Minecraft Earth closed beta goes live on Android in five cities

When the beta for Minecraft Earth (think the building concepts of Minecraft mashed up with the real-world wandering/augmented reality/collecting concepts of Pokémon GO) first went live back in July, it did so with a catch or two: it only worked on iOS, and only players in Seattle or London were actually able to play.

The beta pool is expanding dramatically this morning, with players on Android finally being invited to jump in. Meanwhile, the region locks have expanded over the past few weeks to include Tokyo, Stockholm and Mexico City (along with Seattle and London).

Curiously, those new Android users will immediately get access to a fledgling feature that iOS players haven’t: the in-game currency, rubies. Rubies can be earned or bought, and allow players to buy more build plates upon which they can piece together their blocky creations. In a blog post on the beta expansion, the company promises that any rubies acquired during the beta will follow the player into the eventual public release, and that iOS support for rubies is coming “very soon.”

Alas, you can’t just hop in the Google Play store, hit download and get to building. It’s still a closed beta, so you’ll have to sign up and be invited in before you’ll be able to start.

We went hands-on with an early build of Minecraft Earth right after it was announced — check out our early impressions here.