Minecraft is one of the world’s most popular video games. Players of all ages and abilities can explore the world’s many facets by following a storyline or simply building to their hearts’ content. Minecraft is an incredibly flexible game because players can share worlds or play alone. The game has been released on a variety of platforms as it has grown in popularity.
Learn how Minecraft works as a cross-platform game in the article below.
What Operating Systems Support Minecraft?
Over 200 million copies of Minecraft have been sold worldwide. Part of Minecraft’s incredible success can be attributed to the growing number of platforms on which it can be played. The following is a comprehensive list of the devices that are currently supported:
- Personal computer (Windows, Mac, & Linux)
- Portable (Android, iOS, Fire OS, Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10)
- Control panel (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita Edition, Xbox, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U Edition, New 2DS & 3DS Edition)
- Additional Devices (Oculus)
Minecraft is one of the few games available that can be played on so many different platforms. Please keep in mind that while some of these devices allow you to play the game, you may not be able to access multiplayer features on all of them.
Is Minecraft a cross-platform game?
For the most part, Minecraft is a cross-platform game. Some devices, unfortunately, do not support the cross-platform feature, but most modern machines do. The vast majority of Minecraft players will already have a device that supports multiple platforms. Many Minecraft players benefit from the cross-platform model that Mojang, the parent company, is attempting to build.
Mojang released Minecraft Bedrock Edition as part of their Better Together update in 2017. This was the foundation for creating a massive cross-platform, multiplayer game.
Cross-Platform Minecraft Devices
The following devices currently support cross-platform Minecraft play:
iOS and Android devices – Windows 10 or 11
- Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 – Fire tablets
- The Oculus
Minecraft games on any of these devices are capable of communicating with one another.
Minecraft Cross-Platform Advantages
One of the primary advantages of Minecraft’s cross-platform nature is that you can play with any other player who also has a supported device. Minecraft servers allow players to interact with one another even if one is playing on an iPad and the other on a Windows 10 PC. Both players have access to the same game features and can use whichever device they prefer.
This is what makes the game so appealing to a wide range of players. Here are some additional advantages to Minecraft’s cross-platform strategy.
Only one purchase is required for all devices.
When you purchase a single license, you gain access to Minecraft on all cross-platform devices. You can download and access your game servers from any device at any time. This is commonly referred to as cross-progression, and it means that your game syncs across devices.
Possession of the Same Game
Minecraft updates and distributes new features to all supported devices at the same time. You will never be penalized for playing on a specific device by not having access to the most up-to-date game features. This also means that regardless of device, everyone you play with will have the same experience in your shared world.
The Minecraft Store
The same Minecraft Marketplace is available on all cross-platform devices. Individual players can buy and download a one-of-a-kind skin, texture, or other creation. Many of these are created and distributed by other players. Once a player downloads these items into their game, all players on their server, regardless of device, can see or use them.
Minecraft Cross-Platform Restrictions
Keep in mind that cross-platform functionality is only available in the Minecraft Bedrock Edition. If you played Minecraft before the Better Together update in 2017, you must repurchase the game. Mojang initially offered the update for free to players, but that offer has since expired as of November 2019.
Another significant limitation of Minecraft’s cross-platform gameplay is that it does not work on all devices. Your Mac or Linux computer will not work with an older Windows computer. Older gaming consoles will not be compatible either. There are some workarounds for this problem, but they are quite complex and severely limited. Users who were able to get Minecraft to work used third-party apps and could only play the game on Macs equipped with Apple’s M1 chip.
Minecraft Java Edition can be used to play with other players on your computer. This is the original version of Minecraft, which will have the same gameplay as the cross-platform edition. Minecraft Java is only available for Mac, Linux, and Windows computers (of any year). It is also considered a separate game, and you must buy it even if you own the Bedrock Edition.
One Minecraft for Everyone
When Mojang first released their Better Together update in 2017, they envisioned that eventually all Minecraft players would have the same game. They have steadily added devices since that first update to keep that goal in sight. They have been working on bringing the game to older Windows devices, as well as Macs and Linux computers.
Have you used the cross-platform functionality in Minecraft? What device(s) do you prefer to use to play your game? Please let us know in the comments!