Minecraft is a sandbox video game developed by Mojang Studios. Created by Markus "Notch" Persson in the Java programming language and released as a public alpha for personal computers in , the game was officially released in November , with Jens Bergensten taking over development around then. Minecraft has since been ported to various platforms and become the best-selling video game of all time, with million copies sold across all platforms and million monthly active users as of [update].
In Minecraft, players explore a blocky, procedurally-generated3D world with infinite terrain, and may discover and extract raw materials, craft tools and items, and build structures or earthworks. Depending on game mode, players can fight computer-controlled "mobs", as well as cooperate with or compete against other players in the same world. Game modes include a survival mode, in which players must acquire resources to build the world and maintain health, and a creative mode, where players have unlimited resources. Players can modify the game to create new gameplay mechanics, items, and assets.
Minecraft has been critically acclaimed, winning several awards and being cited as one of the greatest and most influential video games of all time, being inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame in June  Social media, parodies, adaptations, merchandise, and the annual MineCon conventions played large roles in popularizing the game. It has also been used in educational environments, especially in the realm of computing systems, as virtual computers and hardware devices have been built in it. In , Mojang and the Minecraftintellectual property were purchased by Microsoft for US$ billion. A number of spin-off games have also been produced, such as Minecraft: Story Mode, Minecraft Dungeons, and Minecraft Earth.
Minecraft is a 3Dsandbox game that has no specific goals to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game. However, there is an achievement system, known as "advancements" in the Java Edition of the game. Gameplay is in the first-person perspective by default, but players have the option for third-person perspective. The game world is composed of rough 3D objects—mainly cubes and fluids, and commonly called "blocks"—representing various materials, such as dirt, stone, ores, tree trunks, water, and lava. The core gameplay revolves around picking up and placing these objects. These blocks are arranged in a 3D grid, while players can move freely around the world. Players can "mine" blocks and then place them elsewhere, enabling them to build things. Many commentators have described the game's physics system as unrealistic; liquids continuously flow for a limited horizontal distance from source blocks, which can be removed by placing a solid block in its place or by scooping it into a bucket. The game also contains a material known as redstone, which can be used to make primitive mechanical devices, electrical circuits, and logic gates, allowing for the construction of many complex systems.
The game world is virtually infinite and procedurally generated as players explore it, using a map seed that is obtained from the system clock at the time of world creation (or manually specified by the player). There are limits on vertical movement, but Minecraft allows an infinitely large game world to be generated on the horizontal plane. Due to technical problems when extremely distant locations are reached, however, there is a barrier preventing players from traversing to locations beyond 30,, blocks from the center.[g] The game achieves this by splitting the world data into smaller sections called "chunks" that are only created or loaded when players are nearby. The world is divided into biomes ranging from deserts to jungles to snowfields; the terrain includes plains, mountains, forests, caves, and various lava/water bodies. The in-game time system follows a day and night cycle, and one full cycle lasts 20 real-time minutes.
When starting a new world, players must choose one of five game modes, as well as one of four difficulties, ranging from peaceful to hard. Increasing the difficulty of the game causes the player to take more damage from mobs, as well as having other difficulty-specific effects. For example, the peaceful difficulty prevents hostile mobs from spawning, and the hard difficulty allows players to starve to death if their hunger bar is depleted. Once selected, the difficulty can be changed, but the game mode is locked and can only be changed with cheats.
New players have a randomly selected default character skin of either Steve or Alex, but the option to create custom skins was made available in  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 zombies, skeletons 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 as well as 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 alternative 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, due to every block traveled in the Nether being equivalent to 8 blocks traveled 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. Players are then teleported back to their spawn point and may continue the game indefinitely.
In survival 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. The mode also has a health bar which is depleted by attacks from mobs, 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 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. Players can construct furnaces, which can cook food, process ores, and convert materials into other materials. Players may also exchange goods with a villager (NPC) through a trading system, which involves trading emeralds for different goods and vice versa.
