Minecraft: Java Edition (originally referred to as PC Edition and previously known as Minecraft) is the original platform of Minecraft, developed by Mojang Studios and available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Markus "Notch" Persson began development on May 10, 2009, publicly releasing the game on May 17, 2009. The game was fully released on November 18, 2011, at MINECON 2011.
This edition has its own launcher. Logging in with a Mojang account is required to play the game. Along with the latest versions and latest snapshots, most past versions of Java Edition are available through the launcher, though some are lost and archived. The launcher allows for separate profiles, which is useful for mods, development versions, and old versions.
Only the Java Edition has official software for players to host their own servers. Java Edition's code is more easily modified than the other editions, and so it has by far the most robust scenes for mods and custom servers. Realms for Java Edition is a separate service from Realms Plus for Bedrock Edition.
Unlike Bedrock Edition, which is not available for computers without Windows 10, Java Edition supports a variety of operating systems including macOS, Linux, and Windows.
- Main article: Java Edition Version History
Creation and Pre-Classic
Markus Persson created Minecraft after playing Infiniminer with other members of the TIGSource forums in 2009. Other influences include Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper, and Persson's own RubyDung project.
When he first started work on Minecraft, he hadn't come up with a name for it as he had planned for it to be a small project. He simply referred to it as a "cave game" in the first Minecraft video he uploaded on May 13, 2009. The game was given the name "Minecraft: Order of the Stone" – a reference to the webcomic Order of the Stick – the next day. Shortly after that, it was shortened to "Minecraft" to prevent confusion with the webcomic. However, in 2015 it was reused in Minecraft: Story Mode. The game was released as an "early private singleplayer alpha" on May 16, 2009.
- Main article: Classic
Version 0.0.11a was publicly released the day after the private release on May 17, 2009, and the game received mention on IndieGames.com the day after. This phase was later dubbed Classic. In July, Minecraft was rewritten to use the Lightweight Java Gaming Library (LWJGL). Until it was reintroduced in Beta, the Creative game mode was exclusive to Classic, and it allowed the player to build and destroy blocks. Players are given an infinite amount of each block to build. A multiplayer test also occurred shortly before the Survival Test.
- Main article: Survival Test
Survival Test was released as a version of Classic on September 1, 2009, and it introduced Survival Mode. In this mode, the player now had to mine blocks, face mobs and had a health bar. If the player died, the map was lost, and unless it was backed up the user would have to start over with a new map – this was a precursor to Hardcore Mode.
- Main article: Indev
Indev (In Development) was released on December 23, 2009, after Notch received requests to let the community try out new features he was implementing in Survival Test. Version 0.31 was released to the public minecraft.net/indev and available only to people who had purchased the game. When a new game was started, the player would spawn in a prefabricated wooden house.
Updates introduced a more complex and realistic lighting scheme than Classic. During Indev's lifespan, some updates were devoted mostly to testing new things such as torches or Fire. Unique to Indev was level types, similar to biomes and the dimensions. If the player were to die, all progress was lost – much like Survival Test.
- Main article: Infdev
Infdev (Infinite Development) was released on February 27, 2010, and became the third phase of the game's development. It introduced infinite maps, new crafting recipes, 3D clouds, a new terrain generator, a more realistic fluid system, and more complex caves. While Infdev removed features such as world themes, it introduced extra gameplay features and items such as Minecarts and the ability to respawn.
- Main article: Alpha
Alpha was released on June 30, 2010, and this phase saw many major features added to Minecraft. Multiplayer for Survival was created, and features such as Redstone Circuits, Boats, new music, new mobs, and a Difficulty setting were added – often without announcement in "Seecret Friday Updates"
- Main article: Beta
Beta was released on December 20, 2010, and would be the last phase of Minecraft's development. Features that were added include a new logo and launcher, Achievements and statistics, Weather, smooth lighting, dyes, more plant types (two new tree types and tall grass), wolves, and Squid, Beds, and other blocks and items.
