New Elden Ring patch introduces ray tracing and more

Alfonso Maruccia

Posts: 388   +171
Staff
In context: While gamers are patiently waiting for further details about the recently announced Shadow of the Erdtree expansion, Elden Ring developer FromSoftware has just released a new patch bringing ray tracing effects and many balance adjustments to its award-winning action-RPG.

The much-awaited ray tracing update for Elden Ring is finally here, as Japanese developer FromSoftware has released patch 1.09 on all supported platforms. The new lighting effects are only available on recent gaming consoles (PS5, Xbox Series X) and PC, FromSoftware said, and users can expect a significant impact on the game's performance as support for upscaling algorithms isn't available yet.

The new ray tracing feature can be enabled in the Settings menu, and early tests are confirming that the performance impact is indeed pretty noticeable. Despite the steep FPS drop, ray tracing illumination seems to be very limited (with no ray traced reflections) while the overall effect on graphics fidelity is very subtle. The ray tracing update weighs 200 megabytes on PC and 5 gigabytes on PS5, likely due to precompiled shaders included in the console release.

Despite the uninspiring results, ray tracing effects are asking for new minimum and recommended system requirements as listed in the patch 1.09 notes. To get a (slightly) better illumination in 1080p (Low quality, Low Ray Tracing), players need a Core i5-10600K or Ryzen 5 3600XT CPU, 16GB of RAM and a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8 GB or Radeon RX 6700 XT 12 GB. Recommended specs for high-quality ray tracing in 1080p include Windows 11, a Core i7-10700K or Ryzen 7 3800XT, and a GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8 GB or Radeon RX 6900 XT 16 GB.

Improved graphics aside, patch 1.09 also brings a huge amount of balance adjustments to Elden Ring gameplay, weapons, skills and spells. Some of those balance tweaks are just for PvP games, where they mainly decrease the effectiveness of certain skills and spells, but do not affect single player or co-op games. Furthermore, the developers are still fixing bugs and bringing "several performance improvements" on all supported platforms.

After winning big at the Game Awards event in 2022, Elden Ring also led at the 23rd Annual Game Developer Choice Awards. The poster child of the Soulsborne formula brought FromSoftware three more awards in the peer-based event held in San Francisco, winning in the Best Visual Art, Best Design, and Game of the Year categories.

During the aforementioned Game Awards, Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki said his team was still working hard to bring new stories, experiences and cryptic in-game conversations to the Lands Between. Shadow of the Erdtree is the recently announced first expansion for Elden Ring, even though no further details are provided apart from artwork depicting demigod Miquella riding in a spectral, decaying environment.

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Kam7r

Posts: 258   +537
Now your games got artificially crippled in performances, just to get this useless stamp : Ray tracing / "rtx BS is on" gimmick... but the drones seems to need this stamp to enjoy their games... "I paid MORE for an RTX, my game need to got this stamp or else how I will be able to justify myself to have paid more for less or same as team red or team blue..."
but the devs and the studios want / need to sell ... they jump on the trend-wagon, since the general gamer will not even think a second if this cr@p is actually usefull to himself...
 

Ohnooze

Posts: 554   +1,079
Don't care about the ray tracing a bit but better performance is very appreciated...even if it's been a year now.
 

nnguy2

Posts: 747   +1,715
Now your games got artificially crippled in performances, just to get this useless stamp : Ray tracing / "rtx BS is on" gimmick... but the drones seems to need this stamp to enjoy their games... "I paid MORE for an RTX, my game need to got this stamp or else how I will be able to justify myself to have paid more for less or same as team red or team blue..."
but the devs and the studios want / need to sell ... they jump on the trend-wagon, since the general gamer will not even think a second if this cr@p is actually usefull to himself...
watch they come out with DLSS support next patch for "free performance" LOL
 

Nobina

Posts: 4,212   +4,962
It's barely noticeable and only on maximum ray tracing setting. On consoles, resolution is clearly lowered, so it can keep the frame rate stable, so it looks worse overall.
 
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Alfonso Maruccia

Posts: 388   +171
Staff
The comparisons I've seen are very underwhelming. Turns out the game already had great lighting.

320 hours in, NG+1 mode: the game has always been beautiful, with a complex and masterfully executed lighting system. I still have to install the update, but I fear my GeForce RTX 3080 will spit in my face if the game won't run at 60 fps all the time anymore after enabling ray-tracing :-D
 

Jrfeimst2

Posts: 83   +110
And all I wanted was a simple frame cap removal and ultrawide support without hacking the game. So irritating since it’s already in the engine. But no that would be too easy and make too much sense.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 4,153   +7,456
The comparisons I've seen are very underwhelming. Turns out the game already had great lighting.
As it turns out, halfway decent developers can make shader based lighting that looks just as good as RT lighting.

If only we'd been saying that for years. To this day I've never seen a RT demonstration in a game that makes any sort of noticeable impact, aside from framerate.
 

poshflamingos

Posts: 54   +142
As it turns out, halfway decent developers can make shader based lighting that looks just as good as RT lighting.

If only we'd been saying that for years. To this day I've never seen a RT demonstration in a game that makes any sort of noticeable impact, aside from framerate.

There is no RT lighting. The only RT features they added to Elden Ring was shadows and ambient occlusion. Nothing in the lighting (or reflections) changed.

As for games where it makes a noticeable impact, Cyberpunk with RT lighting set to "psycho" looks incredible, the colorful bounce lighting (which is absent on the other settings below psycho) is amazing and reminds me of the kind of images software like V-Ray produces. And of course, the enhanced edition of Metro Exodus is incredible too and runs pretty well for a RT game.
 

nnguy2

Posts: 747   +1,715
There is no RT lighting. The only RT features they added to Elden Ring was shadows and ambient occlusion. Nothing in the lighting (or reflections) changed.

As for games where it makes a noticeable impact, Cyberpunk with RT lighting set to "psycho" looks incredible, the colorful bounce lighting (which is absent on the other settings below psycho) is amazing and reminds me of the kind of images software like V-Ray produces. And of course, the enhanced edition of Metro Exodus is incredible too and runs pretty well for a RT game.
Cp2077 on pyscho looks pretty but it's a slide show. 4k + ultra + RT = unplayable.