Hey there fellow Minecraft fan! Have you been craving to play Minecraft on your Windows 10 PC, but don‘t have the budget for the $26.95 price tag? I totally understand the struggle. As a long-time Minecraft player myself, I relied on free trials and demos for years until I could afford to buy it.
Not to worry – with this guide, I‘ll show you several legit ways to access Minecraft for free or cheap on Windows 10. While you can‘t get the full Java or Bedrock editions for free unless you have a gift code, there are plenty of options to get your blocky building fix!
Can I Install the Full Premium Minecraft Versions for Free on Windows 10?
Let‘s kick things off by answering this question plainly:
Unfortunately, there are no legit ways to download or install the full premium Java or Bedrock editions of Minecraft for free on Windows 10. Minecraft is paid-software, so any website offering the full game as a free download is shady at best and illegal at worst.
Mojang and Microsoft don‘t provide the complete Minecraft experience for free. However, luckily they do offer some excellent free trials and modes! We‘ll cover those soon.
If you come across cracked Minecraft clients, free premium account generators, or modded launchers that promise Minecraft for free, steer clear! These violate Minecraft‘s EULA and can contain nasty malware that will damage your system. Paying for premium accounts from third-party sites often ends in getting scammed too.
While it may be tempting to get the full Minecraft for free with shady methods, it‘s simply not worth the massive risk and is ethically questionable when Mojang provides legitimate free options. Support the developers – they created the game we all love!
Alright, now that the bad news is out of the way, let‘s talk about all the awesome free Minecraft experiences you CAN get!
Play Minecraft Classic in Your Browser
While not the fully-featured Minecraft you know, the original classic Minecraft mode is available to play for free in your browser at classic.minecraft.net!
Minecraft Classic allows you to build with 32×32 pixelated blocks and basic textures in a creative open world. It has unlimited free play just like the paid creative mode, letting you construct anything you can imagine.
Plus, it has multiplayer so you can join up with friends to collaborate on constructions. I fondly remember spending weekends as a kid huddled with my siblings creating whole cities and forts in Classic multiplayer.
What makes Minecraft Classic special too is that it’s based on the original 2009 pre-alpha release before survival mode, redstone, The Nether, and all the features that gradually got added over the years. So in a way, it’s like taking a nostalgic trip back to Minecraft’s roots!
Sure, Classic lacks the deep crafting systems, elaborate textures, infinite worlds, combat, villager trading, and other details that make the full Minecraft so grand. But it captures the core creative spirit and blocky charm that started it all. And best of all – it‘s 100% free!
If you want to dive right into building to your heart‘s content without spending a cent, point your browser to classic.minecraft.net and enjoy!
Demo the Latest Minecraft Versions for 100 Minutes
In addition to Minecraft Classic, Mojang generously provides demo versions that let you test the full-featured Java and Bedrock editions of Minecraft for 100 minutes for free.
These demos give you access to all the latest content and mechanics – virtually infinite procedurally generated worlds, complex crafting and farming, multiplayer servers, redstone contraptions – you name it! You‘ll feel like you‘re playing the paid editions.
The only limitation is that after you hit 100 minutes of playtime, your world will lock and you‘ll be prompted to purchase the full game. But you can simply delete the world file and start a new demo world if you want more time. Here‘s how to access the demos:
Minecraft Java Edition Demo:
- Go to Minecraft.net and download the Minecraft Launcher
- Open the launcher, create a free Mojang account if needed, and log in
- Click "Play Demo" to launch the latest Java Edition demo
Minecraft Bedrock Edition Demo:
- Open the Microsoft Store app on Windows 10
- Search for “Minecraft for Windows”
- Click “Install demo” to download Minecraft for Windows 10 for free
- Run Minecraft and play the Bedrock demo
These demos are hands-down the best free way to experience the magic of full-fat modern Minecraft. 100 minutes may not seem like much at first, but you can stretch it out by playing efficiently or sticking to small projects.
I recommend starting in Creative mode since you can compact the most building into those 100 precious minutes. Survival mode is better suited for paid long-term worlds you won‘t lose progress in.
If you eventually buy the game, your demo worlds will already be waiting for you! Overall, the Minecraft demos offer an awesome free trial run.
“Minecraft for Windows 10” Isn‘t a Free Version
Now, you may have heard some rumors that "Minecraft for Windows 10" is a free edition. I hate to disappoint, but this isn‘t the case.
The "Minecraft for Windows 10" sold on the Microsoft Store is the official Minecraft Bedrock Edition designed for Windows 10 PCs and other platforms. It costs $26.99 – the same as the Java Edition.
