Minecraft is now available for cross-play on any device
With the launch of Microsoft’s new Xbox One X gamers got an update on the latest Minecraft news — chiefly that Minecraft is now available across any device.
As part of the company’s big show at E3 Microsoft talked about the latest Minecraft update.
The“Better Together Update” unifies console, mobile and Windows 10 versions of the game.
The new update also features better graphics and cross-platform support to let Windows 10 and mobile Minecraft players play the game together.
As part of the update, Minecraft is ditching any special branding associated with Minecraft for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile games or VR — they’ll all just be known as “Minecraft”. There’s a ‘Minecraft: Java Edition’, which is the original PC game (still supported).
The unified branding is designed to let buyers know they’re all getting the same game, that they can play with anyone no matter what device they’re using, the company said.
Supported devices for unified game play include:
- Windows 10
- XBox One
- Nintendo’s Switch
If players own Minecraft for mobile or VR, they’ll get an update for the summer. Minecraft for Xbox One or Nintendo Switch owners will get a new update for free, and the existing worlds that gamers have created are going to be available on the new game.
The new update also means that any downloadable content will be available across all devices. So a pack bought on mobile will also be available on Xbox and Windows 10 editions too.
As an additional added perk, Minecraft is throwing in a server browser to its latest update. Launching with four servers, Lifeboat, Mineplex, InPVP and Cubecraft — which lets players join public servers that have monthly users numbering in the millions according to the company.
It’s different from Minecraft Realms, which are privately cloud-hosted servers available for smaller groups.
Finally, there’s a new graphics pack for 4K viewing — better lighting, shadows, and water effects, the company said.
|— minecraft.net on Minecraft: Java Edition|
Minecraft: Java Edition (formerly just Minecraft) is the original version of Minecraft, developed by Mojang Studios for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Notch began development on May 10, 2009, publicly releasing Minecraft on May 17, 2009. The full release of the game (version 1.0.0) was on November 18, 2011, at MINECON 2011.
Main article: Java Edition exclusive features
Java Edition is sold directly by Mojang Studios, so it does not have to go through platform holders' certification.
Java Edition is available through the Minecraft Launcher along with Minecraft Dungeons. Logging in with a Mojang account (prior to account migration) or Microsoft account is required to play the game. In addition to the latest version and latest snapshot, most past versions of Java Edition are also available through the launcher. The launcher allows for separate profiles that are useful for mods, development versions, and old versions.
Java Edition's code is more easily modified than the other editions, and so it has by far the most robust scenes for mods and custom servers. For example, the addition of the obfuscation map, which is intended to make modding easier. Realms for Java Edition is a separate service from Realms Plus for Bedrock Edition.
Owners of Java Edition who bought the game before October 19, 2018, can redeem a free copy of Bedrock Edition for Windows 10, provided that the code was redeemed prior to April 20, 2020.
Main article: Java Edition version history
Main article: Pre-classic
Notch got the idea for Minecraft after playing Infiniminer with other members of the TIGSource forums in 2009. Other influences include Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper, and Notch's own previous project, RubyDung.
When he first started working on Minecraft, Notch had planned for it to just be a small project. For instance, when Notch uploaded the first YouTube video of Minecraft on May 13, 2009, he had not yet decided on a name, and simply referred to it as a "cave game". The name "Minecraft: Order of the Stone" (a reference to Order of the Stick, a web comic and "one of the best things on the internet, the name was later used for Minecraft: Story Mode.") was announced the next day (from a suggestion a TIGSource forums user gave in an IRC chat), and then shortly after, it was shortened to "Minecraft" as it was much simpler and to prevent people from confusing it with Order of the Stick. The game was finally released for an "early private singleplayer alpha" on May 16, 2009., Today, the majority of all Pre-classic versions are lost.
Main article: Classic
Minecraft 0.0.11a was publicly released the day after the private release on May 17, 2009, and the game received mention on IndieGames.com the day after that. This phase was later named Minecraft Classic. In July, Minecraft was rewritten to use the Lightweight Java Gaming Library (LWJGL). Until MinecraftBeta reintroduced it, Classic was the only version of Minecraft with the Creative game mode, which gives players an infinite amount of each block to build with without having to gather them as in Survival mode. A multiplayer test also occurred shortly before the Survival test.
