Minecraft is getting cross-platform support and a fancy graphics update

Microsoft has announced what could be one of the biggest ever upgrades to hit Minecraft with the Better Together update. Coming this summer, the update will introduce new graphics, cross-platform support and an in-game server browser.

The news arrives from the E3 2017 convention in LA, where Microsoft revealed that, following the update, Minecraft: Pocket Edition would simply be known as “Minecraft” as it becomes one with its console and PC counterparts. This means you’ll now be able to play with friends on other platforms like PC or Xbox from your mobile device, and any content purchased on one platform will also be accessible on all others.

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In the announcement post on the Minecraft blog, Microsoft doesn’t actually mention whether your saved game states will accessible on different devices — i.e. if you can play on your console and then pick up where you left off on mobile — but this is usually indicated by “cross-platform,” so the function is likely to be included.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has announced new lighting, shadow, and water effects coming to the game, which will be in place on mobile, PC and console versions. The omnipresent crafting title will also get the 4K treatment for the first time, though few mobile users are going to be able to take advantage of this just yet (we’re settled in the 2K (2560 x 1440 pixels) display territory for the time being). The Minecraft team noted that these new graphics are “entirely optional” too, so purists needn’t worry that the original aesthetic is gone forever.

However, the “Super Duper Graphics Pack” DLC, which will introduce “dynamic shadows, lighting that streams through fog, movement in leaves and grass, new textures for mobs and villagers, directional lighting, edge highlighting and more,” isn’t coming to mobile (probably due to hardware limitations). Sorry, folks.

Finally, the new Minecraft update will bring a server browser to the game, letting you search a list of community run servers from the title menu. These will include four servers to being with – Lifeboat, Mineplex, InPVP, and Cubecraft — with more to follow later.

The graphical improvements and multi-platform support are sure to be welcomed by fans of the title and it’s great to see the Minecraft mobile version become (almost) synonymous with the other variants. You can download Minecraft from the Play Store below, and we’ll let you know when the Better Together update lands in the coming weeks.

Download Minecraft: Pocket Edtion

Previous updates

Chinese Mythology Mash-Up Pack

April 13: Mojang has rolled out all-new Chinese Mythology-inspired content which includes the aforementioned winged beasts, giant pandas and ancient cities. The Chinese Mythology Mash-Up Pack arrives alongside the Minecraft version 1.0.6 update, which also introduces new skins, building blocks and other fixes. Meanwhile, the Worlds section has been added to the Store, and it includes the free Redstone Mansion map.

Mojang also says that: “Skeleton horses spawned from traps can now be tamed and ridden, the jump range of slimes is now correct, baby mobs once again make idle sounds,” and “snow golem pumpkin heads will now properly scale with Add-Ons.”