This summer, Microsoft is releasing one of its most ambitious projects yet: Minecraft Earth. For the millions of Minecraft fans, the release of Minecraft Earth is much anticipated. This brand new app is expected to top the charts.
If you haven't heard about it yet, it's time to get pumped. Here's everything you need to know about Minecraft Earth.
What Is Minecraft Earth?
Microsoft has been playing around with the idea of augmented reality (AR) ever since it debuted its HoloLens AR headset at E3 in 2015. This device isn't available for the everyday person—but now, Microsoft has finally developed a product for the masses.
Minecraft Earth is Microsoft's version of Pokemon Go. This AR app will be free for both iOS and Android devices once it hits the app stores.
AR has come a long way since 2015, especially for smartphones. Not only can we catch Pokemon on the landscape that we see in front of us, but we can also use Snapchat filters to add special effects to our selfies. Thanks to Microsoft, we can now build entire Minecraft cityscapes in an AR universe.
Hardcore Minecraft lovers might be disappointed that this game isn't an exact replica of the Minecraft game that we all know and love, but it's a welcome change. However, Minecraft Earth is built on the same Bedrock engine, meaning it will still have all the same Minecraft elements and behaviors that you're familiar with.
Minecraft Earth's Groundbreaking Features
With Minecraft Earth, you possess the power of Minecraft right in your pocket. Not many apps can trump the success of Pokemon Go, but Minecraft Earth definitely has a shot—its innovative features shed new light on the capabilities of AR games.
Make Minecraft Your Reality
Have you ever wanted to build a treehouse in your backyard, or a skyscraper on the main street of your town? You might not have the resources or money to do this in real life, but Minecraft Earth gives you the power to build whatever you want, wherever you want (as long as it's on a flat surface).
In order to start your construction project, you'll start by using build plates. Build plates vary in sizes—while some are the size of your kitchen table, others are as big as 200 x 200 feet. Once you're finished building, pop your project in the plot of land of your choice. As you travel throughout your town, other users can see your lifesize building, and you can see their designs as well. Users can also opt to edit or destroy your building as well.
Minecraft Earth uses OpenStreetMap to convert your world into a Minecraft landscape. Fish in your local lake and cut down trees in your park, all from inside the app.
In Pokemon Go, you have to walk around your neighborhood to discover new Pokemon. Minecraft Earth has a similar concept—you have to walk to uncover something called "tapables."
Tapables are scattered resources in the area around you. Take a short stroll to access these valuable items. You can't build without them, so make sure to collect as many as you can. For larger structures, you'll likely have to team up with other players to complete it—otherwise, it'll take you forever to gather enough resources.
Partake in Minecraft Adventures
One of the most exciting features in Minecraft Earth is the real-time adventures that involve you and other players. The locations of adventures aren't predetermined and can pop up anywhere on your map. These adventures vary in difficulty—some dungeons consist of easy looting raids, while others pose a real challenge and are a threat to your collected items.
Move Over, Pokemon Go
The details of Minecraft Earth aren't totally confirmed yet, but so far we can tell that it'll have amazing qualities that give Pokemon Go some serious competition. Expect the list of Minecraft Earth features to grow during the app's closed beta this summer.