Java Edition

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Java Edition
Java Edition.png

Mojang logo.svg Mojang AB


Windows 10macOSLinux

Written in


Latest version

1.12.2 (18w07c)


Terms of Use

Source available

No, in .class files packed in a java archive (.jar)


Minecraft: Java Edition is the original version of Minecraft developed by Mojang AB for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Notch began development on May 10, 2009, publicly releasing Minecraft on May 16, 2009. The full release of the game was on November 18, 2011, at MineCon 2011.

Unique features[edit | edit source]

Mojang sells the Java Edition directly, so it does not have to go through platform holders' certification. Mojang can roll out Java Edition updates with no delay and add features that they are not allowed to add to the other editions.

Java Edition has its own launcher. Logging in with a Mojang account is required to play the game. Besides the latest version and latest snapshot, most past versions of Java Edition are available through the launcher. The launcher allows for separate profiles which are useful for mods, development versions, and old versions.

Only the Java Edition has official software for players to host their own servers. Java Edition's code is more easily modified than the other editions, and so it has by far the most robust scenes for mods and custom servers. Realms for Java Edition is a separate service from Realms for Bedrock Edition.

Unlike Bedrock Edition, which is unavailable on computers without Windows 10, Java Edition supports a variety of operating systems. All owners of Java Edition can redeem a free copy of Bedrock Edition for Windows 10. As they are the same price, buying Java Edition is preferable to buying Windows 10 Edition by itself, because the latter will not allow you to redeem a free copy of Java Edition.

Development[edit | edit source]

See also: Version history

Creation/Pre-classic[edit | edit source]

Notch got the idea for Minecraft after playing Infiniminer with other members of the TIGSource forums in 2009.[6] Other influences include Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper,[7] and Notch's own previous project, RubyDung.[8]

Notchface.png I realized that a game that simple yet that dynamic had a lot of potential to turn into a really great game, and kept coming up with things I wanted to change and stuff I wanted to add.
Notch on

When he first started working on Minecraft, Notch had planned for it to just be a small project. For instance, when Notch uploaded the first YouTube video of Minecraft on May 13, 2009, he had not yet decided on a name, and simply referred to it as a "cave game".[9][10] The name "Minecraft: Order of the Stone" (a reference to Order of the Stick, a web comic and "one of the best things on the internet")[11] was announced the next day[12] (from a suggestion a TIGSource forums user gave in an IRC chat[13]), and then shortly after, it was shortened to "Minecraft" as it was much simpler and to prevent people from confusing it with Order of the Stick. The game was finally released for an "early private singleplayer alpha" on May 16, 2009.[14]

Classic[edit | edit source]

Minecraft 0.0.11a was publicly released the day after the private release on May 17, 2009,[15] and the game received mention on the day after that.[16] This phase was later named Minecraft Classic.[17] In July, Minecraft was rewritten to use the Lightweight Java Gaming Library (LWJGL).[18] Until Minecraft Beta reintroduced it, Classic was the only version of Minecraft with the Creative game mode, which allows the player to build and destroy blocks, allowing the creation of all sorts of objects. Players are given an infinite amount of each block to build with. A multiplayer test also occurred shortly before the Survival test.

Survival Test[edit | edit source]

Survival Test was released as a version of Classic on September 1, 2009. It was the introduction of Survival Mode. In it, the player now had to mine blocks, face mobs, and had a health bar. If the player were to die, the map was lost, and unless backed up, the user would have to start over with a new map, similar to Hardcore mode.

Indev[edit | edit source]

Indev (short for In Development) was released on December 23, 2009 after Notch received requests to let the community try out new features he was implementing in Survival Test. Indev version 0.31 was released to the public on and available only to people who had purchased the game. When a new game was started, the player would spawn in a prefabricated wooden house.

Updates introduced a more complex and realistic lighting scheme than Classic. Indev received more updates after this, adding a few fundamental features to Minecraft as it went. During its lifespan, some updates were devoted mostly to testing new things, like torches or fire. Unique to Indev was level types, similar to biomes and the Dimensions - for example, Floating Islands and the Sky Dimension, and Hell and The Nether. Like Survival Test, if the player were to die, all progress was lost.