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. 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.
Hardcore mode is a survival mode variant that is locked to the hardest setting and has permadeath. 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 delete it entirely. This game mode can only be accessed within the Java Edition.
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.
Adventure mode was designed specifically so that players could experience user-crafted custom maps and adventures. Gameplay is similar to survival mode but with various restrictions, which can be applied to the game world by the creator of the map. This forces players to obtain the required items and experience adventures in the way that the map maker intended. Another addition designed for custom maps is the command block; this block allows map makers to expand interactions with players through scripted server commands.
Spectator mode allows players to fly through blocks and watch gameplay without directly interacting. Players do not have an inventory, but can teleport to other players and view from the perspective of another player or creature. This game mode can only be accessed within the Java or PC edition.
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. One of the largest and most popular servers 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.
In , Mojang announced Minecraft Realms, a server hosting service intended to enable players to run server multiplayer games easily and safely without having to set up their own. Unlike a standard server, only invited players can join Realms servers, and these servers do not use IP addresses. Minecraft: Java Edition Realms server owners can invite up to twenty people to play on their server, with up to ten players online at a time. Minecraft Realms server owners can invite up to people to play on their server, with up to ten players online at one time. The Minecraft: Java Edition Realms servers do not support user-made plugins, but players can play custom Minecraft maps.Minecraft Realms servers support user-made add-ons, resource packs, behavior packs, and custom Minecraft maps. At Electronic Entertainment Expo , support for cross-platform play between Windows 10, iOS, and Android platforms was added through Realms starting in June , with Xbox One and Nintendo Switch support to come later in , and support for virtual reality devices. On 31 July , Mojang released the beta version of the update allowing cross-platform play. Nintendo Switch support for Realms was released in July 
A wide variety of user-generated downloadable content for Minecraft, such as modifications, texture packs and custom maps, exists and is available on the Internet. Modifications of the Minecraft code, called mods, add a variety of gameplay changes, ranging from new blocks, new items, new mobs to entire arrays of mechanisms to craft. The modding community is responsible for a substantial supply of mods from ones that enhance gameplay, such as minimaps, waypoints, and durability counters, to ones that add to the game elements from other video games and media.
While mod framework is fan-made, vanillaMinecraft contains intended frameworks for modification, such as community-created resource packs, which alter certain game elements including textures and sounds. Players can also create their own "maps" (custom world save files) which often contain specific rules, challenges, puzzles and quests, and share them for others to play. Mojang added an adventure mode in August  and "command blocks" in October , which were created specially for custom maps in Java Edition. Data packs, introduced in version of the Java Edition, allow further customization, including the ability to add new advancements, dimensions, functions, loot tables, predicates, recipes, structures, tags, world generation settings, and biomes.
The Xbox Edition supports downloadable content, which is available to purchase via the Xbox Games Store; these content packs usually contain additional character skins. It later received support for texture packs in its twelfth title update while introducing "mash-up packs", which combines texture packs with skin packs and changes to the game's sounds, music and user interface. The first mash-up pack (and by extension, the first texture pack) for the Xbox Edition was released on 4 September , and was themed after the Mass Effect franchise. Unlike Java Edition, however, the Xbox Edition does not support player-made mods or custom maps. A cross-promotional resource pack based on the Super Mario franchise by Nintendo was released for the Wii U Edition worldwide on 17 May  A mash-up pack based on Fallout was announced for release on the Wii U Edition.
