[Tips] The New Minecraft Launcher

Discussion in 'Player Guides, Tips and Tricks' started by Slvr, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Now, today we got a brand-new launcher to go with Minecraft. A lot of players are understandably going to be confused, and even potentially upset by this new launcher, but I'm here to tell you: never fear! A quick and then a closer inspection of this new launcher reveals 99% of the old features remain. It's just a different (and more stylish way if you ask me) of getting there.

    Here's a shot of the launcher in general. This guide will use color coding to show what each (important) option does.

    • Red: This just displays your language and region.
    • Pink: This is just the news section. Much like the main screen of the old launcher, this just tells you anything new and interesting going on as far as Minecraft is concerned.
    • Yellow: You can now change your skin directly in the launcher!
    • Green: Just some general settings about the launcher, such as controlling whether it goes away while playing the game or not.
    • Blue: This is the most important page probably. This is where you'll change and manipulate profiles, and change various arguments to control your Minecraft experience - such as versions.
    • Brown: This is obviously how you'll launch the game. The up arrow allows you to choose between different profiles you have.
    • White: The dropdown arrow by your name allows you to change between users. Help takes you to general help with Minecraft/Mojang.
    Now, the most important screen out of this is arguably the yellow and blue screens. Skinswork like this:

    • Red: This selects your player model. You should know whether your skin you're using is made for the Steve or Alex skin. If you select Classic, that means your skin selects the model Steve uses. If you select Slim, your skin selects the model that Alex uses.
    • Orange: This is how you browse your computer for the skin file.
    • Green: Save & upload is what you click after you browse for the file on your computer if you wish for it to be your skin.
    • Yellow: The links will download a Steve or Alex skin onto your computer.
    • Purple: Clicking this will reset - or wipe - your skin, returning it to the default Steve/Alex.
    The profile page on the launcher, selected by choosing Launch options at the top, brings you to this page.

    • Red: Enabling snapshots lets you test developmental stages of the game.
    • Blue: Historical versions lets you view old or outdated versions of the game - such as beta, or alpha versions.
    • Yellow: Advanced settings lets you edit settings that are discussed in the next picture.
    • Purple: Clicking on a profile (since I already had a few, I have a lot - I've just circled one) opens up more options that you can edit for that individual profile.
    • Orange: This lets you create a new profile that you can tailor and edit to your liking.
    This will explain some of the settings you see if you have the yellow option above turned on. If you don't, THISis what you will see instead of the next picture!

    • Black: Displays the name of the profile you're working on.
    • Gray: Displays the name of the profile you're on, as well as allows you to edit/change it.
    • Red: Allows you to change the version of Minecraft you're working on.
    • Orange: Allows you to download server files if you wished to set up a Minecraft server. If you don't understand what that means, you should probably look up a guide on how to set up a Minecraft server.
    • Yellow: This is probably not something you should mess with unless you understand it well. Minecraft is good at understanding what resolution it should run at. This is basically how well Minecraft is displayed.
    • Green: This is where your Minecraft directory is. It's best to not alter where it is since on most computers, it's in the same place, and it's best if you frequently use guides and such. The green arrow will take you to the directory by opening up the folder.
    • Light Blue and Blue: Again, not something you should toy with unless you know what you're doing. TheBoracle's articles give some neat explanations on these things to help you better understand it! The Blue option can help optimize framerate and such if you know what you're doing.
    Note that ALL options are toggled using the gray box switches to the left!
    Well, I hope this quick write-up helps clears up any confusion about the new Minecraft launcher. If I didn't elaborate on some things, it's probably because they're not all that important, but if you do have questions feel free to ask.

    Other great info!
    • Check here for a cool tip on changing pictures for your profiles, and other nifty tricks with the launcher.
    • Check this thread if you're having a warning regarding multiple accounts usage.
    • If you don't have the launcher yet, don't fear! It's slowly getting distributed to all Minecraft players.
    ChespinLover77, 607, Jelle68 and 14 others like this.
  2. Nice guide!

