When it comes to platform support, Minecraft is one of the most inclusive games out there. From the latest VR headsets to legacy consoles, almost every device can run Minecraft without any heavy lifting. No wonder it is still one of the most-played games on the planet. But, with a great player base comes great multiplayer demands. And it is a tricky territory for Minecraft, especially in the cross-platform department. Is Minecraft cross-platform friendly? Can your Minecraft Bedrock friend join Java servers? The questions are countless, but we are here to answer them all. So, invite your friends, and let’s start playing!
Is Minecraft a Cross-Platform Game? (2022)
Minecraft has a complex multiplayer system, thanks to its multiple editions and versions across several different platforms. Use the table below to find out about the Minecraft version your platform supports and whether it supports crossplay or not.
What is Cross-Platform Play?
Cross-platform play, also known as crossplay, is a gameplay feature that allows players on different platforms (such as PC, Xbox, and PS) to join a common server simultaneously. Then, even though their hardware is different, these players can freely play with each other and give shape to their Minecraft house ideas. So, whether you are on your phone, PC, console, or even VR device, you can play with your friends if your game supports cross-platform functionality.
Moreover, crossplay is directly related to “cross-save” (also known as cross-progression), a feature that enables the players to save and continue their game on any platform without any hiccups. It relies on cloud servers to store your game’s save files, so the local backup doesn’t limit you. A good example of the feature is seen in Fall Guys, a free-to-play game you can access from any device without losing any progress as long as you are using the same account. Now, let’s explore crossplay and cross-progression in terms of Minecraft.
Is Minecraft Cross-Platform?
Minecraft supports cross-platform play, which allows you and your friends to join its world on a variety of devices. However, it is quite different from other video games, as not every version and edition of Minecraft is compatible with each other. The main difference is rooted between the two main editions of Minecraft: Java and Bedrock. You can use our dedicated guide to understand the differences in depth.
For the sake of this guide, all you need to know is that the Java and Bedrock editions use different programming languages, which makes it challenging to enable cross-play. Luckily, there is a workaround, and we have discussed that separately in this guide below.
For a general audience, it’s best to make sure that your friend is on the same edition as you to play Minecraft without any issues. Moreover, you also need to make sure they are running the same game version as you. Alternatively, you and your friends can join a third-party server that is running its own version of the game, which either of you can join. Not to forget, because of the difference in programming languages, only one edition of Minecraft is available on consoles, portable, and VR devices.
Meanwhile, when talking about cross-save or cross-progression, the game world is only saved on the cloud if you are playing on a dedicated Minecraft Realm or public server. If your server is locally hosted on your PC and you invite your friends into the game, the saved files will remain on your device. In this case, you won’t be able to access the same world by logging into your account on a different device.
Platforms that Support Minecraft
Minecraft is available on the following platforms:
- Windows (Java & Bedrock)
- macOS (Java only)
- Linux (Java only)
- Windows Mobile
- Fire OS/TV
- PlayStation 4 & 5
- Xbox One
- Xbox Series S and X
- Nintendo Switch
- Samsung Gear VR
Now, remember that only Windows, macOS, and Linux support Minecraft Java edition out of all these platforms. While this doesn’t impact the gameplay too much, it definitely limits the multiplayer options for the players. On the other hand, Minecraft Bedrock players are free to play with friends across a variety of devices. The only oddity for them is the player base on Linux and macOS, both of which only support the Java edition of Minecraft.
As you might notice, in terms of platform availability, players on Windows are the only ones that get the best of both worlds. They get to enjoy the cross-play-powered Bedrock Edition as well as the heavily moddable Java Edition. Further, since Microsoft owns both Mojang Studios (Minecraft developer) and Windows, this equation isn’t going to change any time soon.