In June , Mojang released an update known as the "Discovery Update" to the Bedrock version of the game. The update includes a new map, a new game mode, the "Marketplace", a catalogue of user-generated content that gives Minecraft creators "another way to make a living from the game", and more.
|Beta & Release "Adventure Update"|
|"Pretty Scary Update"|
|"The Update that Changed the World"|
|"World of Color Update"|
|"Village & Pillage"|
Before he came up with Minecraft, Markus "Notch" Persson was a game developer with King through March , at the time serving mostly browser games, during which he learnt a number of different programming languages. He would prototype his own games during his off-hours at home, often based on inspiration he found from other games, and participated frequently on the TIGSource forums for independent developers. One of these personal projects was called "RubyDung", a base-building game inspired by Dwarf Fortress, but as an isometric three dimensional game like Roller Coaster Tycoon. He had already made a 3D texture mapper for another zombie game prototype he had started to try to emulate the style of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Among the features in "RubyDung" he explored was a first-person view similar to Dungeon Keeper but at the time, felt the graphics were too pixelated and omitted this mode. Around March , Persson left King and joined jAlbum, but otherwise kept working on his prototypes.
Infiniminer, a block-based open-ended mining game first released in April , sparked Persson's inspiration for how to take "RubyDung" forward.Infiniminer heavily influenced the visual style of gameplay, including bringing back the first-person mode, the "blocky" visual style and the block-building fundamentals. However, unlike Infiniminer, Persson wanted Minecraft to have RPG elements.
The original edition of Minecraft, now known as the Java Edition, was first developed in May  The base program of Minecraft was completed by Persson over a weekend in that month, and was first released to the public on 17 May as a developmental release on TIGSource forums. Persson continued to update the game based on feedback from the forums. This version later become known as the Classic version. Further developmental phases dubbed as Survival Test, Indev and Infdev were released between September and June  The first major update, dubbed Alpha, was released on 30 June  Although Persson maintained a day job with www.bb-metal.hr at first, he later quit in order to work on Minecraft full-time as sales of the alpha version of the game expanded. Persson continued to update the game with releases distributed to users automatically. These updates included new items, new blocks, new mobs, survival mode, and changes to the game's behavior (e.g. how water flows).
To back the development of Minecraft, Persson set up a video game company, Mojang, with the money earned from the game. Mojang co-founders included Jakob Porser, one of Persson's coworkers from King, and Carl Manneh, jAlbum's CEO.
On 11 December , Persson announced that Minecraft was entering its beta testing phase on 20 December  He further stated that bug fixes and all updates leading up to and including the release would still be free. Over the course of the development, Mojang hired several new employees to work on the project.
Mojang moved the game out of beta and released the full version on 18 November  On 1 December , Jens "Jeb" Bergensten took full creative control over Minecraft, replacing Persson as lead designer. On 28 February , Mojang announced that they had hired the developers of the popular server platform "Bukkit" to improve Minecraft's support of server modifications. This acquisition also included Mojang apparently taking full ownership of the CraftBukkit modification, although the validity of this claim was questioned due to its status as an open-source project with many contributors, licensed under the GNU General Public License and Lesser General Public License. On 15 September , Microsoft announced a $ billion deal to buy Mojang, along with the ownership of the Minecraftintellectual property. The deal was suggested by Persson when he posted a tweet asking a corporation to buy his share of the game after receiving criticism for "trying to do the right thing". It was arbitrated on 6 November , and led to Persson becoming one of Forbes' "World's Billionaires". The original version of the game was renamed to Minecraft: Java Edition on 18 September to separate it from Bedrock Edition, which was renamed to just Minecraft by the Better Together Update.
Since the first full release of Minecraft, dubbed the "Adventure Update", the game has been continuously updated with many major updates, available for free to users who have already purchased the game. The latest update is , the "Nether Update", which overhauls the Nether dimension, adding new biomes and mobs, and was released on 23 June  The Bedrock Edition has also been regularly updated, with these updates now matching the themes of Java Edition updates. Other versions of the game such as the various console editions and Pocket Edition were either merged into Bedrock and/or discontinued and as such have not received further updates.
Minecraft's music and sound effects were produced by German musician Daniel Rosenfeld, better known as C The background music in Minecraft is instrumental ambient music. On 4 March , 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  On 9 November , 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  In addition to Rosenfeld's work, other composers have contributed tracks to the game since release, including Samuel Åberg, Gareth Coker, and Lena Raine. Raine's work was included in a separate album titled Minecraft: Nether Update (Original Game Soundtrack).
