Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition Out Now With Improved Ray Tracing And DLSS 2.0

4A Games’ three critically acclaimed Metro games each pushed the limits of PCs at the time of their release, utilizing the latest technologies to ramp up immersion and image quality, and to enhance gameplay. Metro 2033 featured a raft of 2010-era cutting-edge tech, including DirectX 11 tessellation and GPU PhysX acceleration, 2013’s Metro: Last Light improved upon everything while making great strides in the fields of environmental destruction, post processing and particle effects, and 2019’s Metro Exodus was one of the first games to implement real-time ray tracing and NVIDIA DLSS, kick starting a new generation of gaming.

In the two years since 4A Games pioneered the use of real-time ray tracing, new research, tools, and middleware have led to massive strides in image quality and performance, inspiring the team at 4A to create a new, upgraded version of the game entitled Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition.

Free to everyone who already owns Metro Exodus, the PC Enhanced Edition primarily improves lighting by introducing a suite of new, ray-traced dependent features. Gone are rasterized lighting fall backs and clever hacks - now, all lighting is calculated in real-time with superior accuracy using ray tracing, necessitating the use of a GeForce RTX graphics card for NVIDIA gamers.


Get an overview of Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition’s ray tracing and DLSS 2.0 enhancements in this must-watch video

Additionally, 4A has improved existing effects, while also introducing ray-traced reflections and NVIDIA DLSS 2.0, improving upon the original game’s implementation with superior image quality, faster performance, and the ability to be used at every resolution with multiple user-selectable quality presets.

To learn more about all of this, and to see how the Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition performs on GeForce RTX graphics cards with NVIDIA DLSS 2.0, keep reading.

NVIDIA DLSS 2.0: Accelerate Performance By Up To 2X

NVIDIA DLSS 1.0 in the original Metro Exodus release boosted GeForce RTX players’ performance by up to 30%. In the Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition, 4A Games has incorporated NVIDIA DLSS 2.0, which uses AI to produce images that are even better than native resolution with Temporal Anti-Aliasing alone, while only conventionally rendering a fraction of the pixels.


See how NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 improves image quality in our comparison video

The result is a clearer, cleaner, smoother picture, that runs 2X faster at 4K, giving GeForce RTX users a substantial performance boost, and the headroom to activate all of the PC Enhanced Edition’s ray-traced effects.

In-game, NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 enables owners of the GeForce RTX 3060, 3060 Ti, 3070, 3080 and 3090, and previous-gen cards of equivalent speed, to max out Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition at 4K at over 60 FPS. At 2560x1440, all GeForce RTX gamers can play at max settings at over 60 FPS, and at 1920x1080, all GeForce RTX gamers can play at over 80 FPS, with owners of top-end cards running at over 150 FPS. All with superior image quality than native resolution when using Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition’s Temporal Anti-Aliasing.

NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 in the PC Enhanced Edition can be enabled at any resolution, and gamers can select any quality mode. Here at NVIDIA, we recommend Quality for 1920x1080 and 2560x1440, and Performance for 3840x2160. 

For third-party testing of NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 in the Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition, check out Digital Foundry’s video.

Ray-Traced Global Illumination Lighting

Prior to the introduction of real-time videogame ray tracing in 2019, when GeForce RTX GPUs launched with dedicated RT Cores that enabled ray tracing at playable frame rates, game lighting was achieved with a slate of ingenious and inventive rasterized hacks. However, each solution had a compromise, and no matter how many effects and workarounds a developer combined, none could approach the quality and realism of the ray tracing seen in animated movies and Hollywood visual effects.

With ray tracing, powered by GeForce RTX GPUs, 4A Games introduced gamers to ray-traced Global Illumination lighting (RTGI) in Metro Exodus, simulating how light naturally floods in through windows and damaged surfaces, brightening interiors. Compared to the game with ray tracing disabled, the difference in quality was staggering, giving players their first taste of next-gen gaming.

In the Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition, 4A Games has completely overhauled RTGI, introducing a new generational leap in image quality and immersion that finally rivals that of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.

For starters, all shadowed lights in the game now contribute to ray-traced global illumination. Previously, only sunlight could naturally illuminate environments, limiting the tech’s usefulness in many of the game’s locations. Now, light from the sun, moon, sky, man-made lights, and all other light sources can brighten interiors, exteriors, characters, enemies, and weapons, dramatically improving the game’s appearance. Dark interiors are bathed in light, materials glisten and subtly shine when struck by light, and the color of light is realistically transmitted throughout each scene.

