The Xbox Series X was the first console to support ray tracing, which had previously been available only on PC. Gamers no longer need to invest in expensive gaming rigs just to get realistic lighting with new and improved hardware. While the list of games that support ray tracing is small, it is growing as developers incorporate it into their latest creations.
Ray tracing can’t be turned on or off with the Xbox Series X’s system controls; it can only be turned on or off in-game. Continue reading if you’re interested in the methods.
Activating and deactivating Ray Tracing
Ray tracing is extremely easy to use on a gaming laptop or PC. Toggle it on or off in the general graphic card setting is usually all that is required. However, Xbox Series X owners are currently unable to use a universal switch for ray tracing. The only way to turn ray tracing on or off is to change the graphical settings.
Every game has a unique menu, and some may not include the setting as a separate option. For these titles, you must select a graphics setting preset from a list of options. If a game supports it and employs this type of selection, you must determine which one enables ray tracing.
Finally, there is no way for gamers to enable ray tracing on their Xbox Series X console. They must first launch a game that supports the feature and then enable it via the graphics menu.
What Exactly Is Ray Tracing?
Even though many gamers are familiar with the term, not everyone understands what it means. The name refers to lighting, but it is much more than simply shining bright rays at games and calling it a day.
Simply put, ray tracing is a lighting technique used in video games to make the resulting image look more realistic. When enabled, ray tracing will be applied to a variety of objects, including the ones listed below.
Effects of the atmosphere
Lighting that is diffused
When light strikes an object, it is reflected again and again until it is absorbed by a surface. This is the theory behind diffused lighting in video games, which becomes even more realistic with ray tracing. The light will reflect off the objects, making the space appear to be a photograph taken in real life.
Ray tracing is a more subtle effect than others, so it isn’t always obvious to gamers. One way to tell if it is enabled is to compare a video game before and after it has been enabled. Ray tracing is probably enabled if the lighting looks different and more realistic.
Aside from lighting, game developers can use ray tracing to improve the appearance of visual effects such as an undead wizard’s eldritch magic glow or the shooting animation of a futuristic energy weapon. These additions can make a video game look more visually appealing and natural.
Gamers can enjoy real-time ray tracing in their video games thanks to NVIDIA GPUs. As a result, older GPUs with ray tracing support will struggle with the feature. The GTX 1080 and several comparable cards are examples.
The Xbox Series X features an AMD GPU that supports ray tracing from the start. The closest standard GPU equivalents are the NVIDIA RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 and the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT, so it’s more powerful than most people believe.
This Xbox Series X GPU is based on AMD’s Scarlett graphics processor, which supports DirectX 12 Ultimate. It has 3,328 cores, which is a lot for a console GPU.
What Xbox Series X games have Ray Tracing support?
Instead of providing a comprehensive list, we’ll discuss some of the most popular titles that support the feature.
In 2021, this popular third-person shooting game received a next-generation graphics update, including 4K120 resolution and a switch to Unreal Engine 5. Most importantly, Fortnite players can now enable ray tracing in-game.
Special Edition of Devil May Cry 5
As previously stated, DMC 5 Special Edition supports ray tracing. Unlike some games, which support ray tracing on both the Series X and Series S, only the former will support it.
From the moment it was released, Cyberpunk 2077 was panned for being an incomplete game riddled with bugs and glitches. The game received multiple updates in 2022, including the most recent major update in February. Ray tracing is now permanently available as a graphics option, allowing players to see the game in a new light.
The game does render at 1440p30, which is expected. Enabling ray tracing at 4K60 puts a strain on consoles and even gaming PCs. Nonetheless, Cyberpunk owners may find that now is the best time to return to the game.
According to a July 2021 update for all platforms, including the Xbox Series X, the latest entry in the venerable Doom franchise now supports ray tracing. Doom Eternal employs pure ray tracing, which can put GPUs to the test. Doom Eternal will run at 1800p60 when enabled, rather than the standard 1080p60.
Only the Xbox Series X, like the DMC 5 Special Edition, can support ray tracing in Doom Eternal.
Ray tracing is indeed demanding on GPUs and CPUs, necessitating resolution and framerate drops for smooth gameplay. When you enable the feature, you may experience minor frame drops and stuttering, though the developers make every effort to minimize these occurrences.
Overall, ray tracing is becoming more accessible, and some games, such as those listed above, are receiving updates. Newer titles that will be released on the Xbox Series X may also be ray tracing compatible, though the list isn’t growing quickly.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
Although the console fully supports ray tracing, not all titles do. Before purchasing a game for the Xbox Series X, make sure it supports ray tracing.
Yes, the Xbox Series S supports ray tracing as well, but only for a much smaller number of titles. The reason for this is that this console has a lower processing power.
Currently, only the PC version of Minecraft supports ray tracing. However, the decision to make this feature available to Xbox Series X owners before March 2020 was made. That’s when Mojang released a ray-tracing-enabled Minecraft demo for Xbox Series X.
On Realistic Lighting
Many AAA titles currently support ray tracing on the Xbox Series X. However, the setting can only be enabled manually through the games themselves. Having said that, the console runs these games beautifully, providing a fantastic immersive experience.
Which Series X titles have ray-tracing support? What game do you want to see get ray tracing support? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.