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Is Realm Free on PC? An In-Depth Guide for Minecraft Players

Hey friend! If you‘re curious whether you can access Minecraft Realms for free, you‘re in the right place. This detailed guide will cover everything you need to know about Realms pricing, who needs to pay, and how to get the best deal. Let‘s dive in!

What are Minecraft Realms?

For anyone new to Minecraft, Realms are private, always-online servers hosted by Minecraft to easily play with friends. Instead of dealing with port forwarding and managing your own server, Realms handle all that behind the scenes so you can focus on playing together.

Realms have become hugely popular since launching in 2013, now with over 1 million active Realms according to Mojang. Here are some key advantages Realms offer compared to self-hosted servers:

  • Super easy setup – Just a few clicks and your Realm is ready to play.

  • Automatic backups – Realms are backed up periodically, so you‘ll never lose your progress.

  • Owner controls – You‘re in charge of inviting players, downloading worlds, and managing settings.

  • Accessibility – Friends can join from mobile, Windows 10, console, VR with just an invite link.

  • Reliability – Realms have 98% uptime compared to average 60-70% uptime for self-hosted.

So in summary, Realms deliver a smooth, lag-free experience for playing Minecraft multiplayer with your friends in your own private online world. Pretty cool!

Okay, But Is Realms Free on PC?

Alright, let‘s get to the big question – is it possible to use Realms for free?

The short answer is…kind of! Here‘s how it works:

  • The Realm owner pays a subscription fee to keep the Realm online. This ranges from $3.99-$7.99/month depending on player limits.

  • However, invited players can join the Realm for free! No subscription needed.

So while one person in the group does need to cover the subscription cost, they can then invite as many friends as they want to play on the Realm at no cost. Pretty good deal!

This means gather 2-3 friends to split the Realm fee, and you‘ve got yourself free Realms access. The subscription convenience is usually worth it for the seamless multiplayer experience Realms provide.

Comparing Minecraft Realms Plans

Now let‘s break down the two main Realms options to understand exactly what‘s included and how much it will cost.

Minecraft Bedrock Realms

Bedrock Realms support mobile, Windows 10, console, and VR players in crossplay. Subscription options are:

  • $3.99/month – For the owner plus 2 friends. Best for smaller groups.

  • $7.99/month – For the owner plus up to 10 friends. Best for larger groups.

There‘s also 1-month and 3-month one-time purchase options, but the monthly subscription is usually cheaper long term.

Based on typical 3-4 player groups, the $3.99/month plan ends up being about $1-1.50 per person when you split the cost – pretty reasonable!

Minecraft Java Realms

For the original PC Java Edition, Realms access is $7.99/month or $26.99 for 3 months. This plan supports up to 10 players like the Bedrock version.

So for a typical Java group splitting the fee, costs come out to around $2-3 per person monthly. Still very affordable entertainment!

One advantage of Java Realms is mods and mini-games work smoothly since everything is on PC. So consider going this route if you want to use mods.

Joining Your First Realm – What You Need to Know

Once you‘ve decided to give Realms a try, here‘s what to expect during setup:

  • The Realm owner logs into Minecraft and creates the Realm under the Multiplayer tab. Make sure to grab a link or invite code to share.

  • The owner designates member permissions – who can build, chat, kick players, etc. Choose wisely!

  • Invited players click the shared Realm link and they‘ll auto join the Realm server. Noinstallation or prep needed.

  • Now gather materials, pick a base site, and start exploring together! Activity ideas include building, PvP battles, speed run contests, and more.

The Realm owner has full control over the world, so you can reset maps, load backups, or temporarily disable access as needed.

Finding the Right Realm Community

Joining a buddy‘s Realm is great if you already have an in-person friend group who plays Minecraft. But what if none of your friends are into it?

Well, you still have options! Here are a few tips for finding a good Realm community to play with if you don‘t know anyone IRL who games:

  • Check the Minecraft forums – People often post there inviting new members to join their Realm. Just be sure to vet carefully.

  • Join Minecraft Discord servers and get to know the community before asking for a Realm invite. Be an active contributor first!

  • Search Minecraft multiplayer subreddits for Realm recruitment posts and see if any appeal to your playstyle.

  • Scope out Minecraft streamers on Twitch who play on a Realm and chat with their community to get an invite.

The key is building relationships first before asking for a Realm invite. Get to know the owner and players virtually, be helpful in chat and forums, and demonstrate you‘ll be a reliable realm member.

This takes some effort up front, but finding the right Realm community is worth it for meeting new gaming friends!

Should You Host Your Own Server Instead?

Alright friend, we‘ve covered a ton so far. But what if you don‘t want to pay for Realms at all? What are the options for free Minecraft servers?

Well, you can always host your own server at home using a spare computer or rent a server from a hosting company. The pros of self-hosting:

Complete control – Configure every server setting and install mods as you please.

Cheaper long-term – Flat monthly cost depending on your needs. No per-player fees.

However, running your own server has some definite downsides to consider as well:

Complex setup – Port forwarding, managing software, monitoring uptime – it takes effort to self-host.

Less reliable – Home internet connections mean more lag and downtime vs. Realms.

Limited access – Players will need the IP address and port number to connect.

Overall, self-hosted servers give you more control at lower long-term costs, but take more effort. Realms provide a super simple setup for a reliable experience, at the cost of ongoing subscription fees.

Hope this overview helps you decide which option sounds right for your needs!

The Bottom Line – Enjoy Private Multiplayer Your Way

At the end of the day, playing Minecraft with friends should be fun and hassle-free. Whether you go with Realms, self-hosting, or even local multiplayer, the most important thing is making sure everyone can easily join in on the fun.

Realms deliver a smooth online play experience at a reasonable price if you split with friends. But a self-hosted server works great too with the right setup. Figure out what‘s best for your group and game on!

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to chat more about Realm access, server hosting, and getting the most out of multiplayer. Now get out there and start building something awesome with your crew!



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