Minecraft has sold north of 200 million copies in the decade since it launched. Not only that, but the block-busting blockbuster is the first property to rack up more than a trillion views for its content on YouTube. A remarkable success story, Minecraft is proof that video games aren’t just about mindless violence, but also about creativity. If you, your child or even your grandchildren are interested in picking up a copy, then it’s worth knowing the difference between Minecraft Java and Minecraft Bedrock Edition, especially if you’re planning to pick up a copy on a PC or laptop.
Minecraft Bedrock Edition is the most common version of the popular game. Not only is it available on Windows PC, but it’s the version you’ll find on consoles such as the Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
If you own Minecraft Bedrock on Windows, you’ll be able to play against anybody and everybody with the console version on PlayStation, Xbox and Switch.
Because it’s so widely played on consoles, most people play Bedrock with a controller, so you should be pretty evenly matched when playing online multiplayer.
Microsoft explains more: “The Bedrock Edition of Minecraft is available on consoles, mobile devices, and computers running Windows. Cross-platform play is supported with other Bedrock players.
“With this Edition, you gain access to Minecraft Marketplace, where you can purchase and download skins, maps, texture packs, and other types of DLC created by Minecraft and Minecraft creators to enhance your gameplay.”
Minecraft: Java Edition, on the other hand, is a PC-only affair. It’s not compatible with other devices, which means Java users can’t play against friends on PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch, or with friends who own the Bedrock Edition on Windows PC.
If you’re planning to purchase Minecraft with the aim of playing against friends online, make sure you know which version they own first.
Minecraft Java Edition is also a little more resource-intensive, which means older PCs and laptops may struggle to run it smoothly. If you’re unsure if your PC can handle it, check out the Can You Run It website to test your device.
While clearly not as flexible as Minecraft Bedrock Edition, Minecraft Java does have its benefits. Java is generally seen as the version of choice for more hardcore Minecraft fans.
The standard of opposition in multiplayer is generally a lot higher, and there are bigger servers and more user-generated experiences to try.
“There are countless online servers and communities with all kinds of variations and mods to change up the multiplayer experience,” Microsoft explains.
Personally, I favour Minecraft Bedrock because it’s a game I play casually in front of the TV on a console. I’m not that interested in playing online, although I know the option is there if I ever want to.
My son plays Minecraft Java, because he plays competitively and likes the bigger servers and additional mods that are available.