Infdev[edit | edit source]

Infdev (short for Infinite Development) was released on February 27, 2010, and became the third phase of Minecraft's development. It featured the important addition of maps that can generate infinitely, which extended the gameplay possibilities even further as well as other upgrades including new crafting recipes, 3D clouds, a new terrain generator, a more realistic fluid system, and more complex caves. However, Infdev scrapped other features of Indev such as world themes. This in turn spelled the demise of features such as 'floating islands' and 'permaday'. These removals are understandable, as Infdev's main purpose was to develop infinite maps. However, some extra gameplay features and items were added, such as the addition of minecarts and the ability to respawn. After being replaced by Alpha on June 28, 2010, Infdev remained available on the official Minecraft website until September 2010, when it was removed.

Alpha[edit | edit source]

Alpha was released on June 28, 2010, and saw many major features added to Minecraft. Multiplayer for Survival was created, and features such as Redstone Circuits, boats, new music, new mobs, and a Difficulty setting were added to the game, often without announcement in "Seecret Friday Updates".

The Halloween Update on October 31, 2010 was a major update adding biomes, The Nether, new mobs, blocks and items, and other changes.

One could see Alpha's introduction of biomes as being the return, at least in part, of Indev's world themes, and indeed the Nether is not unlike the 'Hell' world theme. Another reintroduction in Alpha was the return of multiplayer. Unlike Classic's Creative multiplayer, Alpha's multiplayer was only available in Survival form (logically called Survival multiplayer.)

Beta[edit | edit source]

Beta was the fifth and last phase of Minecraft's development before its official release. Beta was released on December 20, 2010. Features that were added include a new logo and launcher, achievements and statistics, weather, Smooth Lighting, dyes, more plant types (two new types of trees and Tall Grass), wolves and squid, beds, and other blocks and items.

The Adventure Update was a major set of updates, focusing on exploring, combat, and add an ending to the game. Features added include new terrain generator, new mobs, blocks, biomes, and items. More generated structures where added; villages, strongholds, abandoned mineshafts. Changes to general gameplay include an improved combat system including critical hits and experience, a reintroduced Creative Mode, Hardcore Mode, and a way to finish the game by traveling to The End and defeating the Ender Dragon.

Originally planned to be started in Beta 1.7, the first part of the Adventure Update was released as Beta 1.8 on September 14, 2011. Starting on September 9th, 2011, developmental versions were "leaked" by Mojang.[19] Beta 1.9 was never released, but 6 pre-releases using the 1.9 version number were made available for users to test and report bugs back to Mojang. On October 18, a feature freeze went into effect and Mojang shifted all Minecraft development focus to fixing bugs and preparing the game for release.[20] On November 13, a release candidate of 1.0 was released, along with an official update to 1.8.1 that added sounds from the developmental version.

It is still playable on the Minecraft launcher by checking the "old Beta Minecraft versions" option in the Profile Editor window.

Official Release[edit | edit source]

The official release of Minecraft, Minecraft 1.0, was released on November 18, 2011, during MineCon. The release includes many features from the Adventure Update that were not included in Beta 1.8. The most prominent feature is an ending to the game, which can be achieved by defeating the Ender Dragon boss in The End. For the full version changelog of Minecraft 1.0, see Version History.

Subsequent updates have since been released, with additions such as new gameplay mechanics, new mobs and biomes. For the full list of additions since Minecraft 1.0, see Version history.

The game received the Java Edition subtitle in 1.12.2, to separate it from Bedrock Edition, which was renamed to just Minecraft by the Better Together Update.

Table of features[edit | edit source]

Below is a short summary of what features each new milestone introduces.

