Minecraft Win 10 getting a new(er) look

The most recognisable game of the modern era is getting a new look. Sorta. Mojang have announced some graphics upgrades for Minecraft [official site], which will keep those old blocks but fancy everything up with new lighting including fancier shadows and god rays. This is Microsoft’s own Windows 10-only version of Minecraft, mind – the one which started as the Pocket Edition. The original Java version, which is developed as separate game, will keep its old look. Mojang are also adding cross-platform multiplayer between the Winton, console, pocket telephone, and VR versions. Here, check out the new look in this trailer:

Some time this autumn, Mojang will release an update they say will bring “4K HDR graphics which include improved lighting, shadows, [and] water effects.” That update is technically separate to the Super Duper Graphics Pack, which will bring “dynamic shadows, lighting that streams through fog, movement in leaves and grass, new textures for mobs and villagers, directional lighting, edge highlighting and more!” And they do say that’s all entirely optional, so players will be able to keep the old look if they’d prefer.

Before then, this summer, the ‘Better Together’ update will bring cross-platform multiplayer. Mojang say:

“Anyone playing the game on Windows 10, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and VR devices will be able to play online together. If you own Minecraft for your mobile or VR device, you’ll get this as a free update this summer. If you own Minecraft: Xbox One Edition or Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition, you’ll receive the brand new version of Minecraft for free, and your existing worlds and DLC will come along to the new version with you. What’s more, any DLC you purchase will be accessible amongst the various devices at no extra charge.”

Busy times in Minecraftia. Unless you’re on the Java version, in which case it’s business as usual.


  1. geldonyetich says:

    I wonder if they’re aware the mod community, which mostly develops on the JAVA end, is mostly responsible for Minecraft’s ongoing appeal

    • Rob Lang says:

      If only Microsoft had access to an open source, cross platform “Java like” language that could interop with native C++ through a defined API. If they had access to that, it would be really handy for allowing mods on the windows 10 version through an API rate than package hacking through third party tools.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I promise you 98% of the people who bought Minecraft have never installed a single mod.

      Like it’s cool that those things exist, but the vanilla game is a huge exciting world that you can spend hundreds of hours in, especially for kids.

      • Ich Will says:

        That’s almost certainly not even close to the true figure, but assuming it was, what percentage of your modless players would have ever heard of the game if the modding community wasn’t so vibrant. You don’t have to mod your game to benefit from mods.

      • PseudoKnight says:

        I’d say the rate of Optifine installs is much higher than that, at least if you only count active players. But let’s not forget that some features were inspired by mods, like pistons, and that the vast majority of the server community uses server-side mods. This doesn’t require players to install mods on their end.

      • clonex10100 says:

        That may be true, but at least with my little brother and his friends, most of the kids playing Minecraft now are on the minigame servers, which use server-side mods. Also very few of the big youtubers they are obsessed with play vanilla.

  2. Rob Lang says:

    It’s about time they get feature parity with Java so that us vanilla realms players could all play together. Not to mention using the hulking enormity of my PC through a proper near to tin engine rather than through the Java sandbox. Come on Mojang, you’ve been promising it forever!

  3. JarinArenos says:

    So… a major update for the version of the game that has no mods and thus very few people actually play?

    Seriously though, what DO player statistics look like for the vanilla-only mobile/win10 version?

  4. racccoon says:

    Its about bloody time..you just can’t stagnate a game forever. Good job! :)

  5. jeremyalexander says:

    LOL! That’s Mojang for you. Half assing today what modders did in few hours of work a decade ago. Maybe next year we’ll get a new brick and another animal type. oOOOOOOOOHHHHH. How has no rabbit beaten this turtle yet?

  6. PseudoKnight says:

    I’ve been heavily critical of the various shaders that have come out of the modding community, but this looks like one of the worst. I know some people like god rays and high contrast lighting, in part because it makes some neat screenshots, but it makes it really hard to see anything half the time. Also, the shadows are so glitchy in MC. They twinkle in and out of existence, and they have a distance range so sometimes mountains don’t drop a shadow. The only consistently good thing in shaders are the better fog. I wish that was implemented in the internal shaders.

    Chocapic is one of the better shaders I’ve tested, if you want to try one out. Avoid SEUS.

  7. Alberto says:

    Probably the w10 version runs better and all that, but I’ll stick with java.

    Don’t like when I buy a game and the first thing the launcher says is “buy buy buy stuff for that game you bought”.

  8. Neurotic says:

    God, it makes me want to fire her up for my semi-annual Minecraft Deep-Dive…

  9. kentonio says:

    I go back every 4-6 months when I hear about some cool animal being added usually (OCELOTS!! :O) and end up having a couple of days of bliss, before the whole thing comes to a crashing halt as I realize there’s some huge issue that still hasn’t been resolved years later (looking at you now villagers!).

    For a game that has earned billions of dollars, and is now owned by one of the worlds biggest tech companies, it does annoy the hell out of me that they still run it like a mod project being run by two teenagers in opposite timezones.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I’m bothered that this is Win 10 only for no reason other than “pls buy our OS”.

    So, sticking with Java. Besides, I like mods, and MS isn’t about to let people mod the game without paying them first, I expect.