Minecraft 4K is a simplified version of Minecraft similar to the Classic version that was developed for the Java 4K game programming contest "in way less than 4 kilobytes". The map itself is finite—composed of 64×64×64 blocks—and the same world is generated every time. Players are restricted to placing or destroying blocks, which consist of grass, dirt, stone, wood, leaves, and brick.
On 16 August , Minecraft: Pocket Edition was released for the Xperia Play on the Android Market as an early alpha version. It was then released for several other compatible devices on 8 October  An iOS version of Minecraft was released on 17 November  A port was made available for Windows Phones shortly after Microsoft acquired Mojang. The port concentrates on the creative building and the primitive survival aspect of the game, and does not contain all the features of the PC release. On his Twitter account, Jens Bergensten said that the Pocket Edition of Minecraft is written in C++ and not Java, due to iOS not being able to support Java. Gradual updates are periodically released to bring the port closer to the PC version.
On 10 December , in observance of Mojang's acquisition by Microsoft, a port of Pocket Edition was released for Windows Phone  On 18 January , Microsoft announced that it would no longer maintain the Windows Phone versions of Pocket Edition. On 19 December , the full version of Minecraft: Pocket Edition was released on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. On 31 July , the Pocket Edition portion of the name was dropped and the apps were renamed simply as Minecraft. The Pocket Edition's engine, known as "Bedrock", was ported to non-mobile platforms Windows 10, Xbox One, Gear VR, Apple TV, Fire TV, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4. Versions of the game on the Bedrock engine are collectively referred to as the Bedrock Edition.
Minecraft for Windows 10 is a version of Bedrock Edition is currently exclusive to Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system. The beta for it launched on the Windows Store on 29 July  This version has the ability to play with Xbox Live friends, and to play local multiplayer with owners of Minecraft on other Bedrock platforms. Other features include the ability to use multiple control schemes, such as a gamepad, keyboard, or touchscreen (for Microsoft Surface and other touchscreen-enabled devices), virtual reality support, and to record and take screenshots in-game via the built-in GameDVR.
On 16 April , a beta version of Minecraft implementing physically based rendering, ray tracing and DLSS was released by Nvidia on RTX-enabled GPUs. The final version is expected to be released later in 
Minecraft: Education Edition is an educational version of base game, designed specifically for used in educational establishments such as schools, and built off of the Bedrock codebase. It is available on Windows 10, MacOS, iPadOS and Chrome OS. It includes a Chemistry Resource Pack, free lesson plans on the Minecraft: Education Edition website, and two free companion applications: Code Connection and Classroom Mode.
An initial beta test was carried out between June 9 and November 1,  The full game was then released on Windows 10 and MacOS on November 1, . On August 20, , Mojang Studios announced that it would bring Education Edition to iPadOS in Autumn It was released to the App Store on September 6,  On March 27, , it was announced that the Education Edition would be operated by www.bb-metal.hr in China. On June 26, , an Education Edition Public Beta was made available to Google Play Store compatible Chromebooks. The full game was released to the Google Play Store for Chromebooks on August 7, 
An Xbox version of the game, developed by 4J Studios, was released on 9 May  On 22 March , it was announced that Minecraft would be the flagship game in a new Xbox Live promotion called Arcade NEXT. The game differs from the home computer versions in a number of ways, including a newly designed crafting system, the control interface, in-game tutorials, split-screen multiplayer, and the ability to play with friends via Xbox Live. The worlds in the Xbox version are also not "infinite", and are essentially barricaded by invisible walls. The Xbox version was originally similar in content to older PC versions, but was gradually updated to bring it closer to the current PC version prior to its discontinuation. An Xbox One version featuring larger worlds among other enhancements was released on 5 September 
Versions of the game for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 were released on 17 December and 4 September respectively. The PlayStation 4 version was announced as a launch title, though it was eventually delayed. A version for PlayStation Vita was also released in October  Like the Xbox versions, the PlayStation versions were developed by 4J Studios.