    One addition though: the launcher didn't roll out today, that started last month. Everyone will get the new launcher between now and one or two weeks. So players shouldn't be alarmed if they didn't get it yet.
    ChespinLover77 likes this.
  3. Didn't know that, but important to know. I just heard a lot of players talking about it today and wanted to post on it. Thanks though Shel!
    607 likes this.
  4. Great Guide!

    I do find it stupid that Mojang is forcing us to use the new launcher. I feel we should be given a choice. I, personally, like the old launcher due to it's ease of use and simplicity.
  5. You can change the icon of the build by clicking the logo(default furnace). For example I have a build which only loads EMC allowed mods with a Gold Block as label. And a regular vanilla build as a grass block(Default) :)

    Also this video from AntVenom shows some tricks(not new, but many I did not know) :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVHivTT3Y0I
    607, ShelLuser and Slvr like this.
  6. Updated OP with some other general information.
    Tuqueque and Eviltoade like this.
  7. Hmm mine has updated every day for the last week but has the old one lol.
  8. I wasn't sure if I should post here or fire up a new thread but because this is also about the launcher I figured why not...

    So it finally happened today: I also got hit with the new launcher. I didn't know what to think about it at first so made sure to backup my Minecraft directories (launcher directory and my data directory) to prepare for impact and having the option to switch back, but I have to say that I'm actually pretty pleased with this.

    I think it's a job well done on the part of Mojang, apart from a few bugs here and there.

    The skin chooser is slick and well needed I think, but unfortunately it doesn't always properly update when you switch accounts. So when I switch from GripCEO back to my main account it suddenly looks like I'm wearing a suit, that's a bit sloppy. The security questions are also a bit weird: I can easily log onto my account using the launcher, but when I want to change my skin I need to provide security questions. Yah... A bit silly.

    But the fact that you can leave the launcher open is a very nice addition for those who have multiple accounts. Now I can simply fire up my game, change my account and then fire up the second game. I suppose I should indeed consider setting up a separate gaming directory for GripCEO (sometimes the logfiles can get mixed up) but meh.

    I also like the option to apply icons to your game versions a lot. Nothing is easier to spot than a specific icon.

    Most of all I think this is an honest update.

    I mean, let's face it: I bought Minecraft when 1.7 was a thing. Without having to pay anything extra I got my hands on 1.8 (new stone types, ocean monuments, slime blocks (!), banners (!!), iron trapdoor, armor stands and coarse dirt), 1.9 (combat mechanics, elytra, dirt path, end crystal, beetroot, chorus (!), end cities, better boats), 1.10 (fossils, structure block, magma, polar bears) and finally 1.11 (I forgot :D something with llamas, mansions and observers).

    And I didn't have to pay one penny extra for it.

    So yeah, I don't mind that Mojang uses the launcher for a little advertising. If that can help them pay some bills then all the best wishes to them.

    And that little unfair thingie? Anyone noticed how it became plain out impossible to download a Minecraft server version from the Minecraft website? I did :) Sure; when a snapshot gets released then it's easy: use the link. Of course they'll share a link; they want us to download and test so that we can help them find bugs.

    But what about the stable releases? You won't find much useful links and I'll bet it's because of Realms. Why give players the option to run their own server when you want them to buy into Realms?

    Yeah, and then I spotted the "download server" link within the launcher. Can it get any easier to set up your own testing server? I don't think so :)

    All in all I'm pleased with this new gizmo so far.
    607 and Slvr like this.
  9. Is this not available for Linux? Mine hasn't updated
  10. I just got mine.

    I can no longer open Minecraft.

    ShelLuser likes this.
  11. To my knowledge it is, but it can take a while to get released.
  12. Disclaimer: I asked permission to post this, the last thing I want is risking to "hijack" a thread. Unfortunately I haven't followed up on it for several months. Not because I didn't want to, but because the new launcher stopped working for me. Whenever I tried to start a new session (to play with an alt character) the launcher would crash. Every. Single. Time. I dug up the old launcher from my backups ('launcher.jar') and moved on.

