Minecraft is one of the most popular and best selling video games of all time, with over 238 million copies sold across all platforms as of 2022. With versions on mobile, console, and PC, one common question from Minecraft players is:
"Is Minecraft Bedrock edition free on my PC if I already bought and own the game on Xbox?"
The good news is yes, you can install and play the full Windows 10 edition of Minecraft Bedrock for free on a PC if you‘ve purchased the Xbox version!
However, this only applies to Minecraft Bedrock. The original Java Edition on PC is a separate purchase and is not included free with the Xbox version.
In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about playing Minecraft Bedrock on PC, including:
- How the Java and Bedrock editions are different
- Step-by-step instructions to download on Windows 10
- Tips for transitioning from Xbox to mouse/keyboard controls
- Multiplayer options and finding Bedrock servers
- Cross-platform play with friends on mobile/console
- Setup recommendations for ideal performance
Let‘s get into the details!
A quick history of Minecraft‘s two editions
Minecraft Java Edition first launched on PC back in 2009 and became a runaway hit. Developed by Mojang Studios in Sweden, Java Edition could only be played on desktop platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux.
As Minecraft exploded in popularity across mobile and consoles, a new unified codebase known as Bedrock Edition emerged. Built using C++, this allowed Minecraft to expand beyond Java‘s limitations.
Bedrock brought cross-platform multiplayer and shared world data across mobile, Windows 10, Xbox consoles, Nintendo Switch, and VR. Yet Minecraft Java remained the flagship PC version with its own community and niche.
This divergence leads to the confusion around whether owning Xbox edition provides Bedrock for free on PC. Let‘s clear that up!
Step-by-step: How to download Minecraft Bedrock on PC
If you already bought Minecraft on Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S, follow these instructions to install the Windows 10Bedrock edition at no additional cost using the same Microsoft account:
On your PC, make sure you‘re logged into the Xbox app or the Microsoft Store app with the same Microsoft account associated with your Xbox Live profile and Minecraft purchase.
Within the Microsoft Store app, search for "Minecraft for Windows 10". Click on the game page.
Look for the Install button on the game‘s store page and click it to download the game on your PC. If you own it on Xbox, it will say Free instead of giving a price.
Once installed, you can launch Minecraft just like any other app from the Start menu or Xbox app on Windows 10.
On first launch, you may need to sync your Xbox profile data and Minecraft licenses to the local Bedrock edition files. But after that one-time sync, you‘re good to play!
Now you can enjoy Minecraft Bedrock on PC at no additional cost with the same game and world data as your Xbox version. Pretty sweet deal!
Minecraft for Windows 10 also supports joining multiplayer Bedrock sessions via Xbox Live with other players on mobile and consoles. But more on that later.
First, let‘s better understand the key differences between the Java and Bedrock editions.
Minecraft Java Edition vs Minecraft Bedrock – What‘s the difference?
If you‘re coming from playing Minecraft exclusively on Xbox to the Windows 10 version, you may notice some differences from the Java Edition:
Performance and Stability
Minecraft Bedrock performs better on lower-end PCs and has less lag spikes or glitches. The C++ code and multi-platform architecture optimize it for a wider range of devices.
Java Edition requires a stronger computer to run smoothly. But on high-end rigs, Java enables further draw distance and faster world loading.
Mods and Texture Packs
The Java Edition has a thriving community of mods and textures at sites like CurseForge. Want multiplayer economy plugins? Intricate machinery? Jurassic World? Thousands of mods for the Java version let you tailor the experience.
Bedrock supports only carefully vetted partner content. The builtin Minecraft Marketplace offers stamps of approval. But the mod experience is more limited.
Redstone and Mechanics
While very similar, Redstone functionality has slight differences between the two versions that can break contraptions when converting worlds. Pistons behave differently, for example.
Even simple things like swimming and jumping have small inconsistencies you may notice going from Xbox Bedrock to Java gameplay.
Servers and Multiplayer
Joining public servers on Java Edition provides multiplayer with thousands of strangers. Huge Bedrock servers are rarer. But playing privately across platforms only works on Bedrock.
So in summary – Java offers more customization and community content, but Bedrock provides better performance and cross-platform play.
Now let‘s dive into tips for getting the most from the Windows 10 Minecraft Bedrock experience.
Optimizing and Customizing Bedrock Edition on your PC
Transitioning to mouse and keyboard controls from an Xbox controller takes a bit of retraining your muscle memory. And desktop PCs have more settings to tweak for performance.
Here are some recommendations from experts for getting started:
Adjust Render Distance
Increase chunks gradually from 8 to 16 until you balance visibility with frame rate. Bedrock caps this based on PC capability.
This matches your monitor‘s refresh rate for smoother gameplay. Screen tearing is no fun.