On 17 December , Minecraft: Wii U Edition was released. The Wii U version received a physical release on 17 June in North America, in Japan on 23 June , and in Europe on 30 June  A Nintendo Switch version of the game was released on the Nintendo eShop on 11 May , along with a physical retail version set for a later date. During a Nintendo Direct presentation on 13 September , Nintendo announced that Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition would be available for download immediately after the livestream, and a physical copy available on a later date. The game is only compatible with the "New" versions of the 3DS and 2DS systems, and does not work with the original 3DS, 3DS XL, or 2DS models.
On 18 December , the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox , and the Wii U versions of Minecraft received their final update.
The PlayStation 4 version of Minecraft was updated in December to support cross-platform play with all other Bedrock editions, though users are required to have a free Xbox Live account to play.
A version of Minecraft for the Raspberry Pi was officially revealed at MineCon Mojang stated that the Pi Edition is similar to the Pocket Edition, except that it is downgraded to an older version, and with the added ability of using text commands to edit the game world. Players can open the game code and use the Python programming language to manipulate things in the game world. The game was leaked on 20 December , but was quickly pulled off. It was officially released on 11 February 
On 20 May , Minecraft China was announced as a localized edition for China, where it was released under a licensing agreement between NetEase and Mojang. The PC edition was released for public testing on 8 August The iOS version was released on 15 September , and the Android version was released on 12 October  The PC edition is based on the original Java Edition, while the iOS and Android mobile version is based on the Bedrock Edition. The edition is free-to-play, and had over million players by November 
Early on, Persson planned to support the Oculus Rift with a port of Minecraft. However, after Facebook acquired Oculus in , he abruptly canceled plans noting "Facebook creeps me out." A community-made modification known as Minecraft VR was developed in to provide virtual reality support to Minecraft: Java Edition oriented towards Oculus Rift hardware. A fork of the Minecraft VR modification known as Vivecraft ported the mod to OpenVR, and is oriented towards supporting HTC Vive hardware. On 15 August , Microsoft launched official Oculus Rift support for Minecraft on Windows  Upon its release, the Minecraft VR mod was discontinued by its developer due to trademark complaints issued by Microsoft, and Vivecraft was endorsed by the community makers of the Minecraft VR modification due to its Rift support and being superior to the original Minecraft VR mod. Also available is a Gear VR version, titled Minecraft: Gear VR Edition.Windows Mixed Reality support was added in The only officially supported VR versions of Minecraft are Minecraft: Gear VR Edition and Minecraft for Windows 10 for Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
Minecraft: Story Mode
Minecraft: Story Mode, an episodic spin-off game developed by Telltale Games in collaboration with Mojang, was announced in December Consisting of five episodes plus three additional downloadable episodes, the standalone game is a narrative and player choice-driven, and it was released on Windows, OS X, iOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox and Xbox One via download on 13 October  A physical disc that grants access to all episodes was released for the aforementioned four consoles on 27 October.Wii U and Nintendo Switch version were also later released  The first trailer for the game was shown at MineCon on 4 July , revealing some of the game's features. In Minecraft: Story Mode, players control Jesse (voiced by Patton Oswalt and Catherine Taber), who sets out on a journey with his or her friends to find The Order of the Stone—four adventurers who slayed an Ender Dragon—in order to save their world. Brian Posehn, Ashley Johnson, Scott Porter, Martha Plimpton, Dave Fennoy, Corey Feldman, Billy West and Paul Reubens portray the rest of the cast.
Minecraft Classic is a browser remake of the Classic version of Minecraft. The game was released on 7 May , to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Minecraft. Minecraft Classic recreates the game as it was in , including the bugs present in the version of Minecraft. The game has a total of 32 block types that players can place. The game also supports multiplayer with up to a total of 10 players.
Minecraft Earth is an upcoming augmented reality
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