As a fellow blockhead who has been playing Minecraft for years, I was super excited when Mojang announced that Java players like me could finally redeem Minecraft Bedrock for free!
But the idea of claiming another version and keeping up with both Java and Bedrock can also be kind of daunting for us veteran Minecraft fans.
Don‘t worry – I‘ve got you covered! In this in-depth guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know about redeeming your free Bedrock copy, getting set up in the new version, and making the most of Minecraft in both editions.
The Java vs Bedrock Debate – Which Should You Play?
Before we dive into the redemption steps, let‘s briefly summarize the debate between the two main Minecraft editions for PC.
Minecraft Java Edition
Java is the original Minecraft made for desktop in 2009 and what many consider the "true" PC version. Developed by Mojang in Java code, it offers:
- Freedom to mod and customize with personalized skins, textures, and maps
- Large selection of third party servers like Hypixel, Mineplex, and Cubecraft
- Ability to tweak performance and hosting yourself
- More consistent mechanics and gameplay
- Limited to Windows – no cross-platform play
- Lags on lower end PCs – needs decent specs
- Slower updates compared to Bedrock
Java remains popular with hardcore PC gamers who want endless customization and mods. But the isolated ecosystem can limit options for playing together across different devices.
Minecraft Bedrock Edition
Bedrock was designed by Mojang and Microsoft as the new cross-platform version of Minecraft for mobile, consoles, and Windows 10. It uses C++ code and offers:
- Play with friends on phones, tablets, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and PC
- Optimized performance for lower end hardware
- Frequent updates with latest features and fixes
- In-app purchases for maps, skins, and mods
- Far fewer mods and customization options
- Permissions and monetization imposed by Microsoft
- More bugs and inconsistent mechanics
Bedrock allows seamless play across platforms, making it easy to build together on-the-go or from the couch. But Java still rules when it comes to mods, texture packs, and controlling your own experience.
So which version should you play? Here are my tips:
- Java – You want endless customization and mods
- Bedrock – Focus is multiplayer with friends on consoles/mobile
- Both – Large friend groups across multiple platforms
Luckily with the new bundled Launcher, you can now enjoy both editions for the price of one! Keep reading to claim your free copy.
Claiming Your Free Bedrock Edition – Step by Step
If you own Java Edition, here is the process to redeem Bedrock:
1. Check Your Eligibility
- Must have purchased Minecraft Java before June 6, 2022
- Need to redeem code before March 10, 2023
As long as you bought Java prior to June 6, you should qualify for this promotion.
2. Make Sure You‘re Logged into the Correct Microsoft Account
- Sign into your Mojang account that owns Java Edition
- This is required for the game to verify your ownership
Using the wrong Microsoft login is the most common mistake people make. Make sure to sign into the specific account that has your Java purchase tied to it.
3. Head to the Redemption Page
- Go to minecraft.net/redeem
- Sign in again to your Microsoft account if needed
This is the official site to claim codes and prepaid cards.
4. Enter the Promo Code
- Click ‘Redeem‘
That‘s it! After a quick verification, Minecraft for Windows (Bedrock) will be added to your Mojang library and the Minecraft Launcher.
Downloading and Installing Bedrock
Once redeemed, here‘s how to download and play Minecraft Bedrock for the first time:
Open the Minecraft Launcher
Make sure you are signed into your Microsoft account
Under "Installations", you should now see Minecraft for Windows (Bedrock)
Click Install to download – will take 5-10 minutes
Play! Access Bedrock by selecting it under Installations
The new Launcher makes it easy to swap between Java and Bedrock. Make sure to login and install Bedrock after redemption.
Can‘t install? Check these troubleshooting tips:
- Restart your PC and Launcher
- Update your graphics drivers
- Temporarily disable antivirus
- Run the Launcher as Admin
- Reinstall if issues persist
Transferring Your Old Worlds and Characters
Once you get Bedrock installed, you‘ll likely want to transfer your builds and progresses from Java Edition. Here are some tips:
Singleplayer Worlds – Use the Chunker website to upload and convert Java worlds into Bedrock format.
Multiplayer Servers – Servers like Hypixel unfortunately can‘t transfer ranks and data between versions. You‘ll be starting fresh.
Skins and Texture Packs – These are not cross-compatible. You‘ll need to find Bedrock versions of your favorite add-ons.
It takes some work, but you can migrate your most important worlds and finds over to Bedrock for cross-play fun.
Optimizing Graphics and Performance
Bedrock tends to perform better than Java on lower end PCs. But you may still need to tweak some settings for a smooth experience.
- Close other programs to free up RAM
- Lower render distance under Video settings
- Disable ‘Beautiful Skies‘ if lagging
- Turn off Vsync and set Max Framerate higher
- Reduce particles under Accessibility
- Try installing Optifine mod (Java only)
- Close background apps
- Disable auto-jump under Controls
- Set max framerate to 60 FPS
- Turn off coordinates overlay if needed
Adjusting these settings can help achieve solid 60 FPS gameplay on all devices. Play around to find the right balance for your system.
Modding and Servers – Java vs Bedrock
One of the biggest factors in choosing a version is mods and multiplayer servers. Here‘s how the editions compare:
Thanks to Java‘s open nature, there are numerous incredible Java servers with unique game modes. Some favorites include:
Hypixel – The largest Minecraft server with games like Bed Wars, Skyblock, and Build Battle. Constantly updated with new content.
Mineplex – Classic competitive minigames like Survival Games, Turf Wars, and Super Smash Mobs. Fun casual play.
Cubecraft – Minigames and arenas focusing on PvP gameplay and fast-paced action.
