Ladders and stairs allow us to move up and down, both in Minecraft and the real world. Being able to travel vertically in Minecraft Earth opens up new gameplay opportunities, and makes the game far more immersive for players.
In Minecraft Earth, players would be able to use ladders and stairs to move between levels inside their builds. However, making this work effectively proves to be much harder than it sounds.
Ladders and stairs are both in the game. However, they are currently only cosmetic and can’t be used.
In response to a question about movement, Mojang previously said that “the only way to move will be to physically move in the world”. This doesn’t exactly answer the question about verticle movement in Minecraft Earth, but instead suggests there will be no Pocket-Edition-like controls.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how ladders and stairs would theoretically work, and in which cases they’d be useful.
Build Mode Vs Play Mode
Building in Minecraft Earth is split into two modes: build mode and play mode. To help us understand when ladders are needed, we must first understand the differences between the two.
In build mode, a player places down a build plate on a flat surface such as a table. Once placed, the plate becomes anchored to the surface it was put on. The player can move around the build plate by walking in real life. For instance, to look at a build from above, the player must position their phone above the build, and face it downwards towards the build plate. To build on a build plate, blocks can be placed by tapping on the side of another block, just like in regular Minecraft.
There’s no need for ladders or stairs in build mode because your build plate is at a miniature scale. If you want to see inside a room, just move your phone through its walls! It doesn’t matter if it’s the first floor, second floor or even underground.
The second mode is play mode. Here, players can place down their build plates at life-size. They can then walk in and amongst their Minecraft creation.
This is where the problem lies. For example, if a player has built a two-story house it would be impossible for them to access the second floor. In this case, ladders or stairs would be needed.
The problem with moving up in Minecraft Earth is a tricky one. If a player were to climb up a ladder, they’d expect the view of the real world to reflect that. The ground below should become smaller, and objects which are lower down than the player should be seen over.
However, this is, of course, impossible as we are not actually moving up and down in the real world. There’s no way for our phones to know what the roofs of our houses look like when we’re still standing on the ground.
Luckily, the same challenges don’t exist when moving below ground. In fact, another game has already proved it to be possible. This video from the game WrldCraft shows a player falling down a virtual hole.
This would be great for Minecraft Earth, not only for allowing players to build underground, but also for use in adventures. Adventures are missions which spawn randomly around the world. Underground cave adventures have previously been shown, however, the players couldn’t enter into the cave.
If Minecraft Earth used the technology shown in the WrldCraft video above, hundreds of new gameplay opportunities would open up. This is why it’s a topic which is worth serious consideration from Mojang.
Despite all this, it looks as though ladders and stairs aren’t going to be useable anytime soon. Right now there are many other more important features for Mojang to focus on, such as adding Adventures into the game.
What are your thoughts on ladders and stairs? Are they important for Minecraft Earth? Let us know in the comments below!
PS: We’ve recently launched our “Guide for Minecraft Earth“ app on the Google Playstore. If you’re looking for guides and tips for Minecraft Earth, please be sure to check it out. (leaving a review is really appreciated!)