The new Minecraft launcher: explained!

mcAlong with today's Minecraft snapshot, Mojang took the wraps off another major update to Minecraft - a brand new launcher. Minecraft has had the same launcher, add a few changes, since the first public updates in 2009. Since then a number of alternate launchers like the Technic Launcher and Magic Launcher have been released, offering a huge amount of benefits to Mojang's. But today marks the beginning of a new launcher, but why is it significant?

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Firstly let's focus on the design. All options are now on the right instead of below the Minecraft News window. It has a dropdown menu allowing you to select what version of Minecraft you want to launch - very similar to Technic's options. Right now the only option is the snapshot, those wishing to run Minecraft 1.5 will have to use the old one. Right now there is only a fraction of functionality that other launchers offer - but on par with the classic one.

When the Play button is clicked, you can see all the files being downloaded one by one, which should make debugging much easier. One thing I noticed was that you cannot re-download Minecraft straight from the launcher - you will have to clear your Minecraft files manually for now. We will give you updates on when newer features land in the new launcher, so stay tuned!

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15 comments

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NoPic
April 19, 2013 at 2:12 AM delete

I look forward to using mods with this.

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Hannah Smith
April 19, 2013 at 12:35 PM delete

This may sound noobish, idk, but will it re-download your jar file? Cause if it does, it'll erase your mods you downloaded, right? Once again, idk...

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April 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM delete

That's not a noobish question :P
Yes, it will erase your mods. But just like the old launcher it will ask you before it updates.

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Callum Watson
April 19, 2013 at 5:32 PM delete

Actually, the launcher creates a completely new set of folders due to the fact that it has to be capable of using multiple versions now. Your 1.5.1 and mods will all stay untouched, you just have to use the old launcher to get to it. The snapshots and versions downloaded with the new launcher go into a 'versions' folder, and then a folder with the name of the snapshot, meaning you can download as many versions as you have space for. because of the new system used, NO files are overwritten, and if you go into the assets folder in your appdata, you'll have access to all the sounds, and none of them have custom codecs anymore, which means we can all use them and change them to our hearts content. Awesome or what? Unfortunately the multi-version feature won't just accept you throwing a version in there, so don't expect to be able to run 1.5.1 on the new launcher with the snapshot on there at the same time.

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April 20, 2013 at 4:50 AM delete

Very nice explanation, thanks for the info :D

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Fire__Wolf
April 20, 2013 at 5:56 AM delete

I was never able to find out how to use mods manually, I always just hoped the mods used magic launcher or waited for Kovacic to update his pack

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April 20, 2013 at 9:34 AM delete

There are plenty of tutorials on how to install mods on YouTube and other sites if you don't know how (it can get a little confusing). The new launcher likely won't support mods until the Mod API is implemented.

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Callum Watson
April 20, 2013 at 10:01 PM delete

It should be just as mod-able as the previous versions, you simply have to go to versions[version_name] instead of bin. with the exception of the new features added in the update (horses etc.), there is no real difference in the way that the .jar works. All mods will work just as well as before, they just have to be updated as normal

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April 21, 2013 at 2:23 AM delete

True, I meant support mods officially like in the Technic Launcher. But yes, you can install mods the same way as before.

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Callum Watson
April 21, 2013 at 2:58 AM delete

Is there any chance that I could throw a modding tutorial your way to post up?

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BossNinja
May 1, 2013 at 2:53 PM delete

Is there a way to install other versions????

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May 2, 2013 at 12:16 PM delete

Yep, you can install Minecraft 1.5, the 1.6 snapshots, and when it comes out 1.6.

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peeebs321
May 2, 2013 at 8:35 PM delete

so minecraft will release the snap shotswith the patches right?

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Xengu595
May 6, 2013 at 3:03 PM delete

So thyeve done away with just grabbing the updated client jar, dropping it in and playing? Seriously, minecraft is not world of warcraft. You do not need a patcher/launcher, the old direct download links wer esimple, easy, and they worked. No need to complicate things.

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May 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM delete

Actually, it makes the whole process a lot easier for people not familiar with Minecraft's jar files. It also keeps all the files separated, which makes worlds less corruptible.

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