Feature Pre-Classic Classic Indev Infdev Alpha Beta Official Release
Creative Survival Test Minecraft 1.0 Minecraft 1.6 Minecraft 1.9 Minecraft 1.12
Premium account Not required Required Required for full version and multiplayer Required
Availability Yes Premium only
Multiplayer No Yes No Yes Premium only
Crafting No Yes
Inventory No Yes No Yes
Health No Yes
Hunger No After 1.8 Yes
Day/night cycle No Yes
Infinite map size No Yes 60000000 blocks in diameter
Map environment No Yes
Caves No Yes
Biomes No After 1.2.0 Yes
Set spawn location No Yes No Yes
Permadeath No Yes No Hardcore
Mobs After Pre 0.0.9a (rd-132328) Yes
Infinite water No Yes Only in Island maps Yes
Redstone Wiring No Yes
Achievements and statistics No After 1.5 Yes Achievements replaced with advancements
The Nether No After 1.2.0 Yes
The End No 1.9 Pre-release 3 Yes
Colored wool/cloth No Yes Partial No Yes
Sprinting No After 1.8 Yes
Breeding No 1.9 Pre-release Yes
Potions No 1.9 Pre-release Yes
Enchanting No 1.9 Pre-release Yes

Controls[edit | edit source]

Controls for the Java Edition are designed for use with a keyboard and mouse/trackpad.

System requirements[edit | edit source]

Hardware[edit | edit source]

See also: Hardware performance

According to The Mojang Help website:

Minimum requirements[edit | edit source]

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-3210 3.2 GHz or AMD A8-7600 APU 3.1 GHz or equivalent
  • RAM: 2GB
  • GPU (Integrated): Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Ivy Bridge) or AMD Radeon R5 series (Kaveri line) with OpenGL 4.4
  • GPU (Discrete): Nvidia GeForce 400 Series or AMD Radeon HD 7000 series with OpenGL 4.4
  • HDD: At least 1GB for game core, maps and other files
  • OS:
    • Windows: Windows 7 and up
    • macOS: OS X 10.9 Maverick
    • Linux: Any modern distributions from 2014 onwards

Recommended requirements[edit | edit source]

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5 GHz or AMD A10-7800 APU 3.5 GHz or equivalent
  • RAM: 4GB
  • GPU: GeForce 700 Series or AMD Radeon Rx 200 Series (excluding integrated chipsets) with OpenGL 4.5
  • HDD: 4GB (SSD is recommended)
  • OS: (recommended 64-bit)
    • Windows: Windows 10
    • macOS: macOS 10.12 Sierra
    • Linux: Any modern distributions from 2014 onwards

Software[edit | edit source]

  • Minecraft release 1.6 or newer. Older versions will need to be updated to current versions
  • Please note that some users experience issues playing Minecraft while using a mismatched version of Java for their operating system (32 or 64 bit), while using certain versions of Java 7, or while multiple versions of Java are installed.
  • Starting from Minecraft 1.12, Java 8 will be required to run Minecraft. If you don't know whether you have Java 8, installers supply Minecraft with its own version of Java by default.

If you have a laptop with an a built-in (integrated) graphics card, rather than a dedicated card, it is highly suggested that you try the demo before purchase.

A stable internet connection is required for Minecraft to download game files, authenticate usernames, and connect to multiplayer servers. You'll need to download and run Minecraft while connected to the internet at least once; afterwards, you can play without an internet connection, but will need to connect if you'd like to receive updates or play online.

Minecraft will not run on a toaster (despite some actually using Java), your car, Windows RT tablets or a Chromebook.

Information on system requirements for running a Minecraft server can be found here.