Main article: Survival Test
Survival Test was released as a version of Classic on September 1, 2009. It was the introduction of Survival Mode. In it, the player now had to mine blocks, face mobs, and had a health bar. If the player were to die, the map was lost; unless backed up, the user would have to start over with a new map, similar to Hardcore mode.
Main article: Indev
Indev (short for indevelopment) was released on December 23, 2009 after Notch received requests to let the community try out new features he was implementing in Survival Test. Indev version 0.31 was released to the public on minecraft.net/indev and available only to people who had purchased the game. When a new game was started, the player would spawn in a prefabricated wooden house.
Updates introduced a more complex and realistic lighting scheme than Classic, as well as a day-night cycle. Indev received more updates after this, adding a few fundamental features to Minecraft as it went. During its lifespan, some updates were devoted mostly to testing new things, like food, torches, or fire. The difficulty settings: Peaceful, Easy, Normal and Hard, were added to the game. Unique to Indev were level types, similar to biomes and dimensions - for example, Floating Islands and the Sky Dimension, and "Hell" (not Nether) . Like Survival Test, if the player were to die, all progress was lost.
Main article: Infdev
Infdev (short for infinite development) was released on February 27, 2010, and became the third phase of Minecraft's development. It featured the important addition of maps that can generate infinitely, which extended the gameplay possibilities even further as well as other upgrades including new crafting recipes, 3D clouds, a new terrain generator, a more realistic fluid system, and more complex caves. However, Infdev scrapped other features of Indev such as world themes. This, in turn, spelled the demise of features such as 'floating islands' and 'permaday'. These removals are understandable, as Infdev's main purpose was to develop infinite maps. However, some extra gameplay features and items were added, such as minecarts, dungeons with mob spawners, and the ability to respawn.
After being replaced by Alpha on June 30, 2010, Infdev remained available on the official Minecraft website until September 2010, when it was removed. Only one version, Infdev 20100618, is playable through the launcher, by enabling the "Historical versions" button in the Launcher options.
Main article: Alpha
Alpha was released on June 30, 2010, however, only technically, as the first version labeled as Alpha was Alpha v1.0.1. When this update was released, Notch decided to rename Infdev (June 30, 2010) to Alpha v1.0.0. This phase of the game saw many major features added to Minecraft. Multiplayer for Survival was created, and features such as redstone circuits, boats, new music and new mobs, often without announcement in "Seecret Friday Updates".
The Halloween Update on October 30, 2010, was a major update adding biomes, The Nether, new mobs, blocks and items, and other changes.
One could see Alpha's introduction of biomes as being the return, at least in part, of Indev's world themes, and indeed the Nether is not unlike the 'Hell' world theme. Another reintroduction in Alpha was the return of multiplayer. Unlike Classic's Creative multiplayer, Alpha's multiplayer was available only in Survival form that is logically called "Survival Multiplayer".
It is still playable on the launcher by enabling the "Historical versions" button in the Launch options. Today, 23% of all Alpha versions are lost.
Main article: Beta
Beta was the sixth and last phase of Minecraft's development before its official release. Beta was released on December 20, 2010. Features that were added include a new logo and launcher, customizable world name and world seed, achievements and statistics, weather, Smooth Lighting, dyes, more plant types (two new types of trees and tall grass), wolves and squid, beds, and other blocks and items.
The Adventure Update was a major set of updates, focusing on exploring and combat and adding an ending to the game. Features added include a new terrain generator, new mobs, blocks, biomes, and items. Three generated structures were added: villages, strongholds, and mineshafts. Changes to general gameplay include an improved combat system including critical hits and experience, a reintroduced Creative, Hardcore, and a way to finish the game by traveling to The End and defeating the ender dragon.
Originally planned to be started in Beta 1.7, the first part of the Adventure Update was released as Beta 1.8 on September 14, 2011. Starting on September 9, 2011, developmental versions were "leaked" by Mojang Studios. Beta 1.9 was never released, but 6 pre-releases using the 1.9 version number were made available for users to test and report bugs back to Mojang Studios. On October 18, a feature freeze went into effect and Mojang Studios shifted all Minecraft development focus to fixing bugs and preparing the game for release. On November 13, a release candidate of 1.0 was released, along with an official update to 1.8.1 that added sounds from the developmental version.
