Why are there 2 versions of minecraft

You’ll have a world’s worth of decisions to make once you dive into Minecraft, including where to explore, what to build, and which game mode to play in.

But before you start building a world, you must make a significant decision: which Minecraft version should you use?

Although the fundamental gameplay of the two editions of Minecraft, “Java” and “Bedrock,” is largely the same, there are a few significant differences.

The most significant differences between the Java and Bedrock versions of Minecraft are outlined here, along with a recommendation for which version you should purchase.

A bit of history first

In the distant past of 2009, creator Markus Persson (also known as “Notch”) began developing Minecraft as a side project. On May 16, 2009, a very early pre-alpha version of the game was made available. The game had barely earned its infamous moniker at the time and was little more than a whimsical concept inspired by other well-known games of the era (fun fact: the game was originally just called “Cave Game”). The game would develop over the following 2.5 years before being fully released on November 18, 2011. This was called Minecraft, and it quickly dominated the gaming industry.

Before its official release, Minecraft spurred an absurd amount of changes in the gaming industry and may have even helped YouTube begin as the content platform behemoth it is today. Many popular gaming YouTubers got their start with Minecraft, and even now, ten years later, Minecraft videos have millions of views. Due to its reliance on the Java platform, this version of Minecraft is still available today and is now known as the Java Edition.

The maker of Minecraft, Mojang, quickly made the decision to deepen their roots. They began with Minecraft: Pocket Edition, a simplified version of the game created for mobile operating systems like Android and iOS. Although the Pocket Edition was severely lacking in features and gameplay elements, it allowed millions of players without access to more powerful PCs to play the game.

The Pocket Edition launched in August 2011 and remained in a semi-permanent alpha phase until 2016, when it was essentially identical to the full-fledged Minecraft. Also available on consoles in 2012 and 2013, Minecraft first appeared on the Xbox 360 and then the Playstation 3. In 2014, new versions of Minecraft for the Xbox One and Playstation 4 were released, continuing the game’s expansion. The game was incredibly successful everywhere it went thanks to its impressive ability to adapt to different platforms. Still, it was clear the game was becoming too fragmented.

Other versions of the game would fall behind and deteriorate in quality and consistency, while the original Java Edition of the game was always given priority with updates and new content. Although the game was playable on other platforms, players occasionally had to wait months to access features that the Java Edition already had. Minecraft needed to evolve.

Enter the Better Together update.

For the first time, all versions of Minecraft were intended to be the same. The Pocket and Console Editions were brought together under one roof by the Better Together Update, which promised the same updates and features for the entire lineup. In addition, the update promised cross-platform multiplayer compatibility, allowing users of different platforms to play together using the same version. All of this was made possible by the new Render Dragon engine and other backend enhancements, collectively known as “Bedrock” by Mojang. ” Hence, the birth of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition.

Finally, there was cohesion between versions. With a single version that supported cross-play, exclusive servers known as Realms, and the promise of consistent updates released concurrently across platforms, everything was coming together. Better yet, the new engine made it possible for the game to run on any hardware while maintaining support for all of its features and opened the door for future technologies like support for NVIDIA’s ray tracing.

The Bedrock Edition was officially released on September 20, 2017. It was a great day for Minecraft, and despite some bugs and an excruciatingly long wait for the Playstation 4 to join the fray, the Bedrock Edition has improved the game in almost every way.

Except for one teensy fact: the Java Edition still exists.

They’re still very different games, but they’re closer than ever

Even though Mojang wants to make Minecraft a cross-platform game, the Java Edition is still being actively developed and improved separately from the Bedrock Edition. The list of differences between the two is extremely long and includes major drawbacks like support for mods as well as numerous minor ones like how many “inventory” spaces a piglin has or how many of a particular item you might find in a chest.

It goes on for miles, and from the player’s perspective, it’s difficult to see how wide the gap is. The only thing that stands out is that, for some reason, the Bedrock and Java Editions continue to function, appear, and feel differently from one another. The thousands of minute differences between the versions could fill a 10,000-word article, but why are these differences there, and why does Mojang bother to invest in both?

Thats because both versions do things the other simply cannot. Even with significant optimizations, the Java Edition’s older foundations would perform poorly on hardware with lower processing power, and they aren’t adaptable enough to handle limited touch inputs or quickly switch between different inputs. Alternately, the Bedrock Edition’s more contemporary and streamlined base means that it is less amenable to customization, and some of Minecraft’s more ardent players lose interest in it.

Both versions of Minecraft are still available because Mojang and Microsoft cannot discontinue one without seriously harming the community. This still doesn’t address why there are so many differences between the games. After all, if Mojang does require the existence of both games, wouldn’t it be in their best interest to make them as similar as possible?

News flash: every update brings the games ever closer together.

Due to the fact that they both catered to very different audiences and had diametrically opposed approaches to doing so, Minecraft: Bedrock Edition and Minecraft: Java Edition had to launch at the opposite ends of the market. Mojang had their work cut out for them because each version was being developed by two different teams. Without taking into account the fact that the Bedrock Edition must run on less powerful hardware than the Java Edition and cannot perform some of the functions that the Java Edition can, Why should Java Edition players upgrade in order to maintain parity?

