Better Together FAQ

All the mysteries of the mega-update revealed!

The Better Together update IS HERE! WOOO! YAAAY!

Wait! What does that mean?! It means that we’ve taken the first big step toward unifying Minecraft for console, mobile and Windows 10 into one lovely shiny edition of Minecraft. And what does that mean? That means players on those platforms will be able to join each other in-game, create, cooperate or compete together on massive servers, and access whatever swish skins and Marketplace adventure maps they own on any of their compatible devices. You can read more about the fancy features in the update here.

You probably have a few more questions about just how this whole platform convergence is meant to shake down. And so we put together this crazy long FAQ for you. So many questions! So many answers! And we're not done yet - we'll probably be tweaking and adding to this FAQ as more info comes in.

So...

LET THE QUESTIONING BEGIN!

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, VR and Windows 10 since 2012, also known as our Bedrock Engine, and have brought it to Xbox One as part of the Better Together Update. This version will be coming to Nintendo Switch as well.

Q: What will this version be called?

A: Going forward, 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: How will the Better Together Update change my experience playing Minecraft?

A: The Better Together Update will bring the latest and most-requested features to more platforms, and give more players the chance to connect in more ways – via Realms, massive multiplayer servers, and cross-platform play.

Q: Why are you renaming the PC version of Minecraft? Does this mean that you are stopping development on the PC version?

A: Now that we have finally achieved a unified Minecraft which can be played on most devices, we wanted to simplify things and make it clear that they can all play together, so it felt to be the right time to simply call them Minecraft. We also found that the community refers to the Java PC version as the Java Edition, so it felt natural to rename it to make it more distinctive from the other versions of the game. We plan on actively supporting the Java Edition going forward with updates as we always have and have also welcomed several new members to the development team in Stockholm.

Q: How long will the Better Together Update be available as a free download to players who own the console version of the game?

A: Owners of the disc version of Minecraft: Xbox One Edition will have until January 30th 2018 to have played Minecraft for five or more hours in the past 12 months OR purchased a DLC Pack. There is no cutoff for digital Minecraft: Xbox One Edition owners.

Q: Is the Better Together Update coming to all editions?

A: The Better Together Update is available starting today for players on Xbox One, mobile, VR and Windows 10 devices. We’re working to bring the Better Together Update to additional platforms such as the Nintendo Switch, and we will have more updates to share soon.

Q: Is there cloud saving in Minecraft?

A: The Bedrock Engine can save files wherever they would naturally go on each platform. Saves are cloud-based on Xbox One, and local on all other platforms.

Q: How close in parity are Bedrock Engine platforms and the PC/Java Edition these days?

A: There will always be small differences. Going forward we plan on releasing updates for PC Java and Bedrock in similar timeframes.

Q: When will the Bedrock Engine be coming to Mac/older Windows versions/Linux?

A: We’re always looking for new platforms where there is significant enough demand to bring Minecraft. If there are platforms you are interested in where we aren’t already, please let us know at feedback.minecraft.net.

Q: Is the Better Together Update safe for kids?

A: The Better Together Update will enable players to discover new content and creations across all devices, as well as the option to find new and like-minded players, as with any multiplayer game. Helping keep kids safe online is a priority for Minecraft, and we provide parental controls across platforms via Xbox LIVE which help parents choose the content, communication and sharing settings that are right for their families. For many, the most important of these is making sure that your kids are using child accounts which you have control over. To do this on Xbox, you can find out more at https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/xbox-one-privacy-and-online-safety

Q: Where's the Super Duper Graphics DLC?

A: This wasn't part of the initial Better Together update. We're not quite ready to announce a release date yet, but we aim to release this year.

Console

Q: I own Minecraft: Xbox One Edition on disc. Will I be able to get the Better Together Update for free?

A: If you own Minecraft: Xbox One Edition on disc and have played for at least 5 hours in the past 12 months or bought DLC, you’ll be able to upgrade to Minecraft for free, until January 30th 2018. If you haven’t played in the past 12 months, you can play five hours or purchase DLC before January 30th 2018 to unlock your upgrade.

Q: What’s the Better Together Update redemption process for disc owners?

