Cyberpunk 2077 gets "full ray tracing" next month

Cyberpunk 2077
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077 is getting an elite "path tracing" update on PC next month, also known as "full ray tracing."

Earlier this week, on March 22, CD Projekt announced the new initiative for Cyberpunk 2077 with Nvidia at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco. Path tracing overhauls lighting in game scenes and is used by visual effects artists in film and TV.

Nvidia is billing path tracing as "indistinguishable" from reality. "This not only gives better visuals to the players but also has the promise to revolutionize the entire pipeline of how games are being created," says Nvidia senior technology developer engineer Pawel Kozlowski.

This will all be available in Cyberpunk 2077's "Overdrive Mode" exclusively for PC, beginning on April 11. Nvidia writes that it wasn't until the GeForce RTX 40 series and DLSS 3 that path tracing was available in real-time for games, which gives you a pretty good idea of what you'll need to run the new mode.

This is basically the first step in a big new phase for path tracing at large. Nvidia says Overdrive Mode offers a "sneak peek into the future of full ray tracing," which certainly sounds like the company has bigger plans for the mode in other games shortly.

This is a big new phase not just for Cyberpunk 2077, but for video games in general. The promise of moving lighting sources closer to that of TV and films is certainly an exciting prospect, but it remains to be seen just how well it'll run in Cyberpunk 2077, a game that's no stranger to technical mishaps. 

Check out our upcoming PC games guide for a look at all the forthcoming games that you put your rig to work on.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.