Mojang has pushed a fresh update for its ongoing Minecraft Earth closed beta, launching its first iteration of crafting and smelting for the upcoming mobile blockbuster. The augmented reality-backed title takes Minecraft global, tasking players with collecting resources, building virtual structures in the world. Current iOS and Android beta tests can trial the expanded gameplay loop, also bringing a new wave of equipment primed for upcoming Adventures quests.
Crafting and smelting have dropped via the Minecraft Earth 0.4.2 beta client, accessible via its main navigation bar. Opening the menu serves a furnace and crafting table with up to three “slots,” with two locked as of launch. A sleek bespoke interface lists all craftable items, outlining requirements, rarity, and craft time. We also see a ton of new items introduced into the ecosystem, including items, minerals, and other block types.
Minecraft Earth’s new systems ride on first finding resources collected around the world, then bottlenecked by time gating. Crafting times start as low as 30 seconds for wooden planks, with a diamond pickaxe scaling up to 8 hours. Time gating can be accelerated with rubies, Minecraft Earth’s dedicated currency, obtainable both gradually in-game or with real-world money. It’s a standard model across mobile experiences, pushing monetization opportunities to cover its free-to-play access.
Given the in-progress nature of the beta test, it’s worth noting such times could change ahead of launch. However, with rubies already purchasable to Android beta testers, don’t expect any significant reworks anytime soon. As Minecraft Earth evolves throughout its beta period, it’s also unclear how regular rubies will be rewarded to players going forward, and how heavily this encourages purchases.
Minecraft Earth is set for its Early Access launch on iOS and Android this October, granting the first public access opportunity. While initial set for select regions, Mojang has committed to a steady per-country rollout over the coming months, with full global availability expected by end-of-year.
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