Surprise Minecraft Pocket Edition Updates Make It Easier to Play

Video game developer Mojang and Microsoft are making it easier than ever for Minecraft lovers to build great works and fight enemies together without a lot of extra setup. This morning the two announced a fresh Minecraft update that brings with it pretty exciting multiplayer upgrades. Owners of Minecraft on iPhone and Android can now build worlds with each other. Minecraft Windows 10 Edition is also getting a pretty hefty Xbox Live upgrade.

Microsoft announced the massive Minecraft updates this morning in a post on its Xbox Wire news blog. The upgrades come more than a year after Microsoft purchased Minecraft and its developer from Notch Persson.

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Minecraft Windows 10 Edition has the most exciting multiplayer upgrades. When it launched back on July 29th, Windows notebook, desktop and tablet users couldn’t connect with each other over Microsoft’s Xbox Live service and play with each other – survival mode or otherwise. It was a huge omission for a game that’s built on fostering community and creativity. Today’s Minecraft update for Windows 10 users allow up to five devices to play in either of the game’s modes over Xbox Live effortlessly. “The Windows 10 Edition Beta also allows up to five friends to play together over Xbox Live,” Microsoft says. If that wording is correct Minecraft Windows 10 Edition players can play alongside Xbox One and Xbox 360 users.

Without Xbox Live, Minecraft users can play over their local network with a total of five devices.

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Playing Minecraft Pocket Edition on the iPhone, iPad and Android has always required that users become familiar with touch controls. Minecraft Pocket Edition is getting refreshed controls that are still touch based, but not as difficult to navigate with as what was available before. For users who prefer something more tactile, Minecraft Pocket Edition includes hardware controller support, finally. Users can map the different buttons on their controller to specific actions in Minecraft Pocket Edition for a more comfortable experience if they prefer too. It’s a huge win for the mobile version of the game, which can be a bit unruly when fighting creepers with just a finger and a thumb. Minecraft Windows 10 Edition already allows users to connect Xbox One or Xbox 360 controller to their notebook, desktop or tablet and enjoy the game.

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Better weather effects, snow accumulation and directional rain are new visual effects added in this new Minecraft Pocket Edition update too. Golems, Ocelots, new potions, sneaking and sprinting are all available in these latest Minecraft Pocket Edition updates.

Minecraft is part sandbox game, part comical survival game. Survival Mode tasks users with digging for the materials they need to craft weapons and shelter from dangerous hoards of creepers. The sandbox game is a creation engine, a wide open canvas for users to create whatever they want.

Minecraft Pocket Edition is available for Windows phones, iPads, iPhones and Android devices. Minecraft Pocket Edition costs $6.99 and all updates after purchase are completely free to buyers. Minecraft Windows 10 Edition is currently in beta, and purely for users ready to adopt Microsoft’s new operating system. In some ways, it replaces the current version of Minecraft available directly from Mojang’s website. Users who’ve already purchased that version can download Minecraft Windows 10 Edition with a code from Mojang. Microsoft is selling Minecraft Windows 10 Edition for $9.99 until the final version is ready.

Mojang has versions of Minecraft available on Sony’s PS4, PS3 and its own Xbox consoles. Those versions aren’t getting any huge updates, it seems.

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Physical copies of Minecraft for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4 are $20 from GameStop, with pre-owned versions selling for $18.99. Mojang allows users to transfer their worlds from older versions of the game to newer versions in the same family. For example, worlds created on the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft are transferrable to the Xbox One version.