Legacy Edition of Minecraft
The previous section covers all the Minecraft platforms which get all the latest updates and support. But, there are also some exceptional platforms that allow their own version of multiplayer gaming. Here’s how:
- Xbox 360: Supports split-screen play for up to four players
- PS3: Supports split-screen play for up to four players
- PlayStation Vita: Allows “on the go” and online multiplayer with up to four players
- Wii U: Split-screen with up to four players
- New 2DS & 3DS: Only LAN or WiFi Multiplayer
Minecraft Bedrock Edition Allows True Cross-Platform Play
As you can conclude at this point, the Minecraft Bedrock Edition is the best and most practical way to enjoy cross-play. You can use this edition to play Minecraft with your friends on Oculus VR devices, consoles, mobiles, and Windows as long as they are running the same game version. Yeah, the only criterion for cross-platform play on the Bedrock Edition is having the same game version.
The simplest method of playing with your friends is joining one of the many amazing public Minecraft servers like Hypixel or Minecraft Realms (linked and explained below). Though, if you wish for something more private, you should invite friends to your Minecraft world instead.
How to Do Crossplay in Minecraft: Bedrock Edition
Follow the steps below to enjoy cross-platform multiplayer on your Minecraft Bedrock:
1. First, launch your game and sign into your Microsoft account if you haven’t already. The “Sign In” button is available on the bottom left corner of the home screen. Though, players on Xbox devices do not have to sign in manually and are automatically signed in using their Xbox account. Then, click on the “Play” button.
2. Next, open an existing Minecraft world or create a new one. Once you are in the world, press the “Pause” button on your device. Then, tap on the “Invite to Game” button in the pause menu.
Note: For this step, console players will need an active subscription to multiplayer services like Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus, or Nintendo Switch Online.
4. Now, all your online friends will appear within the multiplayer menu. Otherwise, you can search for them using their usernames and add them.
5. Finally, when your friend shows up in the list, select their name and use the “Send Invite” button to invite them to your world. Though, keep in mind that Minecraft might prevent you from inviting crossplay friends on certain exclusive DLC-based worlds.
Minecraft Java Edition Allows Multiplayer Across PC, Mac, and Linux
The multiplayer system on the Java edition is slightly different from Bedrock. You can’t just invite players out of nowhere to your world. Instead, you have the following alternatives:
- Minecraft Realms: Official paid multiplayer servers hosted and run by Mojang Studios
- Create a private Minecraft Java server using the linked guide. However, remember that the world will be saved on your device. You could use Minecraft server hosting services to create an online server that you or your friends can access at any time.
- Starting a local area network, or LAN through the pause menu (other players have to be on the same network)
- Join one of the various best Minecraft servers and meet up with friends on there for a fun adventure
Moreover, keep in mind that Minecraft Java supports cross-platform play but only in terms of different PC operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. But as we hinted above, there’s a way to make crossplay work between Minecraft Java and Bedrock Editions.
Is Crossplay Between Minecraft Java and Bedrock Possible?
While most popular Minecraft servers have dedicated worlds for each edition, they don’t allow players to interact with each other unless they are on the same edition. Fortunately, there is an unofficial workaround known as GeyserMC (visit), which is a server plugin that enables cross-play between Minecraft Java and Bedrock. It serves as a data packet translator and tracks updates around player movement and world changes.
The servers running with this plugin currently support players on Windows 10, iOS, iPadOS, Android, and consoles. Though, the combat system, block placement, and even mods will not work for players on the incompatible edition. Moreover, even though there is a complex setup involved for the Java server owners, the Bedrock players can just hop right into the server. If more servers or the official devs team adopt this plugin, we can probably witness a truly cross-platform Minecraft one day.
Use Minecraft Crossplay to Play with Friends
With that, you’re now ready to play Minecraft with all your friends on any platform or device they own. Moreover, to make the game truly inclusive for all players, we also have a guide that covers how to install Minecraft Java on Chromebook. Even though the platform doesn’t support the game natively, you can use our tutorial to play with your friends even without any issues. With that said, which device do you play Minecraft on? And has crossplay ever been a hindrance for you? Tell us in the comments below!