Minecraft Java and Bedrock – what you need to know

So, you want to know about the differences between Minecraft Java and Bedrock? What even is the Minecraft Java edition? Stay a while and listen – we’ve got the information you need.

First of all, Minecraft Java is the official name for the original version of the popular crafting game created by Mojang in 2009. It’s the version you buy via the Mojang website, although it’s also available via PC Game Pass now. Either way, it only runs on PC. Minecraft Bedrock is a new version of the game created by Microsoft in 2017 that simultaneously replaced and unified the console, mobile (formerly known as the Pocket Edition), and Windows 10 store versions of the game.

That means Bedrock is available across multiple platforms, and as PC players we’re spoilt for choice as we can choose to play either one of them. Thanks to the recently released Minecraft launcher, we can also manage both installs in one easy place. There are more differences than just what platforms the respective Minecraft versions run on, however, so let’s dig into this a little more.

Minecraft Bedrock vs Java differences

Microsoft has created a handy document that goes into detail on what the differences are between the versions, but in summary the key differences between Minecraft Java and Bedrock are:

  • World generation and how blocks are handled
  • Redstone behaviour differs
  • Various Java edition commands either don’t work, or work differently in Bedrock
  • Officially, a console gamepad is the most common type of input among bedrock players
  • Minecraft mods and Minecraft skins eco-systems differ
  • Hardcore and spectator modes arn’t available in the Bedrock edition
  • Back-end performance differences
  • Minecraft multiplayer is handled separately

The way the different Minecraft versions view mods is very important. Minecraft Java – as the ‘OG’ Minecraft – has a long and storied history of creative and expansive mods and Minecraft texture packs, all of which you can do for free.

The Bedrock edition does still allow mods and texture packs, but you typically have to buy these on platforms other than the PC. Further to that, the mod tools for the Bedrock edition are also something creators have to pay for. Some popular PC mods support both versions – for free – but not all of them.

The characters of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Minecraft

Minecraft Java or Bedrock multiplayer

As mentioned above, multiplayer is handled differently between the two versions of Minecraft. The most important thing you need to know is that – officially – you and anyone you want to play Minecraft with must be using the same version to play together. This means that Java players can only play with other Java players, and the same goes for Bedrock.

Considering you’re limited on what you can get on other platforms this isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but on PC it’s especially important you coordinate with your friends regarding which version you’re using. You can only get the Bedrock version via the Windows 10 store, but both are available via PC Games Pass if you subscribe to that.

Minecraft's Caves and Cliffs Part 2 update is out next week

Minecraft Java and Bedrock cross-play

Bedrock is designed to work across multiple platforms so you can cross-play with other Bedrock players no matter which platform they’re on, although multiplayer servers on Bedrock tend to be smaller (and newer).

There is an unofficial workaround for Java/Bedrock cross-play – GeyserMC.

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This is a third-party plugin for multiplayer servers that is specifically geared towards allowing Minecraft Bedrock players to join Minecraft Java servers. It’s a simple download, and you don’t need anything else to make it work, provided you follow the instructions.

Minecraft Bedrock vs Java – which one should you get?

If you’re a console or mobile player, or want to play with someone who mainly uses console or mobile, you don’t really have much of a choice – you’ll have to use Minecraft Bedrock.

If that’s not a problem – and since we PC players can choose which version we want – then there is a choice to be made, but it’s also a pretty straightforward one. The Java edition gives PC players a lot more options and utility – larger, older multiplayer servers, more modding potential, and a more powerful engine that’s not trying to cater to weaker hardware.

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If you want to know more about Minecraft, make sure to check out our latest Minecraft seeds guide, our guide to the best Minecraft servers, as well as some new ideas for Minecraft builds.

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