The short answer is – no, owning Minecraft Bedrock does not get you a free copy of Minecraft Java. They are considered separate games and purchases.
I know that can be disappointing to hear if you assumed having one meant access to the other. But let me explain the details on why this is the case, and the options you still have available. I‘ll also compare the two versions to help decide which you may want to buy.
A Quick History of Minecraft Editions
First, a super quick history lesson on how Minecraft started and split into different editions:
2009 – Minecraft Java Edition first released for PC. This is the original version coded in Java.
2011 – Minecraft Bedrock Engine was created to port the game to XBOX 360 and mobile. This "Bedrock" code base uses C++ and is optimized for weaker hardware.
2017 – Bedrock Engine expands to Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, VR, and Windows 10. It allows cross-play between these platforms.
2018 – Minecraft on Windows 10 splits into two separate purchases – Java Edition and Bedrock. Owning one no longer grants the other.
So for the past few years, Java and Bedrock have become independent editions. Owning Minecraft on Windows 10 does not include Java like it used to. Now you need to buy each one individually.
It‘s an understandable source of confusion, especially if you owned the Windows 10 bundle previously. But with the editions split, here‘s where things currently stand:
What You Get with Minecraft Bedrock
The Bedrock Engine powers Minecraft on mobile, consoles, Windows 10, and VR. Buying it on any of these platforms entitles you to:
Cross-platform play – Play with friends on phone, Xbox, Switch, etc. This is Bedrock‘s huge feature.
Access across devices – Download and play on any compatible device logged into your Microsoft/Xbox Live account. Your world progress carries between platforms.
Built-in mini-games – Includes modes like Battle, Tumble, and Harmless Fun you can play with friends out of the box. No server needed.
Simplified multiplayer – Joining friends‘ worlds or finding open servers to explore is quick and seamless. Optimized for fast connection and matchmaking.
Stable performance – Runs well on lower-end hardware like phones and tablets. Smoother gameplay on less powerful PCs.
Bedrock is great for playing with console/mobile friends and enjoying Minecraft on the go. It prioritizes accessibility and performance.
What You Get with Minecraft Java
Minecraft‘s original PC edition coded in Java remains popular for its deep customization:
Endless mods and texture packs – Customize virtually any aspect of the game. Huge modding community unlocks endless gameplay possibilities.
Complex redstone devices – Redstone mechanics work precisely for building elaborate contraptions and farms. Water streams perfectly too.
Free user-created skins and maps – Customize your character skin and explore incredible player-made adventure maps for free.
Hardcore mode – Special survival mode with just one life for the ultimate challenge.
More established player base – Java has existed longer, so more of your PC friends are likely to own this version.
Java Edition is all about expanding Minecraft in ways you can‘t do on consoles or mobile. The PC modding scene is absolutely thriving.
Key Edition Differences Summary
|Minecraft Java Edition
|Minecraft Bedrock Edition
|2009 original PC release
|2011 multiplatform release
|Windows, Mac, Linux
|Mobile, consoles, Windows 10
|No – only play with Java users
|Yes – play across platforms
|More demanding on hardware
|Optimized for weaker systems
|Free user-created skins
Hopefully this comparison helps summarize the core differences that matter most.
Now let‘s get into more details…
Can You Transfer Data and Purchases Between Editions?
A common assumption is that buying one edition must allow you to transfer your worlds and data over to the other. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Here are the key limitations:
Worlds and saves – These use different file formats between Bedrock and Java. They cannot be directly transferred or converted. Some third party tools like MCCToolChest can convert, but the process is imperfect.
Purchases and licenses – Your purchase is only for that specific edition. Owning Java does not entitle you to Bedrock, and vice versa. They cannot be "unlocked" on other platforms.
Marketplace content – Stuff you buy on the Bedrock Marketplace (skins, textures, worlds) does not transfer over to Java, where that content is obtained differently or created freely.
Accounts – While your login can access both editions, each one needs to be purchased separately. Simple account access does not grant rights to a free second license.
So in summary – a purchase and data in one edition stays siloed in that version. Nothing transfers over to the other automatically. Mojang deliberately segments them to be separate products.
What About Cross-Play Between Editions?
A big frustration is not being able to play together across editions. Due to technical limitations, there is no cross-play between Minecraft Java and Bedrock:
Java can only play with other Java users on PC. No cross-play with any other platforms.
Bedrock can only play across mobile, consoles and Windows 10. Switch, Xbox, and mobile players can all connect together. But Java remains its own separate online world.
This is by design according to Mojang. The different backend code makes it difficult to connect the editions for live gameplay. Servers and worlds use different formatting.
However, some third-party server plugins like GeyserMC can add unofficial Java-Bedrock crossplay to privately hosted servers. So there are workarounds, though not official support.
