The Minecraft with RTX Beta Is Out Now!

Minecraft with RTX on Windows 10 is now available to download and play! Minecraft with RTX brings fully path-traced rendering, physically-based materials, and NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 to Minecraft, delivering bleeding-edge visual fidelity and realism that can be experienced on all GeForce RTX GPUs.

To demonstrate the full capabilities of Minecraft with RTX’s new technologies, which deliver unbelievable sights with jaw-dropping, previously-impossible-to-achieve effects, we have worked with Minecrafters to create 6 stunning Creator Worlds, downloadable for free from the in-game Minecraft Marketplace.

The results of Minecraft with ray tracing are astounding – realistic hard and soft shadows are seen everywhere; global illumination realistically lights the world, with that light filling interiors through windows and gaps in the terrain; illuminated blocks and other light sources cast pixel-perfect lighting; reflections are seen on all reflective surfaces and blocks, with a level of fidelity far surpassing that of screen space reflections; light reflects, refracts and scatters through water, ice, stained glass, and other transparencies; and atmospheric effects occur naturally, resulting in high quality volumetric fog, and pixel-perfect god rays.

How To Download and Play The Minecraft with RTX Beta

Microsoft and Mojang are operating the Minecraft with RTX beta via the Xbox Insider program, as they do with all other Minecraft betas, enabling them to collect and collate feedback, and automatically share updates. To join there are few steps, though it’s all easy-peasy if you follow our guide below.

First, ensure your system meets the minimum system requirements:

  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, or better
  • CPU: Intel Core i5, or equivalent, or better
  • RAM: 8GB, or more
  • Storage: 2GB (Game, plus all worlds and resource packs)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 x64

Next, download and install the latest Windows 10 updates, followed by our Minecraft with RTX Game Ready Driver, which delivers day-0 optimisations and performance improvements for the beta, and is required for the use of NVIDIA DLSS 2.0. Also, ensure you own a copy of Minecraft for Windows 10, as that is needed for participation in the beta program.

Before we proceed further, there are a couple of things to note if you’ve played Minecraft Bedrock on Windows 10 before now:

  1. Any world you open while participating in the Minecraft with RTX Beta will not be available to be opened in other Minecraft for Windows 10 betas on the Insider program, the full non-beta version of Minecraft with RTX that’s launching at a later date, or the Java version of Minecraft. We therefore recommend you make copies and backups of all worlds you wish to play in the Minecraft with RTX Beta, so you can restore them at a later date in other versions of Minecraft.
  2. You may need to uninstall Minecraft and/or the current Xbox Insider Minecraft Windows 10 Bedrock beta, in order to download the Minecraft with RTX beta when you opt to participate in the new beta.

Please back up any worlds you wish to keep before signing up to the new beta, or uninstalling old versions of the game. Once your worlds migrate over to the Minecraft with RTX beta, you will not be able to go back to the previous version of your worlds.

Minecraft saved worlds can be found in: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\Microsoft.MinecraftUWP_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\games\com.mojang\minecraftWorlds and/or %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MinecraftUWP_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\games\com.mojang\minecraftWorlds, depending on the versions of the game you’ve used in the past.

Each folder within the minecraftWorlds directory is a game world. Please save it somewhere on your PC that is not within the Minecraft directory. You can also export worlds directly from Minecraft to your PC or laptop’s desktop by hitting the "Edit" pencil icon. Go to Play > click the Edit icon > scroll down on the new screen, press the "Export World" button.

