Minecraft Legends: everything we know about the new strategy spinoff

Key art for Minecraft Legends, showing the hero's allied army of villagers, skeletons, and creepers against the massed Piglin forces.
(Image credit: Blackbird Interactive, Mojang)

Minecraft Legends, the latest spinoff of Mojang's crafting masterpiece, is deploying your favorite blocks for battle. Gone are the days of peaceful tree punching and lodge-building. In Legends, you'll be Minecrafting with greater stakes. You'll be marshalling mobs to face the encroaching forces of Piglin invaders, and fighting for the survival of Minecraft's Overworld itself.

Ever since the first reveal, Mojang's slowly dripfed Legends details to us, but with release imminent the floodgates are open. We've been keeping a tally of how you'll play, the forces you'll fight alongside, and the Piglin foes you'll encounter. Here's everything we know so far about Minecraft Legends.

Does Minecraft Legends have a release date? 

Minecraft Legends launches on April 18, 2023 on PC, consoles, and will be included in Xbox Game Pass.

Here's the latest Minecraft Legends gameplay trailer

In this January 2023 gameplay trailer, we see the Legends hero crossing from one Minecraft biome to another, followed by llamas, golems, and other forces. We watch them order their allies in the defense of a Villager, uh, village, before laying siege to a Piglin fortress, and get a brief glimpse of multiplayer gameplay.

Watch the first Minecraft Legends trailer

There's a lot going on in the first Minecraft Legends trailer—including a little look at gameplay. The first bits here are of course an animated cinematic like Mojang sometimes produces for other Minecraft reveals and projects.

Minecraft Legends "tells the story of the Overworld uniting against an invasion by the ravenous piglins," it says. "According to the legend, only you can bring together the mobs of the Overworld and help them defend their home."

Based on that, it makes a lot of sense that we see the player riding their horse at the head of an army full of creepers, zombies, and skeletons. It looks like longtime enemies are all going to come together to kick the piglins back into the Nether.

Read our Minecraft Legends review

Genre mashups aren't always a recipe for success, as you'll read in our Minecraft Legends review. Chasing a new "action strategy" playstyle means Minecraft Legends splits the difference between its influences, and in the process ends up sacrificing what makes them satisfying. It's a Minecraft game without any opportunity for creativity, and a strategy game with no room for real strategy.

What's Minecraft Legends gameplay like? 

Minecraft Legends remixes the series standard survival and crafting into a real-time strategy adventure across the Minecraft overworld, which is split into both new and familiar biomes. The main gameplay cycle has the player traversing through biomes on a mount while they gather materials, support allies, fight angry mobs of piglins, and craft personalized bases.

The first trailer showcased the standard horse mount, but the latest gameplay look confirms that there will be a plethora of mounts (including a large, sparkling purple feline). You're never alone on your journey: you're able to rally up friendly mobs like badgers and llamas to follow you, and you have the assistance of fairy-like allays which gather and build for you. Historically hostile mobs will join the player's forces, too: in previews, we've seen creepers and zombie villagers, alongside new player-built golems.

During the footage from Minecraft Live 2022 we got a chance to see the mob spawners, which allow you to spawn historically hostile mobs to aid you on your journey to take down the piglin invaders. You can see the player hero 

During an interview at Gamescom 2022, creative director Magnus Nedfors said that the game's core emphasis is on forging alliances with denizens of the Minecraft Overworld, so that you can battle the piglin forces together. "It's not about your character getting stronger," Nedfors said. "You're not getting new armor. It's about making new friends and fighting the piglins together."

A gameplay first look from Minecraft Live 2022 gives a good overview of how Minecraft Legends plays, with the player adventuring across open biomes to gather resources, rally friendly mobs, and build an army with player-built unit spawners to attack a Piglin invasion portal. You can see a lot of the custom player fortifications in the gameplay look as well: a player stands at a river impasse and orders the allays to build a safe bridge across to their home base.

(Image credit: Blackbird Interactive, Mojang)

What kinds of units will be in Minecraft Legends?

In addition to pulling existing mob types from vanilla Minecraft, Minecraft Legends will be adding some fully original creatures both for the player to command and battle against.

For the player's own forces, in addition to classic Minecraft mobs like villagers, skeletons, and creepers, the hero can also bring different types of golems, each with their own strengths. Dennis Ries, executive producer for Minecraft Legends, described how Cobblestone Golems are particularly effective at destroying enemy structures, while projectile-spitting Plank Golems are a good choice if you need a ranged unit.

The enemy Piglin forces will be expanding their ranks with some new additions, too. The Piglin armies will apparently be divided into "Hordes," each of which has its own specialization and focus. The Horde of the Bastion, for example, tends towards more defensive structures. Presumably, different Hordes will also emphasize different piglin units, like the large "pigmadillo" that rolls up into a wrecking ball, or the "bruisers" that carry two giant razor blades.

Is there multiplayer in Minecraft Legends? Crossplay? 

Yes! Minecraft Legends will have co-op and competitive multiplayer, Xbox has announced. We also found out at the Xbox Developer Direct that Minecraft Legends has a PVP mode where you take on another base-building team and try to knock their base out before they can do the same to you. We also saw that the Piglins don't just sit on the sidelines during PVP gameplay, as they'll be looking to knock out both teams.

As for crossplay, we can pretty safely bet that there will at least be cross-platform multiplayer between PC and Xbox players. Since Mojang eventually added cross-platform multiplayer to Minecraft Dungeons for PC and all consoles, it seems fair to hope that it will push for that at launch with Legends. 

(Image credit: Blackbird Interactive, Mojang)

Who's developing Minecraft Legends?

It turns out that Mojang isn't developing Minecraft Legends itself. It's actually being developed by Blackbird Interactive, the studio that created spaceship deconstruction sim Hardspace: Shipbreaker (which we gave an excellent 91% review) and is also working on the RTS Crossfire: Legion. 

Mojang says that BBI has a team specifically dedicated to work on Minecraft Legends and even though it isn't being handled by the in-house team, it sure sounds like it's in experienced hands as part of an amazing year for strategy games.

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.