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Minecraft Earth beta rolls out for Android with feature not found in iOS version

The Minecraft Earth beta has started rolling out to select Android users, with a feature that is not yet available for the augmented reality game’s iOS version.

The Minecraft Earth closed beta has arrived on Android after first launching for iOS. Similar to its iOS counterpart, the Android version will limit the number of participants and locations, starting with five cities across the world: Seattle, London, Tokyo, Stockholm, and Mexico City.

The Android beta is finally here! We’re hard at work rolling out the update in five cities: Seattle, London, Tokyo, Stockholm, and Mexico City. Happy crafting everyone!

— Minecraft Earth (@minecraftearth) August 30, 2019

Developer Mojang is making up for the delayed closed beta release by giving Android players access to rubies, the in-game currency that is not yet available on iOS. Players may earn rubies by playing the game or buy them, and they may be used to purchase Build Plates where they can build their creations over the course of the closed beta. Rubies, whether earned or bought, are linked to the player’s Xbox Live account, so the currency will not disappear through the beta stages and beyond.

Minecraft Earth beta testers on iOS will soon also gain access to rubies, but Mojang did not provide a definite timeline for the wider release of the currency.

Minecraft fans who would like to participate in the Minecraft Earth closed beta may still sign up for the chance to receive an invitation. The requirements are a mobile device that runs on at least Android 7.0 Nougat or iOS 10, a Microsoft or Xbox Live account, and a completed registration form.

In Minecraft Earth, in-game elements are mapped to the player’s surroundings, creating a virtual world build on Open Street Maps data. Things that may be tapped for rewards, called tapables, will appear on the smartphone’s camera, along with Adventures, which are mini-games that are linked to a specific real-world location. Players will also be able to stage a Build Plate, on which they will be able to use the blocks that they have collected to create anything, limited only by their imagination.

Minecraft Earth will be a free-to-play game with no loot boxes. There will be microtransactions, but the developers promise that no “pay-to-win” environment will arise.

In May, Microsoft revealed that Minecraft has sold more than 176 million copies in the 10 years since its first launch on the PC, possibly making it the best-selling video game of all time.

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