Minecraft is an extremely popular game and while it can be played in a single-player mode, it has a wildly popular multiplayer mode as well. Available on almost all imaginable platforms, and allowing crossplay there are many options when it comes to online playing. Of course, multiplayer games are best enjoyed when played with friends, and in today’s post, we’re going to focus on the multiplayer game on the Xbox version of Minecraft. Before we analyze this in more detail, let’s start with the basics, do you need Xbox Live to play Minecraft with friends online?
Can you play Minecraft online without Xbox Live Gold?
If you play Minecraft on Xbox you can’t play Minecraft online without Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Live Gold is a paid service that allows you access to multiplayer gaming, discounts, and free games on a monthly basis. Such a service is nothing new and can be considered an equivalent to PlayStation+ available to PlayStation users.
Xbox Live Gold is available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X as well as PC, supported mobile devices and tablets. Even though Xbox Live Gold is available on Xbox 360, Microsoft is slowly shutting down support for the console due to being older and outdated compared to most modern consoles, so don’t expect to see new free games offered. Xbox Live Gold is an absolute must when it comes to playing multiplayer on any game. Without the service, you’ll be missing out on online play functionality on most games.
Is there an alternative to Xbox Live Gold?
Yes, there is an alternative to Xbox Live Gold when it comes to playing Minecraft Multiplayer, and it’s Xbox Game Pass. Game Pass is Microsoft’s service as well, similarly to Xbox Live Gold it offers online play, free games as well as cloud-gaming functionalities.
Xbox Live Gold is included in the Game Pass subscription which means that you can have both services while paying for only one. Gamepass also includes an EA Play membership, one more paid service that unlocks special discounts and free games on a regular basis.
As you can see if you play Minecraft on Xbox and want to play Minecraft with friends, you have two choices you can either get Xbox Live Gold or an Xbox Game Pass subscription. Both services will unlock online play, not only on Minecraft but on other multiplayer games as well.
Can you play Minecraft online with friends without paying?
You can play Minecraft online with your friends for free only in local multiplayer mode. You can play Minecraft with your friends on split-screen but this feature is exclusive to the Minecraft Bedrock edition. The split-screen feature does not require Xbox Live as long as you’re playing local multiplayer, which means that two players need to be present on the same device on the same local network. To play Minecraft local multiplayer split-screen follow these steps:
- Select “Play Game”
- You have an option of either creating a new world or loading a save, it doesn’t matter which option you choose
- Prompt with game mode will appear, make sure to “uncheck” online play.
- A loading screen will appear, as usual, and connect the second controller
- As soon as the world loads, press start on the other connected controller
- A prompt will appear asking the other player to sign in, choose the local account
- As soon as the player has logged in the game can continue as usual.
Your screen/TV resolution needs to be at least 720p or higher otherwise split-screen will not work. Splitscreen on Xbox is limited to a maximum of 4 players.
Do you need Xbox Live Gold to play Minecraft with friends on PC?
You don’t need Xbox Live Gold to play Minecraft Java edition with friends on PC. Xbox Live Gold is not needed for any multiplayer game on PC and Java edition multiplayer works without any kind of external third-party services.
As you can see Minecraft multiplayer at least on Xbox needs an Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to work. You can always play local multiplayer with your friends for free but this mode has its own set of limitations. When it comes to paid subscription services needed to play multiplayer games, Gamepass is definitely the better choice since it comes with an Xbox Live Gold membership as well as tons of other discounts and free games.
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