All good? Let’s sign up to the Minecraft with RTX Beta and get you into the game:

  1. Install the free Xbox Insider Hub app from the Windows 10 Store, but please note, Microsoft requires participants to be at least 18 years old to enroll as an Xbox Insider
  2. Press the big “Join” button when prompted, and follow any subsequent steps to enroll in the Insider program (if you’re already participating in the Xbox Insider program and Minecraft beta program, please scroll down for the steps you’ll require)
  3. Once enrolled, click on the box icon on the top left of the app’s window, highlighted in our image below, to access “Insider Content”
Minecraft with RTX Beta: Xbox Insider Hub  - Insider Content Button

4. On the Insider Content screen, click the “Minecraft for Windows 10” graphic

Minecraft with RTX Beta: Xbox Insider Hub  - Available Content

5. Click the “Join” button at the bottom of the new screen

6. Further info will pop up - once you’ve read and accepted the terms, click “Accept”

7. The system will work its magic for a few moments, but once done you’ll be back on the screen from step 5, and will now instead see buttons saying “Manage” and “See In Store”

8. Click “Manage” and a new pop up will appear, giving you the choice of which Minecraft beta to participate in. If “Minecraft for Windows 10 RTX Beta” isn’t already selected, click it, then click “Done”. And if you ever wish to leave the beta and return to the publicly-available version of Minecraft for Windows 10, click “Unenroll” followed by “Done”

9. If you have automatic Windows Store updates enabled, Minecraft will automatically update to the latest available Minecraft with RTX Beta build. If you don’t, you’ll be prompted to download the build when you try to load the beta

10. Please note, this is a beta and there may be bugs. If you encounter any, please send Microsoft and Mojang detailed feedback here.

If you’re already participating in a Minecraft for Windows 10 beta, and are a member of the Xbox Insider program, follow these instructions instead:

  1. Open the Xbox Insider Hub app
  2. Inside the app, click on the open box icon on the upper left to navigate to Insider Content
  3. On the Insider Content screen, click on the Minecraft for Windows 10 beta program you’ve already joined
  4. Click “Manage” on the new screen
  5. Select the Minecraft with RTX Beta and click “Done”

6. If you have automatic Windows Store updates enabled, Minecraft will automatically update to the latest available Minecraft with RTX Beta build. If you don’t, you’ll be prompted to download the build when you try to load the beta.

Congratulations, you now have the Minecraft with RTX Beta installed on your GeForce RTX PC or laptop!

Please note, this is an ongoing beta with a list of known issues - should you discover new ones, please send Microsoft and Mojang detailed feedback here.

Now, download the 6 free custom-made, path-traced, PBR texture-enhanced Creator Worlds from the Minecraft Marketplace, by searching for “RTX” (all RTX-capable worlds in the Marketplace are also tagged with a special RTX badge).

These Creator Worlds are designed to showcase the potential of Minecraft with RTX, and to demonstrate the new possibilities and techniques you can apply to your own creations.

Once you’ve got them installed, load Minecraft from your Windows 10 start menu, click Play, and load one of the ray-traced worlds.

If you wish to change your fullscreen resolution, you’ll need to change your desktop resolution in Windows, and in windowed mode you’ll need to resize the window as you would any other.

For optimum performance, we recommend playing in fullscreen mode at 1920x1080 with the ray tracing chunk distance set to 8, though on more powerful machines, and less performance-intensive worlds, your CPU and GPU may allow you to crank up the chunk distance.

Minecraft with RTX Creator Worlds Demonstrate The Power of Path Tracing

To spark your imaginations, and to demonstrate Minecraft with RTX’s capabilities, we’ve partnered with Minecraft creators from around the planet to bring 6 Creative, Adventure and Survival worlds to the beta, each enhanced with physically-based textures, that you can download and play for free.

World: Aquatic Adventure RTX

Creator: Dr_Bond

Type: Adventure

Download From: Minecraft Marketplace

Lose yourself in this serene underwater world from Dr_Bond, who’s been creating Minecraft worlds and sculptures since 2013. Solve puzzles and explore the depths of the sea underneath the exquisite palace, marvel at the ray-traced god-rays that pierce through the water, and the realistic ray-traced caustics on the ocean floor that create a sense of serenity throughout your time in the world.

