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(Pocket-lint) - Minecraft with RTX is now in beta on Windows 10 - bringing ray-traced visuals to the best-selling game for the first time. We covered how to try the beta here and now there's more reason to do so as Nvidia has added even more worlds to play around in. 

Naturally, Minecraft remains as popular as ever after a decade - and Nvidia says it's still in the top five games played on GeForce hardware even now. 

Nvidia, Microsoft and developer Mojang have added a form of ray tracing known as path tracing for the Windows 10 version of the game. This simulates the way light is transported throughout a scene. According to Nvidia, it "presents a unified model for lighting calculations for many different types of effects that have traditionally been implemented separately using rasterised or hybrid renderers."

These effects include direct light from the sun and elsewhere, light shafts, accurate reflections in water and metal, light emitted from lava and other surfaces, plus more realistic shadows. 

The software is now open beta on Windows 10 as part of the Xbox Insider program. When out of beta, Minecraft with RTX will be a free update later this year to anybody that owns Minecraft on Windows 10.

"The next big evolution for Minecraft has arrived with Minecraft with RTX," said Saxs Persson, franchise creative director of Minecraft at Microsoft.

"The core of regular Minecraft is building with blocks. GeForce RTX GPUs transform the Minecraft world with a dramatically more realistic look by adding life-like lighting effects, shadows, reflections, refraction and more to the builder’s tool kit."

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The original worlds released as part of the beta were:

  • Aquatic Adventure RTX by Dr_Bond
  • Color, Light and Shadow RTX by PearlescentMoon
  • Crystal Palace RTX by GeminiTay 
  • Imagination Island RTX by BlockWorks
  • Neon District RTX by Elysium Fire
  • Of Temples and Totems RTX by Razzleberries 

Since then Nivida has released five new worlds as part of the Creator Worlds Pack #2. These new maps include a mix of adventure, survival and mini-game worlds including:

  • Hilltop Lifestyle RTX by PearlescentMoon
  • Egg Hunt RTX by Feed The Beast
  • Medieval RTX by Aurelien_Sama
  • The Dark Village RTX by Wyld
  • The Observer RTX by IAmSp00n
Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 14 April 2020.