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Is there a free Minecraft for Nintendo Switch?

No, there is currently no way to get Minecraft for free on the Nintendo Switch. To play Minecraft on Switch, you need to purchase the game from the Nintendo eShop for $29.99.


  • Minecraft for Nintendo Switch can only be purchased, not obtained for free.
  • The current price is $29.99 on the Nintendo eShop.
  • You get the Bedrock version of Minecraft designed for cross-platform play.
  • Nintendo does offer some free games on the eShop but Minecraft is not one of them.
  • While Minecraft used to have a free Classic version, this is no longer available.
  • You can get free trials on some platforms but not Switch.

Minecraft is one of the most popular video games of all time, with over 140 million monthly active players. The game allows you to explore, gather resources, craft items, build structures, fight mobs and much more in a procedurally generated 3D world.

Minecraft first released in 2009 and has been ported to countless platforms over the years. In 2017, Minecraft was released on the Nintendo Switch, complete with Joy-Con motion control support and multiplayer features.

However, unlike the free-to-play Minecraft Classic version that was available in browsers, Minecraft for Nintendo Switch requires purchasing the full game.

Details on Getting Minecraft for Nintendo Switch

To get Minecraft on your Nintendo Switch, you need to:

  1. Open the Nintendo eShop on your Switch
  2. Search for "Minecraft"
  3. Select Minecraft priced at $29.99
  4. Complete the purchase with your Nintendo account

Once purchased, Minecraft will download onto your Switch and can be played on any account on that device. You‘ll need at least 1.2GB of free storage space to install it.

The Nintendo Switch version comes bundled with the Mario Mash-Up Pack and Minecraft Worlds. It also includes cross-platform multiplayer support with Xbox Live.

You cannot get Minecraft for free legally on the Nintendo eShop. Nintendo does offer some free games like Fortnite, Rocket League and Apex Legends, but Minecraft is a paid title only.

Can You Get Minecraft Free Anywhere Else?

While Minecraft for Switch costs money, there are some ways to play Minecraft for free on other platforms:

  • Minecraft Classic – The original free browser version at Limited creative mode only but allows online multiplayer. No longer updated.

  • Free trials – Time-limited trials are available on Android, iOS, Windows 10 and Xbox One. Usually an hour or so of playtime.

  • Cracked launchers – "Cracked" Minecraft launchers like TLauncher allow playing for free but are legally dubious.

  • Giveaways – Occasional free Minecraft deals for certain platforms. Requires waiting for limited-time promotions.

  • Playing on a friend‘s account – If a friend owns Minecraft for PC, they can let you use their account to play.

However, there are currently no free trials, giveaways or other legitimate methods to play Minecraft at no cost on Nintendo Switch. Minecraft for Switch always requires paying the $29.99 purchase price.

Why Isn‘t Minecraft Free on Nintendo Switch?

Minecraft is not free on Switch because it is a premium game that the developer charges money for on all major platforms. As a high-quality game with frequent updates, servers to maintain and an ongoing development costs, Mojang needs to charge a fee to be sustainable.

Free-to-play games rely on in-app purchases, ads or other monetization methods. Minecraft avoids these, aside from optional marketplace content purchases, in favor of an upfront cost.

While free trials give players a sample, the full experience requires payment. This allows Mojang to continue supporting Minecraft long-term.

Nintendo also takes a cut of all eShop game sales, so a free Minecraft would not benefit them either. The premium $29.99 price point matches Minecraft‘s pricing on Xbox and PlayStation as well.

What You Get for Your Money

Although not free, paying $29.99 on Nintendo Switch gets you the full Minecraft experience:

  • Full Bedrock version – Same version as Windows 10, mobile, Xbox and PlayStation for cross-play.

  • Infinite procedurally generated world – The complete open sandbox experience Minecraft is known for.

  • Survival and Creative modes – Play how you want with survival resource gathering or unlimited building.