It is still playable on the launcher by enabling the "Historical versions" button in the Launch options.
The full release of Minecraft, 1.0.0, was released during MINECON 2011 on November 18, 2011, by Notch at the keynote address ceremony at 9:54 pm UTC. Jeb confirmed the version number in a tweet while also stating that the game would be officially out of Beta. The release includes many features from the Adventure Update that were not included in Beta 1.8. The most prominent feature is an ending to the game, which can be achieved by defeating the Ender Dragon boss in The End.
The full release of Minecraft is charged at full price (€19.95, US$26.95, CA$35, £16.95, AU$35, or NZ$40) to new players, but Alpha and Beta players receive this copy through regular updating. After the release, Notch said in an interview that he was nervous about releasing a full game that would be rated and reviewed. Upon release, the game was well received and was given high ratings by many gaming websites and fan reviews.
Subsequent updates have since been released, with additions such as new gameplay mechanics, new mobs, and biomes. For the full list of additions since 1.0.0, see Java Edition version history.
The game received the Java Edition subtitle in Java Edition 1.12.2, to separate it from Bedrock Edition, which was renamed to just "Minecraft" by the Better Together Update.
On October 6, 2018, Mojang Studios open-sourced parts of the code for Java Edition, mainly the Brigadier command engine and the Data Fixer Upper. A complete rewrite of the game's rendering engine called Blaze3D is being considered for open-sourcing.
The demo version of Java Edition is for players who haven't bought Minecraft yet and has some restrictions:
- Only one world is created: (Demo_World).
- The world generates using the same Seed: .
- The player has limited time to play the world (when the timer goes to 0, the player can still play, but they can't interact with the world).
- The player's name is always set to .
- The player gets a bonus chest when starting a new demo world.
Main article: Controls § Java Edition
Controls for the Java Edition are designed for use with a keyboard and mouse or touchpad.
See also: Java Edition hardware requirements
According to Minecraft: Java Edition store page:
Any computer can actually run Minecraft - even with a low processor and graphics card - but high RAM is required. However, for an enjoyable experience, it is encouraged to consult the recommended requirements. Older operating systems can run Minecraft, using software, but consequently a negative performance impact is expected.
- CPU: CPU: Intel Core i3-3210 3.2 GHz / AMD A8-7600 APU 3.1 GHz or equivalent
- RAM: 4GB
- GPU (Integrated): Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Ivy Bridge) or AMD Radeon R5 series (Kaveri line) with OpenGL 4.4
- GPU (Discrete): Nvidia GeForce 400 Series or AMD Radeon HD 7000 series with OpenGL 4.4
- Storage Device: At least 1GB for game core, maps, and other files
- Windows: Windows 7 and up
- macOS: OS X Mavericks (10.9) or newer
- Linux: Any modern 64-bit distros from 2014 onward
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz / AMD A10-7800 APU 3.5 GHz or equivalent
- RAM: 8GB
- GPU: GeForce 700 Series or AMD Radeon Rx 200 Series (excluding integrated chipsets) with OpenGL 4.5
- HDD: 4GB (SSD is recommended)
- OS (recommended 64-bit):
- Windows: Windows 10 and up
- macOS: macOS Sierra (10.12) or newer
- Linux: Any modern distros from 2014 onward
- Please note that some users experience issues playing Java Edition while using a mismatched version of Java for their operating system (32-bit or 64-bit), while using certain versions of Java 7, or while multiple versions of Java are installed.
- Starting from Java Edition 1.17, Java 16 is required to run Java Edition. If the player does not know whether they have Java 16, the Minecraft launcher supplies Java Edition with its own version of Java by default.
A stable Internet connection is required for Java Edition to download game files, authenticate usernames, and connect to multiplayer servers. The player must download and run Java Edition while connected to the internet at least once; afterward, the player can play without an internet connection, but must still connect to receive updates or play online.
Java Edition cannot be run on Windows RT, Chrome OS (unless the option to emulate Linux is on), or on some non-PC devices that use Java, such as a car, toaster or Android.
Information on system requirements for running a Java Edition server can be found here.
