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How to Play Minecraft Multiplayer

When playing Minecraft, you can play a single-player or multiplayer game. If you'd like to play with other people, there are four options explained in this article: 

     LAN (local area network) 

     Online server 

     Minecraft Realms 

     Split-screen (console versions only) 

Do I have the right version? 

When playing Minecraft: Java Edition, a player's game version must be the same as the server version to play on that server, whether it's LAN or hosted online. You can see your game version number at the bottom of your main menu. 

For more information, see Change Game Versions 

For Minecraft on all other platforms, Minecraft can be updated by going to your device’s store. 


Playing on a Local Area Network (LAN) 

This requires opening your home or local area network (LAN) to others who are also connected to that network. There are some differences in connecting for Minecraft: Java Edition and Minecraft for Windows, Nintendo Switch, or other devices. 
Minecraft: Java Edition 

  1. Choose a host computer. This computer should be fast enough to play Minecraft, while running a server for other players as well. 
  2. Launch the game and click Single Player. 
  3. Create a new world or open an existing one.  
  4. Inside that world, press the Esc key, and click Open to LAN 
  5. Choose a game mode to set for the other players. 
    Tip: Survival is the default Minecraft mode, including life points and hunger. Creative mode allows you to fly and place an infinite amount of blocks. Adventure mode is like Survival mode, but players cannot place or destroy blocks. You can also choose whether to turn cheats (commands) off or on. 
  6. Click Start LAN World, and you'll see a message that a local game has been hosted. 
    Other players on the same network who wish to join can now start their game, select Multiplayer, and their computers should automatically detect the game. 

Minecraft for Windows/Xbox, and other devices 

Before you start 

  • Each player that wants to join must be connected to the same network.  
  • The selected host device must be capable of running a server of the chosen world.  
  • Everyone joining must run the same version of the game as the host. 

Start a LAN game 

  1. Click Play. 
  2. Click the pen icon to create a new world or edit a current world. 
  3. Go to Multiplayer and make sure that Visible to LAN Players is enabled. 
  4. Choose Create or Play to start the world. 

Join a LAN game 

  1. Go to the Play menu.
  2. Click the Friends tab and look for available LAN Games. 

Playing on an Online Server 

Minecraft: Java Edition 

This requires locating and connecting to the IP address of a multiplayer server. 

A multiplayer server allows two or more players to play Minecraft together. You can either download the server file needed to set up your own server from Minecraft.net or connect to another person’s server. Note: To access a server you need to run the same version of Minecraft as the server. For more information, see Changing game version. 


Connect to another player’s server 

  1. Log into Minecraft and click Multiplayer on the main menu,  
  2. Click Add Server and enter the IP or web address of the server.  
    Tip: If you don't know the IP of a server, thousands of public servers can be located by doing a web search for something that suits your style of play. 

For more information about servers, see the Minecraft Wiki's server page. For more information on setting up your own server, check out the wiki's Server Tutorials. 

Minecraft for Windows (Bedrock), Xbox, and other devices 

For Minecraft on these platforms there are three official servers available: Mineplex, InPvP and Lifeboat. 

 Join a server 

  • On the Servers tab, click a server. 

Add an external server 

  • On the Servers tab, click Add Server and enter the necessary information. 
    If you need help locating this information, contact the server owner. 

Note: Due to platform restrictions, this feature is not available on consoles. 


Playing on Minecraft Realms 

Minecraft Realms is a multiplayer service developed by Mojang Studios. Setup is quick and through the game client and allows for you and up to ten friends to play simultaneously.  

You can learn more about Minecraft Realms at minecraft.net/realms, or browse through our Realms Help section. 


Split Screen 

Playing split screen allows up to four players to play on the same screen, at the same time. Split screen play is available only for consoles (Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch).

Playing Split Screen 

Start the game and connect the controllers, this automatically divides the display into player-specific screens (one for each player). 

Last Updated - 2021-09-19 14:51:56 UTC

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