Raytracing is the hottest topic around right now, although Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games won’t be taken in by the hype.
When it was first revealed, Star Citizen was absolutely on the forefront of cutting edge PC tech. After six long years, not so much. You would think it would be high on the agenda for CIG, although CIG’s Ben Parry has explained it’s unlikely that it’ll be incorporated.
When asked on forums “Do you, as I, believe that RTX tech will save you devs so much work farther along and look absolutely spanking?”, Parry replied, "Not in the slightest. I expect, if we use it, it'll be a massive headache and time-sink but might give us some subtle improvements in looks or performance if we get it right". So much for ‘It Just Works’.
Tying in nicely to the earlier story on potential console raytracing capabilities, and the current limited market for DXR, Parry said “the added headache is that whatever we offered would have to be an "as well" feature rather than an "instead", developing a feature for a single manufacturer's top-end cards means also maintaining feature parity for everyone else's hardware.”
It’s not all bad news though, as Parry said he himself would “Personally I'd like to use it to make the shadows crispier.” There’s no doubting it would make Star Citizen a better-looking game, but this isn’t exactly a game that needs another development setback in the pursuit of another superfluous addition. Raytracing is certainly nice, but it’s not a must at this stage.
Looking further ahead, ray-tracing tech sounds as if it’s something that could be added to Star Citizen post-launch rather than jammed in now and potentially causing chaos. The number of people playing Star Citizen with RTX graphics cards is probably very small, and until there’s an uptick in RTX users or a greater range of DXR-capable GPUs, then it’s probably not a high priority.