Real-time Ray tracing and its Future

In September 2018, Nvidia CEO Jenson introduced us to real-time Ray Tracing. They came up with their First-gen of RTX series cards.  For the first time, consumers got access to hardware that could handle real-time Ray Tracing.

What is Ray Tracing?

  • Ray tracing is a graphics enhancing technique which uses an algorithm which renders light in a computer-generated world by 'tracing' the paths of  'rays' from a light source.
  • Furthermore, it also simulates the interaction of light pixels with virtual objects.

The technique was always there but real-time ray tracing was not possible until a couple of years ago. The pre and post-processing of ray tracing take up quite a lot of horsepower from a GPU and the last-gen of GPUs just couldn't handle the tech in real-time. However, Nvidia came up with the answer and they added dedicated hardware(tensor cores) which are designed to compute the technology. The Ray tracing algorithm was designed by Microsoft and is codenamed DXR in games.

Current Implementation

The tech is in its initial phase and it will take some time for it to become mainstream in games as developers try to implement the algorithm in games. However, not many developers are jumping on the DXR bandwagon.

  • Right now, the applications are limited and only a handful of AAA titles have got ray tracing
  • like Shadow of the TombRaider, Battlefield V, Control etc.

However, out of all the recent graphical innovations, Ray Tracing holds the most promise.
Right now there are a lot of cons for experiencing real-time raytracing in games:

  • Expensive hardware.
  • Limited games.
  • Limited implementation of the algorithm due to its initial phase.

Although there are a lot of drawbacks right now, GPU manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD will work out the kinks and the tech will improve in the future. According to news here are some of the upcoming and released AAA titles, which will give gamers the ability to play in a ray-traced computer world.

  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Ray traced shadows and ambient occlusion
  • Control – Ray-traced reflections, ray-traced global illumination and ray traced shadows
  • Enlisted
  • Justice Online
  • MechWarrior V
  • Wolfenstein Youngblood – Ray-traced reflections
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 – Ray traced reflections
  • Watch Dogs: Legion – Ray-traced reflections
  • Minecraft – Fully path-traced lighting
  • Synched: Off Planet – Ray-traced reflections, ray traced shadows


The implementation of this tech in mainstream games will lead to a better and realistic gaming experience. Furthermore, the next-gen of cards is already near release by Nvidia and AMD both so the future looks quite promising for implementation of real-time ray tracing. However, are you willing to wait and spend on buying the hardware capable of handling real-time ray tracing or are you willing to experience it in its initial phase?
Let us know in the comment section below. We'd love to hear from you!