Minecraft RTX Has An Open Beta Running Right Now

The ray-traced version of one of the most popular games ever will be open for testing on April 16.


After being announced last year, Microsoft and Mojang are finally opening the gates to a whole new era of Minecraft, this time powered by Nvidia's RTX ray-tracing software. Minecraft RTX is now in open beta, and anyone with the hardware to support it can join in. Here's how you can access it.

Minecraft RTX is limited to the Windows 10 Bedrock Edition of Minecraft, and you can participate by simply opting into the public beta channel from the settings menu in-game. When the update rolls out, you'll be able to explore your worlds with full path-tracing. Nvidia suggested that cards from their RTX line specifically will best support this (although supported on older generations, performance will be severely diminished).

There are some limitations to what the beta will support, however. Right now, Minecraft RTX won't allow you to create multiplayer realms or feature crossplay with mobile and console versions of the game. There are also still some visual issues that need to be ironed out before release, and Nvidia is hoping the community will help test this big visual overhaul with them. Both survival and creation modes are supported, so you can at least choose how to play, albeit by yourself.

If you're curious as to what this means for Minecraft creators, Nvidia has commissioned six worlds from six of the top creators globally that will be made available for download on April 16 too. Each world features its own theme and should inspire you to experiment with ray-tracing features in your own worlds. Three of these worlds were previously teased last month, showing the drastic differences the visual technology makes to the game.

In addition to ray-tracing, Minecraft RTX will also introduce DLSS 2.0 to Minecraft. The AI-powered upscaling technology allows you to run Minecraft's full suite of ray-tracing options while keeping your framerate high and stable. Nvidia says DLSS 2.0 will provide 1.7 times more performance with ray-tracing on, which might come in handy if you're planning to play on an RTX 2060.

Although you can start messing about with Minecraft RTX this week there is still no estimated date on when the version will launch officially. Additional console support, given that the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have ray-tracing capabilities, has also not yet been discussed. In additional Minecraft news, the action role-playing spin-off, Minecraft Dungeons, is launching soon on May 26 for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

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