'Minecraft Earth' tweaks encourage home play and social distancing

Steve Dent
·Associate Editor
·1-min read

Microsoft's mobile AR title Minecraft Earth is following the lead of Pokémon Go by introducing new features that make it easier to play at home during the coronavirus pandemic. To start with, you'll have better access to "tappables" (resources like grass, stones and livestock), because they'll spawn more often and closer to you. Also, Minecraft Earth has introduced "adventure crystals" that spawn adventures right where you are, so you'll no longer need to go out and seek them.

The AR game, like Pokémon Go, is designed to be used in the real world, something that's impossible in California and many other places right now. Recently, Niantic introduced changes designed to make the game playable at home, including a 100-Poké Ball bundle for 1 PokéCoin, along with a rotating 1 PokéCoin bundle that will change every week. It also increased daily bonuses and increased the number of gifts available per day to 30.

The Minecraft Earth team said it developed these features in accordance with World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control guidelines about avoiding public places and gatherings of 10 or more people. Other new features include a higher level cap, Bone Spiders skeletons, Dark Forest buildplates, Tropical Slime mobs and the Iron Furnace Golem protector.