To make this a reality, every single rasterized light has either been removed from the game, or upgraded to a new and improved ray-traced version, necessitating the use of a ray tracing-capable GPU, like the GeForce RTX series of graphics cards. This fundamental change also enabled the developers to eschew time-consuming testing, tweaking, rendering, and baking associated with the use of rasterized workarounds, greatly accelerating their work on the PC Enhanced Edition.

In the real world, light bounces until its energy dissipates, enabling a room to be illuminated through even a small gap when bright direct sunlight streams in. Simulating this in a game is computationally expensive, and back in 2019 Metro Exodus only accounted for a single bounce of light to keep frame rates playable. Now, the PC Enhanced Edition can simulate ‘infinite’ bounces by sampling and caching a number of rays each frame into a world-space grid of light probes. In other words, the additional bounces are calculated in less than a second, rather than instantaneously, and the results blended together to create a performant jaw-dropping effect that comes close to the quality of lighting seen in even-more intensive path-traced games.

This Dynamic Diffuse Global Illumination (DDGI) technique, based on and using much of the same shader technology as our RTXGI SDK, occurs seamlessly, and is surely the model other developers will adopt moving forward. As Digital Foundry demonstrates, the quality is unmatched, and the improvement over Metro Exodus’ original single bounce technique is incredible. As you play, bright lights will fill entire spaces, light will radiate and bounce naturally, and scenes will come alive with real-time, dynamic, super realistic illumination.

As it stands, DDGI and RTXGI deliver the best lighting seen to date in any ray-traced game.

Ray-Traced Emissive Lights

The Two Colonels was Metro Exodus’ first DLC expansion, set almost exclusively underground with a new flamethrower weapon. To convey the intensity of the weapon’s heat, fire and visuals, 4A Games introduced a new ray-traced emissive lights effect (also known as area lights), which enabled fire to illuminate the environment, and for dynamic soft shadows to be cast as a result.

The PC Enhanced Edition brings this technology to the main game and the other DLC expansion, Sam’s Story, while also extending its application to all light sources. So now, fluorescent tube lights, candles, lamps, LEDs, molotovs, and more, emit ray-traced light that realistically illuminates the environment and causes natural shadowing and shading of scenery.

These emissive ray-traced lights further enhance the PC Enhanced Edition’s visuals, increasing realism and immersion at every opportunity. To see the tech in action, check out Digital Foundry’s video and the video at the start of this article.

Ray-Traced Reflections

Metro Exodus occurs over 20 years after an apocalyptic nuclear war. The surface is obliterated, and what materials and resources remain are recycled or damaged beyond repair. As a result, very few of the game’s materials are untarnished and capable of clearly reflecting sharp detail be that by using ray tracing or screen space effects. Where applicable however, reflective shine and subtle detail is added via a combination of the game’s ray-traced specular global illumination, ray-traced reflections, and supported by the occasional screen space reflection where that data is deemed to still be accurate enough.

For bodies of water, which are capable of reflecting full-quality detail, 4A Games has introduced hybrid ray-traced reflections, that are combined with screen space detail to improve image quality without upping the performance impact. For examples, head on over to Digital Foundry and check out the video at the start of this article, but needless to say, these further improve the PC Enhanced Edition’s graphics.

GeForce Game Ready Driver, Download Now

For the optimum experience in the Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition, download and install our newest Game Ready Driver. You can grab it from GeForce Experience with just a couple of clicks, or from our website. There are day 1 optimizations and enhancements, and our usual raft of improvements for all the games you’re playing.

Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition: Faster, Better, More Beautiful

Metro Exodus and its two expansions offer hours of immersive, story-driven action that everyone should experience. With the release of the PC Enhanced Edition, Metro Exodus performs better thanks to engine optimizations, looks even nicer courtesy of its new ray-traced enhancements, and gets a massive 2X performance boost on GeForce RTX graphics cards at 4K when NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 is enabled.

The Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition is free to download for everyone who already owns Metro Exodus, so simply fire up the digital storefront where you bought the game and download the new PC Enhanced Edition game client. And if you haven’t bought or played it before, now’s the perfect time to experience one of gaming’s finest first-person franchises!