Digital Foundry, a group dedicated to the technical analysis of video games, has provided an in-depth look into Elden Ring’s newly added Ray Tracing, examining its performance and comparison on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X.
This new feature comes as part of the game’s 1.09 update, which also included a few balance changes for PvP and PvE gameplay.
Ray Tracing enabled as part of patch 1.09
Over the past year, FromSoftware has developed a habit of arbitrarily announcing significant news about its magnum opus, with the Colosseum update and the Shadow of the Erdtree reveal being two of the most notable examples. The most recent patch did so once again, bringing Ray Tracing to the Lands Between over a year after release.
Though the 1.09 patch notes for Elden Ring detailed the minimum and recommended settings, a substantial portion of the update was dedicated to bug fixes, indicating the game’s prior technical difficulties.
PC vs XBOX Series X vs PS5
In terms of the Ray Tracing feature itself, Digital Foundry questioned whether it was the best feature to develop, especially when there are so many other tools that the community has been requesting for over a year. The team previously criticized Elden Ring’s PC performance, stating that it “simply isn’t good enough,” citing severe issues with stuttering and frame drops that made the game unplayable at times. Although not as severe this time, Digital Foundry still had concerns regarding the feature’s development.
The Ray Tracing feature is part of the update and is available on PC and all current-gen consoles, except for the Xbox Series S. While the Xbox Series X maintains a frame rate just above thirty frames per second, the less powerful Xbox console would have been unable to provide a meaningful experience with the feature.
Elden Ring Ray Tracing comparison results
There are no noticeable differences between Ray Tracing for PS5 and Xbox Series X, with both providing near-identical quality for RT shadows, ambient occlusion and draw distance for foliage/geometry.
However, players can expect to lose approximately fifteen frames per second if they activate Ray Tracing without changing other settings, and the performance drops significantly for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X. Digital Foundry believes that the addition of Ray Tracing is a welcome surprise, complimenting the shadows and ambient occlusion.
You can check out the video to see a live demo of ray tracing comparisons of Elden Ring between platforms.
Ray tracing shouldn’t be a priority
However, they suggest that efforts should have been directed toward providing higher frame caps for PC or maintaining a more consistent frame rate on consoles. Ultimately, Ray Tracing is just one small addition to the game, and perhaps other features should have taken priority over it.
Moreover, this should look good on Steam Deck considering it has already its native ray tracing enabled.