Over a decade since its launch, Minecraft has found itself released on numerous platforms. Most of these platforms have their own way of operating, which can make installing the game and playing it confusing for newer players who are used to how one version or platform handles the game.
There are four distinct categories that Minecraft’s many ports can be broken down into. These are the game's Mobile versions on iOS and Android, home console ports, portable console ports, and then PC versions of the game. Here's a beginner's guide on how to install the game on all platforms.
How to install and play Minecraft on any platform
The first thing mobile players will want to do is load up either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, depending on which kind of mobile device they have. Once they have opened their respective marketplaces, they should then search for “Minecraft” and either buy or install the game.
Once installed, players should then launch the app. Once the app has launched, players will then be prompted to sign in to their Microsoft account (needed to own the Bedrock edition of the game). This step is optional and is only required if players want to play on a realm or use the marketplace. Once signed in or not, players can then hit play to select or create a world.
The home console versions of the game refer to Minecraft on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Wii U. Players on the 360, PS3, and Wii U will have more issues due to the aging hardware and difficulty in making online purchases on the consoles. Physical copies should be the solution to this.
For all other consoles, players can use either a physical or digital edition of the game. Digital editions will need to be purchased or installed from the storefronts available on the console. Once installed and launched, it is very similar to the mobile editions of the game. Players can hit play to select or create a world or sign in to a Microsoft account to play on a realm or access the marketplace.
Portable consoles refer mainly to the Switch, 3DS, and Vita versions of Minecraft. A physical copy of the game might be required for Vita players, as Sony is making it harder to make purchases for the aging console. The same can be said for the 3DS, as Nintendo is also phasing out the older handheld device.
Aside from phones, the Switch is arguably the best way to play Minecraft on the go. The game can be purchased on the eShop or as a physical cartridge, should the player want to own the game physically.
Once the cartridges or software are loaded, players should be greeted by the main menu. From there, they should be able to select play, load, or create a world. Switch players should have the option to sign in like other Bedrock players, as it is the only non-legacy version of the game here.
PC players have the longest process to get Minecraft up and running, but thankfully the process is still relatively simple. Players will first need to download the game's Launcher. This can be done on either the Microsoft Store for Windows players or the game's official website for players on Windows, macOS, or Linux distributions.
Once the launcher has been installed, players should then launch it and sign in using their Mojang/Microsoft account information. Once this has been completed, they will be redirected to the main launcher menu, where they can select between Java or Bedrock versions of the game, which can then be launched and played.
It is worth noting that PC is the only way to play the original Java Edition of the game, as all other ports are based on the Bedrock Edition of the game’s code. The only other versions of the game similar to the Java Edition are the legacy console editions, such as the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, as they are much closer to Java than Bedrock.