Minecraft: Java Edition was first made available for sale in June 2009 and has since sold over 30 million copies. Minecraft has received high acclaim from critics and has since become one of the most influential and successful indie games ever released. The game's popularity has influenced the creation of a new genre of Minecraft clones. The game has been praised for the creative freedom it grants its players in-game, and for how dynamic the overall gameplay is. Since its creation, Minecraft has become the best-selling video game in history, selling a combined total from all versions of 180,000,000 copies. PC Gamer listed Minecraft as the fourth-best game to play at work.
A review of a version during the Alpha stage of the game, by Scott Munro of the Daily Record, called it "already something special" and urged readers to buy it. Jim Rossignol of Rock, Paper, Shotgun also recommended the alpha of the game, calling it "a kind of generative 8-bit Lego S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl." On September 17, 2010, gaming webcomic Penny Arcade began a series of comics and news posts about the addictiveness of the game. Video game talk show Good Game gave it a 7.5 and 9 out of 10, praising its creativity and customization, though they criticized its lack of a tutorial.
On May 5, 2011, Minecraft was selected as one of the 80 games that would be displayed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of "The Art of Video Games" exhibit that was opened on March 16, 2012.
Since its release Minecraft has won numerous awards including:
- PC Gamer's "Game of the Year"
- Independent Games Festival's Grand Prize and "Audience Award"
- Good Game's "Best Downloadable Game of 2010"
- Rock Paper Shotgun's "Game of the Year"
- Indie DB's "Indie of the Year", "Most Innovative and Best Singleplayer Indie"
- Game Developers Choice Awards's "Best Debut Game", "Best Downloadable Game" and "Most Innovative Game Award"
- Polygon's #1 Game of the Decade
An official trailer was released on Mojang Studios's official YouTube channel after the full release of Minecraft, at December 6, 2011. The video was made by Vareide instead of Hat Films, who have made update trailers and videos for Mojang Studios in the past.
- Before renamed to Java Edition in 1.12.2, this edition is often informally called "PC edition", to contrast it from other versions run on mobile and console platforms (which were later united under the title "Bedrock Edition").
- The source code of Minecraft: Java Edition may have been hosted in a private repository called "Mojang/Minecraft" on GitHub, which Bartosz Bok has referred to during Brigadier's development before its open-source release.
- The Java Edition page on Minecraft.net uses screenshots from Bedrock Edition.
Minecraft: Java Edition in‑game logo
Minecraft: Java Edition logo used in the Minecraft Launcher.
Minecraft: Java Edition key art
- ↑Minecraft PEGI Rating
- ↑Minecraft DEJUS Rating
- ↑Minecraft GSRR Rating
- ↑Minecraft GRB Rating(2016)
- ↑Minecraft GRB Rating(2015)
- ↑Minecraft GRB Rating(2018)
- ↑Minecraft ACB Rating
- ↑"Where can I buy Minecraft Java Edition?" – Mojang Support, September 18, 2019
- ↑"Tomorrow's snapshot has a small surprise for modders! Should make one or two people happy :)" – @Dinnerbone on Twitter, September 3, 2019
- ↑"Heads up, miners and crafters! As of Friday, October 19 at 11 AM CET, Minecraft: Java Edition will no longer include a copy of Minecraft for Windows 10. But don’t fret – if you have a code, you can still redeem it after Friday!" – @Minecraft on Twitter, October 17, 2018
- ↑"Ancient Java Players! You attention please!" by Tom Stone. Minecraft.net, January 20, 2020
- ↑"Minecraft (alpha)" – TIGSource Forums, May 17, 2009
- ↑"Dungeon Keeper is available at gog.com right now! It's one of the inspirations for Minecraft" – @notch on Twitter, June 3, 2011
- ↑The origins of Minecraft – The Word of Notch, October 30, 2009
- ↑Cave Game tech demo! – The Word of Notch, May 13, 2009
- ↑Cave game tech test – YouTube (Archive)
- ↑"Order of the Stick #1" – Giant In The Playground, September 29, 2003.
- ↑Minecraft: Order of the Stone – The Word of Notch, May 14, 2009
- ↑"Re: Minecraft alpha" – TIGSource Forums, May 18, 2009.
- ↑Early private singleplayer alpha coming very soon – The Word of Notch, May 16, 2009,
- ↑Minecraft 0.0.11a for public consumption – The Word of Notch, May 17, 2009
- ↑"Browser Game Pick: Minecraft (Markus Persson)" (Archive) by Tim W – IndieGames.com, May 17, 2009.