  • Multiplayer – Local and online multiplayer allows playing with friends.

  • Portability – Take Minecraft anywhere on Switch in handheld or tabletop modes.

  • Playstation-exclusive packs – Get the Mario Mash-Up and other packs not on other platforms.

  • Free updates – Support for future Minecraft updates like 1.20 with no added cost.

While still expensive at $29.99, Minecraft offers tremendous value compared to Switch games that cost $60 or more yet only offer 20-30 hours of playtime. With infinite possibilities, you can easily spend hundreds or even thousands of hours in Minecraft building and exploring.

Alternative Free Switch Games

If you don‘t want to pay for Minecraft right now, there are some great free game options on Nintendo Switch as well:

  • Fortnite – Popular battle royale shooter with free-to-play model.

  • Pokémon UNITE – Competitive 5v5 Pokémon MOBA game, free-to-play.

  • Rocket League Sideswipe – Simplified free-to-play version of Rocket League for Switch.

  • Apex Legends – Squad-based battle royale FPS, free-to-play.

  • Arena of Valor – Multiplayer online battle arena game, free-to-play.

  • Fall Guys – Wacky platforming battle royale, free-to-play.

  • Ninjala – Multiplayer ninja brawler, free-to-play with optional purchases.

While none can match Minecraft‘s vast sandbox world, these games offer plenty of enjoyment without spending a dime. Be sure to browse the eShop thoroughly for more free gaming options.

Can You Get Minecraft Free with Nintendo Switch Online?

Nintendo Switch Online is Nintendo‘s subscription service for online multiplayer, cloud saves, exclusive offers and access to classic NES/SNES games. It costs $3.99/month or $19.99/year.

Unfortunately, Minecraft is not currently included in Switch Online. The classic games library consists mainly of old first-party Nintendo games. Popular third-party titles like Minecraft are not offered.

So a Switch Online membership does not grant access to a free version of Minecraft. You still need to purchase Minecraft separately even if you have an active subscription.

Will Minecraft Ever Be Free on Switch?

There is no indication Minecraft will become free on Nintendo Switch in the future. It has remained a paid title on all platforms since launching over a decade ago.

However, there are some scenarios where Minecraft could potentially be offered for free on Switch:

  • As part of a limited-time promotion
  • Bundled as a perk with Switch Online
  • Part of the Nintendo Switch library for a subscription service like Game Pass
  • Available as a trial version to promote a major update

Realistically though, Minecraft is unlikely to shift away from being a premium paid game anytime soon. Mojang will continue selling it as its main source of revenue.

For now, the only way to get Minecraft on your Nintendo Switch is buying it from the eShop store. But it offers immense value if you can spare the $29.99. With infinite possibilities, you‘ll enjoy endless hours of gameplay and creation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Nintendo Switch have a free version of Minecraft?

No, there is no free version of Minecraft available on Nintendo Switch. You have to purchase the full game from the eShop for $29.99.

What is the difference between Minecraft and Minecraft on Switch?

Minecraft on Switch is the Bedrock version that allows cross-platform play with Xbox, PlayStation, mobile and Windows 10. It has all the same features as these other Bedrock editions. The only difference is the Switch version includes some exclusive Mario packs and can be played portably.

Can you get Minecraft on Switch for free if you already own it?

Unfortunately, even if you already bought Minecraft on other platforms, you still have to purchase it again for Switch. Minecraft licenses are not cross-platform, so you need to buy each version separately.

Why is Minecraft cheaper on mobile?

Minecraft Bedrock for mobile is $7.99 compared to $29.99 on consoles and PC. This lower pricing is likely aimed at being accessible for the many younger players on phones and tablets. Nintendo avoids heavy discounting on the Switch eShop.

Does Nintendo Switch Online give you any free games?

A Nintendo Switch Online membership grants access to a library of classic NES and SNES games, including Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. However, popular third-party games like Minecraft are not included free with a membership.



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