Fortnite is getting ray tracing

Well, we called it: ray tracing is coming to Fortnite, in time for the world’s biggest battle royale game to make the leap to next-gen consoles later this year. Nvidia and Epic Games have announced that Fortnite will soon support no less than four separate RTX-powered effects, and the companies unveiled a flashy new trailer to show them in action.

The announcement comes as part of today’s official announcement of Nvidia’s new 30-series of RTX graphics cards, and the company says Fortnite’s integration of Nvidia visual tech will be “a showcase for how competitive gaming will improve with technology”, as Nvidia executive Matt Wuebbling put it.

Specifically, Fortnite will soon support ray-traced reflections, shadows, global illumination, and ambient occlusion. Together, those work to make the lighting in games look much more convincing by calculating lighting based on the paths real rays of light would take through a scene in real-time, making it possible to render accurate reflections and shadows that change along with the lighting conditions.

Here’s the trailer:

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Additionally, Fortnite on PC will support Nvidia’s AI-powered DLSS technology, which is a way to upscale lower resolutions and save on system resources. It’s used effectively in Death Stranding and Control, allowing players to see the games in 2K and 4K resolutions while effectively running them in lower, ‘cheaper’ base resolutions.

Fortnite will also be one of the first games to support Nvidia Reflex, a method for reducing system latency that in theory will help give players more responsive controls.

Epic and Nvidia haven’t specified exactly when these updates would appear in Fortnite, only that they’ll be arriving in Chapter 2, Season 4 “soon”.