DICE is deploying the first major update for Battlefield V shortly, albeit slightly delayed from its targeted arrival today. Tucked in among all the content inclusions is a major revamp of DirectX Raytracing (DXR) performance for PC players who own Nvidia GeForce RTX 20 Series graphics cards.

Real-time ray-traced reflection performance is up by as much as 50%, meaning ray-traced Battlefield V at a locked 60 frames per second is now well and truly achievable.

In a new video posted by Nvidia, it’s now possible to get 62 frames per second with a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti when playing BF5 at 1440p with Ultra quality ray tracing, compared with 34fps prior to this patch. It looks absolutely fantastic as well, so skip to about 35 seconds in the video to check that out.

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 can hit 63fps on 1440p with DXR set to Medium quality, up from 32fps previously. Meanwhile, the lower-end GeForce RTX 2070 shows a slightly less marked improvement, hitting a respectable 72fps on 1080p / Low DXR, compared to 56 frames per second prior to the update.

The improved frame rates have primarily come about as a result of a technique known as Variable Rate Ray-Tracing. It’s actually a little bit similar to the Adaptive Shading feature for Wolfenstein II and allows DICE to focus the ray-tracing effects on the areas that matter, rather than the entire image. Using Variable Rate Ray-Tracing, DICE can identify the areas where the materials are the most reflective, improving the quality level in these areas while shifting away resources from other, less reflective, areas. DICE is also using Boundary Volume Hierarchies (BVH) for faster rendering of triangle intersections, optimised foliage, shader optimisations, and more. “We are just scratching the surface of optimising ray tracing performance” says Nvidia’s Jiho Choi.

Battlefield 5 is the first ever game to feature real-time ray-tracing so it stands to reason there are going to be a number of teething issues. Evidently, DICE was pushed for time in terms of getting DXR support included in time for BFV’s November 20th launch, leaving a lot of room for additional optimisation work. There are definitely a few tweaks and tricks that can be used to achieve stable performance with greatly impacting visual fidelity.