I get asked this question a lot as a gaming expert. With over 140 million monthly players, Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world! The Java Edition gives you access to incredible mods and maps, but it does come at a price.
So is there any way to legally get Java Edition for free? Let me walk you through the options.
The short answer is – there is no legitimate way to completely avoid paying for Java Edition. Since Mojang owns the intellectual property rights, they get to decide how it‘s distributed. And they‘ve chosen to sell it on their site and other retailers.
But you do have a few options to try before you buy:
Play the Free Java Demo
Mojang gives you access to a time-limited demo version. This lets you test drive the Java gameplay for free!
The demo gives you 5 in-game days, which equals about 100 real-time minutes. I highly recommend taking it for a spin before committing to purchase.
Here‘s a quick guide to installing the launcher and starting the demo:
- Download the Windows launcher from Minecraft.net.
- Open the launcher and click "Demo Mode" on the left sidebar.
- Log into your Mojang or Microsoft account.
- Click Play and enjoy!
- Get the Mac launcher DMG file from Minecraft.net.
- Mount the DMG and run the launcher.
- Select "Demo Mode" from the launcher sidebar.
- Log in and start playing!
- Install the Linux launcher per Mojang‘s instructions here.
- Launch the game and choose "Demo Mode".
- Sign into your Mojang or Microsoft account.
- Click Play to start the demo.
The Minecraft demo is a great way to experience the core of Survival mode – mining, crafting, building, exploring, and combat.
You can be as creative as you want, but there are limitations:
- Worlds can‘t be saved and don‘t transfer over to the full version.
- You can only play for 1 hour 40 minutes before the demo expires.
- No mods, skins, or texture packs allowed.
- Multiplayer features are disabled. Solo play only.
Once the demo timer hits 100 minutes, you‘ll be stuck in spectator mode. At that point, you‘ll have to quit and relaunch the demo to start a new world.
But overall, it gives you a really solid taste of the Java Edition gameplay. I suggest taking advantage!
Claim Your Free Copy with Minecraft Bedrock
This tip only applies if you already own Minecraft on Windows 10, also known as the Bedrock Edition.
In case you aren‘t aware, Minecraft is available in two separate versions:
Java Edition – The original PC game for Windows, Mac and Linux. Supports mods and community creations.
Bedrock Edition – Cross-platform version for mobile, consoles, and Windows 10. Focused on expanded multiplayer.
Back in 2018, Mojang rolled out a special promotion that rewards players with the other edition for free! Here‘s how it works:
Own Minecraft Bedrock on Windows 10? Redeem code "JAVAEDITION" to get Java Edition free.
Own Minecraft Java Edition? Redeem "BEDROCKEDITION" to get Bedrock Edition free.
It‘s super simple to cross-redeem. Just make sure you log into the Minecraft website with the Microsoft account that owns the base game.
Then visit Minecraft.net/redeem and enter the corresponding Bedrock or Java code based on what you already own.
Boom! You‘ve unlocked both editions to enjoy. This promo has been around for 4+ years now and still appears to be active. So take advantage if you qualify!
Browser-Based Classic Minecraft
Feeling nostalgic? You can actually play one of the earliest versions of Minecraft direct through your web browser for free.
This is Minecraft Classic, first introduced back in 2009. It represents Mojang‘s very first pass at the creative building style of gameplay.
The Classic version is extremely bare bones compared to what Minecraft has evolved into. You‘re limited to a 32×32 block map and very basic controls. There are no monsters at night. You can‘t craft items or smelt ores.
But it does let you mine, stack blocks to build, and explore the retro-blocky landscapes. All for free in browser at:
It‘s a nice dose of gaming nostalgia and history. And a great option if you just want to poke around the vintage Minecraft style for a bit.
No downloads or accounts required – just enter a username and start playing instantly. Give it a go for the fun retro vibes!
Earning Rewards for a Free Java Copy
Now, this next option involves more effort on your part. But it is possible to earn a free Minecraft Java Edition key through rewards platforms.
