The Cyberpunk 2077 path tracing update is right around the corner, and what CD Projekt Red’s global art director and VP of art Jakub ‘Kuba’ Knapik told PCGamesN was the RPG game’s “film-like rendering” should completely change Night City. To celebrate, CDPR has now released a 15-minute video both breaking down how path tracing works and showing how the visuals will change too.
PCGamesN already spoke to Jakub ‘Kuba’ Knapik, who’s in the video, at GDC 2023 about Cyberpunk 2077 path tracing, so if you want to learn even more about the feature you can find it out there.
You can see Path Tracing in action alongside some in-depth descriptions from a number of CD Projekt Red staff in the video below. You should see the path tracing difference “everywhere” in Cyberpunk 2077, according to senior technical lighting artist Giovanni De Francesco.
To break it down to the absolute basics, path tracing is a better version of ray tracing. You’ll still need one of the best graphics card options on the market, sure, but you should get some “film-like rendering,” according to Knapik in his chat with PCGamesN. Using a combination of ray tracing and DLSS 3 (and other similar AI tech), path tracing is able to hit high frames-per-second while further improving the lighting and visuals.
Cyberpunk 2077 is already built well in CDPR’s RED Engine, even though the developer is moving to Unreal Engine 5 with future releases, so the lighting changes can properly improve the visuals of Night City. Reflections, shadows, global illumination, and ambient occlusion are all going to see big improvements with the AI hybrid path tracing feature.
You can expect Cyberpunk 2077 path tracing to debut on April 11 via patch 1.62, which is incredibly soon.
If you want to enhance your experience even more while you wait for Phantom Liberty, these Cyberpunk 2077 mods are sure to do the trick. We’ve also got a breakdown of all the Cyberpunk 2077 endings and the best cyberpunk games, if diving back into 2077 has you wanting to explore all the genre has to offer.