How to play Minecraft Earth multiplayer with friends

Minecraft Earth kicked off its closed beta across the globe, serving a taste of the new augmented reality (AR) spin-off. Fusing the creative blockbuster with real-world mapping, early foundations already pose a promising premise rivaling Pokemon GO. Multiplayer expands the app beyond your device, pulling groups of friends into a shared virtual world.

How to start Minecraft Earth multiplayer

Minecraft Earth's loop of resource collection ties back to "Buildplates," the game's creative canvas for building in AR. Multiplayer extends your experience to friends, allowing players to team up to build and explore in a shared space.

However, Microsoft hasn't made multiplayer straightforward, at least in its ongoing iOS beta. Multiplayer requires a host to share their Buildplate via a QR code, with subsequent players joining the selected scenario in a multi-step process.

  1. Tap the Buildplate icon on the Minecraft Earth menu tray.
  2. Select Build or Play based on your preferred mode.
  3. Place your Buildplate on a flat, textured surface.
  4. Tap the Ellipsis button in the top-right corner.
  5. Select Invite Friend. Your unique QR code will display.

Other players can now join your game via the generated QR code, following the steps ahead.

How to join Minecraft Earth multiplayer

With a QR code generated, remaining players are now free to join the world. Microsoft's current implementation is somewhat convoluted, and something we admittedly first misinterpreted as a bug. Diving deeper into the iOS TestFlight notes outlines a two-step process, despite no references found in-game.

  1. Tap the Play with Friends icon on the Minecraft Earth menu tray.
  2. Scan the host QR code. You will automatically join the game, although the host Buildplate won't be displayed.
  3. Scan the host QR code a second time using your in-game viewfinder. This helps orient your position in the world and grants permission to view and interact with blocks.
  4. Repeat the steps for all joining players.

While its implementation initially features some unintuitive hurdles, likely attributed to its beta state, Minecraft Earth's multiplayer proves its potential in the beta. Positioning and fluidity appear consistent in augmented reality, serving up a novel building experience with friends.

The ongoing Minecraft Earth beta is currently exclusive to iOS devices, via a limited pool of enrolled applicants via the beta sign-up portal. Expect wider availability and an Android expansion in the coming weeks, alongside additional iOS testing.

Essential Minecraft Earth accessories you'll love

These affordable Minecraft Earth accessories are guaranteed to help on your digital adventures.

Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger ($18 at Amazon)

Like any augmented reality experience, Minecraft Earth will be power-hungry and drain your battery fast. This 5000mAh Anker PowerCore portable battery pack keeps phone topped up when on the move with a compact, cylindrical silhouette.

PopSockets Collapsible Grip & Stand ($10 at Amazon)

Avoid phone drops on your blocky adventures with this collapsible PopSocket grip that doubles as a stand. Grippy and comfortable to hold, it adds convenience and peace of mind to any Minecraft Earth session.

Minecraft Baby Pig 7" Plush ($10 at Amazon)

Grab your own porky Minecraft Earth companion with this affordable official Minecraft Baby Pig plush. Lined with a soft exterior and embroidered pixel detailing, don't miss out on your seven-inch friend.

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.