The most popular one is Gamehag. It lets you complete gaming quests and build up rewards "Soul Gems". Once you accumulate enough gems, you can cash them in for a Minecraft key.
Here‘s an overview of how it works:
Sign up for an account at Gamehag.com.
Browse the rewards quest catalog and choose a game to play. Popular options are APB Reloaded, Tanks, and Warface.
Complete the specified in-game quests and objectives. These earn you Soul Gems.
Keep accumulating gems until you have enough for Minecraft. You‘ll need around 80,000 gems.
Visit the Rewards section and exchange your gems for a free Minecraft Java Edition key code.
Redeem the code during checkout on Minecraft.net to add Java Edition to your Mojang library.
Based on user reports, it takes around 30-40 hours of gameplay to earn 80k gems. So being able to get Minecraft for free this way does require some dedication!
There are also potential risks involved when using third party key selling sites. Make sure to do your research on the rewards platform‘s reputation and legitimacy before investing time and effort.
But if you‘re eager to play Minecraft and don‘t mind grinding through other games, sites like Gamehag do provide an avenue to get Java Edition without spending money.
Purchasing the Full Version for Unlimited Gameplay
At the end of the day, the only way to gain unlimited, unrestricted access to Minecraft Java Edition is to purchase it outright.
Here are the pricing details for buying the PC version:
- Direct from Minecraft.net – $26.95
- Amazon digital code – $26.95
- Physical copies from retailers like Target, GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart – $26.95
And if you or the Minecraft fan in your life plays on other platforms, here are those pricing options:
|Xbox One / Series X||S|
|Playstation 4 / 5||$19.99|
|iOS and Android||$6.99|
Note that console, mobile, and Windows 10 versions do not include the Java Edition. That must be purchased separately for PC.
I highly recommend buying directly from the Minecraft website for maximum security. You‘ll also be able to manage your Mojang library and download future updates through their launcher.
Major credit cards, PayPal, and prepaid cards are accepted for hassle-free payment on Minecraft.net.
And there are often great deals around the winter holidays if you keep an eye out.
What About Other Platforms – Any Free Options?
I get a lot of questions around whether Minecraft is free or has a demo version on platforms other than PC.
Unfortunately, Mojang has not made a trial version available on consoles, mobiles, or any other systems.
Here‘s a quick rundown:
Chromebook – Minecraft does not currently support Chrome OS, so it is not playable on Chromebooks.
Epic Games Store – There is no free or discounted version of Minecraft offered in the Epic Store. You‘d have to purchase it at full price.
Xbox Game Pass – Minecraft is not part of the Game Pass subscription library. You must buy it separately.
PlayStation Plus / PS Now – No free access to Minecraft comes with a PS Plus membership or PS Now subscription.
iOS and Android app stores – There is no demo. You must purchase the mobile version for $6.99.
So unfortunately, PC is the only platform with a direct free trial option. For everything else, you‘ll have to buy Minecraft to enjoy unlimited access.
Hopefully this detailed guide gives you a great sense of your options when it comes to playing Minecraft Java Edition for free or at reduced cost. Let me know if any other questions come up!
Summing It All Up
While Minecraft Java costs $26.95, you do have these avenues to enjoy it free of charge:
Minecraft Java Demo – 1 hour 40 minutes of playtime to try before you buy.
Cross-redeem promotion – Get Java Edition free with ownership of Bedrock.
Minecraft Classic – Vintage browser-based version with retro gameplay.
Gamehag rewards – Earn enough gems through quests to claim a free Java key.
And you may find discounted codes around major sales events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the winter holidays.
At the end of the day, the best way to gain unlimited access is buying an official Java Edition license. This gives you perks like full mod support, multiplayer access, Realms, and direct downloads from Mojang.
I hope this guide has provided plenty of tips and insights on "How can I get Minecraft Java Edition for free?" Let me know if any other questions come up!