What are the problems with the Minecraft Better Together update on console?

When Microsoft announced the Better Together update for Minecraft, fans jumped for joy. Minecraft has always felt like a game built for cross-network play. It’s the world’s leading family video game, with an experience designed with collaborative play in mind, and now it’s truly open to everyone, regardless of the device it’s played on (except PlayStation).

Or so it seemed, at least. Unfortunately, the edition that has reached consoles is not exactly what fans expected.

Microsoft didn’t really do a good job of conveying to the community the fact that the Better Together update is not really an update for console users. It’s actually a totally different game, one that is almost identical to the old Pocket Edition for mobile.

This change has already taken place on Xbox One, where the old Minecraft: Xbox One Edition has given way to a new, separate client in the console store, simply called “Minecraft.” Similarly, Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition will also be abandoned in favor of the new client in the near future. The update is free, but it is not without certain headaches.

Minecraft’s new inventory and crafting interface, designed for touchscreens or mouse control, has not been well received by console users.

Although … Minecraft is Minecraft, right? Well not really. The makers of the console version of Minecraft, 4J Studios, for the last five years created a version of Minecraft that played great with a controller (the new version of Minecraft, by the way, no longer shows 4J on the initial screens when loading the game).

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The new version of Minecraft has completely abandoned that interface. Now the inventory and crafting are organized with a totally different interface – you can see it on these lines – taken from the mobile version, which was designed for touch screens or for the keyboard and mouse combo.

Microsoft has a feedback page for Minecraft where users can request changes. Recovering the interface for consoles, or at least having the option to use it, is one of the most popular, with more than 5,800 votes.

“That is the main reason why I am not abandoning the Xbox One Edition,” explained a fan. “I can’t support the current BTU interface when using a controller.”

“When playing on Xbox the Better Together interface is a huge step back from what we had before, both in terms of organization and control,” added another.

“The truth is that I am going to continue playing the Xbox One Edition until this is fixed. The new interface is much worse for Xbox gamers,” concluded a third fan.

Other of the most popular requests are related to other functions affected by Microsoft’s decision to base the new version on the Pocket Edition: the red stone (Redstone) and the coordinates.

The old console versions of Minecraft showed you your coordinates on a map. The new version no longer does.

Redstone (Minecraft’s equivalent of electrical wiring) has different systems on different platforms. The old console version was different from the Pocket Edition, so in imported worlds from Minecraft: Xbox One Edition you have to readjust the red stone so that the circuits work correctly.

The coordinates -to be able to see your exact position on the game map- also worked differently depending on the platform. Knowing your position is vital to meeting other players, as well as building big projects.

On console, players could view their position on an X / Y / Z axis using any map item. But on the Pocket Edition you can’t. As the new version of Minecraft is based on the Pocket Edition, users have been left without this option (Microsoft recently took a small step back by allowing coordinates to be viewed using a cheat, but turning on cheats disables achievements and other tracking features. statistics).

And then there is the in-game store. The Minecraft store has a prominent place when you load up the game, with the option to buy a world being the first option you have to go through before discarding the changelog from the latest patch.

It’s somewhat intrusive, and for the first time console users are being offered third-party packs. This new version of Minecraft has only been available for three weeks and the store already seems to be full of junk.

I don’t have any of these packs, but when using the option to create a new world I am shown a list with all of them. The store is now excessive and intrusive.

And then there are the bugs. I have found it extremely difficult to transfer my world from the old Xbox One Edition of the game. I have tried this several times, with mixed results. The process is slow, but nothing happens – give your world fifteen minutes or so and it should download and convert so you can instantly play the new version.

But “should” is the key word. I had to try three times on my home console to get it to work. I have tried two other times in the office and it failed, the second time leaving the console completely hanging. Every time I tried I had to wait more than half an hour before I could play. It’s not a good start, and when it finally loaded my world, I couldn’t eat.

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This has happened to me a lot of times.

To be frank, this new version of Minecraft is not the one I played before. I have asked Microsoft about all the issues we mentioned in this article and about requests from thousands of fans on the feedback page, but have not received any response.

Microsoft activated a beta for the Better Together update before releasing it to everyone. I played with it during that time, and quickly went back to the old Xbox One Edition, which I still play to this day even though I know it will never be updated again. I thought Microsoft would not release the Better Together update before fixing all the problems and making it more user friendly for console users. Unfortunately, perhaps in the rush to grab headlines with its engaging cross-network gameplay, it was published without fixing those flaws.

Playing with people from all over the world and on any platform is undoubtedly the future of Minecraft, but currently, on consoles, that does not seem to compensate for the problems that the Better Together edition introduces.