The active Java modding scene also allows servers to create fully customized experiences with unique gameplay you won‘t find anywhere else.
Bedrock offers less variety in servers, but does make it easy to find cross-play games:
Featured Servers – Join popular servers right from the in-game menu like Lifeboat, Mineplex, and Cubecraft. Limited selection but easy to use.
External Servers – Join Java-supported servers using Geyser plugin or connect directly to Bedrock-compatible ones like Galaxite and Nemithiland.
Realms – Create a subscription Realm world to play with friends on mobile, console, and PC. More limited than Java but simple.
In general, Java has far more well-established servers while Bedrock focuses on cross-play Realms. Use both for different experiences.
When it comes to modding and customizing your gameplay, Java still reigns supreme:
- Tons of sites like CurseForge offer unique Java mods and modpacks.
- Extensive options for installing like Forge, Fabric, Technic, etc.
- Mod everything from gameplay mechanics to graphics and shaders.
Bedrock has closed off much modding potential:
- Add-ons allow basic tweaks but not full customization.
- Options limited to Marketplace purchases or approved content.
- Restrictions prevent major mechanics changes.
For now, get your mod fix in Java and your cross-play fun in Bedrock.
Cross-Version Multiplayer with Plugins
While not officially supported by Mojang, the community has developed plugins to enable Java and Bedrock cross-play on third party servers:
GeyserMC – Popular proxy enabling Java clients to join Bedrock servers.
Floodgate – BungeeCord plugin to connect Bedrock players on Java servers.
Bedrock Dedicated Server – Run on your own machine to allow cross-play with your Java friends.
These tools make it possible to bridge multiplayer between editions. But connecting reliably will take some technical know-how – this form of crossplay remains unofficial.
Playing Minecraft via Xbox Game Pass
Beyond redeeming Bedrock with a Java code, another way to unlock the Windows 10/11 version is through the Xbox Game Pass subscription.
With Game Pass for PC at $9.99 a month, you get unlimited access to Minecraft for Windows at no extra cost. Just download and play.
The Game Pass version gives you full Bedrock Edition. But keep these limitations in mind:
- Requires an active paid subscription to play
- Can‘t manually install mods or texture packs
- Limited to playing on Windows PC
- No access to source code or hosting your own servers
- Content restrictions and bans still apply
For most casual players, Game Pass is an easy way to enjoy Minecraft Bedrock without an extra purchase. But Java gives you more freedom and ownership for modding.
Account Security Tips
When redeeming your free code online, it‘s always important to keep account security best practices in mind:
Use a Strong Password – Don‘t reuse an existing password. Generate a long, random password using a password manager. This will prevent guessing attacks.
Turn on 2FA – Enable two-factor authentication via an authenticator app or security key. This adds an additional verification layer for logins.
Beware Phishing – Never enter your username or password on unofficial pages. Only redeem codes at the official Minecraft site.
Check Login Activity – Use Mojang‘s account tools to monitor login attempts and locations. Make sure only authorized access.
Contact Support if Anything Seems Off – If your account is ever compromised, contact Mojang support immediately to investigate.
Following these tips will help keep your account and purchases secure while claiming promotions.
Troubleshooting Redemption Issues
Hopefully redeeming your free Bedrock code goes smoothly. But in case you run into problems, here are some troubleshooting tips:
Use the Correct Microsoft Login – Make absolutely sure you redeem with the account that owns Java.
Check the Promo Expiration Date – Codes must be redeemed by March 10, 2023. Contact support if your valid code doesn‘t work.
Verify You Own Java Edition – Must have purchased Java prior to June 6 2022 to qualify. Double check your purchase history.
Try Redeeming on a Different Device – Sometimes browser issues interfere with redemption. Try clearing cookies or using a different machine.
Contact Mojang Support – If you continue having trouble redeeming, reach out to Mojang‘s dedicated support team for personalized help.
With over 140 million players, Minecraft‘s servers get very busy – especially during big promotions. Be patient, and don‘t hesitate to contact Mojang if your redemption just isn‘t working. They are happy to help fellow crafters!
Maximizing Your Minecraft Experience Across Versions
Now that you have both editions unlocked, it may be tempting to wonder – should you just focus on Java or Bedrock?
In my experience, the best way to enjoy Minecraft is to embrace the strengths of each version:
Java for endless singleplayer worlds to escape and explore
Bedrock for building epic constructions with friends online
Java for truly customizing and tailoring gameplay to your style
Bedrock for continuing the same world across PC and mobile
Java for maintaining your own private universe
Bedrock for sharing your creations across platforms
Minecraft is all about freedom. The more options you have, the more you can make it your perfect experience. Split your playtime between both editions to get the most out of of your infinite blocky sandbox!
And if you ever want to enjoy both at the same time, don‘t forget you can now bridge your friends across versions with plugins like GeyserMC. No one gets left behind in Minecraft!
Let the Free Building Begin!
Phew, I know that was a ton of info! But I hope this guide helps you reclaim your free Bedrock and step into the cross-platform world of Minecraft.
Here‘s a quick recap of what we covered:
The differences between Java and Bedrock
How to redeem your free promotional code
Downloading, installing, and transferring your old worlds
Optimizing performance for smooth gameplay
Comparing servers and mods across versions
Enabling cross-play with Java and Bedrock
Getting Bedrock via Xbox Game Pass
Security tips and troubleshooting help
Now there‘s nothing stopping you from playing with more friends and expanding your blocky empire across more devices!
Let me know if you have any other questions. I‘m always happy to help fellow Minecraft fans get the most out of this amazing game we all love.