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Minecraft’s free Java-to-Windows upgrade ends today

Upgrade the Java Edition now to test out the ray tracing beta

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the interior of a glass-domed mall with RTX on in the Minecraft with RTX beta
The beta of Minecraft with RTX.
Image: Mojang/Xbox Game Studios via Blockworks, Nvidia
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

With Minecraft’s new ray-traced visual overhaul now live in beta, Microsoft’s offer for a free upgrade of the game is coming to a close. Players who own the original Java version of Minecraft have until the end of the day on Monday to claim a free copy of the Windows 10 version of the game.

Microsoft acquired Minecraft developer Mojang in 2014, and launched the Windows 10 beta of the game the following year. While the Java Edition of Minecraft is sticking around for now, it seems clear that the future of the game lies in the Bedrock Edition, which features cross-platform play across computers, consoles, and mobile devices. Microsoft has long offered a free upgrade to the Windows 10 Edition, and anyone who bought the Java Edition before Oct. 19, 2018, is entitled to that upgrade.

Redeeming your free Minecraft copy is easy — as long as you remember your Mojang login from a thousand years ago. If you own the Java version of Minecraft, log in to your Mojang account, and you should see a “claim your free copy” button underneath the Minecraft entry in “My Games.” The promotion ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on April 20; after that, you’ll have to buy the Windows 10 Edition, which costs $26.99, on its own.

Once you have your free copy and are officially keyed into the Windows 10 version of the game, you’ll be able to join the Minecraft with RTX beta for the best-looking blocks you’ve ever seen. To opt into the RTX version of the game, you just need to make a selection in the in-game menu. (It also requires one of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX graphics cards, of course.)

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