How Many Versions of Minecraft Are There?

Minecraft versions featured

Minecraft is a popular game; Mojang and Microsoft know this. They have been abusing Minecraft to make money for years will all the new spin-offs and versions of the game that you can play on all sorts of consoles. They’re not exactly great with naming these versions, so it’s hard to know how many there are in reality; how many versions of Minecraft are there?

Officially, Minecraft only has two game versions, and each update Minecraft receives is divided into Bedrock and Java. Within those versions, there are seven more versions to account for. They include spin-offs with little to do with the original game and legacy console editions, like the Xbox 360 Edition.

Let’s go into detail about each version, what it has to offer, and the history behind these versions, and see if investing in those versions is worth it and if buying it applies to your case throughout the rest of this article.

Java Edition: pros, cons, differences

MInecraft Java

The history of Minecraft Java Edition goes back to the conception of Minecraft in 2009. It was the first version of Minecraft ever released, and it was made in 6 days by Markuss Peerson. Officially, Minecraft wasn’t released until 2011, when the edition was renamed to Java to separate it from Bedrock Edition.

Minecraft Java has two big cons, one of which can be avoided entirely but counts as a con. The first one reveals that Java Edition is less stable since it was coded in Java and didn’t receive a full-on makeover in terms of coding. This translated to players experiencing frame drops and lag even in a single-player world.

The second con revolves around Minecraft Java can only crossplay with other Java Edition users. However, this is only the official reality of Minecraft Java since the third-party GeyserMC plug-in allows Java Edition players to join their Bedrock Edition user friends in a multiplayer server.

The biggest pro of Minecraft Java is that you can endlessly mod it with no additional costs. Community-made mods, textures, packs, shaders, skins, and custom maps are available on sites like CurseForge and Planet Minecraft. Mojang doesn’t endorse the use of unofficial mods, and modding Java is not without its risks, but since you rely on the community to make them, you also can rely on the large community to tell you whether or not the mods are safe through downloads and comments on these mods.


Here’s How To Play Minecraft for Free in 2023 (Java & Bedrock)

There are some major and minor differences between Minecraft Java and Bedrock in gameplay, but since there are dozens of those, I won’t go into detail about each. Instead, I’ll give you an example: In Java Edition, the Wither has 300 health in easy, normal, and hard mode. Bedrock Edition determines its health by the mode you play on. Another example is that an Anvil can destroy the Nether Star it drops in Java, whereas in Bedrock, you can’t destroy, and it never despawns there either.

Pocket Edition: pros, cons, differences

Pocket Edition

Pocket Edition Minecraft can be played on all mobile devices, but Pocket Edition is used to mark something else entirely. It was the name of Bedrock Edition Minecraft, but they changed it to Pocket Edition. Officially, the title doesn’t exist since the mobile phone version is still Bedrock, but within the community, to separate the two, Pocket Edition refers to the game that you can play on mobile phones.

Even though Pocket Edition Minecraft is still considered Bedrock, you have two options for modding it, which was introduced to the version later on. You have official mods, but you can also mod it, like Java Edition, by downloading them from third-party websites. You run the same risk by downloading them but relying on the community to download safe ones is also applicable in this version’s case.

Pocket Edition has some major gameplay cons, but only because it had to be adjusted for play on mobile devices; you don’t get the same skill expression you’d get on Java Edition. Beyond that, there aren’t many negative things to say about it. Pocket Edition gets updated as frequently as any other Bedrock version since it is also Bedrock.

Bedrock Edition: pros, cons, differences

Bedrock Minecraft

Bedrock Edition is named Minecraft, the most spread-out version of the game. Bedrock Edition appears on all consoles, and devices, even PCs that used to have the Java Edition exclusively. With Bedrock Edition, you can crossplay no matter the device you or your friends have the game on.

It’s very stable and more powerful than Java Edition. You’ll rarely experience lag and have the added benefit of being able to crossplay with your friends since every version of Minecraft, except for the spin-off, which is a different game, is Bedrock Edition, just for different devices.

