Minecraft is one of the most popular games in existence (not an exaggeration). Having arrived on a variety of different platforms over the years, its massive player-base is currently fragmented across all the different devices. Back at E3, Microsoft announced that the game would be getting a big update later this year in order to create a more unified experience for the majority of the Minecraft world. That will come in the form of the new ‘Better Together’ update.
This new update will be for the Windows 10, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and iOS/Android versions of the game. The major new functionality that it will offer is allowing players from all of the aforementioned platforms to be able to connect and play together under the same figurative roof, despite being separated by different devices. Microsoft has released an FAQ sheet which explains a lot of genuine concerns that some folks may have, such as when the update is coming out, cloud-saving features, the transfer of user-made Minecraft worlds, DLC, what’s happening to the other console versions, and more.
You can check out a few highlights below. If you want to read everything (there’s a lot), you can do so over here on the official Minecraft website.
Q: Which version of Minecraft will you be using to unite Minecraft?
A: We’ve been developing the Minecraft version that is currently on mobile and Windows 10 since 2012, also known as our Bedrock Engine, and will be bringing it to Xbox One and Nintendo Switch as part of the Better Together Update.
Q: What will this version be called?
A: At launch, the Bedrock Engine-based version of Minecraft will be called simply Minecraft on all platforms. Our general rule of thumb is that if a version can play together with the others, it’s called Minecraft. The original Java PC version and all other isolated versions will have “Edition” names, like Minecraft: Wii U Edition and Minecraft: Java Edition.
Q: When will the Better Together Update launch?
A: The Better Together Update will launch this Autumn, once it’s ready and we’ve satisfactorily evicted bugs from the premises.
Q: I own Minecraft: Xbox One Edition on disc. Will I be able to get the Better Together Update for free?
A: Players who own Minecraft: Xbox One Edition on disc and have bought DLC or played for at least five hours in the past 12 months will be able to upgrade to Minecraft for free, for a limited time. If you haven’t played in the past 12 months, you can play five hours now and unlock your upgrade.
Q: Is the Better Together Update coming to all editions?
A: The Better Together Update will release for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile, VR and Windows 10 devices this fall. As long as players own the current Minecraft console edition at the time of the Better Together Update’s release, they will receive the new version of the game for free.
Q: What is going to happen to the old console edition?
A: The old console edition will not be available for new purchase after the full release of Minecraft on Xbox One and Switch. Existing owners will still be able to access and play the old console version and minigames, but those versions will not receive updates after the official release of Minecraft.
Q: I really like the worlds that I’ve built in the old version of Minecraft. Can I play them in Minecraft?
A: Yes, worlds from Minecraft: Xbox One Edition will already be there waiting for you in the play screen, so that you can continue playing. We are still working on exactly how this will work on Nintendo Switch.
Q: Are there infinite worlds in Minecraft?
A: Yes! And, if you play with a world from Minecraft: Xbox One Edition or Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition it will keep generating more world when you get to the old edge of your map.
Q: Is there cloud saving in Minecraft?
A: The Bedrock Engine can save files wherever they would naturally go on each platform.
Q: Will DLC content transfer over to the new version of Minecraft?
A: Our goal is to get all the existing DLC content to be transferable from the old version to the new version. For DLC pieces that are currently out on the old console version and Bedrock, like the Greek Mythology Mash-Up Pack, those entitlements will be available on the new version in Beta. A select list of content will only be available on the platform it was purchased on and not available in multiplayer. Herobrine has been removed.
Q: Since you only have to buy DLC once going forward, how will that work with console-exclusive DLC like the Halo Mash-Up Pack?
A: Platform-specific content will only be available on the platform it was purchased on and not available in multiplayer.
Q: What will happen to mini games and season passes? Will those transfer to the new console edition?
A: Players can still enjoy the existing mini games using the old console edition, and with the new version of Minecraft and community servers they’ll have access to thousands of new mini games to try out for free.
Q: Will the new version be available on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch?
A: While we are thrilled to be able to confirm the new version of Minecraft is coming to Nintendo Switch, we are still in discussions with Sony about PlayStation and have nothing to confirm. We would love to work with Sony to bring players on PlayStation 4 into this ecosystem as well.
Q: Will players be required to have an Xbox Live Gold account or Nintendo’s paid online service to use Realms or play online with their consoles? A: We follow the multiplayer policies for the platforms that we are on, so for example, multiplayer on Xbox One will require an Xbox Live Gold account. Players on mobile will still be able to play in multiplayer using a free Xbox Live account.
Q: Are add-ons coming to console editions? A: Users of the new version of Minecraft on consoles can access worlds that already utilize add-ons or resource packs, can download Marketplace content with add-ons, and can use add-ons on USB drives if the platform allows it.