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You can now turn on ray tracing in Diablo 4, and it looks great

Owners of Nvidia GeForce RTX GPUs, and other ray tracing graphics cards, can now get realistic reflections and shadows in the game.

Diablo 4 ray tracing Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090

It may have taken the best part of a year, but the dark, demonic hellscape of Diablo 4 now has realistic shadows and reflections, thanks to some close work with Nvidia. Yes, Diablo 4 ray tracing is finally here, and you can enable it in the game right now.

If you want to enable this new graphical feature in Diablo 4, you’ll need a GPU that supports ray tracing. That includes all the options on our best graphics card guide right now, but doesn’t include Nvidia GeForce GTX GPUs, such as the GTX 1660, or AMD Radeon GPUs before the 6000 series. The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, for example, has no ray tracing hardware.

As always with ray tracing, there’s a performance hit that comes with it, and benchmarking by MxBenchmarkPC in the video below shows the frame rate drops by more than half in some scenes, occasionally going from 94fps to 42fps, but usually only dropping by 20-30fps. That’s with DLSS Super Resolution enabled at 4K with an RTX 4080, but if you have one of the latest Nvidia Ada GPUs, you also now have the option of enabling DLSS 3 frame generation to boost your frame rate further.

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Diablo 4 Technical Director Michael Bukowski enthused about the difference the feature makes to the game. “Effects like lightning strikes are now reflected in pools of blood and water, dank cellars and dungeons are more foreboding with realistic soft shadows,” says Bukowski, “and the open world and towns are more grounded with additional realistic shadows and reflections.”

Diablo 4 ray tracing shadows screenshot

The new ray tracing graphics effects are enabled with patch 1.3.5 game, and affect a number of areas of the game. For a start, shadows are now much more realistically modeled, becoming softer and less sharp in the right places as they respond to the light in the scene, rather than being angular and sharp. This is demonstrated in the screenshot above, with ray tracing disabled on the left, but enabled on the right.

Reflections also look much more realistic, with water now also reflecting combat effects such as lighting, as well as areas just out of shot of the scene. You can see this in the image below, where ray tracing is enabled on the right, but not on the left.

Diablo 4 ray tracing reflections in water

There’s good news for anyone looking to play Diablo 4 on Game Pass as well, as the Diablo 4 Game Pass release date is coming very soon, and Microsoft has stated that players will need to log in with a Battle.NET account in order to access the game. We gave the game a full 10/10 score in our Diablo 4 review, so it’s well worth playing if you’re a Game Pass subscriber who hasn’t tried it yet.

If you don’t yet have a rig that’s capable of running ray tracing in games, check out our full guide on how to build a gaming PC, as well as our GeForce RTX 4070 Super review, where we test Nvidia’s latest mid-range ray tracing graphics card.