First Look at Minecraft Earth's AR Gameplay, Beta Registration Open Now

The new trailer introduces Tappables, Buildplates, and Minecraft creations you can interact with in (sort of) real life.

Update 8/22/19: After months and months of waiting, open registration for the Minecraft Earth beta is now live for Android devices. 

Original story: 

Microsoft released a new trailer highlighting the location-based, augmented reality, aspects of the upcoming Minecraft Earth mobile game — in other words, the bits that make this Minecraft's take on Pokemon GO.

Like Pokemon GO, the Minecraft Earth world is based on the player's location. Streets and other notable landmarks are rendered in Minecraft form in the game, and players can expect to encounter a plethora of Minecraft items, collectibles, and enemies as they travel around.

These appear as icons called Tappables, because players tap to interact with them, and they form Minecraft Earth's backbone. Tappables are everywhere, in block form, item form, or even mob form, and interacting with them provides building materials and numerous other bonuses.

For instance, enemy mobs that appear on screen aren't always as they appear. Instead, players must tap them to uncover their true nature, and in doing so, they collect that mob and place it in their inventory. The same goes for chests — always loaded with items — environment blocks, and pretty much everything else.

Players gain experience points with each Tappable collected, though how leveling up affects the game still remains to be seen.

The Minecraft part of the game comes when players want to create using the Tappables they've gathered. To do so, they'll select one among many various Buildplates, which are essentially like mini-Biomes or seeds.

Each Buildplate has a basic foundation to work with, and from there, players can add blocks, mobs, items, or whatever strikes their fancy at the time, and watch their creation come to life. Water flows, animals move around, crops grow, and fires spread in what amounts to a miniature, realized Minecraft world.

Once creation is finished, the Buildplate can then be plunked down somewhere in real life. Friends can add to or take from it, and players can venture inside and interact with the Buildplate.


Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.

Published Jun. 18th 2020

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