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Broken blocks? Bare-handed tree punching? Steve? It can only be one game: Minecraft.

Last October, Microsoft snapped up Minecraft developer Mojang in a deal worth an estimated $2.5bn Microsoft Buys Minecraft, How To Delete U2 From iTunes, And More... [Tech News Digest] Microsoft Buys Minecraft, How To Delete U2 From iTunes, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Windows 9 is incoming, iPhone 6 preorders, Kickstarter expansion, Surge is back, and texting Groot. Read More . This is now August, Windows 10 has just arrived and with it the Minecraft Windows 10 Edition Beta. The Minecraft franchise is undoubtedly an eye-turner for Microsoft, as well as a nice revenue earner. But why do we have a new Windows 10 Edition, and what sets it aside from vanilla Minecraft The (Latecomer) Beginner's Guide To Minecraft The (Latecomer) Beginner's Guide To Minecraft If you're late to the party though, don't worry - this extensive beginner's guide has you covered. Read More ?

What’s Good?

New operating system 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is coming on July 29. Is it worth upgrading for free? If you are looking forward to Cortana, state of the art gaming, or better support for hybrid devices - yes, definitely! And... Read More , new Minecraft version = new features. Minecraft has now shipped 20 million units on the PC, with a further 20 million through combined console sales. It doesn’t look like slowing either, with Microsoft and Mojang offering up a slew of new features for the Minecraft Windows 10 Beta.

Minecraft Windows 10 Edition is doing away with the traditional Java-based affair in favor of an extended Pocket Version build. The PC version of Minecraft switched to a self-contained version of Java back in March, so removing this continual irritant from your system won’t affect your chance of bumping into Herobrine. This edition doesn’t mean the PC version is dying, rather this will run alongside it with additional networking features.

Minecraft Xbox Sign In

The really big draw is cross-platform play, enabling you to play with your friends also running the Pocket Version, connecting via a Local Area Network, or through Xbox Live Here's How Gaming Will Work With Windows 10 Here's How Gaming Will Work With Windows 10 With Windows 10, Microsoft is bringing PC gaming and the Xbox One together in a big way. Find out what to expect once Windows 10 arrives. Read More . However, this is currently limited to eight-player sessions – something I really enjoy, but others hate – and as yet there is no connecting to Android, iOS, and Windows Phone Pocket Editions. The latter is set to change in an Autumn update with the arrival of dedicated servers, but there is no definitive date announced.

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In my couple of hours playing it was extremely nice being able to switch from keyboard and mouse to an Xbox controller Can You Use Your Controller With A Game That Does Not Recognize It? Can You Use Your Controller With A Game That Does Not Recognize It? You have just purchased a new PC game, you plug in your controller in eager anticipation and … oh, no, not recognized! Don't despair there is a way to solve the problem. Read More , not least because the Minecraft/touchpad combination is awkward as heck. Simply plugging in was nice; no more lengthy work arounds using third-party software. Another big plus!

And The Not-So-Good?

Well, it is the Pocket Version. It’ll be great for connecting mobile mining worlds, but what of the multitude of mods 5 Minecraft Mods That Give The Game A Whole New Life 5 Minecraft Mods That Give The Game A Whole New Life There are a lot of Minecraft mods, and they do everything that you could imagine, and perhaps some things you couldn’t. Read More  most Minecraft players treasure? Similarly, what of Realms? These are both core issues for the Windows 10 Edition, issues that could very well instigate a slower than expected take-up of the Beta. That said, it is the Beta version, and we are only playing with version 0.12.20.

Minecraft_Windows_10_Edition_Beta_2015-08-14_22-49-37

However, the switch from an isolated Java instance to a pure C++ architecture could hurt Microsoft and Minecraft in the short-term. Modders used to the comparatively easier to reverse engineer Java may take some time to rebuild the most popular mods, and in some cases may well decide the audience size and potential returns aren’t worth the effort. The Java desktop version isn’t going to be phased out either, at least until modding the new edition is finalized.

Up until the latest version update the Windows 10 Edition was only playing ball with x64 systems, leaving us lowly x86 users out in the cold. There are also problems with mouse sensitivities and irregularities stemming from the touch-based Pocket Device system translated to desktops and laptops, and in some ways, I agree. The user interface, while true to Minecraft, feels overly bulky with the feel of a port rather than designed for the platform.

