Minecraft is an indie survival sandbox construction video game designed by Markus "Notch" Persson, Jens "Jeb" Bergensten, and Mojang Studios and developed on Java and C++. The game allows players to collect, assemble, or destroy a variety of blocks in a three-dimensional, procedurally-generated environment. The game takes inspiration from multiple sources, specifically the game Infiniminer.
Development began in May 2009, with pre-orders for the full game starting June 13, 2009. The game was officially released by Notch in mid-November 2011 during MineCon.
During late 2019, Minecraft has sold over 176 million copies worldwide across all platforms, making it the 2nd highest selling video game of all time, only behind Tetris.
- Main article: Blocks
Blocks make up the Minecraft landscape and are integral to gameplay. They can be broken, collected, and placed in an infinite number of arrangements. They can be used in crafting and manipulated in many other ways. The face of a block is 16 by 16 pixels, and each block is proportionately one cubic meter.
Minecraft is a game that has no specific goals to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play it. However, there is an advancement system. While the gameplay revolves through the players' experiences, the game encourages many players to choose their own way of "adventure". There is no right or wrong way to play the game, players can play the game however they want it to be.
There are two game modes in the game: Survival and Creative. In Survival mode, players must gather resources from the Overworld, hunt for food to replenish health and hunger, and protect themselves from the deadly hostile mobs that attack them during nighttime, or in cave systems. The most prominent objective in Survival mode, is to get precious stuff to upgrade certain weapons or tools or make convenient armors that would help them throughout their journeys. In Creative mode, players are free to roam in the world wherever they want, and just simply build anything that comes within their imagination, like cities, redstone machines, etc.
The gameplay is in the first-person perspective by default, but players have the option for a third-person perspective. The game also contains a material known as redstone, which can be used to make mechanical devices, electrical circuits, and logic gates, allowing for the construction of many complex systems. Players can select any customized skin whenever they want to, but new players start with the default character skin of either Steve or Alex. Players encounter various non-player characters known as mobs, such as animals, villagers, and hostile creatures. Passive mobs, such as cows, pigs, and chickens, can be hunted for food and crafting materials. They spawn in the daytime, while hostile mobs, including large spiders, skeletons, and zombies—spawn during nighttime or in dark places such as caves. Some hostile mobs, such as the Zombie, Skeleton, and Drowned (underwater versions of Zombies), burn under the sun if they have no headgear. Other creatures unique to Minecraft include the Creeper (an exploding creature that sneaks up on the player) and the Enderman (a creature with the ability to teleport, pick up, and place blocks). There are also variants of mobs that spawn in different conditions; for example, Zombies have Husk variants that spawn in deserts.
Minecraft has two alternate dimensions besides the Overworld (the main world): the Nether and the End. The Nether is a hell-like dimension accessed via player-built portals; it contains many unique resources and can be used to travel great distances in the Overworld. The player can build an optional boss mob called the Wither out of materials found in the Nether. The End is a barren land consisting of many islands. A boss dragon called the Ender Dragon dwells on the main island. Killing the dragon opens access to an exit portal, which upon entering cues the game's ending credits and a poem written by Irish novelist Julian Gough. There is also another portal that access the outer islands of The End, in which players could access the outer islands. Players are then allowed to teleport back to their original spawn point in the Overworld and continue the game indefinitely.
- Main article: Survival (Game Mode)
The original and core gameplay element of the game. In this mode, players have to gather natural resources such as wood and stone found in the environment in order to craft certain blocks and items. Depending on the difficulty, monsters spawn in darker areas outside a certain radius of the character, requiring players to build a shelter at night. Players are required to fight off the hostile mobs that attack them in order to protect themselves from certain damages. The mode also has a health bar which is depleted by attacks from monsters, falls, drowning, falling into lava, suffocation, starvation, and other events. Players also have a hunger bar, which must be periodically refilled by eating food in-game, except in peaceful difficulty. If the hunger bar is depleted, automatic healing will stop and eventually health will deplete. Health replenishes when players have a nearly full hunger bar or continuously on peaceful difficulty. Players may also trade goods with Villagers or Piglins NPCs throughout a trading or bartering system, which involves trading emeralds or gold for different goods and vice versa.
Players may acquire experience points by killing mobs and other players, mining, smelting ores, breeding animals, and cooking food. Experience can then be spent on enchanting tools, armor and weapons. Enchanted items are generally more powerful, last longer, or have other special effects.
- Main article: Crafting
Since the uses of natural blocks are limited, it is imperative that players make use of the crafting interface to survive. Players can combine items in a 2x2 interface (extended to 3x3 by use of a crafting table), with each item taking up one square of the grid. Different arrangements of items create usable items, which players can exploit to further their collection of resources, and in turn create more items.
Players can craft a wide variety of items in Minecraft. Craftable items include armor, which mitigates damage from attacks; weapons (such as swords), which allows monsters and animals to be killed more easily; and tools, which break certain types of blocks more quickly. Some items have multiple tiers depending on the material used to craft them, with higher-tier items being more effective and durable (perhaps with the exception of Golden Items, which breaks quicker). Players can construct furnaces, which can cook food, process ores, and convert materials into other materials.
- Main article: Inventory
The game has an inventory system, allowing players to carry a limited number of items. Upon dying, items in the players' inventories are dropped, and players re-spawn at their spawn point, which by default is where players first spawn in the game, and can be reset by sleeping in a bed or using a respawn anchor. Dropped items can be recovered if players can reach them before they disappear, or despawn, after 5 minutes.
