Minecraft Legends: everything we know about the new strategy spinoff

Mojang has revealed another Minecraft spinoff game with lots of action.

Minecraft Legends - A pair of piglins emerge from a portal

Minecraft’s expansive cubes are changing again, with Minecraft Legends, a brand new RTS spinoff from Mojang’s crafting masterpiece. Legends plans to take us on a sprawling adventure through the biomes of Minecraft’s overworld, vacuuming up resources to build defenses from piglin forces, who are invading from the Nether. You’ll bring together enemies like skeletons and creepers to turn them into your allies against the evil Nether’s invasion. And best of all: your friends can hop onboard for online co-op.

Since the original reveal, Mojang has kept info to a careful drip about the details of  commanding your mob allies in Legends. But one thing we know for sure is that you’ll be doing quite a lot of riding around on a mount like a blocky knight in diamond armor. Here’s everything else we know so far about Minecraft Legends:

(Image credit: Blackbird Interactive, Mojang)

Does Minecraft Legends have a release date? 

Minecraft Legends still doesn’t have an exact release date, but Mojang announced during Minecraft Live in 2022 that it will launch in spring 2023.

When it does arrive, we know that Minecraft Legends will launch on PC, consoles, and be included in Xbox Game Pass.

Here’s the first Minecraft Legends trailer

This may be just a first teaser, but there’s a lot going on in the 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.

So what is the Minecraft Legends gameplay like? 

Minecraft Legends has an overworld split into biomes you’ll recognize from vanilla Minecraft while adding the totally different combat style of real time strategy for the first time in the series. Like Minecraft Dungeons, this definitely isn’t going to be the same kind of crafting and building as regular Minecraft. 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. 

During the latest 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 charge into battle with creepers, zombie villagers, and the new grindstone golems at their side. Even though they’re technically on your side, it is unnerving being that close to a creeper.

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.”

In another livestream, Mojang Studios executive producer Dennis Ries says “as you explore the lush biomes you collect resources and then you use those resources to build defenses.”

You can see a lot of the custom player fortifications in the latest 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.

We’re also going to get an “extended gameplay showcase” for Minecraft Legends at the Xbox Developer Direct stream on January 25th (opens in new tab), with any luck this will reveal even more about how Legends will play, and how the co-op battles will play out. 

(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 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 don’t know anything else about how multiplayer works just yet. 

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. 

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.

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