6 things you need to know about Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition

Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition has launched in the eShop. It's pretty much the same game as its Wii U counterpart, complete with the Mushroom Kingdom texture pack and Super Mario Mash-Up pack. But, it still feels like a new experience because it's available on a new console. Here are six important things you should know about Minecraft on the Switch before you hit the Purchase button.

Note: This is not the Minecraft Story Mode game, which launches in July. You can preorder Story Mode from Amazon today.

1. Minecraft will soon be totally cross-platform across all consoles and mobile devices (except Sony)

At the E3 gaming expo, Microsoft announced it would add support for Minecraft Realms to the Nintendo Switch and that the game would become completely cross-platform (except for PlayStation) this summer. So, you can play Minecraft on your Switch while your kids play it on Xbox One and your spouse plays it on iPhone. Yeah. It's pretty cool. My nephew plays it on PC, so I'll be able to game with him online anytime I want.

Cross platform gameplay for Minecraft is coming to iPhone and Nintendos Switch

1. Minecraft world building on Switch is actually bigger than Wii U

According to Arstechnica, Minecraft worlds can be way larger than their Wii U counterparts.

In addition, you're getting a lot more Minecraft to play than on the Wii U version. Each generated Switch world can be as big as 3072 x 3072 blocks, which is roughly 13 times larger than the Wii U's pokey 864 x 864 world limit. That's a bit more than a third the size of the PS4 and Xbox One versions' 5120 x 5120 limits—which, honestly, seems about right when comparing those systems' specs.

2. You will need an additional Joy-Con controller if you want to play local multiplayer

You can connect up to four players in local multiplayer mode, but Minecraft is a fairly complex game, requiring a lot of buttons and controls. So on the Switch, each player must use both the left and right Joy-Con controllers (or a Pro controller) to play. You can't split the Joy-Con into two and share it with your friend in horizontal mode.

Luckily, Joy-Con controllers are much easier to find than the Switch itself.

3. Minecraft online multiplayer is probably easier to connect to than any other Switch online multiplayer game (so far)

Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition will support up to eight players at once in a session. So far, playing online multiplayer Switch games hasn't been all that seamless. At times, the online gaming process is kind of a pain. It sounds like Mojang has figured out a way to make it really easy to see when your friends are logged into their server so you can just jump right in.

You cannot issue an invite to a friend to join your own Minecraft session; instead, anyone on your friends list will automatically see your instance is live if you're both connected to the Internet, and they can jump in via the default "join" menu.

4. You will be able to port your Wii U worlds to Switch as early as this summer

Microsoft has said that you will eventually be able to port your existing worlds and saves from the Wii U version of Minecraft to the Nintendo Switch edition. Nintendo recently announced the support of Minecraft Realms on Switch, which will allow you to bring worlds across platforms.

5. It is only available as a digital download right now

Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition costs $29.99, but is only available as a digital download in the eShop right now. A game card version will launch later this year, but there is currently no information about when it will be available or how much it will cost. You can sign up to receive a notification when it becomes available on Amazon.

Are you getting Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition?

Are you a diehard Minecraft player? Do you have every edition on every console and computer? Are you also getting it for Switch? Let us know about your Minecraft obsession in the comments.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).