How to Enjoy Multiplayer in Minecraft

Minecraft is a fantastic game for solo play, but the experience becomes even more enjoyable when you have friends to join you. Setting up a multiplayer game in Minecraft is a straightforward process, but it may vary depending on the platform you’re using and whether your friends are nearby or far away. Here are the different ways you can play Minecraft multiplayer.

The Fundamentals of Minecraft Multiplayer

Minecraft offers users four distinct ways to connect with each other, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. However, before you jump into a game with your friends, it’s essential to ensure that all players attempting to join the multiplayer session are running the same version of the game. This means you’ll need to check if your version is updated with the latest content patches. You can do this by visiting your preferred platform’s app store or consulting the Minecraft Help Center on PC.

It’s also crucial to make sure that all interested players are running the same edition of Minecraft, either Java or Bedrock. Java is exclusively available to PC players, so if you’re playing on mobile or console, you don’t have to worry about this. Once you confirm that all players have the same version and edition of the game, you’re ready to embark on your adventure together.

Minecraft: Java Edition LAN Setup

If you want to set up a local area network (LAN) game for friends in the same room as you, look no further. As long as all players are connected to the same network, they’ll be able to see and join your server.

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Here’s how to start a LAN game if you’re running the Java Edition:

Step 1: Launch Minecraft and select Single Player.

Step 2: After the world finishes loading, open the Menu screen by pressing the Esc key.

Step 3: Choose the Open to LAN option.

Step 4: Select the game mode you want to host.

Step 5: Click on Start LAN World.

Step 6: Players who want to join the game should select Multiplayer from the main menu.

Step 7: If they’re connected to the same network, your LAN game should be detected.

how to play minecraft multiplayer server running
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition LAN Setup

Things are a bit easier if you’re playing the Bedrock Edition on PC, Xbox, iOS, or Android. Here’s what you need to do to start a LAN game:

Step 1: Launch the game and press Play, then create or edit the world by clicking the pen button.

Step 2: Select the Multiplayer option and enable the Visible to LAN setting.

Step 3: Launch the world.

Step 4: Players can join the game by going to the Play menu, navigating to the Friends section, and looking for the corresponding LAN game.

How to play Minecraft multiplayer
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Creating an Online Server

Hosting your own server enables multiple players to join a single session, regardless of their location in the world. Creating your own server is perfect if you want more control over all aspects of your world and don’t mind working with some technical jargon. Minecraft provides various tutorials that explain the server setup process. Here’s a quick overview of how to launch and join them.

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Creating a Minecraft: Java Edition Online Server

Step 1: To create your server, you’ll need to install the server file from the official Minecraft website.

Step 2: Once the server has been created, either by you or your most tech-savvy friend, you can join the world by clicking the Multiplayer button, selecting Add Server, and entering the appropriate IP address.

Step 3: You can also join public servers using this method, as long as you know the official IP address. Joining public servers is an excellent way to quickly engage in multiplayer action without having to build your own private server.

Creating a Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Online Server

Step 1: The Bedrock Edition only supports three official servers: Mineplex, InPVP, and Lifeboat.

Step 2: Navigate to the Servers tab and choose the server you want to join.

Step 3: External servers can be added using the Add Server option, but note that this feature is restricted on consoles.

How to play Minecraft multiplayer
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

Using Minecraft Realms

Arguably, Minecraft Realms is the way the game wants you to experience multiplayer. Developed by Mojang, Realms offers numerous incredible worlds to explore while also allowing you to create and host your own games. While you’re limited to 10 friends, the setup process is surprisingly straightforward compared to other methods.

Both versions, Java and Bedrock, follow a similar set of steps for connecting to Realms. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Firstly, you’ll need to create a Realm for your friends to connect to. Click on Play, then select the Create on Realms button after configuring the settings.

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Step 2: Next, invite players to your Realm. Return to the main menu, click the Play button again, select the Edit icon, and click the Members tab.

Step 3: From there, you can send invites to your friends. Once they accept the invite, they can join your Realm by selecting the Minecraft Realms option from the main menu and clicking on your corresponding world. If you encounter any issues with Realms, Mojang has a detailed breakdown of common problems on its official website.


While split-screen is only available on consoles, playing Minecraft this way is pretty straightforward. Just make sure you have enough controllers for all your players (up to four) and that they are properly connected to your system. Once you start the game, the screen will automatically split to accommodate everyone playing.

These methods make it easy to enjoy Minecraft multiplayer and have a fantastic time with your friends. So gather your comrades and start exploring and creating together!

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