Overall, if you want to play with friends on multiple platforms, you‘ll need to make sure you‘re all on the same edition.
What About Free Trial Options?
You may be wondering if Mojang offers free trials to test out both editions before buying. Fortunately, yes – limited trials are available which help you get a taste before committing to purchase.
Minecraft Java Free Trial
- Available directly from Minecraft.net
- Lasts 30 days
- Gives full unrestricted access
- Lets you try online multiplayer
- Progress carries over if you buy the full game
The Java trial gives you a generous month of playtime. You can join servers and see what mods are available. It‘s enough time to know if the Java experience is right for you.
Minecraft Bedrock Free Trial
- Also available from Minecraft.net
- Lasts 90 minutes of in-game time
- Imports existing trial worlds if available
- Only allows local play, no server access
- Unfortunately does not seem to carry progress if you purchase
The Bedrock trial is more limited – just an hour and a half of gameplay. But it does let you test the cross-platform features by importing worlds from the mobile/console trials if you‘ve used those before.
Give both editions a spin with the trials to decide if you want to commit to purchasing one, or maybe even both!
What About Free Promotional Offers?
Occasionally you can score promotional deals and limited freebies for Minecraft editions:
Free with Game Pass – Minecraft Bedrock is included free with Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, but this is only for the Bedrock version on Windows 10, not the full Java Edition.
Device bundles – Sometimes Minecraft Bedrock comes free when buying certain Android devices or Xbox consoles. Again though, this only applies to the Bedrock version.
Special events – For Minecraft‘s 10 year anniversary in 2019, anyone with the mobile Bedrock version got the Windows 10 edition for free. But those promotions are rare.
Third-party key sellers – Some sites claim to sell Minecraft "for free" but read the fine print. You often need to complete sponsor offers or subscriptions which can be misleading.
The takeaway is – limited free trials are really the only official and direct way to play Minecraft for free. Promos only discount Bedrock, while Java must be purchased. Watch for scams and hidden strings attached to too-good-to-be-true "free" offers.
Premium Minecraft Pricing and Bundles
Okay, say you‘re ready to buy – what are the pricing options?
Minecraft no longer bundles Java and Bedrock editions together. As of late 2018, these are now sold as separate purchases. Here‘s what to expect:
Minecraft Java Edition Price
- $26.95 officially on Minecraft.net
- Often discounted 10-15% on other digital sellers
- Consistent price on Windows PC, Mac, and Linux
Java Edition maintains one base price across all PC platforms. You‘ll usually pay around $25-27 USD through official and third-party sellers.
Minecraft Bedrock Edition Prices
- Windows 10 – $26.95 standalone, or free with Game Pass
- Nintendo Switch – $29.99
- Xbox consoles – Bundle with console, or $19.99 otherwise
- PlayStation – $19.99
- iOS and Android – $6.99
Bedrock pricing fluctuates more by platform. Mobile versions are cheapest at $7, while console and Windows 10 fetch premium pricing on par with Java. But Xbox Game Pass subs get Bedrock Windows 10 bundled in.
And one final note – double check you are buying the correct edition for your intended platform! It‘s easy to mistakenly purchase the wrong one. The naming and branding can be confusing between Java/Bedrock on PC.
What If You Want Both Editions?
At this point, you may be wondering – can I just buy both editions to have the full Minecraft experience across devices? Absolutely you can! Here‘s what to expect:
You can login with the same Microsoft/Xbox Live account on both editions. All your worlds and progress remain separate, but can be accessed from the same login.
Buying both editions separately will cost around $54 total – $27 each for Java and Bedrock Windows 10. Or just $27 for Java plus free Bedrock with Game Pass on PC.
You can install and access each version separately on Windows 10 PCs. The Minecraft launcher will allow you to swap between Java or Bedrock on demand.
Owning both certainly removes the restrictions and gives you the best cross-device experience. For serious Minecraft fans who also play on console/mobile with friends, it may be worth investing in both editions to have the full suite.
Bottom Line – Unfortunately No Free Transfers or Upgrades
To recap, the key points on whether Minecraft Java is free if you have Bedrock:
There are no pathways for direct edition transfers, upgrades, or cross-purchases. Ownership of Minecraft Bedrock does not earn you a free or discounted copy of Minecraft Java, or vice versa.
This is understandably disappointing if you assumed buying one platform‘s edition would carry over to the others. Unfortunately, Mojang segments Java and Bedrock as independent products to purchase individually.
However, you can test both editions with the limited trials first. And serious Minecraft players who want the full experience on all devices can buy both editions separately.
In summary, while owning Bedrock does not get Java free, you do have options to try Java and make an informed purchase decision. Let me know if any other questions come up around Minecraft editions!