What is minecraft java edition ? What’s the difference between versions of Minecraft? That’s not as simple a question to answer as you might think. Most current players will be used to whatever version they’ve started on, whether it’s Java or Bedrock. But what about new players or players looking to jump from a different platform? That’s where things get a little more complicated—two games, similar features, an ocean of difference.
Is the original Java Edition the definitive version? Can Bedrock’s updated tech slay the powerful Java behemoth with years of head start under its belt? With the help of cutting edge science (read: research and opinion), let’s compare and contrast to see which version is right for you so you can download Minecraft and get started.
While both versions of Minecraft support mods—Bedrock calls them addons—Java has far more options. Because Java edition lets mods get at the inner workings of Minecraft itself, Minecraft mods can do everything from add entirely new dimensions to re-inventing the combat system or just adding a skeleton who plays a trumpet. Bedrock addons are far more limited, mostly revolving around things like handcrafted adventures, worlds and builds, and resource and skin packs.
While Bedrock’s addons are far more friendly to someone new to creating, they’re outclassed by the sheer complexity and diversity of Java edition’s infinite mod playground.
Java Edition and Bedrock Edition are sold together nowadays for a set price of $29.99. Unlike the old days, you’ll get both versions of Minecraft in one neat package and a unified launcher, so you can swap between them at will.
Both versions support mouse and keyboard, but only one supports controllers. Despite releasing all the way back in 2010, Mojang hasn’t implemented controller support for Java Edition. This won’t be an issue for most PC-centric players, but should you wish to make the jump from console gaming to PC, you’ll need to install an additional program, like JoyToKey, or a mod like Controllable to be able to use your controller of choice.
One of the key selling points Microsoft loves to remind us about was that Minecraft is “better together,” which is simply not true if you’ve ever played with your kids and watched helplessly as they TNT a structure you’ve spent hours building. Or so I’m told…
On Bedrock Edition, anyone can team up with players from other devices, including Xbox, Android, iOS, and Switch. When playing with others you’ll need to sign up for a free Xbox LIVE account, but that’s all pretty painless.
On Java Edition, you’re stuck with just other Java Edition players, so there’s a pretty clear winner.
This one’s a nice and easy answer. Both versions have servers.
If you’re new to the world of servers they are, in a nutshell, gargantuan worlds created and hosted online with the intention of supporting masses of players. Think adventure worlds, PvP, puzzle maps, that sort of thing. The only issue here is we’re working with two different versions of the same game, so Java Edition can’t connect to Bedrock Edition servers and Bedrock Edition can’t connect to Java Edition servers.
When it comes to picking a version, it all comes down to which has more servers you like the sound of. As Java Edition has been around since the dawn of time, it makes sense that’ll have more variety when it comes to the best Minecraft servers.
Java Edition doesn’t have much in the way of parental controls. You can essentially boil it down to: turn chat off, only join servers the parent has checked out first, and general stuff like set real-world screen time limits and enforce it. On the flipside, Bedrock Edition needs an Xbox LIVE account to play online, which means it comes with all the benefits associated, including the ability to customize privacy settings, alter who your kid can interact with, report problem players easily, and so on (you can change your child’s settings via the Xbox site here).
This all comes down to how powerful your PC is. On low-end machines, Java Edition is a muddy nightmare. Render distance is reduced, loading up massive worlds takes longer, and it’s generally more prone to crashes. If you don’t have a rig decent enough to run Minecraft (some people don’t, okay?), the Bedrock Edition has been optimized to run on just about anything.
But should you wish to really push Minecraft to the limit with realistic textures, exquisite lighting, or actual water physics, then you’ll need to go Java to get the most out of it with the best Minecraft texture packs and Minecraft shaders.
Java Edition is exclusive to PC, Mac, and Linux
Firstly, if you’re planning on playing Minecraft on anything other than a computer, then you’ll be playing Bedrock. There’s no choice there — the Java version is only available on computers.
However, Bedrock isn’t available on Mac or Linux. This means that if you’re playing on one of those systems, Java is your only route.
Bedrock Edition lets you play with friends on other consoles
If you want to play Minecraft with friends who own other systems, your best bet is to buy Minecraft: Bedrock Edition. The Bedrock version has cross-play, meaning you can play with a friend even if you’re on PC and they’re on a Nintendo Switch, for example.
The Java version only allows you to play with other Java users. Of course, that means that if all your friends are playing Java, it’s the best one for you too.
Java Edition has massive multiplayer servers
Although it doesn’t have the same level of cross-play, Java does boast big multiplayer servers. These servers let you play with other Java users, and feature beautiful maps filled with minigames and activities.
Both versions of the game have their own servers. But Java servers have been around for almost a decade now, meaning that there’s no shortage of cool maps to pick from.
If you want to play the minigames that are popular on YouTube, like Bed Wars or Hunger Games, go for Java.
Bedrock Edition has most consistent performance
Although it might seem like a simple game, Minecraft can be incredibly taxing on your computer’s graphics card and CPU. If you’re not playing with a high-end computer, Bedrock might be your best bet.
While the Java edition lets you use mods to enhance your graphics, the Bedrock version runs more smoothly more consistently. This means less dropped frames and faster load times.
Java Edition has a near-limitless collection of mods
One huge difference between Java and Bedrock is the ability to add mods, which are only available to Java players.
Mods are pieces of software you can add to Minecraft to transform the game in just about any way you like. There are basic mods that alter the graphics or change the music, and more advanced mods that introduce new items or change how the world generates.
Best of all, nearly all of these mods are free. And there’s even a dedicated program called Minecraft Forge that will let you install and edit them easily.
While Bedrock has some modding tools available, you have to pay for them, and there are only a few compared to the limitlessness of Java.
Java Edition lets you play in Hardcore mode
By default, Minecraft has four game modes: Survival, Creative, Adventure, and Spectator. But Java players get access to a fifth: Hardcore.
Popular with streamers, Hardcore mode spawns you with only one life. This means that if you die, there’s no respawning in a bed — your world is permanently deleted.
If you’re looking for a challenge, Java is the way to go.
Should you buy Java Edition or Bedrock Edition?
As noted above, if you’re playing on anything but a PC, you don’t have a choice.
But if you’re on a PC, we recommend the Java version. You get the same great gameplay, as well as thousands of mods to enhance your experience, and the massive multiplayer community. It’s the original way to play Minecraft, and still the best.
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