From its creation, Minecraft was developed almost exclusively by Notch until Jens "Jeb" Bergensten started working with him, and has since become head of its development. It features music by Daniel "C418" Rosenfeld and paintings by Kristoffer Zetterstrand. Initially released as what is now known as Minecraft Classic on May 17, 2009, the game was released as Minecraft 1.0 on November 18, 2011. Since its release, Minecraft has expanded to mobile devices and consoles. On November 6, 2014, Minecraft and all of Mojang's assets were acquired by Microsoft.
Minecraft focuses on allowing the player to explore, interact with, and modify a dynamically-generated map made of one-cubic-meter-sized blocks. In addition to blocks, the environment features plants, mobs, and items. Some activities in the game include mining for ore, fighting hostile mobs, and crafting new blocks and tools by gathering various resources found in the game. The game's open-ended model allows players to create structures, creations and artwork on various multiplayer servers or their own single player maps. Other features include redstone circuits for logic computations and remote actions, minecarts and tracks, and a mysterious underworld called the Nether. Ultimately, the completely optional goal of the game is to travel to a dimension called the End, and defeat the Ender Dragon.
Purchase and availability
Bedrock Edition can be purchased in the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, Amazon App Store, Windows Phone Store, Windows 10 Store, Oculus Store, Apple TV App Store, Fire TV App Store and Xbox One Marketplace.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition can be purchased in the Nintendo eShop.
The player is the person that the user controls in the world. When the user starts a game, the player is put in a world, generated by a random or specified seed, with an empty inventory. If the bonus chest option is enabled, a chest filled with basic items generates near the player. The player has a health bar with 10 hearts, and can be damaged by falls, suffocation, drowning, fire, lava, lightning, cacti, falling into the Void, and being hit by hostile mobs. Damage to health can be mitigated by armor, and health can be restored by eating food, or if difficulty is set to Peaceful, health will regenerate on its own. Hunger is also a factor if the difficulty is not set to Peaceful, depleting over time and even faster while sprinting. Food will replenish the hunger level; however, eating rotten flesh and raw chicken has a chance of giving the player a hunger effect. Depending on the difficulty level, a low hunger level will deplete a players health.
A player can change their skin on the profile page of Minecraft.net or in the launcher.
Blocks are the objects that make up the Minecraft world. There are different types of blocks; natural blocks such as grass, stone, and ores are randomly generated within the world. There are also blocks that players can craft, such as a crafting table and a furnace. Resources can be extracted from blocks by hand or by using tools. Some of these resources are simply blocks in the player's inventory that can be placed elsewhere, while others are used as material to create other blocks or tools. Others yield no practical use whatsoever. Some blocks cannot be broken through normal survival means; these being Bedrock, End Portal Frames, and Command Blocks.
As the game's name would suggest, mining is one of the main aspects of Minecraft. Mining is done to extract ore and other materials from below the surface of the map. These ores include coal, iron, gold, redstone, diamond, lapis lazuli, and emerald. These are crucial in making several useful items. Mining can involve digging a hole from the surface or going down through a cave. Abandoned mineshafts create extra areas to look for resources.
Crafting and smelting
Crafting allows players to create new tools and blocks using items from their inventory. Subsequent versions often contain crafting recipes for new blocks and items. To craft, a player can use the 2×2 grid in the inventory or the 3×3 grid provided by a crafting table. Smelting requires a furnace in addition to fuel, and processes blocks such as iron ore into a more useful form (e.g. iron ingot).
Brewing and enchanting
Brewing creates potions from various ingredients and water using a brewing stand. They are stored in a glass bottle and then consumed by the player or thrown at other mobs to generate a certain effect based on the ingredients used to create the potion. Enchanting is also used to upgrade armor, tools, or weapons with a enchanting table. More powerful enchantments can be accessed by gaining experience and placing bookshelves around the enchanting table.
