Bedrock, Java: Which Minecraft Do We Need?

Which Minecraft Do We Need?

MakeItZone programmes exclusively use the Java version of Minecraft.

The Java version requires a computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux); it is not the version available for tablets, phones, or consoles.

As of late 2022, this requires a Microsoft account that has purchased either the Bedrock (for Windows) or Java versions.

Reference: Bedrock & Java for PC FAQ, Purchase link for Bedrock & Java Minecraft – all OSes

Some History

Minecraft was originally developed in the Java programming language.

This version is playable on Windows, Mac OS, Linux (BSD, and almost any other system with Java and the required support libraries.)

This is called the Java version.

It has always been possible to download and start the Java version of Minecraft, but it required a Mohjang account to play.

Later Mojang, the company behind Minecraft, created a version for tablets and phones, called the Bedrock edition. This version was also ported to other systems, such as game consoles, that either don’t support Java, or have restrictive publishing agreements that do not allow games that can be user modified. This is also the basis of the free version of Minecraft available for the Raspberry Pi.

The Java version became very popular. Because Java is a mature and widely used programming language there are a lot of tools for reverse engineering Java applications. Soon enthusiasts had worked out how to "hack" into Minecraft and extend the game with custom gameplay. These "hacks" became known as "mods." Eventually mod creators discovered how to adjust and modify almost every aspect of the game. However this is both a highly technical undertaking, and not one directly supported by the creators of Minecraft. Very often new versions of the game will break existing mods, requiring the mods to be updated. To make it easier to maintain mods, and easier for people to make their own, "mod loaders", such as Forge and Paper, were created. These both act as a layer of protection (they try to absorb the changes in newer versions of the core Minecraft code and re-present them to mods in a standard way), and simplify making mods.

At some point the bedrock edition was also enhanced to allow some amount of modification when they added "data packs". However these are much more limited when compared to Java Minecraft mods.

The bedrock version of Minecraft was then ported to Windows, and Microsoft purchased Mojang. It looked like the Java version was at best going to be ignored, or at worst, cancelled.

Up until this point there were many different Minecraft accounts – Mojang accounts for the Java version (for Windows, Macs, and Linux), Bedrock accounts for Windows and XBox, and possibly different accounts for iOS, Android, Nintendo, Playstation, and versions. Each version was a separate purchase.

It seems that the very strong Java (and modding) community managed to sway the decision makers at Microsoft and the Java version has returned to being a well supported version of Minecraft.

As well, Microsoft recently migrated all Mojang accounts to become Microsoft accounts, and a single purchase of Minecraft now grants access to both the Bedrock version on Windows and the Java version.

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