Surprise, indeed! For Minecraft players that don't frequent the subreddit, the latest launcher update for PC might come as quite a shock. The smoother and more polished version not only has some major new features but has shed much of its background weight. Specifically, the need for Java.
Of course, if you're a regular Minecraft subreddit follower, you've known about the Minecraft launcher update for a while now. The now native application has been through rigorous community testing over the last few months. Members of the Minecraft subreddit were given the opportunity to provide feedback through multiple stages, and now it appears that more and more players are reporting the update.
Tossing away the need for Java isn't the only thing the new launcher is capable of. The new look was accompanied by the addition of skin texture editing, performs faster than its predecessor, and a smoother news feed.
Here's the list of features according to Minecraft Wiki:
- Manage multiple profiles (stored in "launcher_profiles.json"). Each profile can control:
- Game version. Includes access to outdated development builds and previous releases. You can also add older/custom versions manually. See this video for instructions.
- Mojang account used to play the game
- Command line arguments for Java (such as heap size)
- Game Directory (where the game files are saved on disk)
- Edit profile pictures or custom made ones
- The launcher doesn't store your password locally. Instead of this, it uses a 'refresh token'.
- The launcher does not support multiple instances, whereas the game does.
- Automatic updates for launcher.
- Ability to update libraries, such as LWJGL.
- Offline mode. (The first time launch requires an Internet connection to download required resources)
- 57 Languages avaliable
- Crashes can be reported to Mojang, through Hopper.
- Crashes are indexed through a database for information on how to fix the issue.
- Launcher Settings.
- Switching Accounts or logging off.
- Changing Skins.
- Downloads servers on versions.
- Help button.
- Tiny Creeper face button (when you click it, it glows but it does nothing).
- Shows you the launcher version information when you click the launcher version.
It appears that only Windows and OSX launchers are being rolled out at this time whereas Linux might still in the testing phase according to a Reddit post by Mojang developer Dinnerbone just a month ago. We're probably sure to see an official post about the release as more and more users receive the update.