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What is ray tracing? The games, the graphics cards and everything else you need to know

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Ray tracing has been the talk since Nvidia Toring was first announced at Gamescom 2018. . This rendering technique has been the esoteric of graphics technology for a long time. But now, with graphics card such as the GeForce GTX 2080 HTML3, you can finally see this tech in the newest PC games.

Ray tracing may therefore be one of most important graphics improvements that we have seen in the gaming industry in years. Or at least, it will be when we see it in more games .

What is ray-tracing, you ask? It’s a way to render light and shadows in a scene that is highly advanced and realistic. This is what TV and movies use to blend amazing CG work into real-life scenes. Ray tracing is a method that simulates and tracks every ray of light from a source of illumination. This makes rendering difficult because it requires a lot of computing power. Ray tracing has not been implemented in real games, so this is why we don’t know how to do it.Ray tracing can now be done in PC games. However, the most popular titles that use this technology are limited to rendering shadows and reflections. Yet, we have yet to see a game fully ray-traced.

Nvidia’s DXR Spotlight contest allowed game developers and content creators to show off the potential of this technology (opens new tab). This includes ray-traced shadows and ambient occlusion, illumination, and lighting to create life-like effects even in real-time.

Ray tracing has become a hot technology that powers the most popular PC games. We thought it was time to explain what it is and how it works. We keep hearing more about this technology each day so we will keep this guide up-to-date with the most recent ray tracing news. Make sure you bookmark this page.

What is Ray Tracing?

Ray tracing can be used to create stunning lighting effects. An algorithm can track the path of light and simulate how it interacts with virtual objects in the computer-generated universe.

In-game lighting effects have become more realistic over time, but ray tracing’s benefits are not about the light itself. It is about how it interacts and interacts with the environment.

Ray tracing can produce shadows and reflections that are more realistic than ever, and also allows for better translucence (and scattering). The algorithm calculates interaction and interplay based on where light hits, much in the same way that the human eye processes real light, shadows and reflections. How light hits objects around the world can also impact which colors you see.

It’s possible to create CG images almost indistinguishable with real life if you have enough computational power. The problem is that even the most powerful gaming PC can only handle so much GPU power, let alone modern consoles.

Ray tracing is a popular technique for creating computer graphics imagery for TV and films. However, studios have the ability to harness the power of a whole server farm or cloud computing to accomplish the task. Even then, it can be slow and tedious. It is far too difficult to do this on-the-fly for gaming hardware.

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Video games used rasterization in the past. This method renders computer graphics faster. This converts 3D graphics to 2D pixels for display on your screen. However, rasterization needs shaders to show realistic lighting. We are starting to see PC games using the Nvidia graphics cards’ specialized hardware to use real-time ray tracing, but rasterization will still need to be used in most games until it is possible to fully ray trace lighting engines.

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Even though the results right now aren’t mind-blowingly amazing, we’re witnessing a foundation being laid that should result in some truly remarkable effects. There could be a complete revolution in how PC games are rendered. We’re just at the beginning.

Ray tracing games

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There are currently only five games that use Nvidia’s ray-tracing technology, and only a handful of AAA titles. This is the hottest graphics technology, so expect more ray-tracing games in the coming year. The PS5, Xbox Project Scarlett both have large libraries with ray traced games. You can bet that the PC will also get them. These are the ray tracing game you can currently play, along with the flavor of RTX effects.

  • Battlefield V Ray traced reflections
  • Metro Exodus Ray traced global illumination
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider Ray traced shadows
  • Stay in the Light – Ray traced global illuminations and reflections
  • Quake II RTX – Ray traced global illumination

While that may not be a lot of games using Nvidia’s top technology, don’t fret – there will be many other games that use raytracing in the future. Remedy’s Control, for example, will make great use of Nvidia’s RTX technology. It uses ray traced reflections and shadows , as well as global illumination. You can expect it to look amazing and even melt your computer.

At Gamescom 2019, we were able to see a lot of new games that will implement this technology and how they will look in each one. Nvidia doesn’t hold back any developer, and we are starting to see some incredible implementations of this technology. Minecraft, for example, will feature fully-path-traced lighting. The game is extremely popular and we were able to play it.

We have a greater idea of how ray tracing will look in games, even though we now have more games featuring this technology. Despite this, developers are sure to continue surprising us with new ways to use the technology. Here are the ray-tracing games that will be coming soon.

  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Call of Duty – Modern Warfare Ray traced shadows, ambient occlusion
  • Control Ray traced reflections and ray traced global lighting, as well as ray traced shadows
  • Enlisted
  • Justice Online
  • MechWarrior V
  • Wolfenstein Youngblood – Ray traced reflections
  • Vampire: Bloodlines 2 – Ray traced reflections
  • Watch Dogs – Legion Ray traced reflections
  • Minecraft – Fully path-traced lighting
  • Synched: Off Planet Ray traced Shadows and Reflections

We don’t care what you think, there are likely many more developers who will jump on the raytraced train. We’ll keep this page updated as soon as we learn of new ones.

Ray Tracing Graphics Cards

Nvidia is the only company that supports real-time ray tracing in 2019 graphics cards. AMD stated that they want to address ray tracing in the future. While it technically works on AMD graphics cards it will transform any game you enable into a slideshow.

If you’re looking to live your life ray traced, we recommend at least an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2160. You will have a better experience if you are able to spend the money on something like the Nvidia GeForce RTX2080 Ti. This may make up the huge hole in your pocket.

We went ahead and collected all graphics cards that official support real-time ray tracing. They all have the “RTX” suffix in their names.

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 | 30 RT cores | 6GB GDDR6
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super | 34 RT cores | 8GB GDDR6
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 | 36 RT cores | 8 GB GDDR6
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super | 40 RT cores | 8GB GDDR6
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 | 46 RT cores | 8GB GDDR6
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super | 48 RT cores | 8GB GDDR6
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti | 68 RT cores | 11GB GDDR6
  • 72 RT cores
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