Minecraft is one of the most popular video games of all time, with over 140 million monthly active players as of 2021. Developed by Mojang Studios, Minecraft allows players to explore, gather resources, craft items, build structures, and engage in combat and farming in a vast, procedurally generated 3D world.
The core Minecraft game requires purchase to play, but Mojang does offer free-to-play versions as well. This leads many gamers to wonder – is Minecraft available for free on the Epic Games Store?
An Overview of Minecraft Purchasing Options
Minecraft is not a free-to-play game by default. There are several purchasing options available:
Minecraft: Java Edition – This is the original PC version of Minecraft, available for $26.95 USD on Minecraft.net. Java Edition supports mods, skins, and maps created by the community.
Minecraft: Bedrock Edition – This version allows cross-platform play between Windows 10, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, and more. It costs $26.99 USD on platform-specific marketplaces like the Microsoft Store, Nintendo eShop, and Google Play.
Minecraft Console Editions – Legacy console versions for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch. No longer updated. Cost varies by platform.
Minecraft: Education Edition – A special edition designed for classroom use. It costs $5 per user per year for schools and other educational institutions.
None of these core Minecraft editions are available for free without an official free trial. However, there are free alternatives:
Minecraft Classic – A basic free browser version recreateing the game as it was in 2009. Available at classic.minecraft.net.
Minecraft Demo – A limited free trial of the latest Bedrock Edition. Available on console marketplaces and Windows 10. Time-limited to 100 minutes of gameplay.
Cracked Launchers – Unofficial launchers like TLauncher allow playing pirated copies of the Java Edition. Use at your own risk.
Is Minecraft Free on the Epic Games Store?
The Epic Games Store gives away free games each week, leading many to wonder if Minecraft has ever been or will be offered for free.
Minecraft has never been one of the free weekly games on the Epic Games Store. Epic tends to give away older AAA games or indie titles to drive traffic to their store, but as one of the best-selling games of all time, Minecraft does not need promotion.
Microsoft also has no incentive to offer Minecraft for free on competitor storefronts like Epic. Minecraft is available for purchase directly through the Microsoft Store for Windows and Xbox platforms.
Free alternatives like Minecraft Classic exist for those who want to try Minecraft without paying. While Epic does give away high-quality free games each week, Minecraft is not among them.
Why Isn‘t Minecraft Free on Epic Games?
There are a few key reasons why Minecraft has not been offered for free on the Epic Games Store:
Microsoft ownership – Microsoft paid $2.5 billion to acquire Mojang and the Minecraft IP in 2014. As Minecraft is first-party to Microsoft now, they are unlikely to give it away on a competing platform like Epic Games Store.
Sales revenue – With over 200 million copies sold, Minecraft is one of the highest grossing video games of all time. There is little incentive for Microsoft to offer it for free and undermine this massive revenue source.
Promotional necessity – Epic‘s free games are designed to attract users to build market share against Steam. As one of the most popular games ever, Minecraft does not need added promotion.
Complex licensing – Minecraft has complex licensing deals for its console, mobile, and merchandise rights. Ensuring free promotion on Epic Games Store does not violate these deals may be challenging.
Established free options – With Minecraft Classic and the Bedrock Edition demo available for free already, Microsoft has less reason to offer the full game at no cost.
Minecraft‘s huge popularity, Microsoft ownership, and existing free alternatives mean it is very unlikely to be offered gratis on Epic Games Store. Gamers should not expect it to appear as a weekly free title.
What Free Games Are on the Epic Games Store?
While Minecraft has never been free on Epic Games Store, there are many other great free titles across genres and platforms available. Here are some of the most popular free games from Epic:
- Fortnite Battle Royale – Epic‘s own free-to-play shooter and battle royale game. Available on PC, consoles, and mobile.
- Genshin Impact – An anime-style open-world action RPG. Available on PC, consoles, and mobile.
- Rocket League – A popular vehicular soccer video game now owned by Epic.
- World of Tanks – Team-based massively multiplayer online action game centered around tank combat.
- Paladins – A team-based FPS game similar to Overwatch. Developed by Hi-Rez Studios.
Epic also offers a rotating selection of free premium games for a limited time each week. Some popular free game promotions have included:
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Civilization VI
- Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
- Batman: Arkham Collection
- BioShock: The Collection
- Cities: Skylines
- Darkest Dungeon
- Star Wars Battlefront 2
- Watch Dogs 2
- Hyper Light Drifter
While these free game offers only last a week, once you claim them they are yours to keep forever. Epic even allows mod support for certain titles like Grand Theft Auto V.
