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What Happened to Minecraft Xbox Series X Ray Tracing?

Minecraft Xbox Series X ray tracing was being shown off over a year ago now. So, what happened to it? Today, let's take a look at how Mojang has approached re-inventing the graphics of Minecraft and why ray tracing is taking so long to come to the console.

What Happened to Minecraft Xbox Series X Ray Tracing cover

Back in March 2020, a technical demo version of Minecraft was played on the Xbox Series X featuring ray tracing. This is a feature that the PC version currently has, assuming you have an RTX capable graphics card, that is. However, nothing more on the topic has been announced or even remotely hinted at since that day. It makes me wonder, what happened to ray tracing on Minecraft for the Xbox Series X?

Now, the Xbox Series X is fully capable of ray tracing. This feature was already added to games such as Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition and Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War. So, why is Minecraft taking so long with the feature? When we think about this game, we think about one made of literal blocks. It has pretty low graphical standards and yet people have been creating shaders packs for the game for as long as I can remember. There doesn’t seem to be an obvious answer as to what is taking so long, and many players are getting impatient.

Minecraft Xbox Series X Demo - Ray Tracing


Back during E3 2017, Mojang announced the ‘Super Duper Graphics Pack’ which they had planned to release in autumn of the same year. It would bring 4K graphics to the game, a look that closely resembled shaders, and more graphical enhancements. However, the developers delayed it time and time again until they finally posted a final update, detailing they had cancelled the project entirely.

Minecraft's 4K Announcement

Minecraft’s 4K Announcement

This disappointed many fans, especially players who were on the Xbox One X version. Many even said that they purchased the One X with the hopes of playing Minecraft in a new light. However, it never came to be. This is what leads me to believe that Mojang is staying completely silent on the subject until they can confirm that it will be coming to the Series X. They don’t want to repeat the same mistakes that they made last time. They hyped up a feature that never made its way to the game itself for so long that ended up being cancelled entirely. This may be why nothing has been discussed or even remotely hinted at regarding the topic.


In August 2019, ray tracing was announced for Minecraft using RTX technology. Later, in April 2020, it was revealed that it would be coming to the Windows 10 version of the game, but consoles were not mentioned whatsoever. Once again, console players were left in the dark, wondering when this would make its way to the Series X after the presentation was shown a month earlier that year.

The power of RTX

The power of RTX

Even in the F.A.Q for ray tracing and RTX, consoles were mentioned only once, and it wasn’t even about these graphical enhancements. Interestingly enough, there has been no mention of ray tracing coming to the Xbox Series X. We’ve only assumed this due to the technical demo that we saw last year. Why show something off that will never release?


Now for the big question. Will we ever actually see ray tracing for Minecraft on Xbox Series X? While the answer is unclear at this moment in time, there is no reason why it couldn’t. I personally believe that the pandemic that struck the world and hurt video game development definitely plays a role here. After all, we saw it in March 2020, when the feature was still in its very early stages.

This is something Mojang clearly wants to get right after what happened with the Super Duper Graphics Pack. I do think it will release. This year? I don’t think so. Next year? Maybe. Only time will tell. For now, we can only wait and see what the future brings. Now that the huge two-parter Caves & Cliffs update is no longer the development team’s priority, maybe we’ll finally see, at the very least, some love for the next-gen console editions.

Do you think we’ll ever see Minecraft Xbox Series X ray tracing? Let me know down below, we’ve certainly waited a long time to see something like it released.

Minecraft with RTX | Official GeForce RTX Ray Tracing Reveal Trailer

(Minecraft Xbox Series X Technical Demo segment video by Capsule, originally shown off by Austin Evans)