“We’ve had RT shaders in the community for such a long time, but to have something infinitely more powerful and robust to me was the true highlight of working with ray tracing in Minecraft with RTX. The reflections and refractions were especially beautiful, and I had tons of fun experimenting with coloured lights underwater to see my projects in a different light. Literally.” – Dr_Bond

World: Of Temples and Totems RTX

Creator: Razzleberries

Type: Adventure

Download From: Minecraft Marketplace

Adventure awaits deep in the ray-traced jungle, designed by Razzleberries and her team. Explore five mysterious elemental temples filled with puzzles, traps and dangerous new foes! Ride elephants, experience god rays galore, and find the ancient totems of each area to help restore peace to the local village.

“Designing a whole adventure experience from the ground up with my team has to be the most satisfying thing ever. What made ray tracing so cool was being able to properly configure materials to interact with lighting in a realistic way that helps bring out the expectations of how the material would really look. Ray tracing will allow map makers and builders to highlight points of interest in their maps, using light to draw the eye.” – RazzleberryFox, CEO of Razzleberries

World: Crystal Palace RTX

Creator: GeminiTay

Type: Survival Spawn

Download From: Minecraft Marketplace

A fantasy castle lies abandoned – explore the Crystal Palace to discover its secrets, find treasure, and defend the village. Designed by GeminiTay, who’s been Minecrafting since 2013, Crystal Palace RTX features innumerable ray-traced shadows, jaw-dropping reflective water, real-time caustics, and many beautiful uses of ray-traced atmospherics to bring new light to Minecraft with RTX.

“RTX in Minecraft really changes the way I think about building in Minecraft altogether. You now have access to the most powerful building tool, light. Using this light to create meaningful scenes and beautiful maps is so incredible. You get to think about the shadow, the rays, where your windows will be, and how the colours will interact. These are things that previously were not thought about nearly enough in the game!

Ray tracing brings Minecraft up a level. The game currently has a very iconic look to it, and without disrupting this, RTX has managed to add a level of depth and detail that I previously couldn't have even imagined. This allows us to think about the way we create in the game differently. Map designers are going to love this.” – GeminiTay

World: Imagination Island RTX

Creator: BlockWorks

Type: Adventure

Download From: Minecraft Marketplace

BlockWorks was founded 7 years ago by a group of Minecraft builders who met online. They connected over their passion for designing and building in Minecraft, taking the game to its limits as they strove to build ever bigger and more beautiful projects. Now, they have a team with members from all over the world, each bringing their own unique experiences and backgrounds into their collaborative build projects, the latest of which is Imagination Island RTX, an interactive theme park filled with easter eggs and 4 distinct lands to explore, further enhanced by custom PBR textures made by the Blockworks crew.

“Ray tracing shone a new light on building Minecraft environments, quite literally! It really expanded the creative possibilities of the game, and changed the way we think about what a great Minecraft build is. Although it's the same game with the same blocks, being inside an environment with ray tracing is a completely different experience.” – BlockWorks

World: Color, Light and Shadow RTX

Creator: PearlescentMoon

Type: Adventure

Download From: Minecraft Marketplace

Discovery awaits as you experience real-time ray tracing in this captivating interactive world. Discover a magical prism room where you can blend ray-traced coloured lighting in real-time, and unleash your imagination with the power of RTX. Experiment with global illumination, colour theory, reflections and more in this stunning showcase, which includes a unique room with recursive reflections, creating the appearance of an infinity mirror!

“I will always say that I believe ray tracing will improve gameplay functionality and level design in maps. The environment and visual impact that ray tracing allows via improved textures and lighting manipulation opens it up for so many possibilities; as exemplified in my RTX Showcase map. As a player that mains in creative building, I have a high interest in how small details can impact a build in such large ways.” - PearlescentMoon

World: Neon District RTX

Creator: Elysium Fire

Type: Creative

Download From: Minecraft Marketplace

A popular Java Edition world converted to Windows 10, this amazing futuristic city is a sight to behold. True to its name, lights of all colours exhibit per-pixel emissivity made possible by real-time ray tracing. Elysium Fire, known for their incredible time-lapse videos on YouTube, have created a truly awe-inspiring sight for Minecraft players, complete with holograms, dark twisted corridors and a city reflected on the bay, this is a fine technical showcase of Minecraft with RTX.