Reception[edit | edit source]

Evaluation Publication
92.79% GameRankings
93/100 Metacritic
4.5/5 GamesRadar
10/10 Eurogamer
9.25/10 Game Informer
8.5/10 GameSpot
5/5 GameSpy
9.0/10 IGN

Minecraft was first made available for sale during June 2009 and has since sold over 20 million copies. Minecraft has received high acclaim from critics and has since become one of the most influential and successful indie games ever released. A level of popularity which has created an entirely new genre of Minecraft clones.[21] The game has been praised for the creative freedom it grants its players in-game, and for how dynamic the overall gameplay is. PC Gamer listed Minecraft as the fourth-best game to play at work.[22]

A review of the Alpha version, by Scott Munro of the Daily Record, called it "already something special" and urged readers to buy it.[23] Jim Rossignol of Rock, Paper, Shotgun also recommended the alpha of the game, calling it "a kind of generative 8-bit Lego S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl."[24] On September 17, 2010, gaming webcomic Penny Arcade began a series of comics and news posts about the addictiveness of the game.[25] Video game talk show Good Game gave it a 7.5 and 9 out of 10, praising its creativity and customization, though they criticized its lack of a tutorial.[26]

On May 5, 2011, Minecraft was selected as one of the 80 games that will be displayed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of "The Art of Video Games" exhibit that was opened on March 16, 2012.[27]

Awards[edit | edit source]

Mojang's trophies

Since release Minecraft has won numerous awards including:

  • PC Gamer's "Game of the Year"[28]
  • Independent Games Festival's Grand Prize and "Audience Award"[29]
  • Good Game's "Best Downloadable Game of 2010"[30]
  • Rock Paper Shotgun's "Game of the Year"[31]
  • Indie DB's "Indie of the Year", "Most Innovative and Best Singleplayer Indie"[32]
  • Game Developers Choice Awards's "Best Debut Game", "Best Downloadable Game" and "Most Innovative Game Award"[33]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Minecraft DEJUS Rating" –
  2. "Gamerating" –
  3. "Minecraft GRB Rating 2016" –
  4. "Minecraft GRB Rating 2015" –
  5. "Where can I buy Minecraft?" – Mojang Help, December 20, 2016
  6. "Minecraft (alpha)" – Forums.tigsource, May 17, 2009
  7. “Dungeon Keeper is available at right now! It's one of the inspirations for Minecraft”@notch, June 3, 2011
  8. The origins of Minecraft - The Word of Notch, October 30, 2009
  9. Cave Game tech demo! - The Word of Notch, May 13, 2009
  10. Cave game tech test - YouTube (Archive)
  11. "Order of the Stick #1" – Giantitp
  12. Minecraft: Order of the Stone - The Word of Notch, May 14, 2009
  13. "Re: Minecraft alpha" – Forums.tigsource
  14. Early private singleplayer alpha coming very soon - The Word of Notch, May 16, 2009
  15. Minecraft 0.0.11a for public consumption - The Word of Notch, May 17, 2009
  16. "Browser Game Pick: Minecraft (Markus Persson)" – Indiegames, May 17, 2009
  17. The server is back up! - The Word of Notch, June 28, 2010
  18. I think I know what game I’m making - The Word of Notch, July 16, 2009
  19. “Ooh, looks like 1.8 has leaked, not that I'd ever admit that. ;) Be careful when installing software you don't trust though.”@notch, September 10, 2011
  20. “Now one month of polish and bug fixed and performance tweaks and optimizations. "Fun!"”@notch, October 19, 2011
  21. "67 Games Like Minecraft" – Gameslikefinder
  22. "50 games to play at work" – Pcgamer, July 5, 2010
  23. Minecraft [alpha Review] - (archived from original)
  24. "Chockablock: Minecraft Revisited" – Rockpapershotgun, August 10, 2010
  25. "Mine All Mine, Part One" – Penny-arcade, September 7, 2010
  26. "20 September 2010 Minecraft" –
  27. "The Art of Video Games" –
  28. "Minecraft - PC Gamer UK's Game Of The Year" – Pcgamer, December 31, 2010
  29. "2011 Independent Games Festival Reveals Main Competition Finalists" – Indiegames, January 3, 2011
  30. "6 December 2010 GG Awards 2010: Best Downloadable Game" –
  31. "The Games Of Christmas ’10: Day 24" – rockpapershotgun/2010/12/24/the-games-of-christmas-%E2%80%9910-day-24, December 24, 2010
  32. "2010 Indie of the Year Awards" – Indiedb
  33. "11th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards" – Gamechoiceawards
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