Minecraft Earth beta snags crafting, up to 8 hours to craft Diamond Pickaxe

MInecraft Earth Build Plate
MInecraft Earth Build Plate (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Minecraft Earth's beta has picked up a new update featuring crafting and smelting.
  • The system taps into resource collection and time gating, varying from 30 seconds to 8 hours in its current implementation.

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

Minecraft Earth brings a new crafting experience, built on resource collection and time gating. (Image credit: Windows Central)

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.

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.

  • I guess at the end of the day it's a mobile game, so these kind of things are going to happen. A shame though.
  • What kind of things? Microtransactions? A game like this would never work being a pay once, play forever title. And you know, making money is a good thing. Means Microsoft can continue to invest in it.
  • Oh no, microtransactions in themselves are understandable. But timegating is an unfortunate choice in a game where you're already gathering basic materials at a slow pace. They expect us to commit a lot of time compared to the Minecraft we're used to.
  • And you don't have to accomplish whatever the task is, in a day.
    You can chill, take days, a week, making whatever you are trying to make.
    Is taking your time a bad thing? Is 1~10 minutes progression a better design?
    Soon you will be like running outta things to do. I think it depends...
  • If your creative flow endures over the space of a week, perhaps. And come on, this is Minecraft. It's stood for a decade because it's design gives you so much you can create. It doesn't need artificial padding like this which will just leave fans of the series rolling their eyes and going back to the base game. Granted though, I'm speaking as a beta player whilst the game is practically an alpha, lacking many features that are needed at launch such as build sharing online and public world placement. Maybe once we see those modes included there'll be more distinction from the base game, and more incentive to deal with the padding.
  • Aaaand I've lost all Interest again =)