“RTX will make us (as Minecrafters) rediscover the game graphically. We think this is a good thing because it will bring realism and a new approach to the way of building in Minecraft, because we can now play with lighting effects, shadows and textures.” - Elysium Fire

World: Razzleberries RTX Texture Showcase

Creator: Razzleberries

Purpose: For testing your own texture packs

Download From: Minecraft Wiki

In addition to the 6 world's available from the Minecraft Marketplace, we've worked with Razzleberries to also create a texture showcase that’s available from the Minecraft Wiki. See almost every single block, entity and biome in Minecraft, all laid out in exciting dioramas, and marvel at how ray tracing affects them. And should you make your own textures, after following the steps in our PBR Texturing Guide, you can drop into the map to instantly see your textures in action.

To load and play the world, extract the .zip, and copy the “RTX Expo Museum” folder to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MinecraftUWP_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\games\com.mojang\minecraftWorlds\.

Create Your Own Worlds In The Minecraft with RTX Beta

During the Minecraft with RTX Beta, you are able to create new ray-traced worlds from scratch and apply a PBR resource pack.

If, however, you have a favorite Java world you’d like to experience in Minecraft with RTX, or are a world builder looking to breathe new life into your creations, we’ve developed unofficial best-practices to convert your world to Bedrock Windows 10, which is the basis for Minecraft with RTX. It’s all fairly straightforward, but before you convert please ensure you backup your worlds.

Once you’re up and running, send us screenshots and videos of your world on social media using #Minecraft and #RTXON for a chance to be featured in a Community Showcase (and to win some Minecoins). More details below.

Accelerate Performance With NVIDIA DLSS 2.0

The Minecraft with RTX Beta features one of our newest technologies, NVIDIA DLSS 2.0. This is a revolutionary real-time rendering technique that accelerates performance via AI-based super resolution – the process of rendering fewer pixels and then using AI to construct sharp, higher resolution images that run at much faster frame rates.

Powered by dedicated AI processors called Tensor Cores, available exclusively on GeForce RTX GPUs, NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 is a new and improved, critically-acclaimed version of this technique, used to great effect in several titles, and now Minecraft, too.

In-game, go to Settings --> Advanced Video, and switch on “Upscaling” to enable DLSS 2.0, if it isn’t already active. When enabled, performance instantly increases by up to 1.7x at 1920x1080, and by up to 3x at 4K in the Minecraft with RTX Beta.

Minecraft with RTX Beta Color, Light and Shadow GeForce RTX 2080 Ti NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 Performance

At 1920x1080, DLSS is automatically set to “Quality” mode. At 2560x1440, “Balanced”, and at 4K, “Performance”

Minecraft with RTX Beta Color, Light and Shadow GeForce RTX 1920x1080 NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 Performance

DLSS 2.0 enables smooth frame rates for GeForce RTX 2060 and higher GPUs. Note: Minecraft with RTX is in beta and performance will likely see further optimisation between beta and official release. Performance will vary from world to world based on scene complexity

Most importantly, DLSS achieves these performance gains while keeping image quality comparable to native resolutions. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

In both, captured at 1920x1080, NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 delivers equivalent clarity and detail, while running substantially faster, giving gamers a smoother, more performant experience.

DLSS 2.0 can also improve image quality in certain cases, further improving your experience.

Minecraft with RTX World Sweepstakes: Share Your Best Creations For A Chance To Win

Once you’ve started playing the Minecraft with RTX Beta, you’ll have the chance to win:

To enter, download any or all of the Minecraft with RTX beta worlds and share high-quality screenshots or videos of your Minecraft with RTX beta experience with ray tracing on to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or our GeForce forums, and use the #Minecraft and #RTXON in the copy, title or description.

