How to Play Multiplayer on Minecraft
Minecraft has been a fan favorite for years. The game has seen many updates that made the game even more enjoyable for the fanatics. If you’re new to Minecraft, you may be put off by the idea of playing a solo game for hours on end. Minecraft’s singleplayer building aspect is a great way to spend time while getting the creative juices flowing. However, most users will get infinitely more enjoyment from the game when they play with their friends on or offline.
If you don’t know how to get started with Minecraft multiplayer, don’t worry. This article will guide you through the process for all Minecraft editions.
How to Play Multiplayer on Minecraft
There are a few ways to play Minecraft with friends (or even complete strangers). A smaller group may opt to play on a local network, using a LAN connection that requires almost no technical knowledge. Advanced users can access a vast number of servers or create their own, each with different rules and cheats enabled to allow for more in-game freedom. The Realms edition is entirely online but has some caveats, while the special education edition was built with online play in mind.
How Do You Play Multiplayer in Minecraft in the Same House?
Users who want to play Minecraft in the same house usually opt for a LAN network or use a single console to power Minecraft. You can make a LAN network through your home Wi-Fi, for example, or connect all devices to the same router via Ethernet cables. Here’s how to start up a LAN world on Minecraft:
- Open Minecraft on your PC or console, and go into one of your singleplayer worlds.
- Press Escape to go to the game menu.
- Press Open to LAN. Select whether you want cheats enabled or not and which game mode you want to select for other players.
- Select Start LAN world.
How Do I Play on a Local Area Network (LAN)?
Other players can now join this LAN world from their devices:
- Select Multiplayer in the main menu.
- The game will scan the LAN for an ongoing world.
- If the LAN world has been set up, the game will display LAN World on the list with the world’s name and the creator’s username below.
- Double-click to join, or press on the server name, then click Join Server.
How Do I Use Splitscreen in Minecraft?
If you have one to three friends over for a Minecraft session on a console, you can enable split-screen to allow everyone to play in the same world at once. When you connect additional game controllers to the console, you can set up a game.
- Select Play Game. Create a new world or load a previous one.
- Uncheck the Online game setting.
- After the first player enters the world, the rest can join by pressing START on their controllers.
If you want to expand your split-screen experience to up to eight people, you’ll need an additional console and enable online play. The steps are similar to the single-console play; only now you need to enable Online Game and log the players in before starting.
How to Play Multiplayer on Minecraft Online
PC or console users who want to play online can use an extensive library of servers or set up their own private server for a smaller group of friends. There are benefits and drawbacks to both. Servers require a powerful infrastructure and internet connection to run, and the PC that’s hosting as a server may not be able to play on it as well. On the other hand, joining public servers requires you to abide by their rules, moderation, and regulation.
Setting up a server takes time and technical knowledge but can be simplified with online hosting services. If you want to learn how to build your Minecraft server from scratch, the documentation required to do so is available here. Warning: The instructions are publicly edited and updated to the most recent version of Minecraft. They may not run properly on your computer configuration.
If you don’t have the technical know-how or the time to set the server up, online server hosting platforms can make that process a lot simpler. Here’s an example with Apex Minecraft Hosting:
- Go to their Website.
- Select the plan you wish to purchase. The RAM required for the hosting will usually depend on the number of players in your friend group. The platform also has crude recommendations. For example, ten players using several mods would generally need 2 GB of RAM.
- Once you order the server, you’ll enter your information, including your email address.
- The platform techs will build the server for you and send you an email with the necessary information to log in and view the server’s IP address.
- You and your friends can now join the game via this IP.
As an alternative to making a new server, there are publicly-available servers online for users to join. You can find the one you like and copy the IP address.
How Do I Play on a Minecraft Server?
Once the server setup process is complete (whether you did it yourself or used a hosting service) or you have found an online server to join, copy the server IP address to get started, then follow these steps:
- Open Minecraft.
- Select Multiplayer. If you’re using Minecraft Bedrock, select Servers.
- Click on Add Server at the bottom.
- Enter a name you’ll recognize, then type in or paste the IP address in the Server Address field. Fill in the port with the port number you received or created.
- For Bedrock Edition: select Save and then press Join near the bottom to start playing on the server.
For Java Edition: Press Done, then select the server from the multiplayer list and join it.
How to Play Multiplayer on Minecraft Dungeons
If you’re playing Minecraft Dungeons, the steps to playing with friends are similar to joining a LAN network. Here’s what you need to do for LAN multiplayer:
- Connect additional controllers to the console.
- The primary player needs to start a local game by pressing A.
- The other player(s) need to press the appropriate button on their controller (usually L3) to connect to the game.
And here are the steps to join an online game on Minecraft Dungeons:
- Complete the tutorial.
- Press A while playing Minecraft Dungeons to bring up the menu and go through to the online multiplayer settings.
- You’ll need to link your Microsoft account to your console. You’ll need another device to access the URL shown, like a PC or a phone. Follow the prompts shown on the console screen. Enter the code the game provided.
- Once you’ve linked your accounts, you’ll see a list of your friends on the screen. One player will be the host, while the others can join them by pressing Join next to the host’s name to play together.
How to Play Multiplayer on Minecraft Education Edition
The Minecraft Education Edition is a welcome addition for students, leveraging their teamwork and creative skills in offline and online play. With this in mind, users can play Minecraft EE online using their Office 365 accounts. Here’s what you need to do:
- The host needs to set up a game world and note their IP address. Press Play, and then select New World. After selecting the game options, choose Host.
- You can see your IP and port by opening a new multiplayer game with Minecraft EE and pressing Escape.
- For best results, you’re better off switching to a static IP address if you want to have multiple sessions in the same world.
- Turn on port forwarding. Open your browser, log into your router, then select Port Forwarding.
Enter the IP address noted on the world.
Use 19132 as the starting port and 19133 as the ending port.
You’ll need to set this up for both TCP and UDP protocols.
- Note the Join code in the game, made from four pictures, again from the game menu. Share the join code with other players.
- Other players can now join a world by going to Multiplayer on their Minecraft EE, then putting in the join code.
If you want to access more settings, follow this guide.
What’s the Difference Between Bedrock and Java Editions?
When you’re setting up a game or choosing which version of Minecraft to play, picking the correct Minecraft edition is vital. There are two main Minecraft versions for multiplayer: Bedrock edition and Java edition.
The Bedrock edition is the only edition available for console users (PS4, Xbox, Switch). It has limited modding support, and you’ll usually need to pay to get access to more mods. However, it’s the only way to connect players across different consoles and a PC.
PC users get an option between the two. If all your friends use a PC, we’d recommend the Java version. It doesn’t limit mods, can enable hardcore mode for no-respawn gameplay, and is updated first with more developmental features.
How Do You Play Minecraft Multiplayer for Free?
The only way to play with friends for free is to set up your own server, although that may be more time-consuming, and you’ll need to be careful to set everything up correctly. Alternatively, you can try finding free server hosts online, although finding a trusted host might be more challenging than it looks.
Minecraft With Friends
Playing Minecraft alone can be an excellent way to pass the time, but playing the friends can bring the best (and the worst) out of your playgroup and force you to think out of the box. Now you know all the ways you can play Minecraft in multiplayer mode. If you’re tech-savvy, setting up your server can be a great way to improve your tech knowledge and play online for free.
What is your preferred way to play Minecraft? Which platform do you play multiplayer on? Let us know in the comment section below.
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