The biggest con of the version is that you can’t mod it for free. Everything and anything you want to add to the game has to come directly from the official Minecraft store, which is limited in its ability to bring a ton of fun new additions to your gameplay. The only way to mod the game with community-made mods is to jailbreak your device, which will have you risk more than you end up risking every time you download a mod for Java Edition.


25 Best Minecraft Bedrock Seeds in 2023

Consoles aren’t cheap, and by jailbreaking, you’re ruining the experience you’ll have with all other games unrelated to Minecraft, but you’d perhaps like to play. You can only ever play pirated versions of games, and you have to wait for their release, and you’ll be banned from using any official store that the Manufacturers of these consoles provide.

Minecraft Education Edition: pros, cons, differences

Education edition

Minecraft Education Edition might as well be Bedrock, but since it’s an entirely different game with different goals, it’s not considered Bedrock. Another reason this is the case is that you can’t help crossplay if you play the Education Edition and your friends play Bedrock or Java Edition. Officially, the full game was released in September of 2022, but it has been in development and played for much longer than that.

The Education Edition is available on PCs, mobile devices, and consoles. Crossplay is available on all devices, and you can enjoy the game while learning. No one stops you from playing the game as an adult, but it might not be as fun as the base version.

Minecraft Education Edition aims to teach children in a fun way that approaches the new generations from a different angle. It was already being used by 10000 classrooms worldwide in 2016. I can only imagine how many classrooms have used it today since its official release in September 2022.

Legacy Console Editions: pros, cons, differences

MInecraft legacy

Legacy Console Edition Minecraft no longer exists. The term was discontinued in 2017 after the Better Together update of Minecraft, which aimed to bring together all versions of Minecraft under a single name – Bedrock. The edition included seven consoles, including Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition, Minecraft Xbox One Edition, Minecraft PlayStation 3 Edition, Minecraft PlayStation 4 Edition, Minecraft PlayStation Vita Edition, Minecraft Wii U Edition, and Minecraft Nintendo Switch Edition.

There are a ton of cons to the legacy console edition and not a lot of pros. For the most part, legacy console editions do not receive any more updates starting with the update after the aquatic update. You can’t even purchase the version anymore. The ones who still own the version could have gotten the Bedrock Edition for free.

You could transfer the world, but not everything was transferable. You can’t load the world on Bedrock Edition since some consoles use a newer game version. By the end of 2022, all versions stopped receiving updates, and some ceased to exist completely. The gameplay was similar but introduced a simpler crafting system, better in-game tutorials, built-in mini maps, leaderboards, and split-screen multiplayer.


Minecraft: Here’s How To Get Shaders on Xbox One

All possible spin-offs

Excluding the Education Edition, there are three more spin-offs of the game; some were successful, and some were less successful. Of the three, only one receives updates in the present, Minecraft Dungeons. An entirely different game from the base Minecraft game. Minecraft Earth was less than successful, and Minecraft Pi was released; it doesn’t get updates, but you can still purchase it and play it.

Minecraft Pi is another educational game that helps people learn how to program. It was made for Raspberry Pi and had limited features, but you can still enjoy the game while learning how to program. Minecraft Earth is another spin-off of the game played in augmented reality and geolocation-based. It was released in 2019 but shut down in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minecraft Legends


I can’t yet include Minecraft Legends in the various spin-offs of the game because it has not yet been released, so I can’t talk about its history and pros and cons, either. The game will be an action-strategy type game, and you’ll get to make allies with past foes and fight others.

The confusing names problem

Naming versions of Minecraft has been a problem ever since it was first released. Take, for example, the Windows 10 Edition. Windows 10 Edition is Bedrock, but why call it the Windows 10 Edition for PCs? Well, you can only play it on PCs that run on Windows 10 and 11. Mac users can play it if they have a Mac with Windows 10 or 11 installed, whereas Linux players won’t ever get to play it.

It’s almost like it takes a science degree for a person to decipher all the versions of Minecraft available and how they’re different from one another, but I’ll make it simple. Minecraft is Bedrock, except for the Java Edition and the various spin-offs.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments