Microsoft has announced Minecraft Earth, a new Minecraft mobile game. Minecraft Earth uses augmented reality to bring Minecraft to the real world. The game isn’t being released until later this year, but you can sign up now for the beta.
What Is Minecraft Earth?
Minecraft Earth is a new free-to-play augmented reality mobile game. It’s due to be released on Android and iOS before the end of 2019, with the final release date yet to be confirmed. However, there will be a limited beta this summer.
If you’re not familiar with augmented reality, it’s what powered Pokemon GO. Augmented reality essentially places a virtual world on top of the real world, so that when you look through your phone’s camera you’ll see things that aren’t actually there.
In the case of Minecraft Earth, that means you’ll see the elements you’re familiar with from the existing game in the world around. There’ll be pixelated grass and blocky trees, all designed to blend in with the actual environment you’re inhabiting.
You’ll find Tappables, which you can tap for resources. You’ll find Adventures, which are mini-games which use your phone as a window into this virtual Minecraft world. There will also be mobs of animals such as pigs and chickens, just like in the main game.
Potentially the biggest and best part of Minecraft Earth are the Build Plates. You throw one down to create a plot of land, and you can then build whatever you want on it. And when it’s ready you can blow it up to full scale and literally walk around it.
How Can I Play Minecraft Earth?
Minecraft Earth is going to be released on Android and iOS later this year. However, if you’re keen to get involved before anyone else you can sign up now for the limited beta coming this summer. Just sign up at Minecraft.net/earth for a chance to participate.
Even at this early stage, with details thin on the ground, it’s clear that Minecraft Earth is more ambitious than previous augmented reality efforts such as Pokemon GO. And if Microsoft can pull this off Minecraft Earth could be a game everyone wants to play.
Minecraft Earth represents Microsoft looking to the future of the franchise. However, you can now play Minecraft Classic for free in your browser, giving you the chance to look back at the early days of Minecraft before it became the phenomenon it is today.
For other mobile AR games you can play right now, check out our list of the best augmented reality games for Android and iOS.