A: You’ll need to log into Xbox Live (no need for gold) and insert the disc. You can either wait for the prompt once the game starts or go to the Xbox Store, where you’ll will find the new version of the game. If you’ve either played five hours in the last 12 months, or have bought DLC at any time, the new game should show up as free to download. If not, you can fulfill either of the conditions above before January 30th 2018 and then come back to the store to download. Please be prepared for a short wait, though - as it may take us a few days to process all the redemption requests.

Q: What’s the deal with the five-hour requirement?

A: The five-hour requirement is designed to help us separate real accounts from fake ones. Owners of the disc version of Minecraft: Xbox One Edition will have to have played Minecraft for five or more hours in the past 12 months OR purchased a DLC Pack. They have until January 30th 2018 to do this.

Q: How do I know which version of Minecraft is which?

A: The old version of Minecraft is called Minecraft: Xbox One Edition. The new version is just called Minecraft. You will see the name of the game on the splash-screen when you launch it.

Q: Why isn’t the Better Together Update available for Nintendo Switch yet?

A: We’re working really hard with our partners at Nintendo to accomplish cross-device connectivity that is yet unprecedented in the history of gaming. This is very exciting work, but introduces lots of complexities to the development process. So, we’re continuing development work to bring Minecraft to Nintendo Switch and will release it once it’s ready.

Q: What is going to happen to the old console edition?

A: The old console edition will not be available for new purchases 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 own Minecraft: Xbox One Edition on disc and played for at least 5 hours, or made a purchase within the qualifying time period. Where is my game?

A: If you’re eligible based on your purchases or game play, you will see a copy of Minecraft available in Ready to install under My games & apps. If you don’t see this available then make sure that you’re signed in with the same account that was used to play or purchase content.

Q: I earned achievements when I played the original console versions of Minecraft – do I get to keep them?

A: Yes – any achievements that you already earned will continue to show on your Xbox account under Minecraft: Xbox One Edition. You can continue playing the old console version to continue earning any that you’ve missed. When you play Minecraft, it has its own separate set of achievements since it is a new game.

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 convert them and 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: Which DLC content will transfer over from Minecraft: Xbox One Edition?

A: Most content items will transfer over, be available to be used or purchased on any Bedrock Engine platform and be used in multiplayer with a few exceptions due to licensing restrictions:

Playable on Xbox Only, Not Purchasable, Not Usable in Multiplayer:

  • Simpsons Skin Pack
  • Marvel Avengers Skin Pack
  • Marvel Spider-Man Skin Pack
  • Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Skin Pack

Carries Over from Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, Not Purchasable due to Limited Time offer, Usable in Multiplayer:

  • Minecon 2015 Skin Pack

Doesn’t Carry Over from Minecraft: Xbox One Edition to Minecraft due to licensing restrictions:

  • Mass Effect Mash-Up Pack
  • Doctor Who Skins Volume I
  • Doctor Who Skins Volume II
  • First Birthday Skin Pack
  • Second Birthday Skin Pack
  • Third Birthday Skin Pack
  • Fourth Birthday Skin Pack
  • Fifth Birthday Skin Pack

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 (including servers) 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: How do I purchase a Realms subscription and access the Marketplace on my console?

A: To purchase a Realms subscriptions or Marketplace content, you will need to launch the new Minecraft version of the game on your console – this will not work with Minecraft: Xbox One Edition.

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.

Q: When will players on consoles be able to use custom skins or generate custom superflat and amplified worlds?

A: We’re working on bringing these features to Minecraft in a future update – stay tuned!

Q: I own Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition already. Does this mean I can play Minecraft on Xbox One?

A: Minecraft is not an Xbox Play Anywhere title – if you want to play on Xbox One, you’ll need to purchase Minecraft separately. Visit the Minecraft page for more info on how to purchase on Xbox One.

Servers / Online Play / Realms

Q: How does server integration into Minecraft and the Minecraft Marketplace work?

A: You can now easily find and access community servers right from within Minecraft itself using the server browser. The server browser has a list of vetted servers you can join with one touch. Not only are we partnering with these servers to offer integrated access directly from Minecraft, but we are also providing them with monetization, store, wallet and login backend support. This takes a lot of administrative and backend work off of their plate so that they can focus on creating and maintaining great online communities.

Q: Why are you adding servers to Minecraft?