Mobs (short for Mobiles) are the animals and other creatures that inhabit the map. These include zombies that attack by melee and summon other zombies; skeletons that have a bow and arrow, spiders that jump large distances and can climb walls, and creepers that explode when near the player. Rare mobs include spider jockeys, which is a skeleton riding a spider, chicken jockeys, which is a baby zombie riding a chicken, endermen, which are tall, black creatures with purple eyes and turn aggressive when the player looks at them, and slimes, which spawn deep within the map and in swamplands. The Nether features ghasts; flying mobs that spit exploding fire balls and attack without provocation, and zombie pigmen; modified pigmen with a golden sword that are neutral, blazes; which shoot fireballs and fly, and magma cubes, which are similar to slimes but jump a bit higher). In the End, the Ender Dragon exists. Withers can be built in all dimensions.
To aid the player there are several passive mobs: pigs, cows, chickens, sheep, rabbits and squid, and three tamable mob types, wolves, ocelots, and horses. Wolves will attack enemy mobs if the player engages or is attacked by them. Cats, or tamed ocelots will keep creepers at bay and can't take fall damage. Passive mobs other than wolves yield resources when killed, such as beef, porkchops, chicken, wool, leather, and ink sacs. If killed when on fire, the meat drops are changed to steaks, cooked porkchops and cooked chicken.
The Nether is a dimension in Minecraft, accessible from the Overworld by a Nether Portal. It was described by Notch as "a brand new hell world". It consists mainly of Netherrack and generates lakes of lava. It is populated by Zombie Pigmen, Blazes, Ghasts, Wither Skeletons, and Magma Cubes.
The End is another dimension of the game where the player battles the Ender Dragon. The End is accessible by entering an End Portal in a Stronghold. The End is composed of End Stone and is inhabited by Endermen. It also contains Obsidian Pillars and Ender Crystals that heal the Ender Dragon.
Minecraft multiplayer servers have developed to include their own rules and customs, guided by their administrators and moderators. The term griefer, meaning a player who causes grief, is a typical term on the internet, but has taken up its own definition on Minecraft servers: a person who destroys or defiles other users' creations on servers.
Griefers are the reason many server administrators make rules, but this has been taken a step further with modifications to the Minecraft server and even plugin-based replacement servers such as Bukkit. Because of these plugin-based servers, new user-created features have shown up in Minecraft. This includes features like money, vehicles, protection, RPG elements and more. These features normally do not require modification to a user's client and can be accessed by using chat commands. With the default controls, the chat screen is brought up by pressing T.
One popular game on multiplayer servers is Spleef (a play on the word "grief"), a game where the player's aim is to make another player drop through the floor by destroying blocks beneath the opponent's feet. This is typically played in a designated area.
Minecraft Realms is an official subscription-based server hosting service that allows players to create and manage their own private Minecraft servers. Hosted by Mojang, Realms provides an easy and fast way to create servers and allows the owner to manage them from inside the game, without prior knowledge of the concepts for hosting on the Internet. However, Realms are not intended for large public servers, but for groups of friends or as a family server. Private Realms servers are easy to set up and available 24/7.
The Bedrock Edition (also known as the Bedrock Platform, Bedrock Codebase or Bedrock Engine) refers to the multi-platform family of editions of Minecraft developed by Mojang AB and Microsoft Studios. Prior to this term, as the engine originated with Pocket Edition, this entire product family has been referred to using as "Pocket Edition", "MCPE", or "Pocket/Windows 10 Edition".
Except on the Apple TV Edition, for which the Better Together Update has not yet been released, Minecraft, with no subtitle, is the title of all Bedrock editions of Minecraft. Before the Better Together Update, it had different subtitles on different platforms including Pocket Edition (for all mobile platforms), Windows 10 Edition, Gear VR Edition, Apple TV Edition, and Fire TV Edition.
The Bedrock Edition was initially launched exclusively for the Xperia PLAY on Google Play for US $6.99 on August 16, 2011. It was later released for other Android devices on October 7, 2011, and iOS on November 17, 2011. On September 13, 2012, the Pocket Edition was made available for purchase on the Amazon Appstore. The Windows Phone version was released on the Windows Store on December 10, 2014, for which the Pocket Edition 1.0 release and newer are only available for Windows 10 Phone and newer. Since then, four adaptations of Pocket Edition have been released; for Windows 10 on July 29, 2015, the Samsung Gear VR on April 27, 2016, the Apple TV on December 19, 2016, and the Amazon Fire TV on December 19, 2016.
