Following up on its teaser, Microsoft has announced a new Minecraft AR mobile game called Minecraft Earth. The game will be free-to-play on iOS and Android, letting you explore and create within the real world. A closed beta is scheduled for this summer.
As you explore in Minecraft Earth, you can find treasure chests, clusters of blocks, or mobs that the company has nicknamed “Tappables.” You can also stumble across Adventures, which overlay a full Minecraft-like area with resources to collect and mobs to dispatch. As you take on Adventures, you’ll gain experience to progress in your career. The studio also promises new mobs and variants especially for Minecraft Earth.
Obviously it wouldn’t be Minecraft without building, and in Minecraft Earth you can build permanent structures on Build Plates. These let you make small environments on your tabletop or expand them to life-size scale when placed on the ground. It also promises multiplayer.
You can sign up for a chance to participate in the beta through the official site. Signing up gets you an Earth skin that can be claimed within 24 hours. In an FAQ, Microsoft also says the game will not use loot boxes. It also addresses safety concerns.
“We take safety seriously and are taking measures to make Minecraft Earth an enjoyable and reliable experience for all our players,” the FAQ states. “Players and parents will be able to use Account Management to adjust safety and privacy settings. A reporting system will allow players to report any concerns in-game and on our website. In addition, we will also have a moderation team working 24/7 to manage and respond to reports.”