Cyberpunk 2077 has received a new update that brings with it a ray tracing mode called RT Overdrive. The new mode offers incredibly realistic lighting, but it’s also extremely computationally intensive.
According to CD Projekt Red, this mode requires at least an Nvidia RTX 4000 series graphics card or an RTX 3090. This means that many PC gamers are excluded and can only do path tracing in photo mode – at least so far .
Now there’s a new mod that allows even the weakest RTX graphics card to enjoy path tracing at playable refresh rates.
20 to 35 percent more power thanks to Mod
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With the new mod According to Digital Foundry, from the developer “Erok and Scorn”, the performance can be increased by up to 35 percent in RT Overdrive mode. But how can that be?
The solution: The number that reflects light from surfaces is reduced from twice at once.
This saves an enormous amount of computing power, which even makes it possible to play the game with the RTX 3050, currently the weakest ray tracing graphics card from Nvidia, with playable frame rates.
This remains above 30 FPS in most scenes with the mod enabled, DLSS performance and 1080p resolution – and with activated path tracing. The Geforce RTX 3070 even manages a 1440p resolution, although the refresh rate can drop below the 30 FPS limit in some places in the game.
Owners of AMD graphics cards can also use the mod to increase performance considerably, although the gain is lower than that of Nvidia graphics cards. Digital Foundry tested the RX 6800 XT for this: in 1080p resolution and FSR 2.0 Balanced, the AMD graphics card achieves a relatively stable 30 frames per second, with occasional fluctuations towards 20.
PC gamers with Intel Arc graphics cards will have to be patient. RT Overdrive is currently like a slide show on the Intel graphics cards. According to Digital Foundry, this is due to driver problems and not to a lack of performance.
Which trade-offs must be made visually?
Although the surface reflection has been practically halved, the game still looks very impressive and still better than in “normal” ray tracing mode. Most of the differences will be seen in the reflections. With the mod installed, some details are missing in these. In addition, shadows are a lot darker because less light reflects off walls and other surfaces.
The compromise is reasonable: All in all, the visual compromises are visible, but they are not that significant. And above all, they make it possible for significantly more PC gamers to be able to play with path tracing.
By the way, reducing the number of surface reflections is nothing new: in Portal RTX, this is a setting that’s easily found in-game.
Now it’s your turn: If you own Cyberpunk 2077 and a ray tracing-capable graphics card, then try it out for yourself. To install the mod, all you have to do is extract the contents of the ZIP file into the game’s main directory. Then tell us in the comments if you were able to achieve a playable result with it.