- ↑The server is back up! – The Word of Notch, June 28, 2010,
- ↑I think I know what game I’m making – The Word of Notch, July 16, 2009,
- ↑"The way I remember it, it was the name of the branch I set up to test out infinite terrain size. The normal one being, of course, "indev", so it was clever wordplay. No real thought put into any meaning beyond that, I think." – @notch on Twitter, March 18, 2021
- ↑"Ooh, looks like 1.8 has leaked, not that I'd ever admit that. ;) Be careful when installing software you don't trust though." – @notch on Twitter, September 10, 2011
- ↑"Now one month of polish and bug fixed and performance tweaks and optimizations. "Fun!"" – @notch on Twitter, October 19, 2011
- ↑"Minecraft RC2 is Out For Testing"(archived) by Sacheverell – Minecraft Forum, November 13, 2011.
- ↑"The next official release will be 1.0 again, and will be released during Minecon" – @jeb_ on Twitter, October 25, 2011
- ↑"Programmers: Play with Minecraft's Inner Workings!" by Tom Stone. Minecraft.net, October 6, 2018
- ↑"59 Games Like Minecraft" – Games Finder.
- ↑"50 games to play at work" – PC Gamer, July 5, 2010.
- ↑"Minecraft [alpha Review]"(archived) by Scott Munro – Daily Record, July 27, 2010.
- ↑"Chockablock: Minecraft Revisited" by Jim Rossignol – Rock Paper Shotgun, August 10, 2010.
- ↑"Mine All Mine, Part One" by Tycho Brahe – Penny Arcade, September 7, 2010.
- ↑"Good Game Stories - Minecraft" by Steven O'Donnell and Stephanie Bendixsen – Good Game, September 20, 2010.
- ↑"The Smithsonian Has Picked the Games of Its Art of Video Games Exhibit" by Mike Epstein – Kotaku, May 5, 2011.
- ↑"Minecraft - PC Gamer UK's Game Of The Year" – PC Gamer, December 31, 2010.
- ↑"2011 Independent Games Festival Reveals Main Competition Finalists" (Archive) by Simon Carless – IndieGames.com, January 3, 2011.
- ↑"GG Awards 2010: Best Downloadable Game" by Steven O'Donnell and Stephanie Bendixsen – Good Game, December 6, 2010.
- ↑"The Games Of Christmas ’10: Day 24" – Rock Paper Shotgun, December 24, 2010.
- ↑"2010 Indie of the Year Awards" – Indie DB.
- ↑"11th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards"(archived) – Game Developer's Choice Awards.
- ↑"The 100 best games of the decade (2010-2019)" – Polygon, November 4, 2019.
- ↑"Pass StringReader instead of strings to CommandDispatcher by boq · Pull Request #6 · Mojang/brigadier" – GitHub, Jul 23, 2018. "This is part of cleanup for / handling on code (Mojang/[email protected])."
- ↑"Minecraft Java Edition" – Minecraft.net.
Minecraftis a great game to play with friends, and you can cross-play with them no matter the platform, as long as you have the same version.
This means that if you own the Java Edition of Minecraft, you can only play with folks who also have the Java Edition. The same goes for the Bedrock Edition. If you have different versions, you’ll have to buy the other one to play together.
All of the platforms that run Minecraft Bedrock Edition can play together. This includes the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, and mobile devices. You will need a Microsoft account in order to do this. Your Xbox account, if you have one, will work fine. Otherwise you can make one for free right here.
Once you have a Microsoft account, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve added the friend you want to play with on that account. Often this will require sending a friend invite to their Xbox Gamertag.
Once that’s sorted, here’s how you can get into the same game.
Joining a friend’s game
If your friend is playing in their own hosted session, you can join them straight through the game. As long as you’re friends via Microsoft, you can join their session by scrolling over to the Friends tab and looking under “Joinable Cross-Platform Friends.”
These sessions can only hold up to eight people at once.
If you’re invited to join a session, a pop-up will appear that you can either accept or decline.
Inviting friends to your game
To invite friends, open the start menu in-game. A sidebar will prompt you to invite friends. Once you select “invite,” you can add people from your friends list to join your game.
