Typically, when players want to play Minecraft on their mobile devices, they have to do so through a version of the game that runs on the Bedrock Edition codebase. The mobile version was formerly known as Pocket Edition, and this new Bedrock version on mobile is often referred to as Pocket Edition or PE as well.
However, third-party programmers and developers have managed to find a way to allow mobile devices to play Minecraft: Java Edition. This is quite an interesting development, as Java Edition is traditionally played exclusively on PC platforms that are capable of accommodating Java's runtimes.
Most mobile devices don't account for this, but the developers of an open-source app known as PojavLauncher have provided a solution. If players have a legal copy of Minecraft: Java Edition and a mobile device, they can use PojavLauncher to run the game on their Android device.
How to play Minecraft: Java Edition on Android with PojavLauncher
As PojavLauncher is open-source, free, and works with legal copies of Minecraft: Java Edition (the devs have denounced pirating the game), it has been deemed legal software, according to Microsoft's EULA (End User License Agreement) for the sandbox game.
As long as players are utilizing their legal account info for Java Edition, they're not pirating the game and that they're simply using a third-party launcher for it. Setting up PojavLauncher to run Java Edition can be slightly tricky, so it doesn't hurt to take a look at how to do so.
Playing Java Edition on Mobile via PojavLauncher
- Download and install PojavLauncher from the Google Play Store.
- Open the app and wait for the unpacking of files to complete.
- At the login screen, either log in with your Mojang/Microsoft credentials for your Minecraft account or tick the box to play offline and log in that way.
- The launcher should open in a similar fashion to the game's official launcher. Before playing, you'll need to set up a profile so that the launcher knows which version of the game you intend to use.
- Create a profile by tapping on the 'Plus' button above the 'Play' button.
- Enter the necessary information such as the profile name. As for the version, you can leave the field as-is on "latest-release" to play the game up-to-date. The Java runtime can be set to internal version 17, and the renderer should be set to Holy GL4ES to avoid any issues. Finally, click on 'Save profile.'
- Back at the launcher, click on the 'Play' button. You'll be tasked with either entering your Microsoft account or you can create a local account to use it offline. Either way, enter your email/username at the next step and any applicable passwords. You should get a "Login done" message afterward.
- Press the 'Play' button one final time and wait as the final set of files are unpacked and loaded. Depending on your internet connection, it may take some time to download the necessary assets.
- You'll be met with a black screen for a few moments with some controls on-screen, but don't panic. Once the assets have loaded, Minecraft: Java Edition's main menu should appear and you can use tap controls that are fairly similar to Pocket Edition to make worlds and enjoy the game!
It's important to note that this Minecraft launcher is an open-source and independently developed program, so bugs and glitches can occur. Creating worlds and loading into them may also take slightly longer in comparison to PC, but this can be remedied to some extent by opening the settings within the app and allocating more RAM to the program in the Java tweaks tab.
While PojavLauncher isn't a perfect software, it should still please Minecraft: Java Edition fans by allowing them to play the venerated original version of the game on mobile. It can be tricky to set up, but once that's done, players won't have to worry about fiddling with the launcher too much to play the game.