Best answer: Build plates are one of the three most important aspects of Minecraft Earth, and where all of the building and creation-focused features are located. Whether you're designing an adorable little farm in tabletop mode or showing off your colossal monument to Minecraft in the life-sized view mode, build plates are where to go to get that classic Minecraft feel.

What are build plates in Minecraft Earth?

Put simply, build plates are the player's personal worlds. You can build anything your heart desires, using all the resources and building blocks collected while playing. Build plates are one of the three central parts of Minecraft Earth, as well as the overworld and the dungeons. While the overworld and dungeons focus on exploration, mining, and fighting off mobs, build plates are designated areas that you can move around and place blocks on. They're the creative centerpiece of Minecraft Earth and the headline feature Microsoft and Mojang hope will draw players to the game.

Build plates are the creative centerpiece of Minecraft Earth and the headline feature that'll hopefully draw players to the game.

Build plates will come in two different forms, which the player can switch back and forth between at will. The first is tabletop mode, which shrinks down the player's build plate so that it can fit on top of any standard-sized table or surface. Ideally, this will be the mode that players will use to build, as it's a lot easier to navigate and move around in this form. Whether it's a quaint house, a quiet forest grove, or even an overly-realistic depiction of a ninja cat, tabletop mode makes it easy to visualize and create.

The second form is arguably the more exciting one, and what has a lot of people captivated by the game. This is the view mode. It allows you to expand a creation to life-size! That means players will be able to walk around their creation like it actually exists. Not only that, but Minecraft Earth will reportedly allow players to permanently "fix" their build plates to defined locations. You'll be surrounded by the amazing creations of other players wherever you go. This is the feature that truly sets Minecraft Earth apart from other popular AR mobile games.

How do I get build plates in Minecraft Earth?

As impressive as build plates promise to be, they don't do anyone much good if they're not obtainable. Don't worry, though; Minecraft Earth will give the players a build plate to start.

You can either upgrade an existing build plate or gain more through a few different means. There will be a leveling system in the game based on completing a variety of tasks, and build plates and upgrades could be rewarded at various milestones. Beyond that, the player might also be able to spend their own money to purchase additional build plates and upgrades at their discretion. So, while spending real money might grant the player certain advantages, even the more money-conscious players will be able to find ways to add to their collection.

What about my friends?

This is yet another area in which Minecraft Earth seeks to set itself apart from the competition. Social features in games are huge because people want to play with their friends and families. Minecraft Earth will let the player do just this with their build plates. Not only can they invite people to view their creations, but they can collaborate on building projects together!

Personally, this is one feature I'm particularly excited for. My fiancé and I will be able to pool our collective resources and brainpower to create some marvelous things. Keep in mind, this also means that anyone who joins your build plate will be able to destroy as well as create. Caution is advised if you decide to play with strangers.

What is Minecraft Earth?

Minecraft Earth is a creative take on the classic Minecraft formula of "explore, mine, build" that tries to bring the infinite possibilities it offers to the real world. Utilizing the power of Google's ARCore and Apple's ARKit for Android and iOS devices, respectively, Minecraft Earth uses your smartphone's camera to turn the entire world into your canvas for all your Minecraft adventures.

Overall, Minecraft Earth looks set to be something special.

It operates in the same vein as Pokemon Go, but may inject some added creativity and options to set it apart. The game hasn't launched yet, but a handful of lucky individuals in London already got their hands on the Beta. You can sign up for the Beta, which should be rolling out to everyone by year's end.

Our own Jez Corden wrote in his initial impressions that Microsoft potentially has a massive hit on their hands if they can deliver on its promises. Overall, Minecraft Earth looks set to be something special. Being able to mix things up with nearly limitless building possibilities certainly sounds like a dream come true. As more players began to join the ranks and start building, we're going to see a lot of wacky and impressive things come out of using build plates. Likely a few dirt houses too.

Back to basics

Minecraft

The legend incarnate

While Minecraft Earth hasn't quite landed on our smartphones yet, Minecraft is and has been available to anyone. If you've been wondering what all of the fuss is about (spoiler: the game deserves the praise), then Minecraft is available on almost every platform imaginable.

Infinite fun

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

A three-month subscription

Xbox Game Pass gives you access to hundreds of games for just one monthly fee. Minecraft and many, many more are included, so you can satisfy that Minecraft craving and experience new games at the same time. And now Ultimate can give you all of that and your Xbox Live Gold subscription.

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