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Glossary:Ray tracing (RT)

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For a list of games, see games with ray tracing support.

Ray tracing in relation to modern PC games and hardware refers to the use of hardware acceleration of modern graphics cards to enable real-time ray-traced graphics allowing for increased realism and visual fidelity, primarily through the use of ray traced shadows, reflections, or global illumination.

Key points

Improves the look of the game world.
Oftentimes will lead to a big performance impact, but can be mitigated by upscaling methods like DLSS and FSR 2.
Implementation depends on the developer. Some games, like Cyberpunk 2077, will implement all aspects of ray-tracing (i.e. ray traced shadows, reflections, and global illumination), and some, like Battlefield V, implements only one subset of it.

General information

Ray tracing (graphics)
Path tracing