What is Ray Tracing in Fortnite?

In Blog by Kr4mLeave a Comment

Ray tracing is available in Fortnite for PC players.

So you can see Fortnite in a new light.

But what exactly is ray tracing?

Ray tracing makes visuals and lighting effects appear more realistic by delivering improved reflections, shadows, ambient occlusion, and global illumination.

  • Ray-traced reflections – This setting adds accurate reflections to water and other reflective surfaces in Fortnite so you can see details reflected throughout the game
  • Ray-traced shadows – An upgrade to Fortnite’s shadows to allow you to see the finer details. Ray-traced shadows dynamically update as the time of day and lighting in-game changes
  • Ray-traced ambient occlusion – When objects and surfaces meet, the light is occluded (blocked) and this creates shadows. Ray tracing makes ambient occlusion shadowing more accurate
  • Ray-traced global illumination – Adds additional bounced light that is otherwise impossible to simulate in Fortnite
Ray tracing reflections shown in a window of Fortnite

Ray tracing requirements


Not just any PC can enable ray tracing in Fortnite.

Your system needs to meet the following minimum system requirements.

  • DirectX 12
  • CPU with 4 cores or more
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 or higher (use updated drivers, 450.00 and higher are supported)
  • Windows 10 version 1903 (May 2019 update, build number 18362 or newer)

And here are the recommended system requirements.

  • DirectX 12
  • CPU with 8 cores or more
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 or higher (use updated drivers, 450.00 and higher are supported)
  • Windows 10 version 1903 (May 2019 update, build number 18362 or newer)

So even if you meet the minimum system requirements and can enable ray tracing in Fortnite, you may struggle to get a decent frame rate.

The recommended system requirements include powerful and expensive components that most players cannot afford.

How to turn on ray tracing in Fortnite


If your system meets the requirements, follow these steps to turn on ray tracing.

  1. Update to the latest version of Windows 10
  2. Install the latest Nvidia GeForce drivers
  3. Open your Fortnite settings
  4. Scroll down to advanced settings and change the DirectX version to DirectX 12
  5. Turn on the Ray Tracing option and the other available effects
Fortnite ray tracing settings

Fortnite Creative ray tracing map


Nvidia has put together a special map in Creative mode to showcase the possibilities of ray tracing in Fortnite, RTX Treasure Run. Explore a grand RTX museum highlighting four ray traced effects as you search for hidden treasures.

Fortnite Creative ray tracing showcase map RTX treasure run

Here’s the map code for RTX Treasure Run: 9189-0518-5408

In addition to the map, Nvidia are hosting a contest and you could win an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 or 3080 graphics card.

To enter the contest, share your gameplay or an RTX screenshot on social media and tag @NvidiaGeForce with the hashtags #FortniteRTX and #UltimatePlay for a chance to win an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 or 3080 graphics card.

All entries must be received no later than October 17th at 5:00PM Pacific Daylight Time.

The full set of rules are here.

Should you use Ray Tracing in Fortnite?


Now that we have covered what ray tracing is and how to enable it, let’s talk about whether you should even use it.

If you’re a competitive Fortnite player and you want the highest frames per second possible, then you will NOT want to use ray tracing.

You see, turning on ray tracing will dramatically reduce your FPS, even if you have a very powerful PC. For example, when Bugha was showcasing ray tracing on the RTX treasure run map, his FPS was dropping to less than 100.

Sure, 100 FPS isn’t bad. But you have to consider that Bugha has a dream PC build with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and an Intel Core i9-10900K. And he was playing in a demo map, not a real game.

Chances are your PC isn’t as good as Bugha’s so you will get even lower FPS if you turn on ray tracing in Fortnite.

Listen, even if you’re a casual Fortnite player, your FPS matters a lot because Fortnite is a fast-paced shooter game. More frames leads to smoother animations and reduced system latency, which can enable you to actually play better.

You’ll want to have at least a steady 60 FPS (ideally more if you have a higher refresh monitor) when you play Fortnite. Otherwise, your game can begin to look choppy.

With that being said, if you only care about having the best possible graphics setting and you have a PC that meets the recommended system requirements, then you may want to use ray tracing in Fortnite.

But I think most players are going to want to keep it off to get better FPS.

Conclusion


Ray tracing is an interesting feature that adds a new dimension of realism to the visuals in Fortnite.

However, I’m not going to use ray tracing. Instead, I’m going to keep my settings on low to maximize my FPS.

I use a high refresh monitor and I want to get the most FPS. I don’t really mind how my game looks, as long as the graphics are of reasonable quality.

Also, my current PC barely meets the minimum system requirements. I use an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card and an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU. So my performance suffers too much when I use ray tracing.

But if you have an awesome set up consisting of a powerful graphics card, the best CPU, and you can consistently get 60 FPS when using ray tracing, then go ahead and turn it on.

I’ll admit, Fortnite does look really nice with ray tracing enabled.

Are you going to be enabling ray tracing in Fortnite?

Let me know in the comments below!

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