Players can thoroughly enjoy Minecraft in single-player mode, but having friends around has its charms. While they may be loud, mischievous, and unwilling to listen at times, they introduce an element of unpredictability. You also get to have someone you can battle, build, gather, co-manage your base of operations, or simply spend time exploring massive Minecraft maps with. But here’s the problem. Unless you see them close by in-game or use non-Minecraft means of communication, you’d never notice they’re online, let alone contact them. Luckily, you can solve that issue by learning how to add friends on Minecraft. Let’s begin.
Add friends on Minecraft Java Edition
Right off the bat, we’ll say Minecraft Java Edition doesn’t officially offer a “friends list” system akin to Bedrock Edition. It’s highly unlikely one will ever be implemented because it’d lack cross-play, funnel players away from Bedrock Edition, and frankly, is somewhat unnecessary. Here are 4 common non-standard ways of adding friends within Java Edition of Minecraft:
1. LAN (Local Area Network)
Are you and your friends on the same network? If so, you can launch Java Edition of Minecraft on the computer you want to “host” the game with. Then, do the following:
- Click on Single-Player in the main menu.
- Join an existing world or make a new one.
- Press ESC to access the Pause Menu.
- Select Open to LAN.
- Decide on a Game Mode and whether to turn on Minecraft cheats.
- Choose Start LAN World, and you’ll get feedback, “A local game has been hosted.”
- Tell your friends to boot Minecraft, choose Multiplayer, and they’ll get connected automatically.
2. Private servers
It’d be unreasonable to put a lot of people on (usually) an enormous Minecraft map and not provide means of communication. Therefore, the vast majority of servers offer a way to add and track friends that are currently online and message them directly.
Minecraft mods are a popular way to customize the game. For instance, they let you change skins in Minecraft. What some of them also do is let users create a list of friends who also use the mod and exchange personal messages. Some examples, none of which we’re affiliated with, include Sk1er, 5zig, or ModCore.
4. Third-party clients
Custom Minecraft launchers are another software you can use. They offer the same functionality as mods but come with a GUI (Graphical User Interface) and open doors for other modifications. Similarly, both individuals must use them to establish a connection. Two examples we have no ties with are Lunar Client and Badlion Client.
Adding friends on Minecraft Bedrock and Pocket Edition
Minecraft Bedrock Edition is the best suitable game version for cross-platform play. After adding a friend on one platform, you can proceed to play with that person on other supported platforms without repeating the procedure. This applies to Windows 10, Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, Android, iOS, Fire OS, and Nintendo Switch. With that said, follow these instructions to add friends using any Minecraft Bedrock or Pocket Edition client:
1. Create a Microsoft account (Situational)
We assume you have a Microsoft account by now. After all, you can’t play the game without one. Moreover, the required migration of Mojang accounts to Microsoft accounts in early 2021 surely forced your hand. Thus, we’re mainly reminding you for two reasons:
- Make sure your friend has an active Microsoft account. Double-check they’re signed in to the game.
- Ensure that both you and your friend have a valid monthly subscription to services such as Nintendo Switch Online or Xbox Live.
2. Sign in then, optionally, join a world
Now you’re ready to fire up Minecraft. When it boots, do this:
- Click the Sign in with a Microsoft account button.
- Enter your credentials, and you’ll see the home screen.
- Now, it’s entirely up to you whether you:
- Want to join (select Play) or start a new Minecraft world (select Create)
- Continue the procedure from the main menu
Note. If you and your friend use the same network, you can access the Pause Menu after joining the world. Then, choose the Multiplayer option and enable Visible to LAN Players. That way, your friend can go to Play > Friends tab > find it among LAN options once you complete the rest of the steps.
3. Start searching via friend’s ID or Gamertag
Depending on what you decided, follow these steps to search for your Minecraft friend:
I’m on the main menu
Click on Play as you would usually. Now:
- Instead of joining, click the Friends tab.
- You’ll now see a list of “Joinable Minecraft Realms” and “Joinable Friends”. Both will likely be empty.
- Click the Add Friend button in the upper left corner.
- Enter the Gamertag of the person you want to be friends with.
I’m in the game
Access the in-game settings i.e., Pause Menu. Then, do this:
- A section named “My World” should appear on the right-hand side. If it doesn’t, check both corners for a small rectangle that expands the sidebar.
- Tap on Invite to Game.
- Tap on Find Cross-Platform Friends.
- Enter your friend’s Minecraft ID or Xbox Gamertag.
4. Send an invitation and await a confirmation
In both cases, you must confirm the invitation by selecting Send 1 Invite (within the game) or Add as a friend/Add as a favorite (from the main menu). Wait for the person to receive a pop-up in their game and accept. The first two options do virtually the same – the individual will now show up in the “Online Friends” section. The third, “Add as a favorite”, makes that person always appear on top of the friends list.
Add friends using Minecraft Realms
We already talked about what Minecraft Realms are. Here’s how to send invitations after you host a Minecraft Realm, though:
- Java Edition: Launch Minecraft and go to Minecraft Realms. Now:
- Select Configure Realms.
- Click the + (plus) icon.
- Type up to 10 player usernames.
- They’ll see an on-screen pop-up or can go to Minecraft Realms > New Invitations.
- Bedrock Edition: This slightly varies with the platform. Here’s the process on Xbox:
- Go to Worlds.
- Select the Minecraft Realm you created.
- Choose the pencil icon below its name.
- Select Members then click on Share, and you’ll get an invitation URL
- Send it to your friends.
Tip. They can also see the realm in the Friends tab under “Joinable Minecraft Realms” as described in method 2, step 4.