Decided to play the multiplayer version of Minecraft? Though the single-player experience in Minecraft is stellar, especially when trying to survive or stretch your imagination in Creative Mode, we understand. Sharing the in-game world with friends, whether locally, on the same computer or a home network, or via the Internet, is an alluring prospect. Thankfully, Mojang, then Microsoft, made that experience engaging and fulfilling. The game is frequently updated, and each version brings new features, functionalities, and visual improvements. To sum up, we get why you would like to learn how to play multiplayer in Minecraft. All that’s left is for us to show you. Let’s get into it.
1. Play Minecraft in multiplayer on a LAN (Local Area Network) server
The first of many ways to play Minecraft with friends in multiplayer is for one computer to create a server (host) on a local network and let others (clients) join. First, ensure you’re on the same network. Then, verify the host computer meets the system requirements to host a server and play Minecraft simultaneously. Finally, you must double-check the server version matches the version of all Minecraft clients trying to access it.
With that done, follow these steps based on the Minecraft game version:
Joining a LAN server on Java Edition of Minecraft
Open Minecraft on the host computer and select Single Player on the home screen. Now, on your Java Edition Minecraft client, do the following:
- Join an existing world in single-player mode, or create a new one.
- Once the map finishes loading, press the ESC (Escape) key.
- Select Open to LAN.
- Pick one of the available game modes: Creative, Survival, or Adventure. Moreover, decide whether to enable Minecraft cheats/commands or keep them disabled.
- Choose the Start LAN World option.
- Tell your friends to launch Minecraft, select the Multiplayer option, and join your server, which should be detected automatically, letting them join by clicking.
Minecraft server not detected on LAN. What now?
If players cannot discover the server for Minecraft automatically, take a look at the chat on the hosting machine. Write down the port under “Local game hosted on port XXXX” Now, visit any website that shows your public IP address, and join them like ip-address:port, for example, “18.104.22.168:12345”. Give this to others and tell them to use method 2.
Playing LAN on Minecraft Bedrock Edition
This procedure is vastly easier because this version lets you add Minecraft friends. Do the following to begin playing multiplayer on Minecraft Bedrock Edition:
- Launch Minecraft and select Play.
- Click or tap the pen icon to either join an existing world or make a new one.
- Pick the Multiplayer option offered to you.
- Enable Visible to LAN if it’s disabled.
- Start the world and wait for it to load.
- Tell other players to open Minecraft and open the Play menu.
- They need to navigate to the Friends section, and they’ll see a server under your name they can join.
2. Play on an online server for Minecraft
Connecting to an online server for Minecraft via the Internet is another well-known option of enjoying the game alongside other players in a single world. You have three options in terms of the availability of servers:
- Create a server. You can do so after downloading the necessary server files from the Minecraft.net website and following their tutorials. You’ll need to configure server settings to fit the computer specifications. Moreover, the host must look up their public IP address or register a DNS under that IP address to let others join.
- Join a Microsoft server. The choice is pretty limited here, as only 3 servers are available. We mention their names below.
- Connect to a public Minecraft server: Instead of hosting a server on their machines, people can install server files on a rack in a data center or a shared hosting. There are thousands of these, and you’ll need to find the one you like through a quick web search.
How to join an online Minecraft server?
The procedure of joining a server hosted for Minecraft is dead simple. Here’s what to do depending on the game version:
- Java Edition: After launching the game, select Multiplayer from the main menu.
- Click the Add Server button and enter an IP address, URL (Uniform Resource Locator), or a hostname the server host provided.
- The server will now appear on the list. Highlight it and select Join Server.
- Bedrock Edition: The situation is similar, but you need to pick the Servers tab on the main menu.
- You’ll now see three official Microsoft servers: Lifeboat, InPvP, and Mineplex.
- If you want to play on a public server, select the Add Server option. Follow the same steps as above.
Note. Consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch) are unable to join servers due to limitations to the platform.
3. Playing Minecraft in Split-screen mode (Bedrock Edition only)
Though surprisingly straightforward, this technique of launching the sandbox game in split-screen mode is limited to Bedrock Edition. It’s also only feasible on consoles: Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation. There are no additional steps beyond what you can already surmise. Load Minecraft in any console, and connect two controllers, whether wired or wireless. The game will detect the connection and automatically split the screen in two, letting you play simultaneously.
4. Join Minecraft Realms to play in multiplayer
We already explained what Minecraft Realms are. If you accepted the fact Minecraft mods are unavailable on this version of the game, you can have Microsoft host a server for up to 10 players instead. Here’s how that works:
- Launch Minecraft on the host computer with a Microsoft account signed in.
- Open the version of the game you want to play, then select Minecraft Realms.
- If you aren’t a subscriber already, you’ll be taken to the free trial/payment page to do so.
- Relaunch the game and repeat step 2.
- Click the link that says “Click to start your new realm!”.
- Give it a name and a description. Select Create.
- Customize your in-game world and choose to Create realm.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2. Click the wrench icon next to your realm.
- Go to the Players option.
- In the new window, type your friends’ Microsoft/Mojang gamertag under “Name”.
- Click on Invite player.
- Client players need to load their game and click the envelope icon on the home screen.
- Click on the New invites! pop-up in the top right corner.
- Click the green checkmark and that realm will now appear in the Minecraft Realms menu from step 2.