Please be sure you are on a Windows 10 release version of Minecraft that is 1.16.200 or higher! Don't see the update? Go here first.
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- What's new?
- Enter the Render Dragon?
- What is ray tracing?
- What is unique about ray tracing in Minecraft? What is path tracing?
- What are shader mods and lighting mods? How do they compare to ray tracing on Minecraft for Windows 10?
- Does Render Dragon support community shaders?
- What is...
- Is ray tracing a special version of Minecraft?
- Is Minecraft with ray tracing free?
- Are PBR or ray tracing features coming to Minecraft Java Edition or other hardware platforms?
- Ray tracing and physically based materials sound pretty fancy. Do you have any more before/after pictures to show us the difference?
Update 1.16.200 is a free update for Minecraft for Windows 10 that includes four exciting new features:
- Render Dragon graphics engine
- New ray tracing lighting technology
- Physically based rendering (PBR) system
- NVIDIA DLSS for supported hardware
With these new features, players can dramatically change the look and feel of the game. Immerse yourself in volumetric fog. See Minecraft in a whole new light (yes, we went there), with a cutting-edge, dynamic lighting system, ray tracing. Players can also experience advanced kinds of block textures, including metallic surfaces, bump maps, normal maps, and light emission (Glowy, reflective dirt blocks? Yes, please!).
Render Dragon is the new graphics engine for Minecraft Bedrock platforms. Render Dragon was developed by the Mojang Studios graphics team to give our game greater performance, stability, and flexibility. The new architecture of Render Dragon enables our developers to bring new graphics features such as physically based rendering (PBR) and ray tracing more easily to the game.
Render Dragon has been available for Xbox and PlayStation hardware since 2019, and we are now bringing it to Windows 10. We plan to bring Render Dragon to all Minecraft Bedrock platforms, including mobile.
Ray tracing is a series of computer rendering techniques that bring more realistic lighting to scenes. In traditional computer rendering (or “rasterization”), lighting information is provided by objects in the scene.
In contrast, ray tracing behaves much more like lighting in the real world – rays of light are shone into a scene, and lighting information is collected as those rays bounce, absorb, and scatter around objects in the world. The result is a highly realistic depiction of the way light behaves, creating dramatic effects such as:
- Sunbeams and atmospherics – Directional shafts of light typically occur at sunrise and sunset when sunlight passes through particles in the atmosphere or underwater
- Dynamic shadows – More realistic shadows that change as lighting conditions change (i.e., sundials in Minecraft!)
- Ambient Occlusion- shadows cast in corners or crevices where light rays cannot escape
- Reflections – Light bounces off surfaces, both casting and picking up color as it travels. Bouncing light hits smooth surfaces and maintains a spread depending on the material. This can create diffuse reflections or very sharp ones.
- Refraction – As light passes through translucent materials, it bends and bounces. The image you see may be distorted, refracted, and its color will be affected by the translucent material.
Ray tracing techniques have been used to bring more realism to movies for many years. However, only recently, through advances in computing, has the technique been available for real-time applications such as video games. Ray tracing, and specifically the path tracing technique Minecraft is using, is very graphically intensive.
That is why to experience ray tracing, you must meet certain minimum technical requirements.
Some video games use hybrid rendering, mixing ray tracing, and traditional rasterization, where the ray tracing is used to enhance some aspects of a scene (i.e., more realistic reflections).
On the other hand, Minecraft uses a technique known as path tracing to render the entire scene. In other words, almost everything you see on screen comes from ray traced lighting! Path tracing requires a lot more graphical computing power and is only available on certain hardware devices.
While there are many ways to do path tracing, Minecraft makes use of the DirectX Ray Tracing API (DXR) to leverage hardware-enabled ray tracing.
This update for Minecraft for Windows 10 brings techniques and features the community has seen in Minecraft Java Edition to the Windows 10 audience.
The shader term is broad and can have different meanings in different contexts for Minecraft. Shaders are small programs that run on the GPU (Graphics Processing Units). For example, they give developers a way to change how the GPU draws/rasterizes objects. People have created packages of features known as “shaders” for Minecraft Java, which include some of the same features as Render Dragon, such as advanced textures, atmospherics, and dynamic shadows.
(BSL Shaders: Java)
Currently, Render Dragon does not support 3rd party community shaders. Any community shaders previously used on Minecraft for Windows 10 may not run on a Render Dragon version of the game.
“RTX” is NVIDIA’s graphics rendering platform and is available on certain NVIDIA graphics cards. NVIDIA has worked with Microsoft to integrate RTX support with Microsoft’s DirectX Raytracing API (Application Programming Interfaces) (DXR) to enable certain cards to perform ray tracing.
Mojang Studios and NVIDIA worked closely together on the development of Minecraft with ray tracing on Windows 10.
Minecraft with ray tracing is supported on all hardware ray tracing capable GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) that support the DXR standard.
“DXR” or DirectX Raytracing is a part of Microsoft’s DirectX 12 API that enables developers to add real-time ray tracing to their video games, allowing them to achieve next-gen movie quality realism. The DXR API is an industry-standard that runs on all hardware with support for DirectX 12 Ultimate.
For more information about DXR, check out this dev blog: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/directx/announcing-microsoft-directx-raytracing/
NVIDIA DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is groundbreaking AI rendering technology that takes Minecraft visual fidelity to a whole new level using dedicated Tensor Core AI processors on GeForce RTX™ GPUs. DLSS taps into a deep learning neural network's power to boost frame rates and generate beautiful, sharp images for Minecraft.
NVIDIA DLSS gives you the performance headroom to maximize ray tracing settings and increase output resolution.
Today, textures in Minecraft are authored by modifying the color and opacity of an object.
Physically based rendering allows developers to adjust even more properties of a material such as:
- Emissivity – how much light an object casts
- Metallic – how much color a material contributes to its reflection
- Roughness- how rough or smooth an object appears
- Height – simulation of depth on a flat surface
- Normals – simulation of curvature on a surface and how light should bounce off it
Together with the more realistic lighting of ray tracing, PBR brings new realism and dimensions to Minecraft blocks.
With this update, Minecraft creators and players who have a ray tracing capable machine can edit these new properties of blocks! Metallic iron blocks – you got it! Glowy lava – all yours! For more information about how to make Minecraft blocks with PBR, check out a PBR authoring guide!
Ray tracing is a free feature included in the Minecraft for Windows 10 game! Players who own Minecraft for Windows 10 can experience ray tracing for free if they meet the minimum technical requirements and download the latest update.
Yes! Players who own Minecraft for Windows 10 can experience ray tracing for free as part of this game update. Please note that you must meet the minimum technical requirements to experience some of these new features.
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