5 major differences between Minecraft Bedrock and Java in 2023

The differences between Minecraft
There are still some differences between Minecraft's editions (Image via DOFLANICO/YouTube)

While Minecraft's Java Edition has existed since the game's earliest days, Bedrock Edition's earliest iteration came along in 2011. Both editions of the game have been enjoyed for over a decade, but they still possess plenty of differences.

Although Mojang has put in a lot of effort to bring parity between Java and Bedrock, the two editions of Minecraft will likely always have their differences. This is due in part to Java and Bedrock working off of entirely different code structures. Java uses the titular program's platform binary, while Bedrock was coded in-house by Mojang to accommodate the game on platforms where Java can't be utilized.

There are plenty of differences between these two primary versions of Minecraft, but some are more notable than others. This article will list five major differences between the Java and Bedrock Editions of Minecraft.

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Biggest differences between Minecraft's Java and Bedrock Editions

1) Available platforms

A Super Mario world available on Minecraft: Bedrock Edition for Nintendo Switch (Image via Mojang/Nintendo)
A Super Mario world available on Minecraft: Bedrock Edition for Nintendo Switch (Image via Mojang/Nintendo)

While Minecraft: Java Edition has been a part of PC gaming since the very beginning and console/mobile editions of the game existed before Bedrock, Mojang has taken steps to consolidate the platforms that can play the popular sandbox game. Bedrock Edition was developed with multi-platform support in mind, and it came to replace the legacy console versions of the game present on Xbox 360 and PS3, as well as becoming the primary version on mobile devices after the development of Pocket Edition ceased (though the Bedrock version on mobile is now carrying the Pocket Edition name).

Though there are ways for Minecraft players to play Java Edition on some devices with third-party software, Bedrock Edition is considered the standard version of the game for modern-day consoles and on mobile. The Windows 10 Edition allows fans to play Bedrock on PC as well.


2) Cross-platform play

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition offers expanded cross-platform gameplay (Image via Mojang)
Minecraft: Bedrock Edition offers expanded cross-platform gameplay (Image via Mojang)

As previously stated, Bedrock Edition was developed with multiple platforms in mind. Part of this design philosophy also included the ability to play across platforms and gaming services. Thanks to Microsoft and Mojang's account integration with Xbox's services, Minecraft players can enjoy the game together regardless of the platform they're playing on. In Bedrock, it's possible to host players on mobile, PC, and console together.

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Unfortunately, Java Edition players are only able to connect and play with other players enjoying Java. Some multiplayer servers do offer the ability to play the game between Java and Bedrock, but the vanilla builds of Java don't facilitate this capability by default.


3) The presence of Hardcore Mode

Minecraft Hardcore is only present in Java by default (Image via Mojang)
Minecraft Hardcore is only present in Java by default (Image via Mojang)

Hardcore Mode has been a popular way to play Java Edition for years. However, strangely, Mojang did not implement Hardcore Mode into Bedrock Edition when it first arrived. This fact has persisted despite calls from Bedrock fans to add the mode as a standard feature over the past several years.

Fortunately, the commitment of the community has led to Hardcore Mode being available via downloadable in-game add-ons, but it's perplexing as to why this beloved and challenging game mode wasn't available in Bedrock from the beginning.


4) World generation and storage

Minecraft world generation has a few differences between editions (Image via AsianHalfSquat/YouTube)
Minecraft world generation has a few differences between editions (Image via AsianHalfSquat/YouTube)

In the past, the world generation between the two primary editions of the game was quite different. With the Caves & Cliffs update, worlds have been much more similar in terms of how they generate. However, there are still differences between Java and Bedrock, and the way that data is stored for each version is different as well. This is why certain Java Edition seeds cannot be replicated perfectly in Bedrock Edition and why generated structures appear in different locations in both editions.

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Due to the methods used by each edition to save its world data (Java uses the Anvil format while Bedrock uses LevelDB), transitioning worlds or game saves between versions of the game remains incredibly difficult, if not outright impossible, for regular players.


5) Modding availability

The Marketplace can be accessed on the main menu of Bedrock Edition (Image via Mojang)
The Marketplace can be accessed on the main menu of Bedrock Edition (Image via Mojang)

Mods and customizations are a huge part of the game's appeal, but the process of modifying the game varies depending on the edition. Java Edition allows for third-party mods and mod loading programs like Forge and Fabric, while Bedrock Edition uses add-on files in a .MCpack format. Add-ons can be downloaded from third-party sites on PC, but Mojang encourages players to utilize the in-game marketplace to purchase DLC and add-ons.

Unfortunately, for many Bedrock Edition platforms like consoles, the marketplace is one of the only ways to access add-ons. It's true that other methods exist, but this tends to require modding or homebrewing of a console, which isn't endorsed by the manufacturer and can cause issues if done incorrectly.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish
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