The original platform for Minecraft, running on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux and started through the launcher. The game was initially released for an "early private singleplayer alpha" on May 16, 2009, followed by a number of development stages (notably Classic, Indev, Infdev, Alpha, Beta) with the game finally being released on November 18, 2011. The Java Edition has seen many significant updates since its official release.
Legacy Console Edition
Minecraft: Legacy Console Edition refers to the edition of Minecraft for consoles. The game has been continuously updated by its developers, 4J Studios.
The console edition was initially released on the Xbox 360 on May 9, 2012 followed by the unveiling on June 7, 2011 at E3 and the release date announcement on March 22nd through PlayXBLA's Twitter account. Console Edition was further released on the PlayStation 3 on December 17, 2013 (announced August 20, 2013), the Xbox One (discontinued), the PlayStation 4, the PlayStation Vita, the Wii U, and the Nintendo Switch.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition was released on September 13, 2017. It is a unique port developed by Other Ocean Interactive. It is available on the Nintendo eShop, but only for the New 3DS and New 2DS. Multiplayer is limited to local play.
Minecraft: Education Edition is an educational version of Minecraft specifically designed for classroom use. It is developed by Mojang AB and Microsoft Studios and contains features that will make Minecraft easy to use in a classroom setting. The full game was released on November 1, 2016.
There are a number of other versions of Minecraft. Minecraft 4k is a simple version of Minecraft in the style of other "4k" Java games that Notch has entered in contests. The Pi Edition was a free ported version of the 0.5.0 version of Pocket Edition for the Raspberry Pi. which was intended as an educational tool for novice programmers. It allowed users to manipulate the game code and supported multiple programming languages, however was discontinued in January 2016.
|Edition||Price (USD)||Developer||Platforms||Download||Input methods||Account type||Skin changes||Support||Notes|
|Java Edition||$26.95||Mojang AB||Windows, Mac & Linux PCs||minecraft.net||Keyboard & Mouse||Mojang||Free, user-created||help.mojang.com||The most feature complete version. Access to occasional test updates (snapshots).|
|Bedrock Edition||$6.99 - $26.99|| Mojang AB
|Windows 10 PCs, Samsung Gear VR, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, iOS, Android, and FireOS devices||Windows, Oculus, Amazon Fire TV, Apple, Google, Amazon, and Xbox Live stores|| Keyboard & Mouse
|Xbox Live (for achievements)||Free, user-created, via in-app purchase, or via Xbox Live||support.xbox.com||Free on Windows 10 if you already own Minecraft Java Edition (code via Mojang account). Cross-platform local server multiplayer. Windows 10, Xbox One, and Android users have access to occasional test updates (builds).|
|Apple TV||$19.99||Mojang AB||Apple TV||Apple TV App Store||Game Controller|| Apple ID
Xbox Live (for achievements)
|Education||$1-5 per user per year||Microsoft Studios||Mac and Windows 10 PCs||education.minecraft.net||Keyboard & Mouse||Microsoft Office 365||Free, user-created||education.minecraft.net/support||Designed for teaching.|
|Xbox 360||$19.99||4J Studios||Xbox 360||Xbox Live||Xbox 360 Controller||Xbox Live||Purchased via Xbox Live||support.xbox.com||—|
|PlayStation 4||$19.99||4J Studios||PlayStation 4||PSN Store||DUALSHOCK 4 Controller||PlayStation Network||Purchased via PSN Store||playstation.com/support||Worlds transfer from PS3.|
|PlayStation 3||$19.99||4J Studios||PlayStation 3||PSN Store|| SIXAXIS Controller
DUALSHOCK 3 Controller
|PlayStation Network||Purchased via PSN Store||playstation.com/support||—|
|PlayStation Vita||$19.99||4J Studios|| PlayStation Vita
|PSN Store|| PSVita
DUALSHOCK 3 Controller
DUALSHOCK 4 Controller
|PlayStation Network||Not yet available||playstation.com/support||—|
|Wii U||$29.99||4J Studios||Wii U||Nintendo eShop|| Wii U GamePad
Wii U Pro Controller
Wii Classic Controller
|Nintendo Network||Purchased via Nintendo eShop||support.xbox.com||Price includes six of the most popular add-on packs. Support for off-screen play.|
|Nintendo Switch||$29.99||4J Studios||Nintendo Switch||Nintendo eShop|| JoyCon
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
|Nintendo Account (for Nintendo Switch Online)||Purchased via Nintendo eShop||support.xbox.com||Price includes seven of the most popular add-on packs.|
|New Nintendo 3DS||$29.99||Other Ocean Interactive|| New Nintendo 3DS
New Nintendo 2DS
|Raspberry Pi||Free||Mojang AB||Raspberry Pi||pi.minecraft.net||Keyboard and Mouse||None||Free, user-created||Not available||Designed for teaching and tinkering.|
Add-ons are the first step towards bringing customization to all editions of Minecraft and are officially supported by Mojang/Minecraft. Currently, add-ons are only supported on Bedrock Edition platforms, which includes also the Windows 10, Gear VR, Apple TV and Fire TV Editions. They currently allow players to transform the look of their worlds and change the behavior of mobs.
