What Are Minecraft Realms and How Do They Work?

If you are like most Minecraft players, you must have tried using online multiplayer servers. Some of them are good, some are weird, and many of them are straight-up scams. However, the developers have decided to provide the player with some alternate servers that are safer, more entertaining, and loaded with tons of exclusive features. Yes, we are talking about Minecraft Realms. Now, if you are wondering what they are, how they function, and do you have to pay to access Minecraft Realms? We will answer all of your questions in this detailed guide.

Minecraft Realms: Explained (2022)

In the world of online multiplayer games, Minecraft is truly one of a kind. And the Minecraft Realms only take that experience to the next level. And since you can use Realms on both Minecraft Java or Bedrock editions, no player should be missing out on these servers. Though, if you want more excitement in offline gameplay, installing Forge to use mods in Minecraft is always an option. Not to forget, we also have some amazing Minecraft 1.18 seeds for you to explore as well. That said, let’s understand what are Minecraft Realms and how you can use them.

What are Minecraft Realms?

Minecraft Realms are dedicated servers provided by Mojang and Microsoft. The developer allows players to subscribe to a realm server and play with up to 10 players safely across all Minecraft platforms. Yeah, the servers support cross-play, allowing players on different platforms and devices to play together. Well, that is as long as you are using the same edition: Java or Bedrock. So, even with their realm servers, Minecraft’s two editions don’t support interoperability.

But cross-compatibility is an offline issue too. As online servers, Realm servers are highly customizable and can be used in many creative ways. The best part about them is that you don’t have to do most of the work. Unlike traditional servers, you don’t have to craft and design the world server world from scratch. Minecraft itself offers a lot of pre-made themes that you can get for your Realms. However, if you want the same theme-based experience offline, the best Minecraft modpacks might be what you need. 

Minecraft Realms on Minecraft Bedrock Edition

minecraft realms subscription - bedrock

In a rare occurrence, the Minecraft Bedrock edition gets a better deal here. Realms for Minecraft Bedrock edition are quite special. You get 150+ exclusive marketplace theme packs that get new content every single month if you subscribe to the Realms Plus service. We’ll discuss the differences between Realm and Realm Plus later on.

The bedrock edition also gets a significantly cheaper plan if you only want to play with 3 people on your server. This option doesn’t include the exclusive monthly content but is still as reliable as the Realm Plus plan. Beyond that, Minecraft Realms on Bedrock also has support for limited community-based content to fully customize the server. If nothing else suits you, RTX is still exclusive to Minecraft Bedrock, and it even works on Realms.

Minecraft Realms on Minecraft Java Edition

Minecraft Java Edition doesn’t offer a choice between the Realms Plus and regular subscription because of the unavailability of an official marketplace. Though, there are still some exclusive benefits for the Java Minecraft Realms. Community-based creations, mods, and a ton of third-party developer support make Java Minecraft the perfect place to take personalization to the next level. You can see the plans and details of Java Realms right here.

While Bedrock realms are only limited to the add-ons that the Minecraft developers provide, you are free to fully mod Minecraft Realms in the Java edition. The only major drawback of the Java realms is crossplay. You can only play with Linux, Windows, and macOS players that are using the Java edition. You can’t play with Bedrock players, as mentioned above. As for the graphics, you can always install Optifine on Minecraft Java to compete against the high-fidelity graphics enabled by RTX on the Bedrock edition.

Minecraft Realms: Packages and Pricing

Now that we have covered what Realms are and what you can expect from them, it’s time to discuss the costs. Mojang itself is handling the maintenance and hosting of Realm servers, which requires regular work. Keeping that in mind, Minecraft offers a subscription model for Realm servers. You can opt-out of the subscription at any time.

If you are on Minecraft Java or Bedrock for Nintendo Switch, you can even go for one-time payments. Having said that, let’s look at all the different Minecraft Realm server subscription plans:

FeaturesBedrock RealmsBedrock Realms PlusJava Edition Realms
Monthly subscription rate (recurring)*USD $3.99USD $7.99USD $7.99
Number of playersYou + 2 playersYou + 10 playersYou + 10 players
Personal server available 24/7YesYes Yes, but mods might go offline without the main PC active
Friends play for freeOn all Bedrock platformsOn all Bedrock platformsOnly on PC
Supports Minecraft MarketplaceYesYesNo
Includes Three World SlotsYesYesYes + with individual mods
Free monthly Marketplace contentNo 150+ Marketplace packsNo
Supports user-created contentYesYesIncludes free community content
Cross-platform play across Bedrock devices and consolesYesYesNo
Crossplay with Java Edition: Windows, Mac, and LinuxNoNoYes
Official Comparison by Mojang

Realm Subscription Comparison: Conclusion

The differences in the Realm server plans for the two Minecraft editions are clear. What you need to keep in mind are the requirements you have. If you want an intimate server with just a couple of friends, a simple Bedrock Realms server is all you need. When your Bedrock circle expands to up to 10 players or if you need more customization options, Bedrock Realms Plus is a viable option.

