In short, yes – Minecraft Realms does offer new players a free 30-day trial of Minecraft Realms Plus, which allows up to 10 players. However, there are limitations and conditions, so read on for a full overview of whether free trials exist for Realms.
Minecraft Realms provides a private server subscription that allows players to host their own always-online worlds. Up to 10 friends can join Realms servers and play together even when the host is offline. This delivers a mini-multiplayer experience like a private Minecraft server.
But as you can imagine, high-quality dedicated servers require infrastructure and resources. Running Realms costs money – so does Mojang provide any way to test out Realms before paying? Or are players required to commit to a purchase immediately?
Let‘s fully explore the ins and outs of free trials for Minecraft Realms together.
A generous 30-day trial, but only for new Realms Plus subscribers
The good news is that yes, Minecraft does offer a free Realms trial! This allows new players to experience the magic of always-online private Realms before paying.
Specifically, Minecraft provides a free 30-day trial of Realms Plus to players who have never subscribed to Realms before.
Realms Plus is the premium 10-player subscription plan costing $7.99 per month. So new Realms Plus subscribers can access a Realm for themselves and 9 friends totally free for 1 month.
According to the official Minecraft blog, this generosity aims to "give new friends the chance to try it out."
After the 30 days, Realms Plus auto-renews at the standard $7.99 monthly rate. But the trial gives players adequate time to experience Realms and see if the subscription holds value for them and their crew.
Now, this free trial comes with specific conditions and limitations…
The free trial has eligibility requirements
The 30-day Realms Plus trial is only available to new subscribers who have never previously paid for Realms Plus.
Players who currently have an active or previous Realms Plus subscription cannot claim another free trial. The trial offer is a one-time opportunity.
Mojang‘s rationale here is sensible – they want to provide new players a test run of Realms, not give out endless free trials to continuous subscribers.
The standard Realms plan has no free option
It‘s important to note the free trial only applies to the premium Realms Plus plan, not the base $3.99 per month Realms plan.
Standard Realms supports up to 3 total players rather than 10. This plan does not offer a free trial – users must pay the full $3.99 monthly cost from the outset.
So players wanting to host a smaller Realm for just themselves and a couple friends have no free access option.
The trial has platform limitations
One other key condition of the Realms Plus 30-day trial is that it‘s only available on certain platforms. As listed on the Minecraft Realms FAQ page:
- Mobile (iOS and Android)
- Windows 10 edition
- Xbox One
- VR – Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE
Nintendo Switch and Amazon Fire TV cannot access the free trial. Players on those platforms must pay full price immediately for either Realms plan.
So in summary – the 30-day Realms Plus trial is generous, but limited. Only totally new subscribers playing Minecraft on mobile, Win10, Xbox One, or VR can redeem it.
Now let‘s walk through exactly what players can expect during the trial and after it expires…
What players get with the free Realms Plus trial
During the 30-day trial window, players on supported platforms receive the full Realms Plus experience at no cost.
The Realms Plus subscription provides the following major benefits:
- Hosting rights for a 10-player Realm
- Ability to invite up to 9 friends to join your Realm for free
- Realms Plus content – templates, textures, minigames
- Full access to Minecraft Marketplace
- Cross-platform play between mobile, Xbox, VR, and Win10
So new Realms Plus subscribers can create their dream Realm and explore all it has to offer with a crew of 9 buddies, without paying a dime for 30 days.
That‘s a pretty sweet deal and great way for new players to fully test the Realms Plus benefits before subscribing long-term.
What happens when the free trial ends
Of course, all good things must come to an end – including the 30-day free Realms Plus trial.
When the trial period expires, two things happen:
The Realms Plus subscription auto-renews and begins charging $7.99 per month
Access to the Realm is removed if players cancel before renewal
By default, the Realms Plus subscription will automatically renew after 30 days. Once the trial ends, Mojang will begin charging players‘ payment method on file $7.99 each month to continue access.
