Minecraft Better Together Update Rolls Out Today For Free

Minecraft

The day has finally come for some cross-platform Minecraft action, well, sort of. Cross-play is available for those on Xbox One, Windows 10, mobile and VR platforms. This means PS4 players will not be a part of this update while Nintendo Switch cross-play will be coming soon. Of course, we are talking about the much anticipated Better Together update.

This news was first announced at E3 2017 earlier this year as part of Microsoft’s press conference. It ended up being some of the biggest news to come out of the conference and rightfully so. Can you think of the last time, if there even is one, that Nintendo has allowed itself to have its players play with other gamers on other consoles? Minecraft isn’t the only game doing this either. Rocket League, set for a Nintendo Switch release later this year, will also have cross-platform play.

Microsoft and Sony couldn’t come to an agreement that would allow PS4 players to cross-play with the other platforms so the feature won’t be available to the PS4 user base as of yet. It’s a bummer but we’re still excited to see the other platforms get in on the action. The Nintendo Switch update is set to release some time this winter. For right now, players on Xbox One, Windows 10 PCs, Android, iOS and VR will all be able to play with each other now.

What’s not entirely clear is what will happen to the PS4 version now. Since the Better Together update won’t be coming to PS4, does that mean support stops altogether for the version? Probably not, but it does mean the game will not become unified like the other versions have. Microsoft is still working towards the ultimate goal of cross-play across every platform, including PS4. Stay tuned for more information.

This update is arguably the biggest update to hit the game since its initial launch all those years ago. The biggest part of this update is the cross-play but there’s also a lot more to it. We’ve included the full list of patch notes and fixes at the bottom of this post.

Xbox One users have been reporting that a price tag is being given for the update although they already own the game. This is an error so you shouldn’t feel obligated to purchase anything if you already own the game. Xbox Support is looking into the issue and it should be resolved some time today.

Both physical and digital owners of Minecraft will receive this new version of the game through a free update. Be warned that physical copy owners may have to wait a day or two before the requests are all processed. If a price is showing up for you, our best advice is to wait until it’s all sorted out.

After the update hits, we’ll no longer see Minecraft: Xbox One edition or Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition, but instead we’ll see one unified game called Minecraft. This does mean an Xbox Live account will be required to play with one another since Microsoft does own the Minecraft brand. It does not mean you need Xbox Live Gold, though.

Here’s the list of patch notes and tweaks from today’s patch:

New Features:

  • Stained Glass
  • Fireworks (with Elytra boost!)
  • Parrots
  • Banners
  • Armor Stands
  • Jukebox and music discs
  • Recipe Book
  • Book & Quill
  • Ravines
  • Coarse Dirt
  • New world start options: Starting Map; Bonus Chest; Trust Players
  • New game rules: Show Coordinates; TNT Explodes; Natural Regeneration
  • Added ‘/tickingarea’ command to create areas that still update when no players are there
  • Player permissions
  • Zombie Villager spawn egg
  • In-game host options
  • Paper doll viewer
  • Outline selection toggle
  • In-game player names toggle
  • HUD opacity toggle
  • Expanded Xbox Live multiplayer world settings
  • New loading screens with funny and helpful tips
  • How to Play screen
  • Remix 3D export functionality (Windows 10 only)
  • New achievements
  • Server Partners
  • Realms invite links
  • Mash-up Packs and Texture Packs will now decorate the main menu and in-game HUD

Tweaks:

  • Rebalanced most of the game sound effects and music, such as rain being much quieter
  • It is now much easier to see underwater after drinking a Potion of Water Breathing and Potion of Night Vision
  • Blaze Powder is now needed to fuel brewing stands
  • Ice blocks are now transparent
  • Maps can now be held off-hand and show the heads of players’ skins
  • Locator maps now track the owner’s position, regardless of dimension
  • Worlds can now be set to Invite Only, Friends Only, or Friends of Friends
  • Various improvements and changes to navigating the user interface
  • Redesigned button mapping and added Pick Block for controllers
  • Render Clouds and Fancy Leaves can now be toggled in Video Settings
  • Skins can now be changed from the pause menu
  • Chat messages can now be muted
  • Items picked up are now animated on the hotbar
  • Stained glass and banners will now spawn on End Cities
  • Increased the default player limit on worlds from 5 to 8 on higher-end devices
  • Block placement speed now matches the player’s movement speed
  • Temperature decreases with height and it can now snow at high elevations
  • Observer blocks have updated textures and will now blink red when outputting a redstone pulse
  • Adjusted the color that flashes when mobs are attacked
  • Brick Blocks, Nether Brick Blocks, and Clay Blocks have been renamed to better differentiate from other items
  • Underwater particles
  • Jungle leaves are now transparent on higher-end devices when Fancy Leaves are enabled
  • Changed the sound effects for Creeper explosions
  • Added sound effects for placing Eyes of Ender into portal frames and opening The End portal

Bug fixes:

Too many to mention. My favourites are: making cats purr again, preventing bats from swimming underwater and stopping llamas from creepily turning their heads to stare at you while riding them.

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