We’ve known since E3 2017 about Mojang’s plan to bring as many versions of Minecraft as possible into step with one another, but now it’s finally time for the official rollout of the Better Together update. While its most compelling feature, cross-play, isn’t entirely ready, the update is now available to the first wave of players.
On September 19, Mojang’s Aubrey Norris announced that the Xbox version of the update was already live, and that the PC version was set to start winging its way to players on September 20. The Switch update will be ready later this year, but it’s still being perfected at this time.
This means that Switch players can’t currently get in on the fun of cross-play. However, anyone using an Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, mobile device, or even a virtual reality headset to play the game can dive into their friends’ worlds and start building together.
Mojang is introducing oodles of brand-new content to the game as of the update, too. A blog post published on the developer’s website to signal the release mentioned parrots, banners, armor stands, stained glass, and fireworks among the new craftables that can be taken advantage of from here on out.
If you’ve bought Minecraft digitally on any of the platforms included in this update, you’ll automatically be given access to it. However, if you’re using the physical version of the game for the Xbox One, things are slightly more complicated. You’ll need to play the game for more than five hours in the last 12 months before the cut-off date of January 30, 2018, or buy a piece of DLC before that same deadline, to be granted the update for free.
The outlook isn’t quite so bright for anyone hoping to play the latest iteration of Minecraft on the PlayStation 4. It has long since been announced that Sony didn’t sign up to bring this version of the game in line with the rest, and Mojang’s FAQ page about the update states that there’s currently no change to this situation — although the studio “would love to work with Sony to bring players on PlayStation 4 into this ecosystem as well.”