Checking the Epic Games Store each Thursday can net you premium games at no cost to build an impressive library. Just don‘t expect blockbuster hits like Minecraft to appear for free.
Will Minecraft Ever Be Free on Epic Games Store?
Minecraft is still going strong after over a decade since initial launch, with new updates like 1.20 ‘The Wild‘ coming soon. As the best-selling video game of all time that continues to sell well today, Minecraft has little incentive to be discounted.
While Epic Games Store does sometimes get generous free offers like Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft is very unlikely to be one them. There are a few reasons why:
- Microsoft makes billions from paid Minecraft purchases each year across all platforms. They have no reasons to undermine this revenue source.
- Minecraft does not need the additional promotion a free Epic release would generate. It is already one of the most well-known franchises globally.
- Alternatives like Minecraft Classic scratch the free-to-play Minecraft itch for gamers who don‘t want to buy the full game.
Minecraft on Xbox and PlayStation also requires subscription services like Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus for online multiplayer access. Offering the game for free on Epic Games Store could undermine these subscriptions that Microsoft and Sony rely on for recurring revenue.
While never say never, Minecraft fans should not anticipate Mojang‘s hit sandbox game suddenly becoming free on Epic Games Store anytime soon, or possibly ever. Paid purchases remain the only way to get full access to Minecraft across platforms. Free-to-play alternatives provide only a limited experience.
Can You Get Minecraft Free with Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate do provide another way to get Minecraft for free on certain platforms. This subscription service gives access to a library of games on Xbox, PC, and cloud gaming for a monthly fee.
Minecraft is included in the Game Pass catalog. Subscribers can download and play the Bedrock Edition on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows 10/11 PC at no added cost.
However, Game Pass does require an ongoing $9.99 monthly subscription on console or $14.99 on PC. It is not permanently free like Epic weekly offers. And Game Pass does not provide Java Edition for Mac and Linux.
But for Xbox and Windows users, Game Pass provides ongoing access to Minecraft alongside over 100 other games. Trying Minecraft free on Xbox Game Pass can help decide if you want to buy it outright to keep playing after unsubscribing.
How to Get Minecraft Free Legally
While the full Minecraft experience requires purchase, there are a few legal ways to access parts of the game for free:
Minecraft Classic – Play the free browser version at classic.minecraft.net. Limited to older Alpha version gameplay.
Minecraft Demo – Try the Bedrock Edition demo on Xbox and Windows for a 100 minute time-limited trial.
Xbox Cloud Gaming – Stream Minecraft for free for an hour at a time via Xbox Cloud Gaming with a Microsoft Account.
Xbox Game Pass – Subscribe to Xbox Game Pass to access the full Bedrock Edition on Xbox and Windows 10/11 while your subscription is active.
Epic Games Store – Wait for free promo offers of Mojang‘s other games like Minecraft Dungeons.
Free skins/texture packs – Customize Minecraft with free community skins and textures.
Minecraft videos – Watch Minecraft content from creators on YouTube, Twitch, and more without paying.
Paid purchase is required for full, unlimited access to Minecraft. But these options allow you to try it risk-free or play limited versions for free.
Is It Worth Buying Minecraft?
For most gaming enthusiasts, Minecraft is worth the $26.95 USD investment to buy the Java Edition for PC. Here‘s why the paid game is worth the price:
Endless gameplay – With randomly generated worlds, crafting, construction, combat, mining, farming, and more, Minecraft offers virtually unlimited gameplay potential.
Free future updates – All Minecraft game updates are included for free as part of the purchase. Updates like Caves & Cliffs add substantial new content.
Active community – Minecraft has an enormous community creating mods, skins, textures, maps, and servers to expand your gameplay options.
Cross-platform play – Play together with friends on phone, consoles, PC, and more thanks to Bedrock Edition cross-play support.
Educational opportunities – Minecraft teaches creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving skills with STEM applications.
Item economy – Collect and trade items and currencies on multiplayer servers and marketplaces. Some rare items sell for thousands of dollars!
Accessibility – Minecraft‘s simple mechanics, varied gameplay, and support for assistive technology makes it playable and enjoyable for all ages and abilities.
Local play – Host your own worlds and servers locally without an internet connection for uninterrupted gameplay offline.