    But things changed! Right now the new launcher version sits at version 2.0.895 and I haven't had issues for over 3 days now. So I think its safe to say that I can finally use the new launcher. And that means that I should fulfill my promise ;)

    Changes between the old & new launcher

    When you start the new launcher then things look different. Slvr already showcased some of the things you can do with it (so we're not going there ;)) but many people seem to be under the impression that there are some huge differences.

    Well, yes & no. Yes, the launcher was basically rewritten from the ground up so technically plenty of things changed. But if you look at what you can do with the new launcher then you'll see that it isn't all that much different....

    Latest version of the previous launcher...

    Quicker selection

    In the old launcher you had to do 2 things: select the profile to use, then click start. In the new launcher they combined this. Click on the middle of the start button and you'll launch the indicated version of the game, or click on the right (the "pull down arrow") and you'll open up an overview of your different profiles.

    You can even use icons too!

    The new launcher showing the list of available versions (profiles).

    Easier snapshot access

    Snapshot versions have caused concerns for many players. Because how should you enable those? On the old launcher the best way to do this was to add a new profile, give it a name, enable the snapshot releases and then make sure that you're using the latest version. All that's left to do next is use the right profile.

    The new launcher makes this much easier. All it takes are a few mouse clicks: one to go to your launcher settings, another to enable the snapshot option:

    The enable snapshot option can be found in the upper left corner.

    Now, the advantage here is that you no longer have to muck around with making a new profile, only click the option to enable snapshots (upper left corner). The launcher will do the rest for you. It will add a new profile called "Latest snapshot" which will always point you to the last available snapshot.

    But wait... there's more! If you set up your copy of the Minecraft snapshot version before upcoming Wednesday (7th of June) then Mojang will throw in a new Minecraft version (1.12) free of charge! :eek: Here's how to order.... Oh wait, they were going to do that anyway, never mind ;)

    Easier server access

    Now... In all honesty, when it comes to setting up a Minecraft server then I think you're much better off looking out for the Spigot project. Spigot provides many advantages over the vanilla version of the game, one of those being the ability to use plugins, but they also have tons of optimization and settings which can make the whole experience a lot smoother.

    But... What if you want the official server version so that you can play with some of your friends? Maybe you'd like to prepare for a Minecraft realm, then this would definitely help. You almost literally won't need to do much more besides opening the new launcher and checking up on your profile settings. The option to download the associated server version is right there:

    In the old launcher all you could do was open your browser and head over to http://minecraft.net/ to find the latest news entry with the download links.


    And you can even add your own if you want to. I think this makes for a really good change as well. After all: a picture often tells you more than a thousand words, right?

    When you edit a profile setting you can click on the icon to get a large selection of default Minecraft icons which you can use for your profiles. As you can see above I use a glass icon to indicate that I'm using Optifine. A lit forge to indicate Forge (which is a mod loader) and a redstone ore icon to showcase my "tech version" of the game (using tons of "Minecraft tech").

    Some things which did change...

    For a short moment I was under the impression that the option to keep the launcher open after you started a game was a new one, you can find this option on the 'Settings' tab. However, that wasn't the case. In the old launcher you could find this option in your profile settings.

    I often used this between my OptiFine & ForgeLite profiles; whenever I started Optifine (so basically a vanilla game) then I'd keep the launcher open because chances were great that I'd be using an alt too. But whenever I fired up ForgeLite (to play with mods) I'd never do that, so kept it off.

    Another obvious change is that changing an account name used to sit in the lower right corner, this is now the upper right corner.


    I think Mojang definitely made a horribly bad start with all this but it seems to me that they also tried hard to fix their mess and make it workable again. Of course I do agree with several skeptics that it might have been better if they had postponed the launch for a few more weeks.
    Slvr and 607 like this.
  13. Hm, I wasn't forced to use it. I only installed the new launcher after months.

    Also: I like how what is now referred to as "the old launcher" still feels like "the new launcher" to me. :p
    ShelLuser likes this.