The Adventure Update was a major set of updates first released on September 14, 2011, focusing on exploring, combat, and added an ending to the game. New features include a new terrain generator, new mobs, blocks, biomes, and items. New generated structures (Villages, Strongholds, Abandoned Mineshafts) were also introduced, as changed to general gameplay such as an improved combat system with critical hits and experience, Hardcore Mode, and a way to finish the game by traveling to The End and defeating the Ender Dragon.
The official release of Minecraft, version 1.0 was released during MineCon on November 18, 2011, at 9:54 pm GMT. This is the version of Minecraft charged at full price (US$26.95, €19.95, £16.95) to new players; however, Alpha and Beta players receive this copy through regular updating.
When 1.12.2 was released, the game received the Java Edition subtitle to separate it from Bedrock Edition.
On October 6, 2018, Mojang open-sourced parts of the code for Java Edition, mainly the Brigadier command engine and the Data Fixer Upper. A complete rewrite of the game's rendering engine called "Blaze3D" is being considered for open-sourcing.
- Main article: Demo Mode
The Demo Version of Java Edition is for players who haven't bought Minecraft yet. However, the following restrictions are put in place:
- The Demo version is always set to Survival.
- Only one world is created (Demo_World) with the same seed (
- The player will have five in-game days (1 hour and 40 minutes of real-time) to play the world. When the timer goes to 0, the player can still play, but they can't interact with the world.
- The player's name will always be set to
- The player will get a bonus chest when they start a new Demo World.
PC Gamer Demo
The PC Gamer Demo was a demo version of Java Edition Beta 1.3 that was bundled with the June 2011 issue of PC Gamer magazine (American edition, issue 214). It provided 100 minutes (five in-game days) of gameplay, after which it tells the player to buy the game in order to continue playing on the current map. Though outdated, the demo and information can be downloaded here.
The demo contained an exclusive cow skin branded with the PC Gamer logo.
- Main article: Default Controls
Java Edition is designed to be used with a keyboard and mouse or touchpad, unlike Pocket Edition. WASD to move forward, back, left and right. E to open inventory and T to open chat. Space to jump and right-click to use/interact/place blocks, and left click to break blocks. Q to throw stuff away. Controls can be customized at any time.
- Minimum requirements
- CPU: Intel Core i3-3210 3.2 GHz or AMD A8-7600 APU 3.1 GHz or equivalent
- RAM: 2GB
- GPU (Integrated): Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Ivy Bridge) or AMD Radeon R5 series (Kaveri line) with OpenGL 4.4
- GPU (Discrete): Nvidia GeForce 400 Series or AMD Radeon HD 7000 series with OpenGL 4.4
- Storage: ~1GB for game core, maps, and other files
- Windows: Windows 7 and up
- macOS: OS X 10.9 Mavericks
- Linux: Any modern distributions from 2014 onwards
- Recommended requirements
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz / AMD A10-7800 APU 3.5 GHz or equivalent
- RAM: 8GB
- GPU: GeForce 700 Series or AMD Radeon Rx 200 Series (excluding integrated chipsets) with OpenGL 4.5
- HDD: 4GB (SSD is recommended)
- Storage: 2GB
- OS (recommended 64-bit):
- Windows: Windows 10
- macOS: macOS 10.12 Sierra
- Linux: Any modern distributions from 2014 onwards
- Minecraft Release 1.6 or newer. Older versions will need to be updated to current versions
- Please note that some users experience issues playing Minecraft while using a mismatched version of Java for their operating system (32 or 64 bit) while using certain versions of Java 7, or while multiple versions of Java are installed
- Starting from Minecraft 1.12, Java 8 will be required to run Minecraft. If you don't know whether you have Java 8, don't worry - our installers supply Minecraft with its own version of Java by default.
- Minecraft (alpha) – TIGSource Forums (May 17, 2009)
- "Dungeon Keeper is available at gog.com right now! It's one of the inspirations for Minecraft." – @notch (June 3, 2011)
- The Origins of Minecraft – The Word of Notch (October 30, 2009)
- Cave game tech test (ARCHIVED)
- Early private singleplayer alpha coming very soon – The Word of Notch (May 16, 2009)
- Minecraft: Java Edition system requirements (Minecraft Help Center)