The game officially supports changing most of its various textures, sounds, and text through resource packs. These have to contain a certain structure of files and folders, contained in a .zip archive file and placed in the resourcepacks folder of the .minecraft folder. The resource packs, as well as the folder, can be accessed in the options menu. The extent to which the resources are changed is dependent on how many files are contained in the resource pack.
A skin refers to the texture that is placed onto a player model or mob.
The skin is divided into areas that act as the surface area of the character (for example, the front head area, left leg area, etc.). A skin will only allow solid color; transparency is not allowed on the skin file except on the second layer, which is transparent by default; playing offline, pixels can be left free resulting in "holes" in the skin. The second layer can be used to give the character glasses, hats, or other accessories (even a bigger head).
Minecraft can be modified by replacing or adding Java class files to minecraft.jar. This method of making modifications are not supported by Mojang as they can break the game if the mod is outdated, defective, or is conflicting with another mod. Some of these user created modifications have been found to impress Notch or Jeb and the original authors have been attributed under Additional Programming; an implementation of Paul Spooner's Forestry editor script (not actually an internal mod), Hippoplatimus' Piston Mod and Dr. Zhark's Mo' Creatures mod (horses) were added in Infdev (April 13, 2010), Beta 1.7 and 1.6.1 respectively, although the Forester script was later removed in Infdev.
There are many programs designed for Minecraft. These include 3D map editors and viewers, game modifiers, various informational programs (such as crafting recipes), and server wrappers, and other specialty programs. As with mods, these too are not supported by Mojang.
Minecraft: The Story of Mojang
Minecraft: The Story of Mojang is a 2012 documentary created by 2 Player Productions about the history and development of Mojang AB. It was directed by Paul Owens and produced by Paul Levering, Peter De Bourcier and Burnie Burns, with additional funding given through a Kickstarter campaign. The movie was announced on February 21, 2011, was streamed on Xbox Live on December 22, 2012, and publicly released on other platforms, including The Pirate Bay, the next day.
Minecraft: The Movie
Minecraft: The Movie is an upcoming American-Swedish film based on the video game of the same name. It is being directed by Rob McElhenney and written by Jason Fuchs. It is planned to be released on May 24, 2019.
Minecraft: The Island
Minecraft: Story Mode
Minecraft: Story Mode is an episodic point-and-click narrative-driven graphic adventure video game based on the sandbox video game Minecraft, released in October 2015 across multiple platforms with a Windows 10 release on December 16, 2015, a Wii U release on January 21, 2016, a Apple TV release on August 24, 2016, and a Nintendo Switch release on August 22, 2017. The game was developed by Mojang AB, the developer of Minecraft, in collaboration with Telltale Games. Music for the game was composed by Anadel, an atmospheric folk band based in California. The game follows the episodic format that Telltale has used for its previous titles, where player choices and actions have siginificant effects on later story elements.
Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two
Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two is an ongoing episodic point-and-click narrative-driven graphic adventure video game based on the sandbox video game Minecraft, released in July 2017 across multiple platforms, with a Nintendo Switch release in Q4 2017. The game is being developed by Mojang AB, the developer of Minecraft, in collaboration with Telltale Games. Music for the game was composed by Anadel, an atmospheric folk band based in California. The game follows the episodic format that Telltale has used for its previous titles, where player choices and actions have significant effects on later story elements.
