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 and open 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 with Mojang Studios resting on its laurels. Minecraft's creators constantly bring brand-new content and updates to the perpetually evolving game, and 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 old Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta program was available on Xbox consoles, Windows PCs, and Android devices, and was an optional program that goes through the full Minecraft game on those platforms. Because of how the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta works, it was limited to the platform on which it already exists, and forced 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 aims to 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). The old beta program now only exists on Android devices, with Minecraft Preview taking over on more platforms. 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 repeatedly, 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, Minecraft Preview is designed to replace the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta on all platforms, on top of expanding to new platforms entirely. This means that players actively participating in Minecraft betas may eventually be forced to move to Minecraft Preview, as the aging beta program will be phased out.
- This transition has already happened on Xbox and Windows, with the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta being shut down in favor of Minecraft Preview. Owners of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, Xbox and PC Game Pass subscribers, and Xbox Insiders may all be eligible to join the Minecraft Preview.
- 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 players
- 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. Minecraft Preview has completely replaced the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta on this platform. Here's what you need to know:
- Minecraft Preview is available to download and play from the Xbox Store for any owners of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Xbox
- Minecraft Preview is not yet available through Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on Xbox consoles, but will be arriving on the subscription service in the near future
- Windows 10 & Windows 11. Players can now download and play Minecraft Preview on Windows 10 and 11 PCs. Minecraft Preview has completely replaced the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta on this platform. 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
- Minecraft Preview is available through PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on Windows devices
- Minecraft Preview isn't available through the Minecraft Launcher on PC, but will be added in the near future
- 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 as Minecraft Preview evolves. 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
- Android. Minecraft Preview is currently unavailable on Android devices. Android players will still need to rely on the Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta program, which can be joined through the Minecraft page in the Google Play Store.
Minecraft Preview gives passionate players an easy, feature-packed way to test future Minecraft updates, submit feedback, and actively participate in the development process. Minecraft Preview is now available on Xbox, Windows, and iOS platforms.
Players interested in diving into Minecraft Preview can do so through PC Game Pass, and will soon be able to through Xbox Game Pass, both of which are included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Besides access to hundreds of other games and perks, XGPU is one of the best ways to play Minecraft Preview.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.