Whether on a local area network, a privately/publicly hosted server, or one of Minecraft's subscription-based Realms, playing the world's most popular block-building game has never been easier.
With a few button presses and/or typed inputs, players can enjoy Minecraft together as long as they're on the same version (maybe one day Java Edition players can hang with their friends in Bedrock Edition). Users are encouraged to try out all forms of multiplayer, to find out their favorite aspects.
Ways to play multiplayer on Minecraft: Java Edition
In Minecraft: Java Edition, players will have to decide whether they want to stay on a server or Realm hosted over the internet or keep things close-knit on a local network.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both options, such as LAN connections being host-dependent and internet servers occasionally encountering downtime. Regardless, connecting via these methods is relatively simple in Minecraft: Java Edition and should only take a few minutes.
Connecting via LAN
- Enter an existing world or create a new one via the Single Player menu.
- Once inside the game world, enter the pause menu.
- Select the "Open to LAN" button.
- Select the parameters for the new LAN-friendly world, including what game mode is available and whether cheats are enabled. Then select "Start LAN World."
- Players connected to the same network (wired or wireless) should be able to connect to the world via entering the multiplayer menu and searching for available LAN worlds.
Connecting to a Server via the Internet
- Find the IP or web address of the Minecraft server. On many Minecraft server sites this is provided, but if the world is hosted privately, players may need to contact the host or another player or administrator for the information.
- Select "Multiplayer" from Minecraft's main menu.
- Select "Add Server" and type/paste in the IP/web address and confirm.
- If the server is online, hop in and start playing!
Connecting to a Minecraft Realm
- Select "Minecraft Realms" from the main menu.
- Players can opt to create a new Realm (which will eventually cost a monthly subscription fee after a trial period) or join an existing Realm. To join an existing Realm, players will have to be invited by the one either who hosted the realm or possesses operator privileges.
- Once the Realm is created or an invite has been accepted for an existing Realm, simply double-click the Realm's name in the list and start playing!