Cross-platform play! Super Duper Graphics! In-game servers!
This E3 we shared our plans to introduce the Better Together Update to unify console, mobile and Windows 10 versions of the game under a single edition. And that’s not all! This swish new version brings in-game multiplayer servers, an update to give your worlds a lick of graphical paint, and cross-platform support - letting console, Win 10 and mobile Minecrafters play together for the first time!
We've put together this handy post, with a summary of what this mean for your Minecraft:
Better Together Update
A game all about teamwork, building together and creating communities shouldn't be restricted to one device, which is why our Better Together Update introduces cross-platform play, breaking down the barriers and letting people play the same complete Minecraft with each other across devices! We've wanted to integrate cross-platform for ages, essentially making a version of Minecraft that's consistent no matter what device you're choosing to play on.
So going forward, the edition you'll find on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile and VR will simply be known as 'Minecraft', a separate entity from 'Minecraft: Java Edition', which is the original PC game (that we'll continue to support, of course). This means when you buy 'Minecraft', you're buying a game that can you can play with friends across devices.
Anyone playing the game on Windows 10, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and VR devices will be able to play online together. If you own Minecraft for your mobile or VR device, you'll get this as a free update this summer. If you own Minecraft: Xbox One Edition or Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition, you’ll receive the brand new version of Minecraft for free, and your existing worlds and DLC will come along to the new version with you. What’s more, any DLC you purchase will be accessible amongst the various devices at no extra charge. (For example: if you buy the Greek Mythology pack on Nintendo Switch, you’ll also own it on the mobile, Xbox One and Windows 10 Editions too - no extra charge).
Independent servers, run by members of the amazing Minecraft community, have been around since the earliest days of the game. They're essentially online platforms where you can socialise, play and collaborate with millions of other players! Basically, servers make it easier for you to enjoy multiplayer Minecraft and access new mini-games, worlds, and friends to craft with! Nice!
Unlike Minecraft Realms, which gives you access to a private, cloud-hosted world for you and your friends, servers are open and accessible to everyone - some have monthly users in the millions!
So this Summer, all platforms receiving the Better Together Update will then have a server browser in the Minecraft start menu. This'll let you search a list of servers which you can join right away! We'll be launching with four servers – Lifeboat, Mineplex, InPVP, and CubeCraft - with more to follow. Plus we've made sure that parental controls and other safety features will be in place, so you decide what your child can access. We'll have a more detailed summary of servers closer to the update. After all, we live to serve(er)! ...sorry.
Super Duper Graphics Pack
Finally, this Fall, we'll be releasing a free update that allows you to boost Minecraft's graphics. Minecraft will get 4K HDR graphics which include improved lighting, shadows, water effects... basically, it'll be like giving your eyes a luxury massage. This’ll be available to folks playing on Xbox One, Windows 10, iOS, mobile, and VR - essentially every platform that gets our Better Together update.
We'll also be releasing new DLC, the Super Duper Graphics Pack. On top of the free 4K update, the Super Duper Graphics Pack introduces features like dynamic shadows, lighting that streams through fog, movement in leaves and grass, new textures for mobs and villagers, directional lighting, edge highlighting and more! This Pack will be available on Xbox One and Windows 10, performing best on high-end PCs and the Xbox One X (formerly known as Project Scorpio).
Now keep in mind that these are entirely optional. We wanted to take advantage of 4K gaming and give players a whole new way to see the game. But only if you want! Minecraft's original lovely look is going nowhere. We'll have more info about the release date of the free 4K update and Super Duper Graphics Pack DLC closer to release.
And that's it! We hope you're excited as we are about this year’s plans for Minecraft. 4K gaming, cross-platform play and in-game servers... makes you wonder how we could possibly top this next year! Gulp. Happy crafting!