six new worlds will be downloadable for free from the in-game Minecraft Marketplace and include:
- Aquatic Adventure RTX by Dr_Bond
- Color, Light and Shadow RTX by PearlescentMoon (Australian Content Creator)
- Crystal Palace RTX by GeminiTay
- Imagination Island RTX by BlockWorks
- Neon District RTX by Elysium Fire
- Of Temples and Totems RTX by Razzleberries
All this will be available in the next Minecraft beta build that launches this week, with an eye to incorporate this in the stable build somewhere down the line. Players will need to sign up for the Minecraft Windows 10 RTX beta through the Xbox Insider Hub on April 16.
But sorry console fans, this will sadly be a PC only experience, as there are no plans currently to incorporate this into the console builds. Nvidia has more information about this big upgrade on its website. Given Minecraft is being used by some countries to keep their kids at home, this beta couldn’t have come at a better time! Are you keen to get stuck back in to see this glow up?