Is Minecraft Cross-Platform? For the Most Part, Yes
Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world. Players of all ages and abilities can enjoy the many different facets of the world by following a storyline or simply building to their heart’s content. Players can share worlds or play solo, making Minecraft an incredibly flexible game. As it’s grown in popularity, the game has been released on many platforms.
Read the article below to find out how Minecraft works as a cross-platform game.
What Platforms Support Minecraft?
Minecraft has sold over 200 million copies worldwide. Part of that staggering success is due to the increasing number of platforms on which you can play Minecraft. Below is a comprehensive list of the currently supported devices:
- Computer (Windows, Mac, & Linux)
- Mobile (Android, iOS, Fire OS, Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10)
- Console (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita Edition, Xbox, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U Edition, New 2DS & 3DS Edition)
- Other Devices (Oculus)
Minecraft is one of the only games on the market that can be played on so many devices. Please note that some of these devices allow you to play the game, but you may not have access to multiplayer features on all devices.
Is Minecraft Cross Platform?
Minecraft is a cross-platform game, for the most part. Unfortunately, some devices don’t support the cross-platform feature, but most modern machines will. A majority of Minecraft players will already have a cross-platform-supported device. Many Minecraft players enjoy the benefits of the cross-platform model that the parent company, Mojang, is attempting to build.
In 2017, Mojang released the Minecraft Bedrock Edition as part of their Better Together update. This was the starting point for building a massive cross-platform, multiplayer game.
Minecraft Cross Platform Devices
The devices that currently support cross-platform Minecraft play include:
- Windows 10 or 11
- iOS and Android devices
- Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
- Fire devices
Minecraft games on any of these devices can communicate with each other.
Minecraft Cross-Platform Benefits
One of the primary benefits of Minecraft being cross-platform is that you can play with any player who also uses a supported device. Minecraft servers let players interact with each other even if one player is playing on an iPad, and the other is on their Windows 10 PC. Both players have the same game features and can use whichever device they’re most comfortable with.
This is what makes the game so accessible to so many players. Here are some additional benefits to Minecraft’s cross-platform approach.
One Realms Purchase for All Devices
You gain access to Minecraft Realms across all cross-platform devices when you purchase a Realms server. You can download and access your game servers anytime, on any device. This is usually called cross-progression and means that your game syncs across devices. Legacy Minecraft devices like PS3, PS Vita, XBOX 360, Nintendo WiiU, etc. are not part of the Realms cross-platform design.
Also, other players can join your cross-platform realm worlds for free without having a subscription.
Access to the Same Game
Minecraft updates and pushes new features to all supported devices simultaneously. You’ll never be penalized for playing on a particular device by not having access to the latest game features. This also means that everyone you play with will experience your shared world the same way regardless of their device.
The cross-platform devices all have access to the same Minecraft Marketplace as well. Individual players can purchase and download a unique skin, texture, or other creation. Many of these are created by other players and placed in the marketplace. Once a player downloads these items into their game, they can be seen or used by all players on their server, regardless of device.
Minecraft Cross-Platform Limits
Remember that the cross-platform functionality is only available for the Minecraft Bedrock Edition. You must repurchase the game if you were playing Minecraft before the Better Together update in 2017. When the update was first released, Mojang offered it free to players, but that offer expired as of November 2019.
Another significant limitation to Minecraft’s cross-platform gameplay is that not all devices will work. Your Mac or Linux computer and older Windows computer will not be compatible. Older gaming consoles will also not be compatible. There are some workarounds for this issue, but they are pretty complicated and severely limited. Users who have gotten Minecraft to work have used third-party apps and could only load the game on Macs with Apple’s M1 chip.
If you want to play with other players on your computer, you can use Minecraft Java Edition. This is Minecraft’s original version, which will have the same gameplay as the cross-platform edition. Minecraft Java is compatible only with Mac, Linux, and Windows computers (of any year). It is also considered a different game; you must purchase it even if you own the Bedrock Edition.
One Minecraft for All
When Mojang first released their Better Together update in 2017, they envisioned that all Minecraft players would eventually all have the same game. Since that first update, they have steadily added devices to keep that goal. They have been working to bring the game to older Windows devices and Macs and Linux computers as well.
Have you played Minecraft using the cross-platform functionality? What device or devices do you prefer to play your game on? Let us know in the comments below!