New 'Lunarcraft' game lets you build your own moon base in the Minecraft world

scene from a video game showing a base on the moon, with earth in the background.
Still from the new game "Lunarcraft." (Image credit: JAXA)

Minecraft enthusiasts can now take their construction projects to the moon.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has released a new game called Lunarcraft to play in Minecraft that employs actual satellite data to create realistic moon landscapes.

In 2007, a Japanese moon orbiter nicknamed Kaguya launched from Tanegashima Space Center with the goal of exploring the moon's ancient origin and evolution. Using info obtained from the spacecraft's survey mission, JAXA has reproduced the moon's geological environment in the Minecraft world.

Lunarcraft is set in Theophilus crater, which is located at the base of Mare Nectaris. This larger region includes the landing zone fore SLIM ("Smart Lander Investigating the Moon"), which pulled off Japan's first-ever moon landing last month.

Related: Missions to the moon: Past, present and future

This new moon-centric diversion can be imported to Minecraft Education or the Bedrock Edition that gamers have already installed at the official download site.

Check out the full game description:

"Lunarcraft is a lunar world planned and produced by the JAXA Space Education Center and appears in the world-famous metaverse game Minecraft. This is a game where you can play and learn about the moon and space in a lunar world that reflects the topography data of the moon obtained by JAXA's lunar orbiting satellite Kaguya. Not only can many children play with the world, but it can also be used as an experiential educational material in educational settings.

"One of the attractions that can only be experienced in this lunar world is playing with specially placed items such as the Rover, the vehicle used in the lunar world. In addition, you can enjoy Minecraft's unique expandability, such as racing on the moon with a rover, searching for rare minerals on the moon, and creating your own space under the moon."

Lunarcraft incorporates data gathered by Japan's Kaguya moon orbiter. (Image credit: JAXA)

Here are the seven Lunarcraft missions that await, according to JAXA:

ٛMission 1 targets the basic for lunar base improvements of both laboratory and residential modules using logistics to plan the most efficient functioning lunar habitat for its residents.

ٛMission 2 is all about lunar agriculture and farm improvement in an effort to grow items like wheat and potatoes, as well as crops that can be utilized for biofuels.

Mission 3 is focused on the effective use of lava tubes, which can aid in keeping humans sheltered from cosmic rays and fluctuating temperatures of the moon.

Mission 4 lets players establish a resource mining base and machines to help locate and extract minerals and metals necessary for growth and operation of an outpost.

Mission 5 is for launch site development and concerns constructing and maintaining rocket launch facilities for spacecraft arrivals and departures, including roads and fueling depots.

Mission 6 is lunar heritage preservation and utilization and deals with keeping historically significant human objects and lunar relics safe for posterity and housed in a display museum. 

Mission 7 concentrates on building new and diverse housing options for an assortment of lunar dwellings and living spaces as the moon’s population grows.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.

  • minecraftwolf
    That's called a mod. You can't make a "new game" and call it such if it's a modification/addon to another game

    Realistic moon mod is cool and all. But it isn't a standalone game.

    It also suffers from poor name choice, as search results for lunarcraft all just default to lunacraft, the already existing Minecraft moon mod that doesn't use real moon scans.

    They didn't even upload it to any mod websites who know how to use Google's algorithms for search optimization.