Fortnite Goes To The Next Level With NVIDIA And Ray Tracing

Fortnite Is Getting Really Shiny

Say what you will about Fortnite, it is hard to deny that even with its distinct art style the game can look damn pretty, and it is about to become a whole lot prettier for PC users. Epic Games, in association with NVidia, has announced the implementation of NVIDIA DLSSNVIDIA Reflex and ray tracing in the uber-popular battle royale title will go live on September 18th. 

At the moment, only those with an Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU or better can experience ray-tracing, but the partnership is a perfect way to increase hype for NVidia’s upcoming 30 Series of GPUs, all of which can run ray-tracing. 

NVidia goes through the visual improvements they are bringing to the PC version of the game in a post on their official site. As per that post, these improvements include: 

Ray-Traced Reflections: This setting adds beautiful, realistic, super accurate reflections to bodies of water and other suitably reflective surfaces in Fortnite. See game detail, characters, enemies, weapon effects, and more, perfectly reflected throughout the world. And experience improved lighting, as light sources and other illumination will be accurately reflected onto nearby surfaces and objects, making gameplay look and feel even more dynamic.

Ray-Traced Shadows: With ray tracing enabled, Fortnite’s dynamic shadows get a significant upgrade, enabling them to realistically stretch across the scene, with accurate softening as the distance from the shadow source increases. Particularly of note is the enhanced resolution of Ray-Traced Shadows. You can see this clearly in fine detail shadows, such as those created by chain link fences. Furthermore, Ray-Traced Shadows dynamically update as the time of day changes, with effectively infinite precision.

Ray-Traced Ambient Occlusion: Where objects or surfaces meet, light is occluded, creating subtle shadows. In games, this Ambient Occlusion (AO) is key to grounding objects and the smallest details. With ray tracing, we can make AO shadowing far more accurate, further improving Fortnite’s fidelity.

Ray-Traced Global Illumination: Fortnite’s maps and worlds are composed of dynamically built and destroyed objects, preventing pre-baked light interaction. Due to this, sky lights provide the only real-time environmental lighting. Ray traced global illumination adds additional bounced light that is otherwise impossible to simulate in Fortnite.

Further to the Fortnite Chapter 2 – Season 4 update, the partnership will introduce a new Fortnite-creator made map called the RTX Treasure Run. In the RTX Treasure Run, players “can explore a hall of mirrors, a medieval castle, a jungle, climb a giant statue and explore a shrunken science lab to seek-out and find hidden treasures”, all set up to maximise the visual impact of ray tracing. 

It’s good to see some positive news for Fortnite players, as opposed to the ongoing dick-measuring contest Epic is still having with Apple and Google, and these improvements are genuinely impressive. It will be interesting to see if we get a comparable graphical leap when the game drops on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

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