How You Get It

The Minecraft Windows 10 Edition Beta is currently available on the Windows Store for $9.99.

Readers in ownership of the PC version can grab the Beta for free by logging into your Mojang account, and following the links. Note: this is the mitigated Mojang account, not your old Minecraft.net account. It’s good to see Microsoft honoring the original Minecraft purchase promise; I’m still getting each edition free after five years. Not bad for a 5 Euro investment!

There is also a 90-minute trial available which I must admit I used as I didn’t heed my own advice regarding mitigated Mojang accounts.

Minecraft_Windows_10_Edition_Beta_2015-08-14_13-29-30

What’s It Like?

I’ve had a Minecraft account since the very early days, the very first few thousand users. Oh, how I played…and played…and played, until my eyes were red from smashing tiny cubes and building beautiful glass structures. And then, I was utterly burnt out and, along with a good proportion of my friends, stopped playing entirely.

Minecraft_Windows_10_Edition_Beta_2015-08-14_13-23-16

Picking Minecraft up again wasn’t the relapse I’d imagined, and almost somewhat hoped for. Yes, the immediate urge to mine ore and build super-fortresses was there, but I wasn’t. However, the draw distance was truly impressive, and as I mentioned above, being able to plug my 360 controller in without issue was massively pleasing.

Further Xbox Live integration, the achievements, the block-counter, and a general sense of direction all purveyed a Beta heading in the right direction. For those new to Minecraft 8 Reasons To Try Playing Minecraft [We Ask You Results] 8 Reasons To Try Playing Minecraft [We Ask You Results] With the aid of the ever-helpful MakeUseOf readership, we set out to discover exactly why people play Minecraft. Read More , this could be really fun. For those used to the PC version, or in any way jaded by previous blocky excursions through the biomes, this might not ignite your fire.

I mean, without being overly harsh this really feels like Pocket Version + Some Not Quite Ready Features + Universal App = profit.

Anything Else?

Yes! Microsoft is working on a HoloLens version of Minecraft which quite frankly does look awesome. Take a look:

If Minecraft Windows 10 Edition is a nice addition to the roster, Minecraft HoloLens will be the #1 draft pick. Almost anyone lucky enough to try the Minecraft HoloLens demo at E3 reported wildly good things – though some did note the field of view limitations, and the very narrow window of operation causing the virtual to unexpectedly disappear from view.

As well as this, Minecraft is set to expand its offerings with a narrative-driven Story Mode, developed with Telltale Games. Telltale Games developed The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones episodic games 5 Lesser Known Episodic Games on Steam You Should be Playing 5 Lesser Known Episodic Games on Steam You Should be Playing Don't call it a comeback. Episodic games have been here for years! Read More so their input should deliver something engaging that’ll live up to the standards of the Minecraft hardcore.

I’m glad I have my free version of Minecraft, though for the current price of $9.99 the Beta isn’t a bad proposition. With more features to arrive, controller support, and the prospect of dedicated servers to come, it could be time to reignite your Minecraft addiction.

Have you played the Minecraft Windows 10 Beta? What did you think? Is it too limited? Let us know below!

  1. david
    December 6, 2016 at 11:21 am

    i play minecraft windows 10 beta 16.2 and i think it is better than java version on windows

    • Gavin Phillips
      December 6, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Interesting. What do you think makes it better? Do you miss the mods?

  2. James Bruce
    December 1, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    What I find really funny is that the official VR support for Minecraft Windows 10 is atrocious and puke-inducing, and uses an Xbox controller – while the unofficial Vivecraft mod for actual Minecraft is awesome, and has had hand tracking for ages. I've spent hours playing that in VR. How does Microsoft consistently screw everything up so royally? This is exactly why I have little hope for Hololens.

  3. Dan G
    November 30, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Hey guys!!

    I play minecraft alot on xbox360 previously and now xbox one, and I now use win 10 edition.
    I have been very interested in pc version as I am dying to get mods on the go lol.

    The issue I have is that windows 10 edition does not yet have mod options. I do hope your listening up good Microsoft & mojang!!! If you dont hurry and update win10 edition to recieve mods you may find that you will lose money, as people like myself and of course the myriad of youtube vloggers and kids and adult kids depend on these exellent features.

