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What is Minecraft Preview?

Minecraft The Wild Update Concept Art
Minecraft The Wild Update Concept Art (Image credit: Mojang Studios | Twitter)

What is Minecraft Preview?

Best answer: Minecraft Preview separates the long-running beta program from Minecraft: Bedrock Edition into its own separate game, allowing Minecraft players everywhere to experience the latest features, changes, and fixes coming to Minecraft in the future. Minecraft Preview will also eventually come to more platforms than the aging beta program, opening the doors to even more players.

Breaking down Minecraft Preview

Minecraft didn't become one of the greatest and most successful games of all time by Mojang Studios resting on its laurels. Minecraft's creators constantly bring brand-new content and updates to the constantly evolving game, and it ensures the community is involved every step of the way through the release of experimental pre-release betas and snapshots.

Minecraft Preview is the next chapter of this effort, and aims to make it even easier for interested Minecraft players to test upcoming updates and changes, submit feedback and suggestions, and help contribute to the continual growth of Minecraft. Essentially, Minecraft Preview is a separate game that players can install on supported devices, and serves all the same purposes as the existing Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta program but with fewer restrictions and compromises.

The current Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta program is available on Xbox consoles, Windows PCs, and Android devices, and is an optional program that goes through the full Minecraft game on those platforms. Because of how the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta works, it's currently limited to the platform on which it already exists, and forces players to choose between playing the public version of Minecraft, testing pre-release builds, or constantly switching between them by unenrolling from the beta program.

Minecraft Preview avoids these pitfalls, and will ultimately completely replace the beta program and become the go-to avenue for players to participate in Minecraft's ongoing development as one of the best Xbox games (and let's be honest, as one of the best games of all time). Here's what you need to know about Minecraft Preview:

  • Available on more platforms. Because Minecraft Preview is an entirely separate game from Minecraft: Bedrock Edition (built on the exact same foundation and synced with your Microsoft Account), it can come to more platforms than the current beta program, which relies on each platform supporting such a program through Minecraft: Bedrock Edition. Mojang Studios will release Minecraft Preview on new platforms over time, as the game is polished to the same ease of use and reliability as the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta. Minecraft Preview is currently available on:
    • Xbox Series X|S & Xbox One consoles
    • Windows 10 & Windows 11 devices
    • Supported iPhone & iPad devices
  • Play every version of Minecraft simultaneously. One of the biggest complaints about the current Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta program is how it makes it more difficult to play the current public release of Minecraft. Unless players are willing to enroll and unenroll from the program constantly, they won't be able to participate in online multiplayer with most Minecraft players, earn Achievements, be confident in the security of their worlds and progression, or avoid the more prevalent bugs and issues of betas and pre-release builds. With Minecraft Preview, players can:
    • Continue playing Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on the current and most stable release, with all features like online multiplayer, crossplay and cross-save, Minecraft Marketplace content, and more, intact and functional
    • Access beta builds and play online multiplayer with other Minecraft Preview players
    • Avoid the hassle of constantly leaving or joining the beta program, as Minecraft Preview and Minecraft: Bedrock Edition can be installed on the same device at the same time, and played independently
  • Replacing the beta. As mentioned previously, Mojang Studios intends to eventually phase out the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta program and have all interested testers play pre-release builds through Minecraft Preview. However, this likely won't happen any time soon as Mojang Studios continues to release Minecraft Preview on more platforms and ensures nothing is being lost in the transition. If you're an avid participator in the current beta program, it's worth your time to check out Minecraft Preview as soon as it's available on your platform of choice.
    • In the meantime, Mojang Studios will release beta builds on the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta and Minecraft Preview nearly simultaneously, although Minecraft Preview will occasionally feature slightly different version numbers
  • Not quite the same. It's worth mentioning that, while Minecraft Preview is foundationally identical to Minecraft: Bedrock Edition and looks very similar, it's not exactly a one-to-one rendition. Minecraft Preview will have restricted or disabled features compared to the full Minecraft game, as part of its nature as a platform from which Mojang Studios can release and test unreleased, experimental updates and patches. Some of these restrictions include:
    • No support for Minecraft Realms servers, cross-platform multiplayer, or Achievements
    • Limited or no support for the Minecraft Marketplace and purchased content
    • Multiplayer is supported between Minecraft Preview players on the same platform, but not with Minecraft: Bedrock Edition
    • Player settings and options may not transfer to Minecraft Preview from Minecraft: Bedrock Edition
    • Worlds can be transferred to Minecraft Preview from Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, but cannot be transferred from Minecraft Preview to Minecraft: Bedrock Edition

Different ways to test and play

It's easy to obtain Minecraft Preview and begin testing the future of Minecraft, but it also depends on which platform you prefer to play. Minecraft Preview is accessed a little differently on every platform on which it's available, and as Minecraft Preview continues to expand to new ecosystems, it'll likely become even more varied. Here's how you can play Minecraft Preview on every platform it's currently available:

  • Xbox Series X|S & Xbox One. Players can now download and play Minecraft Preview on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One consoles. It's currently in the testing stage, so this process may change when Minecraft Preview more completely replaces the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta program. Here's what you need to know:
    • You do not need to own Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Xbox consoles to play Minecraft Preview
    • You can enroll in the Minecraft Preview testing program through the Xbox Insider Hub, a free app available on Xbox that you can sign into with your Microsoft Account
    • Mojang Studios is looking for feedback on the initial release of Minecraft Preview, which can also be submitted through the Xbox Insider Hub
    • Eventually, Minecraft Preview will be available to all players who own Minecraft: Bedrock Edition (by automatically appearing in their game library), and will be available through Xbox Game Pass
  • Windows 10 & Windows 11. Players can now download and play Minecraft Preview on Windows 10 and 11 PCs. It's currently in the testing stage, so this process may change when Minecraft Preview more completely replaces the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta program. Here's what you need to know:
    • Minecraft Preview is available to download and play from the Microsoft Store for any owners of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Windows
    • You'll need to sign into the Microsoft Store using the Microsoft Account with which you own Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, and you may need to refresh the Microsoft Store a few times to make Minecraft Preview appear as available in your library
    • Eventually, Minecraft Preview will be available through the Minecraft Launcher, and will be available through PC Game Pass
  • iPhone & iPad. Players can now apply to download and play Minecraft Preview on iOS devices, including supported iPhones and iPads. It's currently in the testing stage, so this process may change when Minecraft Preview more completely replaces the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta program. Here's what you need to know:
    • You do not need to own Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on iOS to play Minecraft Preview
    • Players can sign up to test Minecraft Preview through iOS TestFlight, a free app that can be installed from the App Store and signed into with your Apple ID
    • There are limited spaces available to players, but Mojang Studios will continue to expand the Minecraft Preview TestFlight program over time
Zachary Boddy
Zachary Boddy

Zachary Boddy is the Minecraft Expert and a News Writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been freelancing for Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019, with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.