You’ve no doubt heard the news of Fortnite having the option to enable Ray Tracing. What it does might be a mystery to you, especially if you’re playing on a console. If you are a PlayStation, Xbox, mobile, or Nintendo gamer, you don’t really have to worry about this, as Ray Tracing is not available on these devices. We’ll take a quick look at what you can expect from this new addition to the game in this article.
What is ray tracing?
It adds a new rendering capability that allows for better quality visual and lightning effects that weren’t possible in the past. You’ll get improved ambient occlusion, shadows, reflections, and global lighting in real time. In other words, it makes the game much better.
How to get ray tracing in Fortnite
The first thing you will need is an NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card. This is the minimum requirement, as the RTX of the card series literally stands for Ray Tracing. If you don’t have an RTX card, you can’t get it. Here are the rest of the minimum requirements:
- Requires DirectX 12
- CPU: 4 or more cores
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 or better (use updated drivers; 450.00 and above are supported)
- Windows 10 version 1903 (May 2019 update, build number 18362 or newer)
If you’ve got all of these, you should be good to go in terms of both hardware and software. Once you have all of this setup, you can head over to Fortnite and access settings. Scroll down and find Advanced settings and change your DirectX version to DirectX 12. You can also change DLSS to Quality, Balance and Performance depending on your computer power. Look for the Ray Tracing option and enable it. You can set the different options below to meet what you are looking for. Maximize them all for a great gaming experience, but a lower framerate. If you’re a competitive gamer, you’ll probably want to avoid these settings altogether.
You can find more examples on the NVIDIA blog post, but I’ve included some below. You will notice that the RTX versions have a much softer light and the shadows diffuse in a more natural way. The normal version of the game has much sharper shadows and they don’t look as natural.
You can see the difference between textures and color sharpness in the following screenshot. The painting looks much more detailed and is lit in a more natural way. The shadows under the truck are completely different and darken much better in the RTX version.
Here is a great video that shows the power of RTX! Lighting, reflections and shadows are much improved and everything looks much better.