Making the Bedrock Edition compatible with the ten-year-old Java Edition required even more work than just getting the Bedrock Edition to work at all. Because of this, the majority of the adjustments and fixes that converge the games are ones youd never notice. For instance, the Nether Update, the upcoming significant update for Minecraft, combines the version numbers of the two editions for the first time since launch.

Other updates slip past observers into changelogs, such as the first Nether Update beta that appeared for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition. The color for the Bad Omen effect received from Pillagers is now a darker shade of green, and who would notice that iron bars now render the same in the player’s hand or inventory between the two games? Amazing.

Since most people are focused on playing the game, they won’t notice the slow progress towards parity. To ensure that “pointless” parity improvements don’t have a negative impact on the hundreds of millions of players, Mojang must also be selective in the changes they make. I believe I know what most people would select if given the option to choose between having excellent phone performance and expanding the inventory that piglins can hold.

Both versions can and will continue to co-exist

Mojang is more familiar with the differences between their two versions of Minecraft than anyone else online, including me. Additionally, they are more aware of the adjustments needed to converge Bedrock and Java Editions. Even more importantly, they know when not to make changes. They’re not afraid to admit it, but the two versions differ from one another in a number of ways and continue to do so.

All this is beside the real point. Although the article’s title mentions compatibility between different versions of Minecraft, the real point is how little it matters. People will continue to play the version that best suits them because Mojang will keep refining and enhancing both games while adding new features like it was your first plate at Thanksgiving dinner. No one will switch to the other version despite the thousands of minor fixes Mojang has made because those things are irrelevant.

Both versions exist for entirely different purposes, which explains why they will always be, in some ways, dissimilar. Mojang wouldn’t exist if they didn’t require both the Bedrock and Java Editions. But just as Java isn’t the best platform for cross-play support or ray tracing, you can’t easily support mods on Bedrock without breaking the game for everyone and making it a worse experience.

And thats alright. However, I see a lot of people engaged in conflict over which version is “better” than the other due to these distinctions. Some people can’t help but reiterate how superior the Java Edition is to the Bedrock Edition in forum posts, Twitter replies, and even a few comments on my own articles about Minecraft as if they’re afraid that if they remain silent, Mojang will decide to completely discontinue the Java Edition.

For the vast majority of players, Minecraft: Bedrock Edition is the superior version of the game. Thats not an opinion; its a simple matter of numbers. That version of Minecraft supports more cutting-edge features like cross-play support for players who want to play with their friends and families and is accessible in much more locations, on more platforms. It performs better on the majority of hardware and does so without mods, a feature that the majority of Minecraft players do not care about.

The Java Edition is not “better. ” Its not worse either. Instead, the Java Edition is the ideal version of Minecraft for players who have a good gaming system and want to enhance it with mods and other content, or simply want to stay ahead of the curve by having access to experimental features through snapshots, frequently before the Bedrock Edition receives beta updates. Its almost like theyre the same game. but with different focuses.

A brighter future for Minecraft

The game for the casual 90% or the committed 10%. Both are equally important to Mojang, and you should consider them to be so as well. The fact that five other people are playing Minecraft on their Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, or even a $100 smartphone their parents bought them doesn’t diminish the fact that you are one of those who makes the most of everything the Java Edition has to offer.

Either way, Minecraft has bigger and better than ever. The future of Minecraft is brighter than ever thanks to the massive updates planned for it (and the practically limitless directions they could take), the third-party dungeon crawler Minecraft Dungeons, and the mobile augmented reality adventure Minecraft Earth.

Available everywhere you play.

Minecraft is a veritable, inarguable, and complete success. It has amassed a huge fan base of devoted players, sold hundreds of millions of copies, and enables you to realize every creative ambition. Additionally, it is accessible on every platform imaginable, including Android, iOS, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows 10, Nintendo Switch, and Windows 10. Play with anyone, and play anywhere.

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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

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Minecraft… And Its Many Versions… Explained!


Why does Minecraft have two different editions?

As a result, the game can be more easily customized with mods, custom commands, resource packs, and, in my opinion, better servers like Hypixel, Mineplex, Cubectlraft, and the Hive. You can alter the version you are running in Java. Snapshots, which are advanced versions of Java, are also available.

Why is Java and Bedrock different?

For world storage, Java Edition uses the Anvil format, whereas Bedrock Edition uses the LevelDB format. The majority of third-party tools designed for Java Edition world editing will not function on Bedrock Edition as a result. The two versions also use a fairly different block format.

Is Java or Bedrock better?

Regardless of whether your PC qualifies as cutting-edge technology or a potato, Bedrock generally offers a smoother, more stable experience than Java, according to the general consensus in the Minecraft community.

What are the two Minecraft versions?

*The PC title “Minecraft: Java” now includes both Minecraft for Windows and Minecraft for Java Edition. 99 Standard / $39. 99 Deluxe). Future versions’ release dates and feature descriptions are not yet known.

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