    Try and think of it like this. make awesome mods and sell them to make more money, and before you make a huge mistake , make sure you include all the existing mods too.

    Just a thought, from little old me who hears the word on the street.

    Regards,
    Dan.

    • Gavin
      December 1, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Hey Dan,

      I'm still amazed they haven't brought modding to Minecraft W10 Edition. It really boggles my mind. I think having two tiers of MC probably suits MS. Nonetheless, as a core feature of the original game and something that makes it infinitely more exciting - and therefore appealing to a wider audience - you would think MS would introduce some functionality.
      Be that through the store, or official mods, or whatever.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. John
    October 6, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    You didn't mention that the Windows 10 version of Minecraft doesn't have colored stained glass (a minor omission) AND doesn't allow trading with Villagers (A MAJOR OMISSION). You find emeralds, you find villages, but you can't interact with the residents in any way.

    • Gavin
      October 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      If that is the case, John, I genuinely wasn't aware at the time of writing. My apologies.

  5. David Hansen
    September 12, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Been playing beta version for 2 months. Would be nice if iron ore had been included with the game.

    • Gavin
      October 6, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Wait, what?

  6. RJ
    July 20, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    the thing I'm confused of is.. can oyu download minecraft java edition on a windows ten computer?i don't wanna waste my money buying a pc game card and all that stuff and download java and all that stuff for nothing. before I try and do it, can one of you guys answer this please?

    • Nicholas Maguire
      July 20, 2016 at 11:05 pm

      Of course you can :) It's still Windows, it can run old Windows apps or new ones.

  7. Your mom
    June 4, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    I played it and it is ok, seeing as the worlds are not limited in size like the “real” PE. I have the Vita version and I was bummed to see the limits, though thinking about it I can see why portable Minecraft cannot go on forever. I wonder how big the W10 Edition is. The Vanilla remains the go-to version for purists, and I will buy it soon, because I’ve pirated it for too long.

  8. Your mom
    June 4, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    While I have not played the windows 10 version, I have played both the mobile version and the “experimental” version released for the raspberry pi. In this comment, I am using my playtime of those, and the old java minecraft. Both of them run quite smoothly but, as so many others mentioned, this new version will kill off linux and mac users (assuming that they will cut support for the old minecraft). At this point in time, I am not going to switch to windows 10 version and am sticking with the older java version as it has a very developed modding community. I will make the switch if they complete my wish list:mod support, server support, porting all or most of the popular mods over, compatible on other operating systems. Microsoft, I wish you the best of luck , but tread carefully, otherwise you will lose the minecraft fanbase.

  9. Stefan
    April 25, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I played it and it is ok, seeing as the worlds are not limited in size like the "real" PE. I have the Vita version and I was bummed to see the limits, though thinking about it I can see why portable Minecraft cannot go on forever. I wonder how big the W10 Edition is. The Vanilla remains the go-to version for purists, and I will buy it soon, because I've pirated it for too long.

  10. fuzz bucket
    April 10, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Any success stories on how to run the old PC version on a Windows 10 machine? Mine has stopped running and the new beta version is nowhere near as good with multi-player.

    • Gavin Phillips
      April 10, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      Sorry, Fuzz Bucket, I don't stay up-to-date with Minecraft news or versions, and a cursory Google hasn't really uncovered any specific information that would help you. Do you mean you're running an old client and it no longer works, or an up-to-date client (not W10 Beta version) that is refusing to do the job? While the new version certainly exists, I didn't think there were any plans to phase the older version out, only to update and replace some of the underlying code to make it more W10 friendly. Sorry to not be more helpful!

  11. unlisted
    April 8, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    While I have not played the windows 10 version, I have played both the mobile version and the "experimental" version released for the raspberry pi. In this comment, I am using my playtime of those, and the old java minecraft. Both of them run quite smoothly but, as so many others mentioned, this new version will kill off linux and mac users (assuming that they will cut support for the old minecraft). At this point in time, I am not going to switch to windows 10 version and am sticking with the older java version as it has a very developed modding community. I will make the switch if they complete my wish list:mod support, server support, porting all or most of the popular mods over, compatible on other operating systems. Microsoft, I wish you the best of luck , but tread carefully, otherwise you will lose the minecraft fanbase.

