Minecraft Earth: How to sign up, get Beta, and play

Minecraft Earth is an augmented reality-heavy game for mobile devices that also uses GPS location (with OpenStreetMap) to plot the world. This game's launch worked with Android and iOS devices, and gameplay centers on building with pixelated aesthetic blocks – much like the original Minecraft games on multiple gaming platforms. Here're exploring just a bit about the Beta version of the game as it exists today.

Minecraft Earth Beta release date

The release date for Minecraft Earth Beta (the closed beta) was August 29, 2019 – earlier this week. That was for the Android part of the closed beta – and it only began in a select set of cities. The first cities in which the Minecraft Android beta was launched were Seattle, Tokyo, Stockholm, London, and Mexico City. The iOS version of the Closed Beta started all the way back in July of 2019.

To attain access to Minecraft Earth in beta form – before everyone else, you'll need to head over to the launch platform. There's a Minecraft Earth Beta sign-up right this minute at Minecraft dot net. If you go there and sign up "to receive updates for the game" you'll also get a free player skin for both Minecraft Earth and Minecraft Bedrock. That's regardless of if you get in on the Beta.

The same sign-up form gets users in on the list where users are selected to take part in the Beta. This is a closed beta, and it'll require that you have a device running Android 7 or iOS 10. You'll probably need a smartphone released within the last several years – but we will see! You'll also need to have or sign up for a Microsoft or Xbox Live account to make this work.

Minecraft Earth: How does it work?

Basic gameplay utilizes OpenStreetMap data to place the player in a physical location on our planet's surface. With this gameplay field, users will attain building blocks, build structures, craft items, and explore. In-game tasks and adventures will include the locating and collecting of "tappable" items, and the battling of hostile entities of several sorts.

This game requires the use of a camera on an iOS or Android device to work with augmented reality. Mojang/Xbox Game Studios built their augmented reality features with Microsoft Azure. This game is free-to-play, and as yet, no in-game purchases are available to anyone – but that may change once the game is launched out of beta.

We do not yet know when the game will launch into iOS and Android app stores, once it's out of Beta, but one thing is clear: This is no Pokemon GO. You aren't going to be able to ignore the AR elements entirely – not like Niantic's take on this sort of interactive world-mapped environment game. This is something very different.