Minecraft Preview is the new standalone beta application for Bedrock

Minecraft official artwork - Steve and Alyx stand on a grassy hill made of cubes with a sheep, creeper, zombie, skeleton, and pig.
(Image credit: Mojang)

Beta versions of Minecraft Bedrock for Windows now have their very own standalone application, Minecraft Preview, free for Minecraft owners and Xbox Game Pass subscribers. Change may be scary, but this one honestly sounds like a real improvement over the headaches that the old Minecraft beta process has always caused me.

As of today, you can download Minecraft Preview from the Xbox store or through the Xbox app for Windows. You'll already own the app if your account has a copy of Minecraft Bedrock or a Game Pass subscription. As we get closer to the Minecraft 1.19 Wild Update later this year, this is how Mojang will let players on Minecraft Bedrock continue trying out new features and creatures like those frogs and mangrove trees.

Importantly, Minecraft Preview is a totally separate application from Bedrock. So your game saves, marketplace items, and achievements aren't available in Minecraft Preview—nor is multiplayer. 

Best of Minecraft

Minecraf 1.18 key art

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft update: What's new?
Minecraft skins: New looks
Minecraft mods:  Beyond vanilla
Minecraft shaders: Spotlight
Minecraft seeds: Fresh new worlds
Minecraft texture packs: Pixelated
Minecraft servers: Online worlds
Minecraft commands: All cheats

It also means less pain when playing the beta version, overall. Previously, Bedrock players had to download the Xbox Insider Hub, opt into the Minecraft Beta program, and then their version of Minecraft Bedrock would be switched to the beta version. Switching back and forth was an absolute hassle, sometimes requiring me to re-download the entire game through the Microsoft store for the transition between versions to stick. Unlike Minecraft Java, Bedrock has never allowed multiple version installations. So I personally won't be mourning the Bedrock and Beta breakup.

Mojang says in its Minecraft Preview FAQ that the application is currently available for PC, Xbox, and iOS, and that it is "working diligently to bring Minecraft Preview to additional platforms". Mojang explains that for now, there is some overlap for PC and Xbox players, who will still have access to the Minecraft Beta program and the new Minecraft Preview. The application isn't currently available in the new universal Minecraft Launcher on PC, but will be at some point later this year.

Breathe easy, Java players. This doesn't seem to affect us, our snapshot builds, or our meticulously organized game versions.

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.