Keep in mind which player permissions you have active in your session (visible in settings). You can change it so people joining your session can only look at your world, or you can let them run wild, building and breaking blocks. You can even grant them administrative privileges. You can also set these privileges individually once friends join your session, by clicking the yellow icon next to their names.
Using Realms for Multiplayer
Players can also join Realms, which are servers that stay online all the time and don’t require a host to be currently playing.
You can send invites to your Realm via your Friends tab or invite via a link if you’re playing on a PC. Clicking the link will launch the Minecraft app. Console players will need to be invited via friends list.
After joining the Realm for the first time, you will be able to return to it whenever you want from your Friends tab. The Reams you’ve joined will appear under “Joinable Realms,” as long as the Realm is still online. (Keep in mind that Realms are capped at 11 players active at the same time, so if you can’t join, it’s possible there are too many people already in there.)
If this merge affects many pages or may potentially be controversial, do not merge the page until a consensus is reached.
Reason:Too short to be a separate page; duplicated with Java Edition#Hardware
This article is about the game requirements of the latest version of Java Edition. For the server requirements, see Server/Requirements.
Any computer can actually run Minecraft, even with low processor and graphics card. All these information are taken according to the Minecraft Help Center. However, for an enjoyable experience, it is encouraged to consult the recommended requirements.
Java 16 is required, though the game comes with its own version of Java, so no manual installation is required.
The below requirements are for the unmodified/"vanilla" versions of the game. Mods, resource packs and custom maps can have significantly higher requirements.
|Minimum||Intel Core i3-3210 / AMD A8-7600 APU or equivalent||4GB||1 GB on HDD||Windows: Windows 7 and up|
macOS: OS X Mavericks (10.9) or newer
Linux: Any modern 64-bit distros from 2014 onward
|Recommended||Intel Core i5-4690 / AMD A10-7800 APU or equivalent||8GB||Any modern non-entry-level graphics card with OpenGL 4.5. ||4 GB on SSD||Windows: Windows 10 and up|
macOS: macOS Sierra (10.12) or newer
Linux: Any modern distros from 2014 onward
- ↑Comparing hardware models can be quite confusing, since the models usually start with a "generation" number. Entry level graphic cards ending with "10" are almost always not worth the money: just because "910M" is higher than "780" doesn't mean this entry GeForce card beats the highest-end card from the 7th gen. The "GFLOPS" number provided for almost every card can give you a quick idea how beefy it was, but for a meaningful comparison you should ask a benchmark website.
- Minecraft: Java Edition store page
Compatibility edition minecraft java
Minecraft: Java Edition vs Windows 10
Which is the best version of Minecraft? That’s not an easy question to answer. For the majority of players the answer is whichever version you’re used to. But what about new players or players looking to jump from a different platform? That’s where things get a little more complicated. Two games, similar features, an ocean of difference.
Is the original Java Edition the definitive version? Can Windows 10 Edition’s updated tech slay an unbridled behemoth birthed five years prior? With the help of cutting edge science (read: research and opinion), let’s compare and contrast to see which version is right for you.
Both versions of Minecraft support mods. That said, as the Java Edition has been around since 2010, versus the Windows 10 release in 2015, there are a great deal more mods available for the first incarnation. And if I can put my subjective hat on for a second, the quality of the mods for Java are of a higher standard to that of Windows 10. The Windows 10 Edition was, after all, originally designed for mobile, so the modding scene will forever be playing catch up.
Winner: Java Edition
Java Edition costs a set price of £17.95 in the UK, while Windows 10 Edition sets you back £22.49 on the Windows Store if you’re not familiar with how Google works (both cost about $27 in the US). There is a slight catch, though. Java Edition can be played fully, complete with mods, textures, and everything else you associate with Minecraft, without paying a penny. While you can download variants of all of the above for free in Windows 10, that version also includes optional in-game purchases.
These range from map packs, to textures, skins, as well as new game modes. Most will surely turn their nose up at the idea of paying for add-ons in Minecraft, but for parents, as Windows 10’s third-party content has been vetted by Microsoft, it’s a no-risk way of getting more out of the game without needing to worry about bad things happening.
