'Minecraft' Better Together Update Brings Xbox, Windows 10, And Mobile Together, But Switch Will Have To Wait

Scott Grill

The biggest Minecraft update to hit consoles, PCs, and mobile devices arrived Wednesday. The Better Together update is now available to download on the Xbox One, Windows 10, Android, and iOS to allow play across platforms, access to Minecraft Realms, a marketplace, and much more. Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch version of the update is not quite ready yet.

The Better Together update is available to download for free on the above-mentioned platforms. On the Xbox One, it is an all-new game to download. Those who own the disc-based version of Minecraft: Xbox One Edition will need an Xbox LIVE account that has played at least five hours in the last 12 months or has purchased any of the Minecraft DLC. The new version of the game should show up as a free download then, per the FAQ.

If you haven't played at least five hours of the disc-based version of Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, don't worry. You have until January 30, 2018, to play the five hours or purchase a DLC pack to qualify for the Better Together update.

The Nintendo Switch version of the Minecraft Better Together update will not be released until later this winter. This should not be particularly surprising as Nintendo's new console tellingly did not participate in the beta test that was available on the Xbox One, Windows 10, and mobile devices.

"We want to make sure that everything is ready to bring [Nintendo Switch] onboard, and there's a lot of work to do to make that happen," Mojang said in the Better Together announcement. "After all, no one has ever done anything like this before in the history of gaming."

The Minecraft Better Together update moves the game to the new Bedrock Engine. This is a more powerful and better-optimized game engine that will allow for infinite worlds, a larger render distance, and better graphics just from a gameplay standpoint.

More importantly, this brings the console edition of Minecraft closer to the PC version by allowing players to connect to community servers and create their own personal servers via Minecraft Realms. Mojang has added the ability to create a link to a Realm and share with friends.

The Better Together also brings keyboard and mouse support to the Xbox One. You will need USB version of both a keyboard and mouse for this to work.

All existing Minecraft DLC owned by the player will automatically be transferred over to the new Bedrock Engine version and will automatically be unlocked across all platforms. Existing worlds can also be transferred over, and the previously limited borders will now continue to generate more world when players reach the edge of the map.

An in-game marketplace has also been added with the Minecraft Better Together. This is where approved community members can sell skin packs, texture packs, worlds, and more for players to enjoy. These typically cost a couple of dollars to $10 for the larger mash-up pack style options

There is also a huge list of new features like Stained Glass, Zombie Villager spawn egg, and Recipe Books, plus various tweaks to the user interface and gameplay. There are far too many to list in this article, so please peruse the official patch notes to get the full details.

It's important to note the Fancy Graphics pack is not available for Minecraft yet. This will not be released until sometime around the launch of the Xbox One X on November 7.