While Minecraft: Pocket Edition grows closer and closer to the full Minecraft experience with each new update, it is still missing some features. One feature it doesn’t have is the ability to use Realms, which is also one of the more puzzling exclusions due to the history behind it.

Minecraft Realms are an alternative to regular online servers. You subscribe to a paid service which lets you set up a special Minecraft world, or realm, that only certain users can access. It doesn’t cost anything for participants, only for the player who hosts it. In this way, you can create a world for you and your friends without worrying about networks, IP addresses, etc.

While not all players consider Minecraft Realms worth the subscription fee, it’s a great alternative for people who prefer its convenience.

It’s not surprising that this feature wouldn’t be available in the mobile game, except that it was for a time. Minecraft: Pocket Edition had Realms until April 2014, when the feature was removed. Why? Some fans believe Mojang was just testing it, but it’s likely there was some problem with the system that prevented it from running ideally in the game. Whatever the case may be, Realms were no longer a part of Minecraft: Pocket Edition.

Fans found workarounds, but nothing was quite the same as Realms. Due to that change, in a curious reversal, Realms are available for the PC/Mac version of Minecraft, but not for Pocket Edition.

Ever since then, players have waited for Pocket Edition Realms to return.

Well, the long wait might be almost over. Mojang software engineer/game developer Philip V. sent out a Tweet on March 23 saying Realms was working with the Minecraft: Pocket Edition servers. When a fan asked if this meant Realms were returning, he replied that they’re putting the final touches on Realms for the beta, but he couldn’t give a release date yet.

Even without a release date or window, this shows Minecraft: Pocket Edition still has Realms in the future. For a while, it was such a thing of rumors and speculation, some players thought it would never come to pass.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more about the Minecraft: Pocket Edition Realms beta. Have you ever used Minecraft Realms? Is it a feature you’d like to use, or would you rather avoid it and its fee? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Minecraft: Pocket Edition Realms Returning Soon