Minecraft's 'Better Together' cross-platform update is going live today

Minecraft key art
Minecraft key art (Image credit: Microsoft / Mojang Studios)

Microsoft has been rebuilding Minecraft's back-end for a while, bringing the game's systems together into a single engine known as "Bedrock." Players across Xbox One, iOS, Android, Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, VR, and, later, Nintendo Switch will be able to connect together and play via dedicated "Realms," which are rented servers that persist even when the owner is offline.

The Better Together update also standardizes UI elements across all versions, and will allow Microsoft to update all of the Bedrock versions simultaneously.

This is the biggest update Minecraft has ever had, and it's rolling out today to Xbox One, Windows 10, mobile versions, and VR, with Nintendo Switch to follow later.

The Better Together update also allows users to purchase player-made Marketplace mods, to unlock across all versions of the game. Some older content packs from the Xbox One are being ported, but some older, license-bound packs may be lost in the transfer. There's also invite links coming, allowing you to instantly bring people into your Realm on Windows 10 and mobile devices without needing to go through menus.

The Better Together update has been tested with millions of players across all versions, squishing thousands of bugs and tweaking the feel of the engine to match what players are used to. The classic PC Java Edition will continue to be supported with new updates, too, and Microsoft is currently working with Nintendo to bring the game to Switch as soon as possible.

Minecraft 'Super Duper Graphics Pack'

Minecraft 'Super Duper Graphics Pack' (Image credit: Mojang Studios)

What about PlayStation? Well, Sony is notoriously anti-cross play, having blocked Microsoft's efforts to bring gamers together across various titles, and Minecraft is no different. That doesn't mean Microsoft has given up, though, as they're actively in talks with Sony about bringing PlayStation gamers into the mix (via DualShockers).

If you haven't already, you can pick up Minecraft on Xbox One for $19.99, on Windows 10 for $26.99, and on Windows 10 Mobile for $6.99.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!