Microsoft has welcomed eager players to the Minecraft Dungeons beta, the first hands-on opportunity for its action role-playing spin on the block-building franchise. Translating the endearing world of Minecraft into a formula akin to Diablo, it features deep overhead combat and progression, minus its building components. And ahead of Minecraft's next evolution releasing May 26, a closed beta is underway for some players.
Prepare for Minecraft Dungeons
- Preorder for just $20: Minecraft Dungeons — Xbox One ($20 at Best Buy)
- If PC is your style: Minecraft Dungeons — Windows PC ($20 at Best Buy)
- Netflix for Xbox and PC games: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (From $1 at Microsoft)
What is the Minecraft Dungeons beta?
The ongoing Minecraft Dungeons closed beta provides a pre-release glimpse at the title, featuring a small slice of first hours. That includes the gameplay fundamentals, such as the early story levels, progression and loot systems, and a portion of the world to explore.
However, Minecraft developer Mojang warns that the invite-only beta primarily serves as a technical trial, geared to test online multiplayer, reflecting just a "small sample of content" set for launch. It's also limited to only a handful of players, exclusive to Windows 10 PCs, and with no progression carrying forward to the retail release.
We recently went hands-on with the Dungeons beta, providing our initial impressions, and how Minecraft translates to this new approach. It exhibits potential, attributed to robust underlying mechanics, with high hopes if the team delivers upon expectations with the full experience.
How to play Minecraft Dungeons beta
Microsoft has received (and continues to accept) signups for the Minecraft Dungeons beta on PC, but with little guarantee to play. The beta is now underway, with a "limited" pool of participants selected, and codes distributed over email. Although scheduled to run over several weeks, it doesn't appear new players will join soon, if ever.
"Participants were chosen at random from those who previously signed up on minecraft.net," Mojang details via its FAQ page. "Those chosen will have received an invite at the email address used during signup. Additional participants will not be added to the closed beta at this time."
But Minecraft Dungeons was recently delayed to May 26, 2020, meaning an additional month before launch. And with registration still, live via the Minecraft website, there's always a chance of future testing. It's a quick, free signup process and worth a shot.
Updated April 3, 2020: It seems new Minecraft Dungeons beta codes are headed out now. Check your inbox!
The Minecraft website handles signups for the Minecraft Dungeons beta. The form requires players to use their Microsoft account while being over 18 years of age. The process also mandates your country and chosen platform, recommended as PC, given the beta's current Windows 10 exclusivity. While it's looking unlikely, the quick process is worth a shot.
Every player who gains access to the Minecraft Dungeons beta also receives three codes, providing instant access to friends.
Microsoft hasn't indicated an open beta is under consideration.
Minecraft Dungeons beta release date
The initial wave of Minecraft Dungeons invites went out on March 25, 2020, marking the start of the official beta period. With the promise to host beta testing for a "2-3 week period," expect closure midway through April.
The full Minecraft Dungeons release date is set for May 26, 2020, following a recent delay.
Preorder Minecraft Dungeons to play this May
With Minecraft Dungeons now on track for May 26, and the beta limited to a small group of players, locking down your preorder ensures you're ready to go for launch day. While no formal bonuses are granted for early preorders, it provides an opportunity to pre-download the title, jumping in the second it's available on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.
Smash And Grab
Minecraft and Diablo make an ideal pairing
Minecraft Dungeons takes the best of Minecraft and Diablo and smushes them together with a healthy dose of action RPG goodness. It's gunning for a May 26 launch and should be on your radar.
As with any first-party Microsoft titles, Minecraft Dungeons also hits the Netflix-style Xbox Game Pass service, available for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. Its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription packs hundreds of games across both platforms for a flat monthly fee, starting at just $1 via current limited-time promotions. You'll also get blockbusters like Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection for both Xbox and PC.
Netflix For Games
Save on Microsoft's three-in-one Xbox and PC subscription
Wrapping together Xbox Game Pass for Xbox, Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Live Gold, this trio of services delivers the full gaming experience, including Minecraft Dungeons.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.