Minecraft brings Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS, Google Android and Nintendo Switch players together for the first time

Minecraft fans who play on Xbox and Windows PCs can now team up with friends on Apple and Google devices following a new update.

The Better Together Update brings together the console, mobile and Windows 10 versions of the game in a single edition. This means people can work together to create worlds in the popular block-building game regardless of which operating system they are using – Windows, iOS or Android. The update also applies to Nintendo Switch players and those using virtual reality devices.

“Going forward, the edition you’ll find on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile and VR will simply be known as ‘Minecraft’, a separate entity from ‘Minecraft: Java Edition’, which is the original PC game (that we’ll continue to support, of course). This means when you buy ‘Minecraft’, you’re buying a game that you can play with friends across devices,” Minecraft said in a blog post.

Gamers playing Minecraft on a mobile or VR device will get a free update this summer; those who own Minecraft: Xbox One Edition or Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition will receive the new version free of charge, with their existing worlds and downloadable content moving over, too.

Any downloadable content, such as skin packs, bought on one of the operating systems will now be available on all of them. So, buying the Greek Mythology pack on Nintendo Switch means you can also use it in the mobile, Xbox One and Windows 10 editions as well.

The Better Together Update will also create a server browser in the Minecraft start menu, allowing players to easily find worlds they would like to join. There will initially be four servers – Lifeboat, Mineplex, InPVP and CubeCraft – with more added in the future. All servers featured in the browser will have parental controls to ensure everyone can enjoy Minecraft safely.

Minecraft server Lifeboat

Lifeboat, one of the Minecraft servers

Finally, Minecraft will release a free update in the autumn that will boost its graphics to 4K HDR, improving the look of lighting, shadows and water effects, among other things.

There will also be a Super Duper Graphics Pack on top of the 4K update, which introduces features such as dynamic shadows, lighting that streams through fog, movement in leaves and grass, new textures for mobs and villagers, directional lighting, edge highlighting and more.

These are just the latest features to come to Minecraft.

In April, the game got its first official marketplace, where players can buy maps and skin and texture packs from professional “content creators”.

Minecraft Marketplace

Minecraft Marketplace

Meanwhile, Minecraft Hour of Code Designer, a free coding tutorial for students and teachers, let users make their own world in the popular block-building title and program the rules.

Minecraft is one of the most popular computer games of all time, with more than 106 million copies sold to date – including four to people in Antarctica. Since the beginning of 2016, more than 53,000 copies have been sold every day, and more than 40 million people play Minecraft every month.