In December 2011, Mojang submitted the concept of Minecraft merchandise to Lego for the Lego Cuusoo program, from which it quickly received 10,000 votes by users, prompting Lego to review the concept. On January 24, 2012, Lego Cuusoo announced the concept was approved and they would develop sets based around Minecraft. In February 2012, the first Lego Minecraft set of Micro World was showcased and made available for pre-orders, with a release set for the summer of 2012.
The Official Minecraft Books are a series of guidebooks for Minecraft, written for new and inexperienced players while being high-quality enough for collectors. The books are written by Stephanie Milton, Paul Soares Jr. (paulsoaresjr), Jordan Maron (CaptainSparklez), Nick Farwell, Matthew Needler, Phil Southamt, Alex Wiltshire and published by Scholastic. There are currently five books in the series: Minecraft: Essential Handbook, Minecraft: Redstone Handbook, Minecraft: Annual 2014, Minecraft: Combat Handbook, and Minecraft: Construction Handbook They were first released in the UK in late 2013 (beginner, redstone, annual 2014) and early 2014 (combat, construction).
Since release Minecraft has won numerous awards including:
- PC Gamer's "Game of the Year"
- Independent Games Festival's Grand Prize and "Audience Award"
- Good Game's "Best Downloadable Game of 2010"
- Rock Paper Shotgun's "Game of the Year"
- Indie DB's "Indie of the Year", "Most Innovative and Best Singleplayer Indie"
- Game Developers Choice Awards's "Best Debut Game", "Best Downloadable Game" and "Most Innovative Game Award"
References in popular culture
Many references have been made in culture in response to the popularity of Minecraft, this includes many memes and also references in these video games:
- In Super Meat Boy, Steve? is an unlockable character. He is known as Mr. Minecraft in this game.
- In Battlefield Heroes, you could get a Royal Minecraft T-Shirt or a National Minecraft T-Shirt from the 29th to the 31st of July, 2011.
- In Team Fortress 2, there is a hat called Top Notch that resembles Notch's avatar in a cubic form. Notch is the only person to have this hat.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and The Binding of Isaac, an item called the "Notched Pickaxe" can be found and used, referencing the game's creator Notch, and the pickaxes which feature prominently in Minecraft.
- In ChopLifter HD, there is a hidden island with Steve and chickens in the "Operation Charlie Takedown" mission. When you save him, you unlock an in-game achievement. It should be noted that Steve is called "Blockhead" in this game.
- In the PlayStation 3 game, PixelJunk Shooter 2, there's a small Creeper in the title screen hidden among other enemies native to Shooter 2.
- In Borderlands 2, there is a hidden section of the game with blocks in the style of Minecraft's stone and ore blocks, which are breakable. There are also enemy Creepers in this same area.
- In Torchlight 2, there is an area called "Notch's Mine." In it are Creepers, that can be killed for loot. There are also hidden swords in the game with the same graphics as swords in Minecraft.
- In season 17 of South Park, the 2nd episode depicted a kid teaching Minecraft to adults.
- In Patch 1.13 of Awesomenauts, a new skin for the character Clunk was added known as Creeper Clunk. It is unlocked by killing a player using the Creeper Clunk skin.
- A vehichle card in Dusk of D.A.W.N. is called "Mine Craft". The description at the bottom says "The Mine Craft is truly top-notch". Notch's Twitter picture is hidden on the card.
- One of the many paths in The Stanley Parable will eventually take the player to a Minecraft world.
- In Plague Inc, a popular multiplatform game, there is a chance a message in the news will appear about a "Top notch diamond mine in Sweden, attracting Miners and Crafters". this is a reference to the value of diamonds, Notch, and the game itself.
- In Terraria, there is a wearable creeper costume.
- In Stealing The Diamond, you need to choose "Sneak In" and use a "Pick". A creeper will show up and explode.
- In the The Walking Deceased movie trailer, the Minecraft zombie sound can be heard at 0:30.
- In season 25 of The Simpsons, the 17th episode had a couch gag known as SimCraft, complete with Bartender Moe as a creeper blowing up the house.
- In Season 3 Episode 10 of Rick and Morty, the title characters mention or are seen playing Minecraft throughout parts of the episode.
- "Minecraft on new 3DS!" – Minecraft.net