Curious about what the Java Edition of Minecraft offers? We don’t blame you. The name is a recent distinction from other versions and is what got people interested over a decade ago. Additionally, Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time with over 238 million copies sold between launch and April 2021. Additionally, it remains one of the most-played games in the early 2020s next to giants in the simulation, MMO, and FPS genres. However, although that glory began with the version we studied below, it shares it with Bedrock Edition and its sub-versions. Let’s make a distinction by telling you what is Minecraft Java Edition.
What is Minecraft Java Edition and when was it released?
Minecraft Java Edition, known as only “Minecraft 1.0.0” until 2017, is a sandbox survival video game released on November 18, 2011, at 9:54 PM UTC during MINECON 2011 by Notch, the creator, and lead developer. It was the first full release after the beta version named Beta 1.8. The latter was the first member of the Adventure Update collection of game updates from September 14, 2011. However, Minecraft only gained the “Java Edition” subtitle retroactively (after the fact), following the release of the Better Together Update on September 20, 2017.
If you’re curious about when Minecraft first became known for its Java version, we can answer. The first version to have a “Java Edition” title was Minecraft Java Edition 1.12.2, released on September 18, 2017. That was two days before Minecraft Bedrock Edition 1.2.0 saw the light of day. The name was added as a separate texture underneath the main logo name to clearly distinguish it from the aforementioned Bedrock Edition.
The naming stems from Java, a general-purpose programming language Minecraft was programmed in. This high-level language is required for it to work. Therefore, Minecraft, during an update, will download and offer an installation of necessary resources. Users can also manually keep their Java version up-to-date, skipping the upgrade.
Why was Bedrock separated from Java Edition?
The reason Minecraft was separated into Bedrock and Java Edition had to do with the game’s desire to enhance compatibility with other operating systems. Java Edition was a way to preserve old features for long-term fans on PC. Separating it allowed Mojang, then Microsoft, to introduce new functionality and features such as mobile and console versions and cross-play. In the early 2020s, Microsoft also sells them as a package. Java Edition and Bedrock Edition are bundled and named Deluxe Edition. That version of Minecraft comes with unique perks such as free skins, Minecoins, and marketplace items.
What are some older Minecraft Java builds?
The first version of Minecraft Java Edition was in development since May 10, 2009, and had its first release, now known as Java Minecraft Classic, on May 17, 2009. After suggestions from some forum members, the game was first named Minecraft: Order of the Stone on May 14, 2009. It was shortened to Minecraft shortly to avoid confusion with the name that served as the inspiration, Order of the Stick. There were several versions before Minecraft Classic and Minecraft Java Edition’s full release:
- Java Survival Test was released on September 1, 2009, which introduced Survival Mode.
- Java indev (from in development) from December 23, 2009, known for introducing difficulty levels, day/night cycle in Minecraft, Sky Dimension, and more.
- Java infdev (infinite development) was published on February 27, 2010. It’s known for more crafting recipes, 3D clouds, bigger caves, dungeons, minecarts and mineshafts, mob spawning, and more.
- Java Alpha, first released as Alpha v1.0.1 on June 30, 2010, added multiplayer Survival Mode, redstone circuitry, The Nether, more biomes, boats, and so on.
- Java Beta, with its first release on December 20, 2010, resembled today’s Minecraft in many ways. Although Beta 1.9 was planned, it ended up being Minecraft 1.0.0 on the aforementioned date.
Most old Java Minecraft builds are lost, but Mojang leaked some development versions back in 2010. Many are playable in the official Minecraft Launcher if players enable the “Historical versions” settings. The community found and stored some on third-party websites and Discord servers.
Where can I play the Java version?
You can play Minecraft Java Edition only on PC, Mac, and Linux. Java Edition does not support Chromebook, PlayStation, Xbox, iPhone iOS, iPad iPadOS, Android, Smart TV and smart devices, or Nintendo Switch. Additionally, while Bedrock Edition also works on PC, it does not support Linux or Mac, so the Java version of Minecraft is exclusive to those platforms.
Can I use cross-play on Java Edition?
No, you technically cannot use cross-play on the Java Edition of Minecraft. Although you can play with people on Mac, PC, and Linux, those are all computer platforms and the others must be Java users as well. That also applies to using the same platform. Java Edition and Bedrock Edition on PC don’t mix, so you have to choose one or the other to join friends. Thankfully, there are many multiplayer Minecraft servers to play as a Java gamer on PC, Mac, or Linux. You can also enjoy playing single-player or in LAN (Local Area Network) co-op. Bedrock Edition has Minecraft Realms and supports cross-platform playing between desktop, laptop, console, and mobile.
Other features of Minecraft Java Edition
The Java version of Minecraft retained or gained unique features that separate it from the Bedrock version. We plan to cover this topic in-depth. For now, here are some crucial differences between Java and Bedrock Edition:
- Java Edition, due to its PC optimization, has higher system requirements compared to Bedrock Edition. The latter is recently created and optimized for mobile and console devices
- The Java version of Minecraft has no access to the Minecraft marketplace and its Add-Ons and skin packs
- Java Edition lets you apply Minecraft mods and mod packs and resource/texture packs bought or downloaded outside the Minecraft marketplace
- You can play on heavily modded private Minecraft servers with Java Edition. Bedrock Edition limits you to a more default but still customizable Realms experience
- You can edit or change your Minecraft character skin by replacing files in the game folder. This circumvents using the Minecraft website and Marketplace where you are usually motivated to buy a whole pack
- The free trial for the Java version of Windows is less restrictive as it encompasses Windows, Linux, and Mac
- Java Edition lacks inbuilt multi-control compatibility. Bedrock offers a user-friendly keyboard and mouse, controller, console buttons, and touch controls
- Java Edition is less safe for kids. Although tied to a Microsoft account, lacks the Parental Controls of Bedrock Edition it gains via Xbox online services.