Cyberpunk 2077 will miss a key feature on AMD graphics cards when it launches

Cyberpunk 2077
(Image credit: Nvidia)

We now know more about Cyberpunk 2077 and its PC system requirements, but the developer has now come forward to clarify that ray tracing won’t be possible for those with AMD graphics cards – at least not at launch.

That means you’ll need an Nvidia RTX GPU to be able to enjoy ray-traced visuals – at least initially, although support for AMD cards is in the pipeline. Marcin Momot, CD Projekt Red’s global community lead, shared this information on Twitter.

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So while ray tracing won’t be live for AMD’s freshly-introduced Big Navi graphics cards at launch, it will be coming down the line – and hopefully the feature won’t be too far away (although as ‘soon as we can’ is obviously pretty open to interpretation in terms of a potential timeframe for arrival).

There’s no reason it shouldn’t work fine with AMD GPUs in principle – Cyberpunk 2077 uses Microsoft’s DirectX Raytracing (DXR), of course – so presumably, the implementation of ray tracing needs further honing to run smoothly enough to be palatable. 

In other words, it’s a question of optimization (although some more cynical folks on Twitter have been quick to raise the cry about ‘exclusive marketing’ in Nvidia’s favor).

Advantage DLSS

Obviously enough, the developer has been working with Nvidia to get ray tracing right for Cyberpunk 2077, but team green clearly has one major advantage up its sleeve – second-gen DLSS, which is very effective in achieving suitably smooth frame rates while turning on those fancy visuals.

Even so, as we saw with the PC requirements, you’ll need an RTX 3070 if you want to run Cyberpunk 2077 in 1440p resolution with ray tracing (and an RTX 3080 to push to 4K resolution).

While ray tracing is an important feature for Cyberpunk 2077 – and something of a showcase for the game, as we’ve seen in previews – it’s not like Night City is going to look pants without it. But still, when you look at where gaming is headed – and the next-gen consoles – ray tracing is clearly the path the industry is taking.

Right now, however, while AMD’s new Big Navi graphics cards offer great performance levels overall, as we’ve seen in our reviews, ray tracing is a definite weak point. So if that’s a key aspect for you, then it’s Nvidia all the way at the moment – a point that Cyberpunk 2077 underlines.

Via PC Gamer

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).