Winner: Java Edition (Unless you’re a non-PC savvy parent)
Both versions support mouse and keyboard, but only one supports controllers. Despite releasing in 2010, Mojang hasn’t implemented controller support for Java Edition. This won’t be an issue for most PC-centric players, but should you wish to make the jump from the dark recesses of console gaming to PC, you’ll need to install an additional program, like JoyToKey, to get a controller up and running, whereas on Windows 10 Edition, you plug a controller in and it’ll work. Even if you won’t ever use the controller feature, more features beats fewer features in this case.
Winner: Windows 10 Edition
One of the key selling points Microsoft wouldn’t shut up about was that Minecraft is 'Better Together', which is simply not true if you’ve ever played with your kids and watched helplessly as they TNT a structure you’ve spent hours building. So I’m told…
On the Windows 10 version, anyone can team up with players from other devices, including Xbox, Android, iOS, and from June, the Nintendo Switch. When playing with others you’ll need to sign up for a free Xbox LIVE account, but that’s all pretty painless.
As this feature isn’t an option for Java Edition, there’s a pretty clear winner.
Winner: Windows 10
This one’s a nice and easy. Both versions have servers.
If you’re new to the world of servers they are, in a nutshell, gargantuan worlds created and hosted online with the intention of supporting masses of players. Think adventure worlds, PvP, puzzle maps, that sort of thing. The only issue here is we’re working with two different versions of the same game, so Java Edition can’t connect to Windows 10 servers and Windows 10 can’t connect to Java Edition servers.
When it comes to picking a version, it all comes down to which has more servers you like the sound of. As Java Edition has been around since the dawn of time, it makes sense that’ll have more variety. Plus The Walking Dead server is ace.
Java Edition doesn’t have much in the way of parental controls. You can essentially boil it down to: turn chat off, only join servers the parent has checked out first, and general stuff like set real-world screen time limits and enforce it. On the flipside, Windows 10 Edition needs an Xbox LIVE account to play online, which means it comes with all the benefits associated, including the ability to customise privacy settings, alter who your kid can interact with, report dickbag players easily, and so on (you can change your child’s settings via the Xbox site here).
Winner: Windows 10
The Java Edition of Minecraft used to be the go-to version when it comes to flashy new content, but that’s since changed as Mojang aims to release updates across both versions simultaneously. On Java you can access the latest and greatest update via the launcher’s snapshot feature, whereas on Windows 10 there’s an ‘Experimental Gameplay’ option that works in a similar vein. If you want to try out the latest new additions, you can’t go wrong with either version.
This all comes down to how powerful your PC is. On low-end machines, Java Edition is a muddy nightmare. Render distance is reduced, loading up massive worlds takes longer, and it’s generally more prone to crashes. If you don’t have a rig decent enough to run Minecraft (some people don’t, okay?), the Windows 10 Edition has been optimised to run on just about anything.
But should you wish to really push Minecraft to the limit with realistic textures, exquisite lighting, or actual water physics, then you’ll need to go Java to get the most out of it. That is, until the Super Duper Graphics Pack reaches Windows 10, which boasts a massive graphical overhaul. After that, Windows 10 Edition may just be able to close to gap.
Winner: Java Edition
Minecraft comes in two versions that are purchased separately and are not interchangeable. Deciding which version is right for you can be a daunting experience, but we’ll try to make it easy for you.
The original version of Minecraft, purchasable through the Minecraft website, is dubbed the Java Edition. The version of Minecraft that you can grab on consoles, mobile devices, and through the Microsoft Store, is referred to as the Bedrock Edition.
If you’re playing Minecraft with friends, you need to get the same version they have, so make sure to check with them before you buy.
However, if you are the first of your clan to get the game, or you plan on doing some solo Minecraft, there are couple things to keep in mind before deciding which to go with.
The Bedrock Edition limits modding
While the Bedrock Edition does have add-ons, it features more paid content to add to the game, whereas the Java version lets you install mods (such as texture packs) for free.
If you’re planning on modding the heck out of your game and don’t want to be limited by Microsoft-approved mods, you’ll want to go with the Java Edition.
Bedrock is better for cross-platform play
The Bedrock Edition allows for cross-platform multiplayer on consoles, mobile devices, and Windows 10. The Java Edition is only for PC, and it will only allow you to play with other Java players, which is a lot more limiting.
Do keep in mind that if you want the Bedrock Edition on different platforms, you’ll have to rebuy it on each console. That said, purchases of add-ons (like texture packs) will carry over from other platforms.
