Nvidia's latest GPU driver enables ray tracing in Battlefield 5

Battlefield 5 is already past its initial release date for Origin Access Premier subscribers, who were able to start playing the game on November 9. Anyone who preordered the Deluxe version will get the same courtesy on November 15, while the Standard Edition releases on November 20. In preparation for the broader releases, Nvidia is pushing out a new 'Game Ready' GPU driver that is optimized for Battlefield 5, with ray tracing support.

The new 416.94 WHQL driver release is also further optimized for both Fallout 76 and Hitman 2. However, Battlefield 5 is the only one of the bunch to embrace Nvidia's RTX capabilities, and specifically it is the first release to adopt DXR ray tracing support.

"Real-time ray tracing creates the most physical, immersive and visually-striking experiences and we are extremely excited that Battlefield V will be the first game to utilize this technology," said Christian Holmquist, DICE technical director.

In a sense, Nvidia had seemingly put the cart before the horse by developing and releasing its Turing-based RTX series of graphics cards with dedicated ray tracing hardware. But looked at from another angle, Nvidia appears to have gotten the ball rolling, however slowly it might be.

The RTX badge, by the way, is not just about ray tracing—it's a sort of catch-all for some of Turing's new features, including DLSS (deep learning super sampling) and NAS (Nvidia adaptive shading).

So, what kind of wait are early RTX adopters looking at to start utilizing what their new hardware is capable of? It starts right now, essentially. Here's a look at a short-term roadmap Nvidia provided for the remainder of this month:

  • November 14: Battlefield 5 released a patch that added support for the first release of DXR ray tracing.
  • November 14: Final Fantasy XV benchmark with DLSS support will be released publicly by Square Enix at 5 pm PST.
  • November 19: Bethesda will update Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus to add support for Nvidia adaptive shading (NAS).

The hope is that more games offer up support for RTX, and sooner rather than later. Looking ahead, Nvidia previous said that more than two dozen games are gaining DSLL support.

In short, the wait is not over by any stretch, but at least we're now seeing RTX support start to trickle in.

You can grab the latest GPU driver through GeForce Experience, or follow this link to install it manually.