Video games don’t get more popular than Minecraft. It’s charming blend of distinctive graphics and whimsical survival setup were unlike anything we’d seen before. Developers have tried to replicate Mojang’s success with Minecraft, but to no avail. Available along with the Windows 10 operating system itself, Minecraft Windows 10 Edition seeks to clean-up what was already a pretty stellar experience.
The classic versions of Minecraft have some rather unsightly requirements. First, purchasing and downloading the game isn’t as seamless and one would assume. That’s because Mojang maintains it’s own Minecraft purchase system separately from Microsoft, the company that purchased the studio a few years ago. Second, Minecraft on desktop has mods that can get a bit unwieldy. The underlying technology that it relies on, Java, can be confusing for some too.
Minecraft Windows 10 Edition takes steps to solve those nagging problems. Windows 10 users purchase the game directly from Microsoft’s Windows Store. Any credit card or store credit already on their account can be applied to the game. Instead of returning to the Mojang website for extras, users simply go back to the Windows Store to unlock skin packs and add-ons using the same system. Also, Minecraft Windows 10 Edition has all the stuff you need to get going. You install it and it works, there’s no separate software add-ons to maintain or manage. It does introduce a new wrinkle though, you don’t get to add any mods.
We’ve spent some time with Minecraft for Windows 10. Here are some tips for anyone thinking about purchasing one of the latest editions to the Minecraft ecosystem.
Connect a Controller
The first thing anyone playing Minecraft Windows 10 Edition needs to do is leave their keyboard behind. To be clear, playing with your mouse and keyboard can be great. The game also supports touch. Neither compare to the ease of a controller.
Luckily, Minecraft supports Microsoft’s own Xbox controllers. You can plug an Xbox One controller directly into your Windows PC with a microUSB cable or opt for the older Xbox 360 controller and a wireless adapter if you want. Other controllers are supported along with these. Microsoft recently released a dedicated Xbox Wireless Adapter that lets you play your games without a cable.
Why Minecraft Windows 10 Edition is So Cheap
Minecraft Windows 10 Edition is cheap, really cheap. In the United States, the game costs just $9.99 from the Windows Store. That’s a lot less than the $26.95 that the desktop version of Minecraft costs directly from Mojang’s website. Lots of people are wondering why that is.
Put plainly, Minecraft Windows 10 Edition is in open beta. This means that’s that what you’re buying isn’t necessarily a feature complete game. Instead of waiting to release it, Microsoft opted to make the game available at a steep discount, adding new features to the game when they’re done. Neither Mojang nor Microsoft usually discuss what features are coming before they’re available.
Minecraft Windows 10 Edition has a lot of nice features, but it’s running behind the Mac and regular PC versions. It’s also missing mod support, which is essential for creating the types of incredible things that people dream up in the game’s sandbox mode. You can add your own character skins if you want.
Note that you don’t have to choose either or. If you buy the regular version of Minecraft from the Mojang website, you unlock the Windows 10 Edition for free.
You Can’t Transfer Your Worlds to Minecraft Windows 10 Edition
Minecraft Windows 10 Edition does have one big caveat. You can’t transfer your worlds from other versions of the game to it. For that, Microsoft is still encouraging users to download the regular PC version alongside the Windows 10 version.
Don’t Worry About Updating
Microsoft’s internal team and the Windows Store app that you have installed on your device will handle all the heavy lifting related to Minecraft Windows 10 Edition. You’ll never need to go out and find a software update, the latest updates are published into the Windows Store, where your Windows 10 computer will then grab them and install them behind-the-scenes.
Introducing The Games Bar
Along with the Xbox app itself, Minecraft Windows 10 Edition supports Windows 10’s Games Bar. Press the Windows key and G key on your keyboard to get access to screenshots and video clip recording directly from your game. If you have a controller connected, the Games Bar is always available by pressing the Xbox logo on that controller.
Play Minecraft With Friends
Any other Minecraft Windows 10 Edition player on your same network can play along with you in your worlds. Microsoft revealed that it would add Xbox Live connectivity to the game in a future update so that users can play together across devices. The company said so in an FAQ about the game published at launch. The feature is now available, though it’s buried in the game’s Options area.
Already, the company has implemented some useful features and laid the groundwork. Minecraft Windows 10 Edition forces users to login into their Xbox Live account because it comes with Xbox Live Achievements. The Xbox app that comes installed on Windows 10 devices allows users to send messages over Xbox Live and start Xbox Live Parties with other Windows 10 and Xbox One owners.
Mojang and Microsoft keep the Minecraft community updated with news directly through the Game Hub in the Xbox app too. Go there for the latest news about the game and questions about your experience with it so far.
Good luck with Minecraft Windows 10 Edition.