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Since the Better Together Update[1] Minecraft Studios has started involving the gaming community for testing early versions Minecraft called Beta versions.

Mojang Quote on Betas

The following quote accompanies the newer changelogs from Mojang:

PLEASE READ before participating in the Minecraft Beta:

  • You will not have access to Realms and will not be able to join non-beta players while you're previewing the beta. Featured servers may also be unavailable
  • The beta is available only on Xbox One, Windows 10, and Android (Google Play). To join or leave the beta, see aka.ms/JoinMCBeta for detailed instructions
  • Beta builds will likely be unstable and are not representative of final version quality. *Please backup your Worlds before joining the beta
  • Finished releases may not include all new features, changes, and fixes from the beta to preserve stability and may slip to a later release

Change of Beta Contents

Before Update 1.2.10 Minecraft Studios used the betas as preliminary builds of what was going to be included in the upcoming Update. In other words, anything added to a beta version were going to be added in the full release. This is also the normal way to use beta versions.

However, as of Update 1.2.10 and the betas related to Update 1.2.13, Minecraft Studios has opted for an alternate concept more resembling the snapshots of Minecraft (Java edition). This means that the betas of a given update are releases of the current main development branch, and it doesn't necessarily reflect what is actually going to be included in the full release.

When Minecraft Studio wants to publish the full release, they're going to evaluate which of the various fixes, features, changes and so on they want to implement in that full release. Everything not included, is likely to be re-introduced in a later beta release and eventually make it into another full release later on.

Experimental Gameplay

Related to the Update Aquatic[2], Mojang introduced the Experimental Gameplay. This is an option in-game which allows for the Player to play with experimental features included in the current update. To enable go to Game Settings, and turn on Use Experimental Gameplay (beware, you currently can't turn it off again).

Note that when playing with this option enabled you can still earn achievements, and Minecraft will create a copy of your world prefixed with EX. Also note that the features are still work-in-progress, so it might make your game more unstable.

Bugs and Reporting

Any beta version of any program is by nature unstable, and might bug out or crash at any time, so don't enter the beta programs without being prepared for the unstable nature of a beta. With that being said, the beta version calls out for you to report back to the developers if (or rather when) it crashes.

To look for bugs, and to report new bugs go to: https://bugs.mojang.com/browse/MCPE. When logged in, you can search (and if not found) add new bug reports. Please do follow instructions[3] related to providing good bug reports.

Joining the Beta programs

The full Beta programs are available for Xbox One, Windows 10 and Android, and not for iOS and the various other platforms of Minecraft (Bedrock). However, as of Update 1.2.13 Minecraft Studios has opted for introducing the Experimental Gameplay which is an in-game option allowing for all variants of Bedrock to test out various new features. In the following sections how to join are described.

Xbox One & Windows 10

You will need to own the digital version of the game,

To join the Minecraft Beta[4] on Windows 10 or Xbox One you'll need the digital version of the game, and can then follow this procedure:

  1. Go to the Store app on Xbox One or a Windows 10 PC.
  2. Search for the Xbox Insider Hub app.
  3. Download and install Xbox Insider Hub.
  4. Launch the Xbox Insider Hub.
  5. Navigate to Insider content > Minecraft Beta.
  6. Select Join.
  7. Have fun and find bugs!

Android

To join on Android[5] you need to have bought your copy of Minecraft for Android through the Google Play store. You can then go to: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.mojang.minecraftpe for joining or leaving the program.

Note that when joining, you need to wait for a beta update to be available, and when leaving you need to uninstall Minecraft before reinstalling the latest full release. Remember to back up your worlds before joining.


References

  1. https://minecraft.net/nb-no/article/beta-test-better-together
  2. https://minecraft.net/en-us/article/update-aquatic-bedrock-beta
  3. http://pocketbeta.minecraft.net/p/how-to-report-bug_2.html
  4. https://minecraft.net/en-us/article/how-get-minecraft-betas
  5. http://pocketbeta.minecraft.net/p/how-to-join-and-leave-beta.html