NVIDIA to Detail Cyberpunk 2077 RT: Overdrive Mode at GDC 2023

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It’s still unclear when CD PROJEKT RED plans to drop its RT: Overdrive Mode update for Cyberpunk 2077, but fans may be able to read more about how it works by the end of the month. According to the GDC 2023 Session Viewer, NVIDIA will be hosting an event on the second day of the conference to elaborate on the new and demanding mode, which will bring path tracing to Night City and improve the look of the open-world RPG even further, introducing GPU-crushing features that include NVIDIA RTX Direct Illumination and full-resolution ray-traced reflections. The event will be held on Wednesday, March 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

From a GDC 2023 post:

CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077 is technically one of the most challenging games on the market thanks to its massive world scale and visual variety. Its neon-illuminated environments and vast Night City vistas are already pushing the envelope of what’s currently possible in real-time graphics. RT: Overdrive mode aims to take it to the next level by bringing RTX Path Tracing into the mix.

We all are well too familiar with the limitations of the current real-time direct and indirect lighting algorithms. Things like non-shadow casting lights with non-physically based range, low-resolution indirect light multiplied by screen-space ambient occlusion, or screen-space reflections are still widely used. While delivering satisfying performance on lower-end hardware, they limit maximum image quality and reduce content creator flexibility.

RTX Path Tracing aims to minimize constraints put on the content creators by delivering pixel-perfect soft shadows and indirect light contribution in fully dynamic environments from all the lights – be it an analytical local light, emissive surface, skylight, you name it.

Join our session to find out how the new unified lighting pipeline created by the core algorithms of RTX Path Tracing, can improve the game’s image fidelity while simplifying the direct and indirect lighting pipeline simultaneously.

Welcome to the Future!


Attendee is presented with the current Cyberpunk 2077 rendering pipeline with a full presentation of the benefits that the current Ray Tracing algorithms bring and how much the new Path Tracing approach changes the way we think of the next-generation rendering used in AAA open-world games.

Intended Audience

The presentation is aimed at people familiar with the current lighting pipelines who want to better understand what kind of impact Path Tracing can have on the AAA content. Being familiar with Ray Tracing in general and sampling algorithms (e.g. ReSTIR DI) or denoising is an extra benefit.

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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