Minecraft Earth is Now Available on iOS and Android in the U.S.
The augmented reality (AR) game lets you collect blocks by exploring the world around you.
Hey Minecraft fans! Minecraft Earth is now available on iOS and Android devices for players in the U.S. Similar to Pokemon Go, the game encourages you to explore the real-world around you in order to collect blocks and other items that can be used in builds that you can explore in augmented reality (AR).
Minecraft Earth uses your real-world location to present you with an in-game map covered in items called “Tappables” that you can tap on when you get close to them. A Tappable may be a cluster of blocks, a tree, or even an animal. Each Tappable contains one or more items that will be added to your in-game backpack.
As you collect items, you can use them in the game’s building mode to create structures just like you would in a normal game of Minecraft. At the beginning, you’ll only have one “buildplate” available to play around on. It’s an 8x8 square with grass and dirt blocks, a small patch of water, a tree, and more. As you play, you’ll level up and will gain access to additional buildplates.
You can interact with these buildplates in two ways, both of which use augmented reality (AR) technology to allow you to view the buildplate on your device's screen as though it’s in the real world in front of you.
The “Build” mode places a small version of the buildplate on the ground (or on another surface) in front of you and lets you quickly remove and place blocks to customize the look of the build. In this mode, you can either play around with the blocks that are already present on the original buildplate (for instance, by picking up a grass block and then placing it down somewhere else), or pull items out of your backpack and add them to the world.
Once you’re done building, you can “Play” with your buildplate, which allows you to place a life-size version of it on the ground in front of you. You can physically walk around in the real-world to "walk" onto and around your buildplate to explore it from all sides on your device. You can also interact with blocks just like you would when playing Minecraft (for instance, by punching a tree to collect wood).
As you collect items, you’ll be able to use crafting and smelting features to create new objects, including tools like swords and shovels, among others. The game also features new varieties of mobs, such as a Muddy Pig and Moobloom, that you can discover over time. Finally, you can play with friends by exploring builds together, or by trying "Adventures," which take place in procedurally generated in-game worlds.
Minecraft Earth is available to download for free on iOS and Android devices. You'll need a Microsoft or Xbox Live account to play the game. While it's free-to-play, Minecraft Earth does offer optional in-app purchases that allow you to buy new buildplates instantly using Rubies, the game's premium currency.
Lastly, while Minecraft Earth is only available in a limited number of countries right now, it’s expected to be available globally before the end of 2019.