As a Minecraft Java player, Realms don’t offer any choice in terms of subscription plans. You will have almost everything that Realms Plus servers bring on Bedrock, but without the free monthly Marketplace content. You can take care of that with community mods, but you will still have to pay the same price as Realms Plus.

If you are wondering how you can get more than 10 players together on your Minecraft Realms server, there is no solution. For those who need more power over their multiplayer server and want to play with more than 10 players, custom servers are the only option.

Are Custom Servers Better than Minecraft Realms?

Minecraft Realms and custom servers both have some benefits of their own. You can use either of them to play Minecraft online with your friends in multiplayer mode. But the experience might be somewhat different. Here’s how.

FEATURESRealmsCustom Servers
PricingUSD $3.99 or $7.99Free and multiple Paid options
CustomizationAs per Requirements As per Requirements
PlayersMaximum 10Practically Unlimited
Creation & MaintainanceAutomatic & FreeManual
24/7 AvailabilityDefaultNeeds Special Arrangements
New ContentProvided MonthlyCan be Created or Added
Earning PotentialNoneCan offer paid content and packs
Fees for Friends/UsersFreeFree

If you need more control and a large audience, custom servers are the obvious choice. Their free hosting options are also attractive. But if you don’t mind paying a comparatively minimal amount for a safe, ready-to-play, and intimate multiplayer experience, go for the Realms.

How to Get and Join Minecraft Realms

As Minecraft Realms is a major revenue source for the developer, they have created a streamlined system to get you on board. If you want to get started, the option to purchase Realms servers is right on the opening screen of the Java Edition.

As for the Bedrock edition, you will get the option to purchase a Realm or Realm Plus subscription in the world creation settings. You will see the “Play on Realm” button while editing an existing world or creating a new world.

Choosing the “Play on Realm” option will ask you about the type of realm you need: 2 player or 10 player slots. Additionally, when you reach the payment options screen, you can claim a free 30-day trial if you haven’t used Realms before. Seems easy, right? Well, there’s a catch, though.

If you are running Minecraft Bedrock edition on consoles, Realms might be an expensive purchase. To make it work, you will also need one of the following:

  • Xbox Live Gold,
  • PlayStation Plus, OR
  • Nintendo Switch Online

Meanwhile, Windows users only need to make sure that Minecraft isn’t blocked by a firewall to make it work.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Get More Than 10 Players on Realms?

There is no official way to get more than 10 players on an official realm server. If you have a larger community of online players, getting a custom server is the only option for you. Alternatively, you can join someone’s existing server with your large group.

Is a Minecraft Realm Worth It?

The worthiness of a Minecraft realm depends upon your requirements. If you want a simpler multiplayer experience with readymade worlds and no worries about maintenance, they are surely a worth investment.

How to Get Minecraft Realms for Free?

The only way to get Minecraft realms for free is by joining your friends’ realm server. As long as your friend allows, you can enjoy their server and all the exclusive realm content for free.

How Do I Join a Minecraft Realm?

Each realm owner is given a six-digit sharable code that other players can use to join their servers. Alternatively, on the PC edition, the realm owners can also share a link for other players to join the realms in a single click. Both server code and link are available within the in-game realms option.

Do Realms Work on All Versions of Minecraft?

Minecraft realm servers work on all modern versions of the game except beta versions, snapshots, and the Minecraft Preview versions. So, if you were planning to experience the Minecraft 1.19 wild update online, you will have to wait for its official release.

Get your Own Minecraft Realms Server

Now, you have all the information you need to decide whether you want to subscribe to Realms. They might not seem like the best deal for everyone, but for the right audience, Minecraft Realms are the perfect option. With monthly themes getting pushed more frequently than ever, the quality of realm content is only improving. Though, if the Minecraft worlds feel a little limited for your friends, you can try using Steam Remote Play to play local multiplayer games online. But coming back to Minecraft, make sure to learn all the Minecraft ores before inviting your friends. Doing so will allow you to find diamonds in Minecraft and other rare ores way before any of them do. With that said, don’t wait around and invite your friends to play on Minecraft realms right away!

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