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Is Minecraft Realms Free Now in 2023?

Hey friend! With Minecraft being one of the most popular games around, I‘m sure you‘ve wondered whether Minecraft Realms, the official multiplayer server hosting service from Mojang, is free or not.

I know you‘re eager to play with your friends, so let me walk you through everything you need to know about Realms pricing and how you may be able to get free access.

Can You Get Access to Minecraft Realms Without Paying?

The short answer is yes! Here is the scoop:

Mojang offers a free 30-day trial of Realms Plus to new users who have never subscribed to the service before. This allows you to create a Realm, invite up to 10 friends, and host your own Minecraft multiplayer server for an entire month without paying a cent!

Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. With the free trial, you get full access to all Realms features for 30 days.

However, once the trial period ends, your Realm will be deactivated and you‘ll need to purchase a monthly Realms subscription to continue accessing it online.

So in summary:

✅ Brand new Realms users get a FREE 30-day trial

❌ But after the trial you must pay to keep access

This trial is Mojang‘s way of letting you test drive Realms before committing. And who doesn‘t love a free test run?

What Are Your Realms Subscription Options After The Trial?

Once your 30-day free Realms trial expires, you have a couple subscription options if you want to keep the multiplayer fun going:

Realms (Standard) – $7.99 per month

  • Supports up to 3 simultaneous players
  • Ideal for you and a couple friends

Realms+ – $7.99 per month

  • Supports up to 10 simultaneous players
  • Provides access to over 50+ Minecraft Marketplace maps, textures, and skins
  • Best for larger groups

You can also pay one-time access fees for either 30 days ($9.99) or 90 days ($26.99) of Realms access. But the monthly subs provide the best long-term value.

Here‘s a quick table summarizing the membership options:

PlanMonthly PriceMax PlayersOther Perks
Realms$7.993 playersBasic multiplayer
Realms+$7.9910 players50+ Marketplace items
30-Day Access$9.99 (one-time fee)10 players
90-Day Access$26.99 (one-time fee)10 players

So that‘s the break down of what‘s available once your free trial has ended. Pretty flexible plans that can accommodate small and large groups!

What Features Do You Get With a Paid Realms Subscription?

If you do decide to purchase a full Realms membership after sampling the free trial, here are some of the great features and benefits you gain access to:

🎮 Easy Multiplayer Gaming – Realms handles all the server management and configuration under the hood so you can easily play with friends.

🌎 Your Own Private Worlds – Your Realm comes with unlimited player-customizable worlds that your group controls.

⌛ Always Online – Realms servers have high uptime and availability since they are hosted by Mojang.

☁️ Automatic World Backups – Realms backs up your world on a regular basis so you never lose progress.

⚙️ Admin Controls – Ban players, change world settings, and more with admin powers.

🔗 Easy Access – Get invited to Realms with a code or link. No needing to deal with IP addresses.

⚒️ Mod Support – Upload mods, resource & behavior packs to customize your Realm.

📱 Cross-Platform Play – Play with friends on mobile, Windows 10, Xbox, VR, and Nintendo Switch.

🔒Secure Connections – Realms uses secure connections and Mojang account authentication.

💵 Affordable Pricing – All access starts at just $7.99 a month – cheaper than a pizza!

As you can see, a paid Realms subscription provides awesome benefits that level-up your gameplay and make playing Minecraft with friends easy.

How Many Players Can Join Your Realm For Free?

Now you might be wondering – if I get a free Realms trial or paid subscription, how many buddies can I invite?

The number of players depends on which type of plan you have:

  • Realms (Standard): Up to 3 players supported. Great for you and a couple friends.

  • Realms+: Up to 10 players supported. Ideal for bigger groups.

  • Free Trial: Also provides access to Realms+ so up to 10 players.

So with the popular Realms+ plan, you can invite up to 9 friends for a total of 10 simultaneous players. That‘s an entire squad of Minecraft adventurers!

Having your own personal hosted multiplayer server opens up endless gameplay opportunities. You and your friends can collaborate on builds, create mini-games, battle mob raids, and explore endless worlds.

What Happens When Your Free Realms Trial Expires?

I know what you may be thinking – this free trial sounds great, but what happens once the 30 days are up?

Not to worry, here is exactly what goes down:

  • You‘ll no longer be able to access the Realms server online until you purchase a paid plan.

  • However, your Realm‘s world will still be saved for an additional 18 months after the trial expiration.

  • At any point in that 18 month grace period, you can download your Realm‘s world save to have a local copy on your device.

  • All the build data, inventories, etc. will be intact in the local world save.

  • If you eventually decide to purchase a Realms subscription later, you‘ll regain online access to that Realm and world.

So the free trial expiration simply blocks online access to Realms itself. But your world data is preserved for 18 months giving you plenty of time to download it before it gets deleted from Mojang‘s servers.

This is great because it means you can pickup right where you left off even if you don‘t resubscribe immediately after the trial.

Are There Ways to Get Free or Discounted Realms Access?

Since you asked so nicely, let me share some tricks that may help you lower the cost or even score free Realms access:

1. Snag discount codes online – Occasionally Mojang or third-parties distribute promo codes for discounted Realms subscriptions. Keep an eye out for these!

2. Split the cost with friends – Have everyone chip in a few bucks toward the $7.99 monthly fee and take turns owning the Realm.

3. Only sub 1 month per year – Pay for 1 month of Realms each year to download your world and play the rest locally.

4. Use Realms reward points – Build up free subscription time by completing certain activities or achievements.

5. Participate in giveaways – Enter Realms subscription giveaways that content creators, streamers, or Mojang may host.

6. Refer friends for credit – Some referral programs give you or your friends Realm credit when signing up.

7. Wait for occasional free promos – Very rarely Mojang provides short-term free Realm access events for all players.

So while the full-time free ride isn‘t possible, there are ways you can lower costs or score temporary access. Get creative and thrifty!

Should You Pay for Minecraft Realms?

With all things considered, is a paid Realms membership worth the monthly expense? Let‘s weigh the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Automatic server management
  • Easy multiplayer access
  • World backup & recovery
  • Consistent uptime
  • Cross-platform support
  • Marketplace content access
  • Simplicity & convenience

Cons

  • Monthly cost of $7.99
  • Limited to 10 players per server
  • Lack of full server customization

For most players, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. The cost and simplicity tradeoffs are absolutely worth it for an easy plug-and-play multiplayer experience with your friends.

But it ultimately comes down to your specific needs and preferences. If you want more customization or player capacity, a 3rd party hosted server may be better. But Realms wins on sheer simplicity and convenience.

The Bottom Line – Is Minecraft Realms Free?

So now you have a complete 360 degree understanding of Realms pricing and free options!

To recap:

✅ You can access Realms free for 30 days with a new user trial

❌ But ongoing access always requires a paid subscription

The free trial does allow you to test drive Realms. And the monthly cost provides ongoing access with awesome benefits.

While not free forever, I hope some of the tips I shared can help you maximize free playtime or reduce the cost. Because ultimately, playing Minecraft with friends is awesome regardless of what server option you use!

Let me know if this helps explain whether Realms is free or not. I‘m happy to clarify anything you‘re still wondering about!

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Michael

Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.