For extra chances to win, follow the GeForce social media channels and complete the Minecraft with RTX prompts – for example, “build a famous place from around the world using ray tracing in Minecraft with RTX, and share screenshots or videos of your creation with #RTXON and #Minecraft.”

You can enter as many times as you like and complete any or all of our prompts for extra chances to win. For full terms and conditions, please head here.

Create Your Own Physically Based Rendering (PBR) Textures

To take full advantage of Minecraft with RTX’s path-traced renderer, we’ve added a physically based materials pipeline that enables the creation of block textures with real-world properties. For example, blocks and textures can feature any degree of reflectivity, and will realistically mirror or reflect surrounding detail using path tracing, for pixel-perfect detail. The surface of gravel and water feels more natural and detailed. And once flat light sources from Glowstone now emits from the individual glowing specks.

Examples of the new hi-res (1024x1024) and vanilla derivative/low res (16x16) PBR textures applied to Minecraft’s blocks in Minecraft with RTX

The Minecraft with RTX Beta Creator Worlds include creator-made PBR resource packs. These upgrade textures to follow the Physically Based Rendering pipeline and are optimised for maximum performance and detail.

In addition to these worlds, NVIDIA is releasing four resource packs. Two, HD Decorative Resource Pack and HD Foundational Resource Pack, are created by NVIDIA. The others, Muddle RTX and RazzleCore RTX, are created by Razzleberries. With these four packs, you will be able to enjoy both high resolution textures (1024x1024) and low resolution textures (8x8 or 16x16) with PBR capabilities.

If, however, you want to make your own PBR textures, or even a complete PBR resource pack, we’ve written a PBR texturing how-to guide with step by step instructions. Check it out here, and watch our GTC presentation for even more info.

Minecraft with RTX’s Path-Traced Effects, In-Depth

As we’ve mentioned, Minecraft with RTX’s worlds are almost entirely path-traced, with lighting and effects featuring unprecedented levels of detail, for the very best image quality possible. If you yearn to know more, and love to geek out about under the hood tech, here’s a rundown of all the major effects.

Global Illumination

Games are traditionally illuminated by precomputed lightmaps, Image-Based Light Probes, Spherical Harmonics, and Reflective Shadow Maps, plus artist-placed lights to help force illumination where the aforementioned techniques fail. And while the results look great, the techniques used have several shortcomings, the biggest of which being that dynamic lighting fails to bounce or illuminate beyond the area that the light hit.

For example, imagine a dark room with bright light shining through a window. With traditional techniques, everything that is directly hit by the light is illuminated, but the illuminated areas themselves do not bounce light, and do not illuminate surrounding game elements, when in reality they would.

With path tracing, we can accurately model the dynamic indirect diffuse lighting reflected by one or more indirect bounces off of surfaces in the scene, and have it interact and interplay with other ray-traced effects. Imagine, for instance, sunlight beaming into a castle through multicoloured stained-glass window blocks, refracting, illuminating all corners of the room, reflecting off the shiny marble floor, and brightening surrounding detail, causing new contact hardening shadows to be cast from objects.

Underground, light beams in, illuminating the darkness, but only to a point - once the light dissipates, make sure you’re carrying a torch or the Creepers will get you! (click to load an interactive RTX ON-OFF comparison)

The results are jaw-dropping, and give us a preview of how all games will eventually be rendered.

Reflections

In Minecraft with RTX, path tracing adds ray traced reflections throughout each world, allowing us to reflect every detail, every mob and NPC, and every other visual effect, for pixel-perfect reflections. And using the PBR texturing system, we can vary the level of reflectivity on different blocks, allowing for a wide range of looks, giving us perfect mirrors, smooth water-based reflections, and surfaces with rough and coarse reflectivity.

Reflectivity helps bring Dr_Bond’s Aquatic Adventure to life, adding reflections to water surfaces, and bouncing light from block to block, illuminating the palace (click to load an interactive RTX ON-OFF comparison)

Inside, PBR textures subtly reflect light from wall to wall, further improving image quality and immersion (click to load an interactive RTX ON-OFF comparison)

With path-traced reflections, not only do you see more detail and information, you experience improved lighting, realism, immersion, and visual fidelity.