A: Minecraft has always been a game about creativity, community, and innovation. Minecraft servers open up the world of Minecraft by offering players access to a ton of minigames made by the community and millions of Minecraft players who come together to socialize and play Minecraft online.

Q: How do prospective server partners go about getting incorporated into the server browser?

A: Server owners who would like to participate in our partner program can apply at http://developer.microsoft.com/Minecraft. While we have three servers at launch, we are planning on introducing more servers into the game as time goes on.

Q: Who are servers for?

A: All Minecraft players can use the servers when logged into their Xbox Live account. Minecraft server hosts are required to have registered business identities to apply for the program.

Q: Do I need an Xbox Live account to join a server?

A: Yes, you need a free Xbox Live account in order to access servers from Minecraft. An Xbox Live account is an important part of the player identity that helps players keep track of progress, identity and purchases; and helps server moderators and Minecraft and Xbox support teams keep players safe.

Q: Which servers are included right now?

A: Lifeboat, InPvP and Mineplex are our first server partners. We’re planning on adding more servers over time.

Q: Why did you choose these partners instead of others? Will you be adding more?

A: ll of the servers available at launch have experience hosting servers for Bedrock Engine platforms, as well as experience managing servers with tens of thousands of concurrent players at any time. Similar to the Minecraft Marketplace, we encourage server hosts to apply at creator.microsoft.com/Minecraft to become a server partner. Also like Marketplace partners, server partners will need to have examples of their work hosting Minecraft servers, be a registered business and, for now, be able to host their own servers.

Q: Can I still access other servers via direct IP connect?

A: Players will still be able to access servers from beyond the servers listed in the server browser from mobile. On consoles, due to platform restrictions, server access is limited to partner servers only.

Q: What does this mean for the future of Minecraft? Will the studio stop updating the game because new gameplay and minigames are available via servers?

A: No, similar to the launch of Minecraft Marketplace, we will still share new content and update the game, but we’re also implementing a range of options and new creations from the community.

Q: How do I play mini-games from the old console edition?

A: Mini-games are only available in Minecraft: Xbox One Edition – if you want to continue playing them, you can launch Minecraft: Xbox One Edition and enjoy playing against other people on your console.

Q: What is an Invite Link for Minecraft Realms?

A: Invite links allow you to share a link with others to let them join your realm without any additional action from you. When someone clicks on an invite link, they will be prompted to sign in with their Xbox Live account, and then will be immediately added to the Realm’s approved player list. That means they can jump into the world right away – even if you aren’t online. You can read more here.

Q: Will Invite Links be available for all platforms?

A: Invite links are available for mobile and Windows 10 PC devices beginning 20th September 2017. We’re working hard to bring this feature to Xbox soon.

Parental Controls/Safety

Q: Are servers safe for my children to play on?

A: Servers accessed via the in-game listings utilize Xbox Live accounts, which offer parental controls that parents can use to set limits for how their kids can interact online. Our official server partners have also taken steps to ensure online play is safe and comfortable for all ages, including chat filtering, in-game reporting, and live moderation. All server partners agree to enforce the Microsoft and Xbox Live code of conduct (http://www.xbox.com/en-US/legal/codeofconduct) which outlines a broad range of behavior that should be prevented, reported or banned in server experiences.

Q: Are there parental controls that I can use to limit how my child plays/interacts on servers?

A: Yes. Minecraft and server experiences integrate with the Xbox Live account parental controls which have some privacy and parental control settings including:

  • Parents can turn off chat, which will allow children to join servers but not see or participate in any in-server communication with other players

  • Parents can limit multiplayer to ‘friends only’ or ‘no multiplayer’ which prevent children from joining servers at all.

Q: What do I do if someone is harassing me? How do I report them?

A: Both servers and Xbox Live offer tools for reporting and blocking other players. You can no longer see chat messages from players you’ve blocked, and they can’t invite you to multiplayer games or join your Realm. When you report a player, depending on the severity of the issue, customer support and enforcement teams can affect a server ban, Minecraft ban or Xbox-wide ban.

Q: Do you require servers to sanitize content to comply with the ESRB rating for Minecraft?

A: To be listed in the in-game server browser, we require that servers provide moderation and ensure that their content is safe and appropriate for players of all ages.

Phew! That's it for now!