So if players took no action, they would seamlessly transition into a paying subscriber at the end of the free trial. Convenient for those wanting to keep their Realm!
Realm access removed if canceled
However, players can also cancel Realms Plus before the 30-day trial ends if they decide they don‘t want to pay.
Canceling is easy – users can do it from within their Microsoft account management page.
But beware – once a player cancels the trial subscription, access to their Realm is revoked at the end of the 30 days.
All progress on their Realm will be lost unless they back up the Realm‘s "world" file before the trial expires.
So in summary:
- If players take no action, they begin paying automatically after 30 days
- If players cancel before 30 days, they lose Realm access but avoid being charged
This puts control in the hands of the user. The ball is in their court whether to continue or cancel.
Players keep access for 18 months after paid subscription lapses
Now, let‘s discuss what happens if players try Realms Plus, love it, pay for a while, but eventually let their subscription lapse.
In this case, Mojang does not immediately delete lapsed Realms. Players retain Realm access for 18 months after their paid subscription ends.
This gives players a generous window to renew their subscription and regain access if they change their mind. As long as they resubscribe within 18 months, their Realm is saved.
But after that 18-month period of inactivity, canceled Realms are permanently erased. So players cannot take 5 year breaks then expect their old Realm to still exist.
Here are the key points about canceled paid Realms:
- Players keep Realm access for 18 months post-cancellation
- Realms are permanently deleted after 18 inactive months
- Players can download Realm backups anytime before deletion
So in summary – new players get 30 days free, paying players get 18 months to resubscribe. Both trial subscribers and lapsed paying subscribers are treated with grace.
Big differences between standard Realms and souped-up Realms Plus
Now that we‘ve covered the free trial situation, let‘s overview the key differences between the two main Realms plans:
Realms Plus ($7.99/month)
- 10 total players
- Full access to Minecraft Marketplace
- Change Realm templates anytime
- Cross-platform multiplayer
- 30-day free trial for new users
Standard Realms ($3.99/month)
- Owner + 2 extra players
- No Minecraft Marketplace access
- Stuck with one Realm template
- Cross-platform multiplayer
- No free trial
So in recap – Realms Plus supports bigger groups (10 players vs 3) and awesome Minecraft Marketplace content, while standard Realms is a basic private server for you and a couple friends. Plus Realms Plus has that 30-day new subscriber free trial, which standard Realms lacks.
Choose based on your needs! If you play Minecraft with a bigger crew, spring for souped-up Realms Plus.
Troubleshooting tips for joining Realms
Before we wrap up, let‘s go over some troubleshooting tips in case you or your friends have difficulty accessing Realms:
Check platform and edition – Realms only works on mobile, Windows 10 edition, Xbox One, and VR. Make sure your platform is supported.
Double-check invite code – Typos can easily happen when entering a Realm access code. Triple check the code entered matches the invite.
Try rebooting network devices – Reset router and modem in case connectivity issues are blocking access.
Verify software settings – Antivirus, firewall, VPNs, etc can sometimes interfere with Realms. Adjust settings or whitelist.
Contact Minecraft support – If all else fails, Mojang‘s support team can help resolve persistent Realms problems.
With a few simple connection checks, you should be able to troubleshoot any Realm access issues that arise.
In closing…yes there is a free Realms trial!
Let‘s recap the key points one last time:
Yes there is a free 30-day Realms Plus trial for new subscribers on supported platforms! This enables first-time Realms users to try it out before paying.
Standard Realms has no free option, but provides basic 3-player access for just $3.99 monthly. Souped-up Realms Plus runs $7.99 per month for up to 10 players and tons of cool content.
So now you‘ve got the complete low-down on whether free trials exist for Minecraft Realms! Hopefully this guide gave you a comprehensive overview of exactly how the Realms free trial works and what to expect.
Now grab your crew and go enjoy some free Realm adventures together for 30 days! Just be sure to back up your world before the trial ends if you don‘t plan on subscribing long-term.
Let your Realm dreams come true with your best pals on Minecraft. Game on!