It’s (relatively) common knowledge that there are two different editions of Minecraft – Java, and Bedrock. These two versions are designed for various platforms, and also have different development histories.
You might be wondering – can these two editions play together?
It’s not as simple as a yes or no answer… In short, yes they can – however you’ll need to use a third-party plugin to make it possible.
Read this full guide for more detailed information – and an explanation of how blockheads can play together on these two different versions.
Can Java and Bedrock Editions Play Together?
Minecraft is best enjoyed with friends, but you want to make sure you can all play together before wasting your time diving through hoops. If you are buying Minecraft to play with a group of your friends, then you might want to consider using the same launcher if you can.
Fortunately, while it isn’t officially supported, you can play Minecraft together if you are using java and bedrock editions of the game. Cross-platform play is possible, it just requires a little extra work.
If you are playing the same versions of the game, then it’s really easy to connect with your friends. For example, any players using Minecraft bedrock edition will easily be able to play with each other. However, they won’t be able to join Java servers. For this reason, unless you use a workaround, Java and Bedrock players will only be able to play online on different servers.
Because the multiplayer servers are incompatible between a bedrock client and a java server, and vice versa, you’ll need to use a workaround to be able to play together if you’re not using the same version.
How to Play Bedrock and Java Edition Minecraft Together
While the Minecraft website states – online multiplayer is not possible between these two games – there is actually a workaround that makes cross-play possible between multiple platforms.
The easiest way to enable cross-play is by using the GeyserMC extension for your Minecraft server.
Geyser is a proxy algorithm that lets both Java & Bedrock players play together on the same servers. Essentially, this plugin makes servers capable of hosting both types of players.
This will take some faff and setup, and might be too complicated for complete noobs to get their head around.
This mod is compatible with vanilla Minecraft, but it can also work with heavily modded servers, provided it’s installed and used correctly.
What are the Differences Between Java and Bedrock?
These two versions of Minecraft are essentially separate games. While they are both (of course) Minecraft, the coding architecture means they are not natively able to connect to the same servers. This makes the systems used to play online in Minecraft make it as if you are playing two different games.
These two versions of the game also have their own distinctive features and some tweaks to the core gameplay systems of Minecraft. The developers explain how these will remain separate games, with unique features and updates.
Besides the changes to gameplay, one core difference is the platforms these versions run on. You can pretty much guarantee that Java players are using a mouse and keyboard, but those playing the Bedrock edition could be using anything from a console controller to a mobile phone.
It’s worth noting that both versions of the game work with Minecraft Realms, although the Realms servers are exclusive for each version. Essentially Java realms servers can’t be accessed by a Bedrock game and vice versa.
Let’s look at the main differences between these two versions.
The Java Edition of Minecraft was the original version – and while you might think the only difference is the name, these two versions actually have a bunch of differences.
Java edition runs on:
The unique features of Minecraft Java Edition include:
Custom GLSL Shaders
Has the capacity for a higher graphics ceiling – can be pushed further than bedrock, although requires a more powerful GPU
Skin customization – either design your own skin art or download from a huge library online
More complex Redstone functions and circuits
Only works for PC, Mac, and Linux users
Unlimited modding – far more flexible, works with community mod packs
Requires more computer power than Bedrock
Includes more gameplay modes such as Hardcore, Adventure, and Spectator.
Bedrock is a newer build of Minecraft, designed for different platforms and consoles.
Bedrock edition is designed to work on the following devices:
iOs (iPhones, iPads, etc)
PlayStation 4 & 5
Samsung Gear VR
Windows 10 and 11
Xbox One, Series S, and X
The unique features of Minecraft Bedrock Edition include:
Smoother operation and framerate due to lower processing power requirements
More limited Redstone functions
Supports more hardware devices (phones, tablets, consoles, etc)
Built-in Minecraft marketplace for skins and texture packs
Have to pay for “mods” aka add-ons
Different controls for controllers or touchscreens
Parental controls and moderation.
Should I Buy Java or Bedrock Minecraft?
Which version of the game you should buy ultimately depends on what the majority of your online friends are using. It will be easier to buy the version that everyone else plays. That said – things have changed recently, meaning your purchase unlocks both editions of the game – but more on that later.
However, if this is not so much of an issue for you and you only want to buy one edition of the game – we would suggest the Java edition of the game, particularly for PC players.
If you want to buy only one version, the Java edition has more flexibility, features, and cross-compatibility. it also gives you access to free mods, meaning you can expand the features of the game much easier.
Earlier this year, the Minecraft development team Mojang Studios announced that with any purchased version of Minecraft for PCs, you will receive both versions. So, from the same Minecraft launcher, you can Play Minecraft Java or Bedrock. This makes launching whichever edition you want super easy. Your Microsoft account will have a license for each version of the game.
You just have to select it through the main menu of the Minecraft Launcher. On the left-hand side you will see options for “Minecraft: Java Edition” and “Minecraft for Windows”
Now you understand the main differences between Bedrock edition and Minecraft Java. You can see that while cross-play isn’t officially supported, both Java & Bedrock players can play Minecraft together using a special server plugin called GeyserMC.
Dane started off gaming at the tender age of 3 with the first Atari console. His favorite video game genres are turn-based RPGs (can I get a shout out for Tactics Ogre?) and fighting games. Read more...