Minecraft PC Bundle joins Xbox Games Pass
You’ll now be able to play Minecraft Java alongside your console friends
On November 2nd, the world’s favourite sandbox survival game will be made free for owners of the Xbox Game Pass PC (or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate). And it doesn’t end there, as the PC bundle includes both the incredibly popular Java edition, and the cross-play enabled Bedrock edition, meaning you can mine and craft with your friends in more ways than ever before.
Minecraft PC Bundle for Xbox Game Pass
While Minecraft Bedrock edition has been available on the Xbox Game Pass for console for some time now, we’ve not had access to the PC versions of the game, including the PC-exclusive Java edition. That all changes from November 2nd, completing the (current) Minecraft roster. Now all Minecraft games, including Dungeons, are available for all Xbox Game Pass subscribers on Windows 10 and 11.
But what is the difference between Java and Bedrock and why are they different? What do either of them mean for you? And does this mean you’ll be able to play all the new and upcoming updates to Minecraft? Let’s dig into the dirt and find out.
Minecraft Bedrock edition
Minecraft Bedrock edition is the version of the game for consoles and is also playable on Windows 10 and 11 PCs (also known as Windows 10 edition). This edition came about when Microsoft combined the Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation editions of the game into one.
The Minecraft Marketplace is a Bedrock edition exclusive and is an in-game store where you can buy maps, texture packs and skins made by content creators around the world. As these are mostly paid-for items, you can support the wider Minecraft community by buying these add-ons.
Over the years, some items have been added to Bedrock at a different time, and even with different mechanics, to Java. This means that you might find there are slight inconsistencies with gameplay as you play between the two.
Minecraft Java Edition
Minecraft Java edition is the PC-only version of the game. While Bedrock can be played on PC as well, there are still a few minor differences between Java and Bedrock, including the combat system, some crafting recipes and other game mechanics.
While you cannot access the Marketplace from Java edition, you can download texture packs and maps from reputable Minecraft content creators. However, this comes with a little more risk than the Marketplace, and doesn’t support the creators in the same way as the Marketplace does. Do make sure you trust the source before downloading anything for Minecraft. However, bear in mind that many of the trusted Marketplace creators started this way, so you could be discovering the next generation of Minecraft map creators!
Java edition is not cross-compatible, but you can play with hundreds of other miners and crafters on a dedicated server. You can either start a small server with your closest friends, called a Realm, and available with an in-game purchase, or join a huge, global community of Minecraft players in one of the many Minecraft servers available.
Access it all from the Minecraft Launcher
With the PC bundle, you will be able to access both Bedrock and Java editions of Minecraft, as well as Minecraft Dungeons, from one all-inclusive launcher. This means it’s easy to jump in and out of each version as you play.
Due to being developed differently, Bedrock and Java are completely separate entities and so cross-play is not possible between them. They also don’t always have the same content at the same time, but parity between the two games is now one of Mojang Studios’ priorities, with recent and upcoming updates taking place together.
Cross-play is possible, however, on different platforms on which Bedrock is played. For example, you can play Bedrock edition on your Windows PC while your friend plays with you on PlayStation, Xbox or Switch. In order to play with your friends, you’ll need to purchase a Realm.
Minecraft Caves and Cliffs and the Wild updates
Minecraft gets a huge new update every year, and the Caves and Cliffs part 2 and Wild updates are both coming in the next 12 months. Both are hugely exciting – and game changing – updates to Minecraft as we know it. Both Java and Bedrock editions will get the updates at the same time, so you’ll be able to access all the new features as soon as they arrive, whichever version of the game you find yourself playing the most!
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