Core Minecraft game plus the Creator’s Pack of fan-made remixed game assets, Starter Pack, and 1,000 Minecoins. Includes 2 skin packs, world texture pack, and Greek themed world. Expansion packs are extremely creative.
In-game bonuses cannot be shared with multiple profiles on one Xbox console.
Base Minecraft game. Affordable. Includes Creator’s Pack featuring 2 skin packs, a texture pack, Greek Mythology Pack, and 700 Minecoins. Available on Xbox One and Windows.
While the bonuses in this version are exclusive to Xbox platforms, you can still play with friends using different consoles.
Smooth, portable gameplay. Exciting 3D visuals. Features 2-player multiplayer via WiFi. Convenient touchscreen support. Includes Super Mario Mash-Up Pack. Additional downloadable content available.
Can only play with other 3DS players.
Affordable. Battle through many dungeons with up to 4 friends. Collect rare weapons and armor. Engaging story. Includes 6 DLC packs. Available for Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Best when played with friends.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Minecraft is a game of unlimited possibilities. Within its pixelated, procedurally-generated sandbox world, players can create nearly anything they can think of, including tools, clothes, food, homes, earthworks, cities, and scale recreations of real-life wonders. Depending on the game mode, they can even link with other players to cultivate successful colonies and battle computer-controlled enemies.
Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time, and there are several reasons for that. It’s laid-back, fun, yet addicting, all at the same time, and it allows for nearly endless creative expression and replay. It’s also an undemanding title to play, one available on multiple platforms including PC, Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, and Nintendo 3DS, as well as Android, Windows, and iOS mobile devices.
You can have the best game in the world, but it’s useless if your machine can’t play it. Minecraft is available across many platforms, which is both convenient and confusing. It’s likely you have access to a machine that you can play it on, but you need to be careful to choose the right version. Minecraft is currently available on the following platforms:
Universal Windows Platform
Windows Mixed Reality
Samsung Gear VR
New Nintendo 3DS
In addition, Minecraft Classic is available to play with a web browser. Classic faithfully recreates the 2009 version of the game, including the bugs that players often refer to as “personality.” Minecraft Classic features 32 block types that players can place, and it supports multiplayer for up to ten people.
As mentioned earlier, Minecraft isn’t a particularly demanding game. Still, the first thing you should do before buying any video game is confirm that your machine can run it.
For computer games, compare the recommended specs to your machine’s specs, paying close attention to the processor (CPU), graphics card (GPU), and memory (RAM) specifications. Meeting minimum specs means your machine can technically play the game, but it may feel sluggish when the graphics settings are turned up. That’s why it’s best to have a little wiggle room, if possible. Also, always double-check that you have enough free space on your hard drive to store the game.
Not sure what your computer’s specifications are?
Mac: On a Mac, click the Apple button in the top left of your screen, then click About This Mac. Select the tabs on the top of the pop-up window to get the information you need.
PC: On a PC, you click the Windows start menu icon and press System to obtain CPU and RAM information; however, specs for your GPU and motherboard may be tougher to find.
Mobile: On mobile devices and consoles, it’s much simpler. So long as your operating system is up to date and your device has the appropriate space, the version meant for your phone should run smoothly.
Minecraft is a game designed with young people in mind, although plenty of adults enjoy it as well. With that said, it’s a relatively safe title for kids, with the only adult elements being simplified combat against zombies, monsters, and animals. It can be overwhelming for very young kids, though, which is why it’s rated E10+ (okay for everyone ages ten and up) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).
The ESRB ranks games based on the amount of violence, language, adult themes, sexual content, and frightening moments they contain. Other ratings include E for everyone, AO for adults only, and M for mature audiences.
In the past, video games were typically released as self-contained, finished products. However, as the industry has evolved, games are continuously developed, improved, and augmented after they’re released. These additions are packaged as downloadable content (DLC), which is a fancy term for an expansion pack.
As for Minecraft specifically, DLC includes world-altering texture packs, additional playable characters, and cosmetics. There are even entirely new levels, including crossovers with other franchises such as Toy Story and The Nightmare Before Christmas. In addition, Minecraft special editions are available that contain free Minecoins that can be spent on items in the Minecraft Marketplace.
Minecraft is available on more than a dozen different platforms, and although many permit cross-platform play, not every version allows mobile gamers to play along with console gamers, PC gamers, Mac gamers, and the like. Thankfully, Minecraft’s Bedrock Edition is fully optimized for cross-platform play and is supported for mobile devices, smart TVs, computers, VR platforms, and consoles.
Inexpensive: The majority of Minecraft games are not free to play, but there is a browser version dubbed Minecraft Classic that requires no money at all! Simply choose an in-game name and you’re ready to go.
Mid-range: Paid versions of Minecraft generally fall between $30 and $50. At the lower end, expect to find the base game with a starter pack of Minecoins and possibly some texture packs. At the high end, you’ll get more included Minecoins, DLC, skin packs, and other fun content.
Expensive: At the very top of the range, you’ll encounter all-in-one game/console packages. The price of the console is the main pricing factor here — an Xbox One X costs significantly more than a Nintendo 3DS , for example — but these kits generally cost between $250 and $600.
Try Peaceful mode if the hostile enemy mobs are too much for you. Found under the Difficulty settings, Peaceful mode allows players to enjoy the survival elements of the game without zombies or creepers cramping your style. Peaceful mode also quickly regenerates health and hunger points.
Use the compass or watch the skies to get your bearings. The in-game compass in Minecraft can greatly improve your sense of direction, particularly when mining underground or exploring new areas. You don’t need one to get your bearings though. Players can watch which direction the sun, moon, stars, and clouds are moving in the sky, because these objects always move to the west.
Keep backup tools. As its name implies, Minecraft is a game about mining resources like wood, stone, iron, gold, and diamonds. To do this, you need a pickaxe, but always keep several backups in case yours breaks.
Explore the Nether. The Overworld is the normal starting location for Minecraft players, but there’s a darker level to the game called the Nether. A parallel dimension filled with dangerous terrain, lava, and hostile mobs, the Nether is accessed through Nether portals that must be lit with fire to work. Keep flint and steel or a fire charge in your inventory, just in case you need a quick exit.
If you have electronic devices in your household, it’s pretty likely you can run Minecraft on one of them. With that in mind, here are a few options that just missed our list. Minecraft for Nintendo Switch is inexpensive and allows for cross-platform play.
Minecraft for PC/Mac is extremely convenient because it contains a redeemable code for a digital version of the game, removing the need for shipping and packaging.
Finally, if you have a Playstation 4 and want to make a Minecraft world of your own, consider Minecraft for PS4.
Q. Are there mods for Minecraft?
A. Yes! The unmodded “vanilla” game has a variety of creatures, items, and environments, but the Minecraft community has added countless assets to the game, such as the Twilight Forest biome, animals like penguins and sharks, airships, teleporters, magical spells, and various cosmetic tweaks. Note that mods aren’t available for every platform.
Q. Are there guns in Minecraft?
A. While Minecraft does feature light combat scenarios, there are no guns in the game. This is because realistic firearms would push the game out of its current age rating, pushing out huge sections of the player base. According to the developers, guns also “don’t fit the theme of the vanilla Minecraft experience.”
Q. Are multiplayer servers safe for kids?
A. Minecraft is a title meant for kids ages ten and up, but the online gaming world is another ballgame. While certain inappropriate words are censored, you may still run into players (griefers) who use bad language, bully other players, and destroy or damage their buildings. There are servers with admins and anti-griefing plug-ins, but we don’t recommend online play for very young children. The safest way to play online is on a private server with friends only.