Hey friend! With over 140 million monthly players, I‘m sure you‘ve heard about Minecraft and are wondering if there‘s a way to get it for free on your Android phone or tablet.
The short answer is: Unfortunately, the full version of Minecraft is not free on the Google Play Store. However, there are some limited options to access pared down versions of Minecraft for free on mobile.
In this guide, I‘ll give you an in-depth look at:
- The limited free trial of Minecraft on the Play Store
- What the simplified free Minecraft Classic version offers
- Why you should avoid "free" Minecraft apps from unknown developers
- How some schools provide educational trials
- The best free alternative games to Minecraft on mobile
- If you can get Minecraft free by owning it on another platform already
- Whether it‘s worth paying for Minecraft on Android
- Some tips to get Minecraft cheaper or trial it for free
Let‘s dig into all the details!
Official Minecraft Trial: Try Before You Buy
When you first download Minecraft from the official Play Store listing, you‘ll have access to a time-limited free trial. This gives you about 100 minutes of playtime to try Minecraft on your Android device before deciding on purchasing the full version.
The Minecraft trial includes:
- Survival and Creative game modes for singleplayer
- Smaller sized procedural worlds vs full version
- Limited number of available blocks/items
- Multiplayer access for up to 10 friends
- Approximately 1-2 hours of gameplay
Once the trial is over, you‘ll need to pay $6.99 USD to upgrade to the complete Minecraft. Unfortunately, any worlds or progress from the trial won‘t carry over after purchasing.
But the Minecraft trial does offer a nice way to experience the core gameplay before buying. You‘ll be able to get a feel for the blocky graphics, exploration, crafting, and more that millions love.
Free Version: Minecraft Classic
If you really don‘t want to pay anything, Minecraft Classic is a simplified free iteration that runs in web browsers. It‘s based on an older version of Minecraft from 2009.
Minecraft Classic has some notable limitations compared to the full game:
- Worlds are much smaller in size
- The graphics and interface are more basic
- Only 32×32 sized blocks rather than full-size blocks
- No survival elements like crafting, mining, etc
- There are no mobs since health and combat isn‘t included
But the good news is you can play Minecraft Classic entirely free online with others. Some key features include:
- Free access at classic.minecraft.net
- Supports up to 9 players online simultaneously
- Lets you build structures and destroy blocks
- Randomly generated maps to explore each time
Over 77 million users have tried Minecraft Classic, showing the appeal of a no-cost way to play. While it won‘t give you the full experience, it‘s a nice introduction to Minecraft‘s creative building and multiplayer social elements.
Don‘t Risk Scam "Free" Minecraft Apps
You might come across some apps on the Play Store offering Minecraft for free. However, proceed with extreme caution as most of these are scams at best or contain malware at worst.
Here are some red flags to watch out for:
- Claims to be a full free version of Minecraft
- Not developed by the official Mojang/Microsoft
- Has lots of grammatical errors or typos
- Asks for unnecessary device permissions
- Has lots of ads or annoying pop-ups
These fake Minecraft apps try to piggyback off the popularity of the real game. A few ways you can end up losing out by using scam apps:
- Could lock your device or steal personal data
- Likely will charge hidden in-app purchases
- Won‘t be able to play multiplayer or get updates
- May be an illegal copy violating copyright
- Probably full of annoying glitches or bugs
Stick to downloads only from the verified "Mojang AB" developer, even if it costs a few dollars. Don‘t take risks just to try getting Minecraft free from shady third-party apps or sites.
Educational Free Trials: School-Only Options
Schools that utilize Minecraft: Education Edition for classrooms activities sometimes offer free trials for students.
To qualify, the school needs to be a verified Microsoft partner. Benefits can include:
- 25 free logins for teachers
- 10 hours of gameplay for students
This educational free trial gives teachers and students a chance to test drive using Minecraft in their curriculum. But it‘s limited only to approved academic institutions, not general consumers.