With endless gameplay possibilities, a thriving community, and ongoing free updates, Minecraft offers tremendous value at a one-time cost. The free trials let you experience it risk-free before purchasing.
Minecraft Free Alternatives
If you don‘t want to pay to play Minecraft, there are several similar sandbox and creation games available for free:
- Roblox – Build and play in user-created worlds in this popular free-to-play platform. Available on all major platforms.
- Terraria – 2D side-scrolling sandbox game focused more on crafting equipment and combat.
- Fortnite Creative – Create your own islands and game modes in Epic‘s popular battle royale shooter.
- Creativerse – F2P sandbox survival game inspired by Minecraft, available on Steam.
- Block Story – Mobile clone of Minecraft with freely explorable, destructible voxel worlds.
- The Blockheads – 2D sandbox game for iOS and Android with retro pixel graphics.
- Dragon Quest Builders 2 – Build towns on floating islands in this free demo JRPG.
- Lego Worlds – Kid-friendly Lego sandbox game with procedural worlds to explore.
- Core – Roblox-like platform where you can create and play games using creator tools.
While not exact substitutes, these free options offer some of the creativity, construction, exploration, and gameplay elements that make Minecraft so engaging.
Is It Possible to Get Minecraft Free?
While Mojang does not officially offer the full Minecraft experience for free, some players still seek out free options outside legitimate means. Here are some of the ways players try to get Minecraft without paying:
"Cracked" launchers – Launchers like TLauncher allow playing pirated copies of Minecraft: Java Edition. This is copyright infringement.
Modded clients – Hacked clients try bypassing authentication to access premium servers. This can get accounts banned.
Account generators – Fake account generators scam users and spread malware. Legit accounts cannot be generated.
Gift code generators – Promo code and gift code generators are completely fake and can infect devices with viruses.
Premium server cracks – "Cracked" premium servers allow unofficial free access to ranks and perks by bypassing authentication.
Giveaways – Extremely rare that major YouTubers or streamers give away full premium Minecraft accounts. Most giveaways are for ranks on specific servers.
Mojang bans all accounts obtained through piracy or cheating. Workarounds may provide free temporary access, but often have major downsides:
- Cannot play on official servers – only on unsupported "cracked" servers
- No access to premium online content
- Missing out on latest updates and features
- Risk of malware from shady cracked software
- Chance of getting your account permanently banned
- Legal and ethical concerns of piracy
Supporting the game financially allows Mojang to keep improving Minecraft with new updates over a decade since launch. While temporary free access may be possible with cracks and generators, legitimate Minecraft purchases are recommended for the complete experience.
Free Trial Options
For players who want to test Minecraft before buying it, Mojang does offer official free trials:
The Minecraft Demo allows free limited access to Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Xbox and Windows platforms.
- 100 minutes total playtime
- Full Bedrock Edition content
- Save progress carries over to full game
- Multiplayer disabled
- Automatic world deletion on expiration
The demo is available on the Microsoft Store for Xbox and Windows. Once the 100 minutes expires, you must purchase the full game to continue playing that world.
Minecraft Classic is a simplified free browser version recreating Minecraft as it existed in May 2009 during early development.
- Free online at classic.minecraft.net
- Block placing/breaking only
- No crafting, combat, mining, etc.
- Multiplayer support
- 32x32x64 block world
Classic aims to let new players try out very basic Minecraft gameplay mechanics in a pure creative sandbox mode. All players have access to building blocks without needing to gather resources or survive dangers.
While limited compared to full releases, Minecraft Classic and the Bedrock Demo give free legal ways to get a taste of Minecraft before deciding to purchase.
Minecraft is not available for free on the Epic Games Store. It has never been given away as a weekly free game.
Ownership by Microsoft and massive ongoing sales revenue give Mojang little incentive to offer Minecraft at no cost.
Free-to-play editions like Minecraft Classic provide basic access for those who don‘t want to buy the full game.
While unlikely to ever happen, Epic Games giving away Minecraft for free would be an unprecedented opportunity for gamers.
For the full Minecraft experience including endless worlds, multiplayer, and access to the latest updates, a paid copy is required.
Xbox Game Pass and free trials like the Minecraft Demo do offer limited access without buying the game outright.
While the core game remains paid, Minecraft does provide both official and unofficial free options for players wanting to try it out risk-free. But purchasing an official copy is required for unrestricted and safe access to everything Minecraft has to offer. The game‘s depth, community, and ongoing development provide tremendous value for the one-time payment.