While they are no specific objectives in the game, The main "goals" of Survival, is to simply survive, gather important resources, construct and expand your shelter before nighttime, explore your world, have fun, upgrade your tools, materials or equipments, find precious stuff, protect their companions, and fight monsters that try to attack them. Survival also has an "ending", that is optional to players, and that is to kill the hostile boss mob, Ender Dragon.
Players can also build the Wither boss by obtaining the right materials from the nether, and defeat it in order to craft a beacon. They also have the option to protect the villagers from an pillager raid (which is triggered by the player itself). Progress can be made once the player does all of these. Players can also beat the game's achievements, or advancements, but this is completely optional.
- Main article: Creative (Game Mode)
In creative mode, players have access to all resources and items in the game through the inventory menu, and can place or remove them instantly. Players can toggle the ability to fly freely around the game world at will, and their characters do not take any damage and are not affected by hunger. The game mode helps players focus on building and creating projects of any size without disturbance.
- Main article: Hardcore (Game Mode)
Hardcore mode is a survival mode variant that is locked to the hardest setting and has permanent death. If a player dies in a hardcore world, they are no longer allowed to interact with it, so they can either be put into spectator mode and explore the world or return to title screen. You can't change difficulty if you set it to hardcore once unlike survival mode.
Minecraft's music and sound effects were produced by German musician Daniel "C418" Rosenfeld. The background music in Minecraft is simply instrumental ambient music. On 4 March 2011, Rosenfeld released a soundtrack, titled Minecraft - Volume Alpha; it includes most of the tracks featured in Minecraft, as well as other music not featured in the game. Kirk Hamilton of Kotaku chose the music in Minecraft as one of the best video game soundtracks of 2011. On 9 November 2013, Rosenfeld released the second official soundtrack, titled Minecraft - Volume Beta, which includes the music that was added in later versions of the game. A physical release of Volume Alpha, consisting of CDs, black vinyl, and limited-edition transparent green vinyl LPs, was issued by indie electronic label Ghostly International on 21 August 2015.
Lena Raine composed music specifically for the "Nether Update", which was released as Minecraft: Nether Update (Original Game Soundtrack) on June 14, 2020.
- Main article: Multiplayer
Multiplayer in Minecraft is available through direct game-to-game multiplayer, LAN play, local split screen, and servers (player-hosted and business-hosted). It enables multiple players to interact and communicate with each other on a single world. Players can run their own servers, use a hosting provider, or connect directly to another player's game via Xbox Live. Single-player worlds have local area network support, allowing players to join a world on locally interconnected computers without a server setup. Minecraft multiplayer servers are guided by server operators, who have access to server commands such as setting the time of day and teleporting players. Operators can also set up restrictions concerning which usernames or IP addresses are allowed or disallowed to enter the server. Multiplayer servers have a wide range of activities, with some servers having their own unique rules and customs. The largest and most popular server is Hypixel, which has been visited by over 14 million unique players. Player versus player combat (PvP) can be enabled to allow fighting between players. Many servers have custom plugins that allow actions that are not normally possible.
Minecraft has experienced several stages of evolution throughout the years and is available across a variety of platforms.
The multi-platform version, which includes:
- Pocket Edition (previously for Android and iOS devices)
- Windows 10 Edition
- Nintendo Switch Edition
- Gear VR Edition
- Fire TV Edition
- Xbox One Edition (Application Version)
- PlayStation 4 Edition
A category of Minecraft versions developed for a variety of gaming consoles over the years, including:
A version of Minecraft that is available for the New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS XL, and New Nintendo 2DS XL, but is not available for any of the original 3DS models.
An educational version of Minecraft that was designed for classroom use. It contains a variety of unique tools and interfaces to aid in the teaching/learning process. No other version of Minecraft is like it.
A separate, stand-alone episodic video game series developed by Telltale Games in collaboration with Mojang. This version does not offer the same freedom and procedurally-generated world of the other versions. Instead, the player is guided through a somewhat linear story, making choices that influence the outcome.
A version of Minecraft developed for the Raspberry Pi. This edition was intended as an educational tool for novice programmers and was based on a slightly cut down version of Pocket Edition Alpha 0.6.1. Although officially discontinued, it is available to download for free from minecraft.net.
A localized edition of Minecraft for mainland China, developed by Mojang AB and NetEase, first released for PC on August 8, 2017. It is a stripped-down version of Java and Bedrock Editions, with servers being limited to only servers approved and hosted in China.
An augmented reality (AR) mobile game for Android and iOS, Minecraft Earth was in early access before Mojang announced that the game would shut down on June 30, 2021.
Any computer with the following hardware should suffice. However, for a more enjoyable experience, there are also some recommended requirements.
- CPU: Intel P4/NetBurst Architecture or its AMD Equivalent (AMD K7)
- RAM: 2GB
- GPU: Intel GMA 950 or AMD Equivalent
- HDD: At least 90MB for game core and sound files
- Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 6 or up is required to be able to run the game
- CPU: Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 (K8) 2.6 GHz
- RAM: 4GB
- GPU: GeForce 6xxx or ATI Radeon 9xxx and Up with OpenGL 2 Support (excluding integrated chipsets)
- HDD: 150MB