Shadows

With our unified path tracing lighting model in Minecraft with RTX, every aspect of each world realistically and naturally casts shadows, and is shaded and darkened by shadows cast upon them. Shadows soften and harden depending on the distance from the shadow caster, mobs, NPCs and new blocks block light and cast new shadows, and newly-placed light sources (torches, illuminated blocks, et cetera) cast new light that creates new dynamic shadows, and affects existing shadows and shading. Most impressive of all, every single leaf in a tree’s leaf block casts its own individual shadow, adding truly wondrous shadow detail to your worlds.

With ray tracing enabled, BlockWorks’ Imagination Island is naturally shadowed, and each shadow has its own intensity and length, as well as realistic contact hardening and contact softening properties (click to load an interactive RTX ON-OFF comparison)

And in Razzleberry’s Of Temples and Totems, individual leaves in leaf blocks cast shadows as god rays pierce the forest’s canopy.

Per-Pixel Emissive Lighting

All torches and light-emitting blocks in Minecraft with RTX have been upgraded with per pixel emissive lighting. This enables each pixel of these items to emit uniquely coloured light that affects their surroundings, best demonstrated by our special disco blocks that constantly cycle through colours on an 8x8 grid on each face of each block:

In your worlds, torches will be one of the most noticeable beneficiaries of per-pixel emissive lighting, realistically illuminating their surroundings with fire coloured lighting that subtly varies as each torch burns and flickers. And of course, emitted light will result in new shadows being cast, new reflections being seen, and other path-traced effects being rendered or affected.

BlockWorks’ Imagination Island makes extensive use of emissive blocks to add mood-setting lighting to their rides and attractions (click to load an interactive RTX ON-OFF comparison)

Emissive lava and fire blocks cast appropriate light throughout environments, leading to the creation of new shadows and the application of other ray-traced effects, for even better image quality (click to load interactive RTX ON-OFF comparisons)

Atmospheric Effects

Path tracing introduces new atmospheric effects to Minecraft, enabling players to build and experience worlds with mist and fog, illuminated by sunlight and moonlight, or the occasional torch or lantern, as seen in movies.

Mist and god rays add to the atmospherics of this idyllic area in GeminiTay’s Crystal Palace Creator World (click to load an interactive RTX ON-OFF comparison)

Furthermore, path tracing delivers pixel-perfect dynamic god rays that move and change in step with the sun and moon’s position, and are affected by world geometry and the things you do and build.

God rays are visible above ground and in ocean depths

Transparency Reflection, Refraction and Scattering

As path tracing follows each individual light ray until it dissipates, we can apply immersive and realistic reflection, refraction and scattering to transparencies, such as stained glass, water, and ice. Using these features, you can create ice palaces illuminated exclusively by the sun and moon, and cathedrals with stained glass murals that fill the interior with coloured light as the sun beams through.

These naturally occurring effects can noticeably affect your perception when looking through bodies of water:

Click to load an interactive RTX ON-OFF comparison

And we’ve even modelled Snell’s Window, “a phenomenon by which an underwater viewer sees everything above the surface through a cone of light of width of about 96 degrees. This phenomenon is caused by refraction of light entering water, and is governed by Snell's Law. The area outside Snell's window will either be completely dark or show a reflection of underwater objects by total internal reflection.”

Click to load an interactive RTX ON-OFF comparison

Path tracing’s possibilities in Minecraft with RTX are endless, but if you want a few ideas check out the Creator Worlds mentioned earlier.

Minecraft with RTX Beta: Download and Play Now

If you’ve got a GeForce RTX PC or laptop, get in-game now and experience next-generation visuals today. If you’re unable to join in the fun, consider upgrading your desktop or laptop so you too can marvel at Minecraft with RTX’s stunning path-traced visuals.