Minecraft Earth beta expands to Android phones next week

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced plans to expand its Minecraft Earth beta test to Android.
  • The test will bring the AR-powered mobile game Android 7+ devices across five cities.
  • Budding Minecraft Earth players can sign up via the Minecraft website.

Minecraft Earth is scheduled to make its Android debut next week, expanding the closed beta test that kicked off back in July. Microsoft's upcoming augmented reality (AR) spin on its best-selling blockbuster has garnered notable attention, merging its creative sandbox with the real world. The upcoming Android release brings the app to more beta registrants, ahead of a broader public release going forward.

The upcoming change will provide a chance of playing to those registered via the Minecraft Earth website. As with prior Minecraft Earth tests, developer Mojang has committed to five cities: Seattle, London, Stockholm, Tokyo, and Mexico City. While the final launch sets sights worldwide, early beta testing locks the experience down to a pool of hotspots with no plans to increase. As a result, Android tests will see similar restrictions, fixated on the same five regions.

Minecraft Earth also requires an Android device running Android 7 Nougat or later, alongside support for Android's ARCore augmented reality platform. Android's open nature makes it harder to identify all Android 7+ phones compatible, although most released in recent are covered. You can check if your Android phone meets Minecraft Earth's requirements using our handy guide.

Invited iOS beta applicants experienced up to a month of trials, with August 26 bringing a full server reset, wiping player progress ahead of the Android launch. Tapping into real-world map data, the game sees players collecting nearby virtual blocks, before scaling AR creations. With Pokemon GO changing mobile gaming back in 2016, Microsoft has high hopes for its AR adventure.

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.