What are the different versions of Minecraft?
There are several different versions of Minecraft, each with their own functions and updates, which can often make it difficult when looking for help. Here we've broken down the various versions, and included a list of devices that they're played on so you can quickly identify which version you're playing!
Devices: Windows 10, Windows 10 Phone, iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android. Amazon Kindle Fire and Fire TV, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
The youngest of the editions, Minecraft Bedrock, was released to replace the Legacy Console Edition as the edition for consoles alongside the 'Better Together' update. This update allows all supported devices to play together on one server hosted through the in-game client, a player can host a game on their Xbox One and a player using their Nintendo Switch could play alongside them, and vice versa.
While this edition is behind Minecraft Java technically, lacking many useful features that Java players enjoy and is a bit more challenging to modify, Minecraft Bedrock is the only version to have access to the Minecraft Marketplace, where players can purchase quality assured, community made maps and modifications.
Devices: Microsoft Windows, Apple’s MacOS, Linux
Requiring a Mojang account to play, Minecraft Java has its own launcher where players can alter which version of the game they're playing. It has a lot of technical features not yet implemented in other editions and is the most accessible version to modify, making it essential for players who wish to create and develop modifications in Minecraft.
Devices: Windows 10, Mac OSX El Capitan, iOS 9+
Minecraft Education is an educational tool used to make learning accessible to children.
This edition is less accessible than the other 3, requiring you to be a member of an academic institution, provide educational services, such as a librarian or a museum curator, or part of a recognised home-schooling program to be able to access the full version.
This edition offers lessons on a wide range of topics, from maths and science to history and geography and has features in place to prevent students from getting off topic, by giving teachers the ability to oversee all players in one classroom and ban certain blocks that can be disruptive to learning.
Minecraft Legacy Console
Devices: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Nintendo Switch
While it is no longer supported by Minecraft, meaning that there will be no further updates for this edition, the Minecraft Legacy Console Edition was the original console version of the game and is still played on those devices.
Unlike Java, the legacy console version of Minecraft cannot be modified easily and requires access to the device's multiplayer service, such as Xbox Live or Nintendo Online to play with others online.
However, it is simple to play, with limited access to maps and modifications that can complicate Minecraft for newer players.