Does Minecraft Earth require an Xbox Live account?

Minecraft Hero
Minecraft Hero (Image credit: Mojang Studios)

Does Minecraft Earth require an Xbox Live account?

Best answer: Yes, Minecraft Earth requires an Xbox Live account to play on iOS and Android. An account can be created for free at started today: Minecraft for Xbox One ($18 at Amazon)

Is Xbox Live required for Minecraft Earth?

Minecraft Earth is Microsoft's next major foray into augmented reality, capitalizing on Pokemon Go's success as a host of virtual adventures. Exploring a voxel sandbox fused with real-world locations, it's an all-new mobile spin on the multi-billion-dollar franchise. The game heads to iOS and Android in 2019, with an early access beta set for the summer.

With Minecraft Earth positioned under the Xbox gaming family, Xbox Live sits at the heart of this connected world. Xbox Live is Microsoft's online gaming service, unlocking the full potential from Xbox One, Windows 10, and Xbox mobile apps. For Minecraft Earth, it provides the backbone for online play and other connected features.

Despite limited details on Minecraft Earth, it appears an Xbox Live account will be mandatory. Creating an account is free and easy, or existing Xbox owners can use current credentials. While existing Xbox One users will be familiar with paid Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, Minecraft Earth will only require a free Xbox Live account.

Why does Minecraft Earth need Xbox Live?

As an always-connected experience, Xbox Live will help power Minecraft Earth. Your Xbox Live account defines your unique username and profile, alongside saving personal progress as you play. Existing Minecraft players can also transfer achievements and skins by using the same Xbox Live credentials.

Minecraft Earth will also leverage Xbox Live's existing suite of privacy and safety tools for kids. Parents can customize and monitor the online experience to keep the little ones safe.

With Minecraft Earth yet to release, Microsoft is accepting early beta applications ahead of the summer kick-off. An Xbox Live account is also required for the beta sign-up, like the final game.

Get started today

While Minecraft Earth remains in the pipeline, the vanilla variant of Minecraft is available today. Many core mechanics and philosophies will translate to Minecraft Earth, making for a fitting way prepare for launch. It spans PC, all major consoles, and mobile devices, with cross-platform multiplayer, purchases, and saves.

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Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.