    • Gavin Phillips
      April 10, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      I'm really surprised the modding support hasn't arrived yet. It really was central to the explosion in popularity a few years ago, and is what has kept the game fresh for the many millions of players. There can be no sense in excluding Linux, Mac, and the modders. It would, as you say, lose the Minecraft fanbase. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  12. Adam
    March 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    They are basically making it Impossible to play PC now unless you have a Mac

    • Gavin Phillips
      April 10, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Hey Adam, could you explain this a little more? Should PC be MC?

  13. Mars
    February 19, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Does it have creative mode?

    • Charlie King
      March 14, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      YES. It does have creative mode.

  14. Anon
    January 21, 2016 at 12:38 am

    Booting fast at what cost? I prefer my worlds that can go to 2+ billion X and Z coordinates. I like playing Minecraft on any PC/Mac/Linux box.

    Microsoft wants more people using non-Oracle products (Java). Instead of focusing on making the Java code more stable, moddable, and secure they are writing machine specific code from scratch. No more playing on Mac OS X, no Linux, no operating system of choice. Write once in Java and play on many platforms.

    I have been hosting a private Minecraft server for friends and family using Linux operating system since early 2010 (I bought 4 alpha copies) accessible from the Internet. I have 8 to 12 users simultaneously connected and play without issues. The server view distance is set to 16. All the clients are set to 12 (some slower computers) to 16.

    Minecraft uses a lot of disc I/O. Use a server with an M.2 form factor SSD (Samsung Pro 950) and your server will be humming along.

    Hosting many Minecraft servers will cause performance issues with I/O so the hosting servers will turn down the view distance. Say no to fog! Keep a nice big view distance.

    I play Minecraft with family and friends. I use NVidia SLI + Surround configuration with desktop resolution at 5760 x 1080. Minecraft looks great.

  15. MonkezBoi
    January 8, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    I don't see the point in porting over something that is already on PC. The UI looks awful (What you Expect Mobile Port) 7 people in a server only (Wow! No dedicated Servers :( ) No mods (Game gonna get boring really quick) Once it gets mods it won't be as good (C++ Is harder than Java) One more thing Won't get many Free skins (Microsoft, what you expect they want to earn more money) The only good thing is it's cheap and you can play with people on mobile, which is strange cause why would you want that?

    • Gavin Phillips
      April 10, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Maybe Microsoft are hoping for a TF2 hat economy xD

    • Dan
      December 1, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Java? C++? Harder?
      Has anyone ever heard of syntax for Chris sake.

  16. Krypt Twotwotwo
    October 10, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Although still in Beta, Minecraft W10E kicks tons of ass already. Its super smooth, you can load an "infinite" world in SECONDS, combat is smooth, you can use a custom character just like the Java version... Its great. Whereas it is STILL in Beta, I its got a long way to come but its doing a great job already. I was skeptical at first about spending $10 on what everybody called a "bigger pocked edition" but I can say its a totally different feel and definitely worth the money (its FREE for previous owners of the Java Version!)! I think Microsoft will take Minecraft in the right direction and am excited about what is to come! I am a proud owner of Minecraft XB360, Minecraft XB1, Minecraft PE, and Minecraft Windows 10 Edition! 10/10

  17. Alex Dethier
    August 28, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Can someone explain the differences?

    • Krypt Twotwotwo
      October 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Having played all versions I can say that W10E is a whole new experience for me. It loads in seconds and everything is super smooth. Its lacking a lot of features everything else has and there IS this one thing I hate where like... you use an item for too long and the item slot fills green, then you drop your item. Dont know what thats about and to stop it, you put the item in your inventory then back on the hot bar and it stops. Its in BETA and still has a long way to go but Im playing the hell out of it and is totally worth it. :)

      • Gavin Phillips
        April 10, 2016 at 9:33 pm

        Has this error stopped now, Krypt?

    • MonkezBoi
      January 8, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      It's a mobile port, difference solved.

  18. Nicholas Maguire
    August 26, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    I love the Windows 10 Edition. It runs so much better than the old Java version did.

    • RJ
      July 20, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      so, you can play java edition even on a W10 computer?

      • Nicholas Maguire
        July 20, 2016 at 11:06 pm

        Of course. Windows 10 is still Windows, it can play anything built for Windows, including Minecraft java version.

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