The Fortnite RTX update is going live on Thursday, September 17, infusing the game with new Nvidia GeForce-powered visuals including ray-tracing.
Epic and Nvidia first announced their collab plans during the unveil event for Nvidia's new GeForce 3000 line of graphics cards, teasing that the visual update would arrive this month. Now we know exactly when we can start admiring the new graphical improvements, which will affect all game modes (as long as you're playing with a GeForce RTX card).
The new GeForce RTX ray-tracing features coming to Fortnite break down into four specific categories: reflections, which make shiny surfaces like windows, glass, and other things more accurately reflect their surroundings instead of pre-baked images; ambient occlusion, which fills in objects with realistically subtle shadows where their surfaces meet; global illumination, which allows light to play more realistically across Fortnite's environment even as it changes mid-match; and shadows, which makes better shadows. I don't know how else to describe that one.
You'll be able to see all of these effects highlighted individually in a new RTX Treasure Run map which is coming to Fortnite Creative Mode. Fortnite is also receiving support for Nvidia DLSS, which uses a specially trained neural network running on GeForce RTX tensor cores to increase image quality without the typical tradeoff in performance, and the latency-decreasing Nvidia Reflex.
Even if you don't play Fortnite on PC, there's a good chance that these improvements to the game's visual technology will give it a head start in taking advantage of next-generation consoles too.
Epic Games has confirmed that Fortnite is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X at launch.