Any sites claiming to offer "Minecraft for Windows 10" as a free download are shady – this version doesn‘t exist! Avoid these as they are illegal bootlegs at best and malware at worst.
Mojang doesn‘t make a separate free version for Windows 10. The main free options are Minecraft Classic and the Bedrock/Java demos covered earlier.
But while waiting for sales or demos, there are some other neat ways to access Minecraft for free too…
Play Minecraft Multiplayer on Free Servers
Okay, so downloading Minecraft for free direct from Mojang is a no-go. But did you know you can play on amazing Minecraft multiplayer servers for free?
Minecraft servers are online worlds run by fans and community members. Some offer competitive PvP and parkour maps while others focus on roleplaying, survival, minigames, and tons more. Each server provides a unique multiplayer experience.
Best of all, you can join these servers and play 100% free! The server owners pay for hosting costs, so you just need to install the free Minecraft Launcher to connect. A paid account isn‘t required.
Some awesome servers I recommend checking out:
- Mineplex – Competitive minigames like Dragons and Evolution with thousands of active players
- Hypixel – Top server with modes like Skyblock and BedWars – always new content
- Lifeboat – Chilled gameplay like Survival Games and Skywars on cool custom maps
- Purple Prison – OP Prison server where you level up your rank by mining
- Wynncraft – Massive fantasy RPG adventure with quests and dungeons
- Install the free Minecraft Launcher from Minecraft.net
- Log in to your Mojang account or play as a demo user
- Click Multiplayer and add a server by entering its address
- Join and play online for free!
The social experience of playing with others takes Minecraft to the next level. Plus, server minigames provide tons of competitive fun you won‘t find in singleplayer. Enjoy infinite free entertainment on multiplayer servers!
Get Minecraft: Education Edition Through Your School
Are you a student or teacher? Great news – your school can offer Minecraft: Education Edition for free!
Minecraft: Education Edition is a special version designed for the classroom. It contains lessons and world templates tailored for teaching subjects like science, history, coding, languages, and more through Minecraft creativity. Students can go on educational adventures and express learning through building.
The Education Edition is available 100% free for schools and other academic institutions through Microsoft‘s licensing program. School IT admins simply need to apply on the Education Edition website to provide access to their students and teachers.
As an individual, you can‘t get Education Edition for free. But talk to your school about applying if they don‘t already use it! Minecraft is leagues more fun than dusty old textbooks. Maybe suggest it for your class?
This is an incredible free way for students to access Minecraft through academic institutions. Learning comes alive when you get to live it through gaming!
Grab Minecraft for Cheap During Sales
Alright, say you don‘t qualify for Education Edition and are eager to graduate from Classic and demos to the endless possibilities of the full versions.
I feel your pain, I was there once too!
While Minecraft rarely goes on sale, you can grab it at a discount of 20-50% off during major promotional events.
The holiday season around Black Friday and Cyber Monday sees some of the best Minecraft sales. I snagged the Java Edition for just $15 during a Black Friday when I was younger – well worth the wait!
Other big events like the Steam Summer Sale also usually discount Minecraft to around half price.
By adding Minecraft to your wishlist on sites like Steam, the Microsoft Store, Amazon, or the Minecraft Launcher, you‘ll get alerted to any sales or deals the moment they go live. Keep an eye out!
For the best savings, I recommend waiting for these peak sale events. In the meantime, you can fuel that blocky creative hunger with free Classic and multiplayer. A little patience goes a long way to get Minecraft at the lowest price!
Redeem a Minecraft Gift Card
Given Minecraft‘s immense popularity, you may just get lucky and receive the gift of Minecraft Premium through a gift card or code!
Minecraft gift cards come as physical cards and digital codes purchased from retail stores. They contain a unique one-use code that redeems a free copy of Minecraft for a Mojang account.
If you receive one of these precious codes from a generous loved one or a promotion, here‘s how to redeem it:
Go to minecraft.net/redeem
Sign into your Mojang account
Enter the gift code where prompted and click submit
Celebrate as Minecraft unlocks on your account for free!
And remember – only enter legitimate unused gift codes from trusted sources. Avoid shady sites reselling used or fake codes. Stick to unused codes from Mojang authorized sellers.
Gift cards are handed out occasionally through contests, merch bundles, and other promotions too, so keep an eye out! You never know when you might score a free ticket to Minecraft premium bliss.
Earn Microsoft Store Credit from Microsoft Rewards
If you use Microsoft services like Bing, Edge, Xbox GamePass, etc. you can convert that engagement into Minecraft currency through Microsoft Rewards!
Microsoft Rewards lets you slowly earn points over time by completing daily quests, searching on Bing, playing new games on GamePass, taking surveys, and more.
