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Battlefield 2042 gets ray tracing and a new trailer to show how good it’ll look on PC

Battlefield 2042 scene with ray-traced shadows ambient occlusion
(Image credit: EA / Nvidia)

Battlefield 2042 is getting a host of goodies for PC gamers who own an Nvidia RTX graphics card, including ray tracing, with the impact that this will make shown off in a new trailer.

The PC tech trailer illustrates why Nvidia is boasting that the ‘definitive’ version of Battlefield 2042 will be experienced on a GeForce RTX-based PC, with ray tracing (ray-traced ambient occlusion, to be precise) and Nvidia DLSS to ensure that those ray-traced visuals are fluid and smooth.

There’ll also be Nvidia Reflex tech to ensure competitive gamers benefit from a much-reduced level of input lag, meaning that when you press the mouse button to fire your gun, this action happens in-game more quickly (only very slightly more swiftly, admittedly, but every millisecond counts in competitive online gaming).

While all these Nvidia bells and whistles have been announced before, now you can see what Battlefield 2042 actually looks like with all these graphical goodies. Unsurprisingly, the trailer is littered with impressive scenes and a suitably large number of explosions.

Nvidia further reminds us that Battlefield 2042 is out on November 19, but early access will kick off a week before that on November 12 (you can check out our early impressions here, by the way).


Analysis: Looking good indeed (with the slight exception of choppy choppers)?

The trailer looks nifty, and shows the jewel in the PC’s RTX crown: ray-traced ambient occlusion. In basic terms, this refers to more realistic shadow effects in certain scenarios (darker areas where light is occluded or blocked), and overall a more natural look for the game.

The one hiccup with the footage is that in places, particularly the first helicopter flight, the action seems a little choppy. We obviously can’t go off a trailer for how smooth the actual game will seem, of course – and that’s very much rig-dependent anyway, naturally – but it’s an interesting observation nonetheless.

Note that early access (on November 12) is available only to those who are EA Play Pro members, or who have pre-ordered the Battlefield 2042 Gold or Ultimate editions. If you take the plunge, Nvidia reminds you to update to the latest GeForce Game Ready Driver for the best performance in the shooter (and another fresh driver will be out just before the full release of the game).

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).