The Minecraft Java edition 1.17.1 pre-release 3 was made available to play and test for players globally on June 30, 2021. By making pre-release versions available to everyone, Mojang tests fixed bugs and new changes added to the game before releasing an official version with those features.
The 1.17.1 pre-release 3 version only contains bug fixes and no new items or features. Issues related to axolotls, piglin, dripleaf, and chunks not loading currently present in the latest version of the game have now been fixed in pre-release 3.
As these are test versions of the game, any world created or used in these versions cannot be downgraded safely to previous versions. Therefore, players should try out the new changes in a separate test world or backup their old worlds before opening them in pre-release 3.
The installation process of Minecraft Java edition 1.17.1 pre-release 3
Pre-release Minecraft versions are considered snapshots that can be installed on any Windows PC with the Minecraft Java edition launcher installed by following these steps:
Step 1: Open the Minecraft launcher and log in using the Mojang account to purchase the game.
Step 2: Navigate to the "Installations" tab.
Step 3: Players need to check the box that says "Snapshots" under the versions section. Once done, they will get an option for the latest snapshot under the installation tab.
The installation directory of Minecraft can also be changed in the installation tab by clicking on the latest snapshot and choosing a new folder under the game directory.
Players can enjoy the latest pre-release version directly from the installations tab by hovering their mouse above the version to get the play button. They can also play the game by selecting the snapshot version from the launcher's home screen that appears upon opening.