These points can then be redeemed for free Microsoft Store gift cards, sweepstakes entries, Xbox Live Gold, and other neat rewards.
It takes only 5250 points to redeem a $5 gift card. So by using Bing instead of Google and trying new GamePass titles, you‘ll gradually accrue points towards Minecraft. Here are some easy ways to rack up points:
- Complete daily and weekly quests – 50-100 points for basic Bing searches, playing GamePass, etc
- Web searches on Bing – Earn 100-200 points per day just by searching instead of Google
- Play new Xbox games – Up to 6000 points monthly for trying new GamePass games and achieving gaming quests
- Take surveys – Up to 1000 points per survey about Microsoft products and services
It will take consistent engagement over a few months to earn enough for Minecraft. But hey, you‘ll get rewarded for using Microsoft products you likely already use!
Through Microsoft Rewards, you can shave a nice chunk off Minecraft‘s price or even earn enough for the full game. Slowly but surely, your points will turn into Minecraft currency!
Play Minecraft During Free Trial Periods
Now for some potential future free Minecraft opportunities to keep on your radar…
While Mojang hasn‘t offered many extended free trials beyond the standard demos, that could change in the future. For special occasions or to promote new updates, Mojang may provide temporary free play periods for everyone – even lapsed players!
For example, Mojang could offer everyone 1 week of free unlimited Minecraft around the holidays, or let former players return for a weekend to try a big new update.
There’s precedent for this with Mojang’s «Mineraft Live» events where Java Edition was opened up for everyone for a weekend. And other premium games like World of Warcraft offer free trials for returning players.
By following Minecraft news sites and social channels, you may get wind of these limited-time free events. They offer the full Minecraft experience for a set duration, helping you decide if you want to buy.
There’s no guarantee, but be ready to jump on the next free trial offer from Mojang! Even a single free weekend will let you binge hours of amazing Minecraft gameplay.
Test New Versions in Snapshots and Betas
Mojang frequently releases early previews of upcoming Minecraft versions known as snapshots and betas. These let players test new features before they officially launch.
Accessing betas and snapshots normally requires owning a paid copy of Minecraft. However, Mojang occasionally opens up snapshots and betas for everyone during special public testing periods.
This offers an awesome chance to experience new Minecraft content completely free. You get to enjoy features the moment they are developed while providing your feedback to Mojang.
Because they are unfinished works-in-progress, betas and snapshots can be quite buggy. But they provide a thrilling sneak peek at Minecraft’s future.
Follow the official Minecraft blog, Twitter, and subreddit to learn when betas and snapshots become freely available. If you don’t mind crashes and half-baked features, you’ll get early VIP access for free during testing!
Try Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming (if available)
Here’s one final way you may be able to access Minecraft for free:
If you have Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Cloud Gaming in your region, you can play the Bedrock Edition at no added cost through the cloud!
Minecraft for Xbox is included with a standard Game Pass subscription. And by streaming games with Xbox Cloud Gaming, you can play on Windows 10 without even needing an Xbox. It streams the game like Netflix for games.
You’ll need a compatible controller and strong internet connection. But for existing Game Pass members, it’s an awesome free way to enjoy Minecraft Bedrock on PC when on a budget.
Just know that Game Pass only includes the Bedrock version, not the Java Edition. But it’s still full-featured Minecraft for free if you have the subscription!
Enjoy All the Free Minecraft Options!
Whew, we covered a ton of ground here! Let‘s do a quick recap:
While the premium Java and Bedrock Minecraft editions require payment, you CAN access:
- Minecraft Classic – Unlimited creative building in your browser for free
- Demos – 100 minutes of latest Java or Bedrock gameplay
- Free servers – Massive multiplayer worlds run by community members
- Education Edition – Free for schools through Microsoft licensing
- Sales/Deals – Discounted to ~50% off during peak events
- Gift codes – Redeem free copies from purchased gift cards
- Microsoft Rewards – Slowly earn enough for Minecraft through Bing searches and Game Pass quests
- Limited trials – Play free during occasional trial events from Mojang
- Betas & Snapshots – Preview upcoming versions during public testing periods
- Xbox Cloud Gaming – Stream Minecraft for free if you have Game Pass
With so many options, you‘ll get your fix of mining, crafting, building, fighting, and exploring at little to no cost. While waiting out sales, demos and Classic offer unlimited playtime. And you can squad up with friends on free servers for endless multiplayer adventures.
I hope this jam-packed guide gives you plenty of ideas to access Minecraft‘s magic on Windows 10 as a broke gamer. Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help fellow Minecraft fans.
Stay crafty, my friend. Wishing you many happy hours of free blocky gameplay!