Microsoft’s Minecraft Earth VR title received a nice update today that added some new features to the game. In a blog post, the Minecraft team announced the features are based on six months of feedback from users. Furthermore, the team also discussed how Minecraft Earth is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

First announced in April 2019, Minecraft Earth is Microsoft’s first AR title. Developed in the same division as Microsoft’s next Halo game for Xbox, the new Minecraft experience will be available for free on iOS and Android.

”Minecraft Earth proposes to completely break the dogma that has lived with us in computing since the beginning: this idea of a single person that holds a single device to create a single experience,” said HoloLens chief Alex Kipman at the time. “With Minecraft Earth, that’s no longer the case. The content is in the real world.”

Since its full launch, the team has been listening to user feedback and has announced plenty of new tools arriving this week.

New Features

  • “Player Journal, released today, provides a way to collect and track different mobs and blocks collected and gain rewards for unique items. You could also say that this provides a way to earn bragging rights amongst your friends!
  • Today we also released an update to Challenges, giving them a makeover and introducing new challenge Seasons. Pick your path through the Season map to complete challenges and unlock rewards! You can even unlock new character creator clothing to wear in vanilla Minecraft. Challenges can now also be refreshed through randomized tappables for players to collect.  
  • Adventure Crystals, released on March 25, give players an easy way to experience Adventures (which were previously tied to a physical location) in their home, their backyard, or wherever they are. Players collect these through tappables and can spawn them anywhere and anytime to play and gain rewards. Common Crystals are given as daily rewards, but you need to find chests inside adventures to discover crystals and adventures of higher rarity!
  • Buildplate Link Sharing, released on April 14, allows players to share their Minecraft Earth creations with friends simply by sending them a link they generate in-game or on social media. But worry not – links shared are a copy of the original world, so your little brother isn’t actually able to destroy your masterpiece.”

Responding to COVID-19

In the blog post, Jesse Merriam, Studio Manager, Minecraft Earth, discussed how the game is coping in a COVID-19 world. She points out the developer has been adjusting the game, including removing location-based dependencies.

“We have been adapting the game accordingly over the last few weeks by increasing tappable spawn rate and density, introducing Adventure Crystals and removing location-based dependencies, and trying to find ways to help empower Minecraft Earth players to continue to build, craft, Adventure, and mine from the safety of their own homes.”