Breath of the Wild is a gorgeous game, right? Well, it's about to get even gorgeouser. We might even say gorgeousest.

With the use of just two mods, one to add a raytracing reshade and another to add "infinite tree LOD" (level of detail), Breath of the Wild can look like this:

BOTW raytracing
Image: Digital Dreams

To explain what on earth raytracing and tree LODs are:


Game developers use a variety of tricks to simulate lighting, most of which involve treating individual visual situations on a case-by-case basis. Raytracing is a more complicated and graphically demanding process, so most computers (and consoles) can't handle it, but it's also more hands-off for the developers because the computer is doing all the lighting simulation work.

Raytracing calculates how each individual ray of light would be cast, and where it would bounce and reflect, giving a more accurate simulation of real-world lighting. As a result, it is also capable of simulating reflections, depth of field, and caustics (the wiggly water reflections).

Infinite tree LOD

Breath of the Wild (and most games) saves on rendering time by unloading textures when you aren't looking at them, or when the object is far away. You might have seen this in games, when you look at something in the distance and it's a low-resolution 2D picture. Infinite LOD (level of detail) makes it so that the textures are always high-resolution, even when you're far away.

In super-duper layman's terms, though: It looks really pretty, and you need a beefy computer and an emulator to even have a hope of running the game. Guess we'll just stick with our regular-flavoured Breath of the Wild, then!