Minecraft has always been about creativity. Its 1.8 update for PC will add a new way to be creative — changing your character’s name.

According to Minecraft developer Mojang, name-changing is “one of the most requested features since the birth of Minecraft.” Its planned system for enabling name changes will rely on unique user IDs that never change. These permanent IDs will ensure that players who are banned, whitelisted, or oped (Minecraft’s equivalent of being given moderator privileges) on a server don’t lose their status when their name changes. Today, Mojang made prerelease build 1.7.6 available, which doesn’t support name-changing but fully supports the unique user IDs.

Mojang says that it will enable name changes after it releases the official Minecraft 1.8 build and after a significant number of people have updated to it. For the meantime, it isn’t giving any more details on how the system will work. Is website says: “We want it to be easy and freely available, but we also don’t want people changing their name every 5 minutes!” Mojang also revealed that it wouldn’t be possible to simultaneously have the same name as another Minecraft player.

Here are Mojang’s instructions for gaining access to the prerelease:

To get prereleases, open your launcher and press the “New Profile” button. Call it “pre-releases” and check the box saying “Enable experimental development snapshots”, select the version from the dropdown and save. To switch to the normal version, you can select it in the dropdown at the bottom left corner of the launcher. Back up your world first or run the game on in a different folder (See the “new profile” dialog).


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