Hardcore and Spectator modes are only available in the Java Edition
Hardcore mode (which makes it so you can’t respawn when you die) and Spectator mode (which lets you fly around and view the world) are both only available in the Java Edition of Minecraft.
Bedrock or Java?
For most casual players, the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft is the way to go. It’s easier to hop into, and is more stable, than the Java Edition. It also allows you to play with other platforms, which is a real plus.
If you’re more of a hardcore Minecraft player and you’re interested in tinkering with the guts of the game, or seeing in-development features before the majority of players, Java Edition is the better choice.
Prices taken at time of publishing.
Nintendo Switch consoles are often sold out, but you can still pick up the handheld-only Switch Lite, which is perfect for portable gaming.
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Yes, 'Minecraft' is cross-platform — here's how to play with your friends on any system
- "Minecraft" offers cross-platform gameplay for both editions of the game, but in different ways.
- If you're playing "Minecraft: Bedrock Edition," you can play with Windows, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and smartphone players.
- If you're playing "Minecraft: Java Edition," you can play with Windows, Mac, and Linux players.
- Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.
Over the past few years, "Minecraft" has developed a great multiplayer mode. Best of all, this multiplayer mode has cross-platform (or crossplay) functionality, meaning that it doesn't matter what system you play "Minecraft" on — you can play with friends on any system.Related
Just note that there are two different versions of "Minecraft," and each one of them does crossplay a bit differently. The biggest thing to remember is that you can play "Minecraft" with anyone who owns the same version as you.
If you want to play with your friends, here's what you need to know about how "Minecraft" supports cross-platform gaming.
'Minecraft: Bedrock Edition' allows cross-platform play across consoles, phones, and PCs
"Minecraft: Bedrock Edition" is playable on Windows 10 PCs, Xbox One and Series S/X, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, iOS and iPadOS devices, and Android devices.
If you're playing "Minecraft: Bedrock Edition," you can add friends and play with them on any other system. They just have to be playing "Bedrock Edition" too.
Quick tip: Be aware that you may not see the word "Bedrock" when you buy a copy of "Minecraft" for your console — the subtitle is generally omitted in the marketing. On PCs, for example, it's often called just "Minecraft for Windows 10."
If you're playing that version, or any version of "Minecraft" on a console or phone, you're playing "Bedrock."
How to do crossplay in 'Minecraft: Bedrock Edition'
To play cross-platform you simply need to add and invite your friends to your world. Here's how:
After launching "Minecraft," sign into your Microsoft account (Xbox One users will have an account automatically). You'll see a button for this in the main menu if you're not signed in already. Console players will also need an online subscription for their device, such as Xbox Live or Nintendo Switch Online.
- Load an existing world or create a new one and launch it. Once your world is loaded, open the in-game pause menu.
Click "Invite to Game," on the far-right, then select the option to "Find Cross-Platform Friends" on the next screen.
- Find your friends using their Minecraft ID, also known as their gamertag, and select "Add Friend."
Friends added and available for multiplayer will appear under "Online Friends." Check the box by their gamertag and click "Send 1 Invite." When they accept, they'll be loaded into your world.
Note that some worlds in "Bedrock" can't be played with users on other platforms. This is because each console has exclusive content that's only available on that specific console.
For instance, on the Nintendo Switch, you can't share the "Mario Mash-Up" world template with friends on other platforms. You can only share it with other Switch users.
'Minecraft: Java Edition' allows cross-platform play across PC, Mac, and Linux
"Minecraft: Java Edition" is the original version of "Minecraft," and while it's not playable on consoles, it's the only version available for Mac and Linux users.
"Java" users can play with other "Java" players, regardless of whether they're running the game on a Windows, Linux, or Apple operating system.
Playing multiplayer with "Java" is a little more complicated than "Bedrock," but not difficult once you're familiarized. These are a few of your options:
- You can use a public Minecraft server or create your own, and invite friends using an IP address
- You can pay for Minecraft Realms, where Mojang hosts multiplayer servers for you but it costs money.
- Or you can play together by sharing a local area network, or LAN, meaning you'll have to be in the same place as the other players.
For more detail on how to play with others in "Minecraft: Java Edition," check out our article "How to play multiplayer in 'Minecraft: Java Edition,' using either a public server or one you create yourself."