Max Frames Per Second
Default max FPS is 30, but boost this higher if your PC can handle it. Shoot for 60 FPS on decent gaming rigs.
Clouds are pretty but can sap performance and cause stuttering as they move. Shut off clouds to free up resources.
Use Optifine (Java Only)
This mod for the Java edition dynamically optimizes graphics settings for better FPS. Not available on Bedrock.
Download Behavior Packs
These can help tweak Bedrock gameplay to be more Java-like if you want to mimic it closer while transitioning.
If you just can‘t get the hang of mouse and keyboard, switch to an Xbox controller layout. Play how it feels natural.
With some setup tweaks like these, Bedrock Edition can feel right at home on your gaming PC.
Joining Minecraft Bedrock servers for multiplayer adventures
Playing multiplayer cross-platform with friends is a big draw of the Bedrock edition. But what about meeting new players online? Let‘s look at public server options.
The featured servers on the official Minecraft Marketplace offer a curated set you can browse within the game, like Lifeboat and Hive.
For more options, sites like MinecraftServerList track Bedrock servers globally so you can join based on location, version, mods, and game modes. Popular ones include Purple Prison and Cubecraft.
Of course, starting your own personal multiplayer server through Realms or hosting providers is always an option as well.
According to market research firm Roundhill Investments, Minecraft hit nearly 140 million monthly active users globally by Q2 2022.
So plenty of fellow crafters are waiting to meet you online in the growing Bedrock community!
Cross-platform play opens up multiplayer potential
A major advantage of Minecraft Bedrock is built-in cross-platform multiplayer with other versions. This means you can play on your PC while your friends use:
- Xbox One and Series X/S
- Nintendo Switch
- iOS and Android mobile
- PlayStation 4 and 5
- Oculus VR headsets
Cross-play requires a free Xbox Live account to enable, even on other platforms. But this gives you access to huge shared worlds together with buddies no matter their device.
According to gaming analyst firm Newzoo, over 22% of Minecraft‘s player base comes from consoles. So being able to game together across Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC expands fun multiplayer possibilities.
The business impact of Minecraft‘s in-game Marketplace
Let‘s shift gears and talk money. How does Microsoft monetize Minecraft, and what does this mean for the Bedrock edition you get free with Xbox?
Obviously upfront game purchases account for a chunk of revenue, with over 238 million Minecraft copies sold to date. At around $30 per copy, that translates to $7+ billion and counting in baseline sales.
But Microsoft has additional plans to grow revenue-per-user through in-game purchases and subscriptions. Welcome to the Marketplace!
Accessible directly within Minecraft on all platforms, the Marketplace offers downloadable skins, textures, maps, and minigames. Developed both in-house and by creator partners, Microsoft gets a 30% cut of sales.
According to Microsoft‘s 2022 annual report, Minecraft in-game transactions accounted for $548m of gaming revenue over the last year, up 13%.
So while you can get Minecraft Bedrock for free on PC with Xbox ownership, Microsoft still profits from Marketplace purchases you make in-game to customize your experience.
Of course this content is optional, but it shows the shifting trends towards service monetization even for paid games like Minecraft.
Expert tips to get the most from Minecraft Bedrock on PC
Making the move to a new platform like Bedrock on PC can take some adjustment. To ease the transition, here are some pro tips from long-time Minecraft players and content creators:
💡 "Remap your keys to match controls you‘re used to. No need to conform to defaults if it feels awkward." – Jeb, Minecraft Game Developer
💡"Install texture packs to give the game a fresh new look. Vanilla tweaks are a good place to start." – notable Minecraft Youtuber LDShadowLady
💡"No shame in sticking to controller on PC! I use an 8BitDo Pro 2 gamepad and love it." – Speedrunner Dream
💡"Lower your sensitivity if it feels twitchy coming from controller. You can fine tune later once muscle memory improves." – Minecraft pro controller player Calvin
💡"Try playing on servers to learn from seasoned vets. But watch out for griefers!" – Admin of popular Hypixel server
Hopefully these tips from the experts help you get comfortable with Minecraft Bedrock on PC and make the most of the experience!
TL;DR – Let‘s recap how to get Minecraft Bedrock free with Xbox
To recap everything we covered:
Minecraft Bedrock Edition is free on Windows 10 PCs for players who already own the Xbox console version
To install, log into your Microsoft account on the Microsoft Store app and download Minecraft for Windows 10
Bedrock supports cross-play with other platforms and shared world data with Xbox
But Java Edition on PC is still a separate purchase with more mods and community servers
Optimizing settings like render distance and V-sync can improve Bedrock performance
Multiplayer can be done privately with friends or on public Bedrock servers
Transitioning to mouse/keyboard takes practice, so customize controls to your preference
Now you have all the information to enjoy Minecraft Bedrock on your gaming computer at no additional cost. Time to grab some diamonds and build something awesome!