Over 115 million students worldwide use Minecraft: Education Edition. So if your school is signed up, take advantage of the free access if you can! Just don‘t expect the same educational free offer outside of school boundaries.
Free Games Like Minecraft to Try
While the real Minecraft costs money upfront on mobile, there are some alternatives to enjoy free games with similar blocky, creative gameplay.
Some popular free Minecraft-like games on the Play Store include:
|Voxel graphics and multiplayer servers
|Crafting and Building
|Gather resources and crafting mechanics
|Block building and survival mode
|Open source recreation of Minecraft
|Freemium crafting and exploration
The downloads above all try to emulate iconic Minecraft gameplay elements. They may have their own unique quirks as well.
While no clones are perfect substitutes, these can give you a casual block-building and survival crafting experience without the upfront Minecraft purchase. Definitely something to try if you just can‘t spend money right now.
Already Own Minecraft? You Still Have to Buy it Again for Mobile
A common question asked is whether you can download Minecraft for free on a phone if you already bought it on another platform like PlayStation, Xbox, or PC.
Unfortunately, that‘s not possible due to how Minecraft licenses work:
- Each platform‘s store (Play Store, App Store, etc) sells the game individually
- Your purchase is locked to only work on that specific platform
- Transferring purchases across devices is restricted
- You have to buy Minecraft again to play it on additional gadgets
So even if you log into the same Microsoft/Xbox account, you can‘t carry over ownership of Minecraft across different systems. Existing PC or console versions won‘t unlock it free for mobile.
I know, it stinks you have to re-purchase Minecraft to play portable on your phone! But licensing limitations prevent your previous buy from granting you free mobile access automatically.
Paying a Small Price Opens a Huge Minecraft World
While getting Minecraft free on Android isn‘t feasible long-term, paying $6.99 unlocks limitless possibilities.
Some of the awesome benefits of full paid Minecraft include:
- Jam-packed features – All mobs, items, world types, and gameplay available
- Multiplayer freedom – Play on huge servers with thousands of active players
- Living world – Constant new updates and additions from developers
- Peace of mind – Guaranteed safe and authentic compared to scams
- Cross-device play – Access same account on both computer and mobile
- Ongoing support – Purchases fund continued improvements and content
When looking at the sheer amount of entertainment hours Minecraft provides, $7 is a steal! This blocky universe becomes your oyster after the one-time purchase.
The 100 minutes of free trial gameplay should be plenty to decide if your phone runs it smoothly before buying. Once you take the plunge, you‘ll be a part of the incredible Minecraft community!
Smart Tips for Minecraft Free or Cheap
While the full featured Java and Bedrock versions sold on the Play Store do require payment, here are some clever tips to maximize your free trial or get Minecraft for less:
- Check the Play Store for occasional 10-20% off sales on Minecraft to save a couple dollars
- See if your school offers any student licensing discounts you can utilize
- Only download Minecraft from official "Mojang AB" publisher to avoid scams
- Make sure it runs well on your device before exiting the 100 minute trial period
- Split the cost with a friend by sharing a Microsoft account to play multiplayer
- Try free Minecraft Classic in your browser or mobile games similar to Minecraft
- Use free trial to ensure your device runs it smoothly before purchasing
With the right prep, you can safely experience this gaming sensation without overspending. While the full mobile game costs money, free trials, deals, and alternatives let you test the blocky waters first!
Well, there you have it! The complete lowdown on getting Minecraft for free or cheap on the Google Play Store. Unfortunately no permanent free full versions exist. But with try-before-you-buy trials, educational licensing, free classic browser modes, discounts, and more, you have plenty of options to craft blocky structures without spending much initially.
At the end of the day, nothing can replace the full, legitimate Minecraft experience that comes by purchasing on mobile. But I hope these tips help you be smart in finding free or affordable ways to build and play with friends across infinite blocky worlds!
Let me know if you have any other questions!