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Which country has free Minecraft from Play Store in 2023?

Hey friend! If you‘re an avid Minecraft player looking to get the mobile version for free, you‘ve come to the right place. I‘ve done some detailed research into which countries offer Minecraft for free from the Play Store in 2023. After comparing all the options, one country clearly stands out: China.

Let me walk you through everything I learned about free Minecraft downloads globally, so you can access the game at no cost or understand the limited options in your own country. I‘ll also give some tips on how to maximize free playtime even without a direct Minecraft download. Stick with me, and you‘ll become a Minecraft free play expert by the end!

A quick primer on Minecraft mobile

For anyone new to Minecraft, here‘s a quick overview:

  • Minecraft is a 3D sandbox game where players mine and build worlds using cube blocks. The Java Edition on PC became publicly available in 2009, and the Bedrock Edition followed on mobile in 2011.

  • Game modes allow for open Creative Mode building and survival modes with monsters and objectives. Players can also customize gameplay with mods and join servers to play with others.

  • On mobile, Minecraft is available on both the Play Store for Android and App Store for iOS. Major version updates like 1.19 The Wild brought parity between mobile, console, and PC versions.

Now let‘s jump into the juicy details on how to access mobile Minecraft for free!

Free Minecraft direct from the Play Store

Getting the full Minecraft experience direct from the Play Store for $6.99 USD is the norm in most countries. However, there are a few exceptions where you can straight up download real Minecraft for free:

Minecraft is free in China

China is the only country where players can download the official mobile Minecraft game free from the Play Store. Here are the key details on how it works:

  • Minecraft in China is published by NetEase as ‘Minecraft: Pocket Edition‘ through a licensing deal. On Android, the Play Store listing is 100% free with no limits or trials.

  • The iOS App Store version is also free to download and play without restrictions in China.

  • As of August 2022, the Chinese Minecraft mobile edition has over 350 million registered users. That just shows the demand when Minecraft becomes freely accessible.

  • The NetEase published version has some variations from the original Mojang game, like free skins and built-in mini-games and servers. But the core creative and survival sandbox gameplay remains intact.

This ultimately sets China apart as the only country where players can get the full Minecraft experience on mobile totally free and indefinitely through the normal Play Store download. Everywhere else requires payment or trials. If you happen to have a Chinese iOS or Android account, that free download option is open to you!

Amazon Underground closed its free Minecraft program

From mid-2015 until 2019, Android users in any country could download Minecraft for free through the Amazon Underground app.

  • Underground offered sponsored free downloads of premium games like Minecraft, which normally cost money. Amazon covered the developer costs instead.

  • During those 4 years, this represented the only straightforward free way to get Minecraft mobile worldwide besides China.

Unfortunately, Amazon shut down the Underground initiative in 2019, ending its free Minecraft promotion. So this route is closed for now unless Amazon resuscitates the program down the line.

Limited-time Play Store promotions are not permanent

Occasionally, you might luck out with temporary free offers for Minecraft direct from the Play Store, either as direct deals or through subscription perks. But these are one-off events rather than permanent solutions.

For example:

  • The 10 year anniversary of Minecraft in May 2019 unlocked free mobile downloads for about one week before reverting to paid.

  • In September 2022, Google Play Pass members could download Minecraft for free during that month only as part of the subscription catalog.

Unless Mojang or the Play Stores themselves offer another time-limited free promotion, which is never guaranteed, these don‘t represent a constant free Minecraft source.

The takeaway: Outside of China, direct free downloads of Minecraft mobile from the Play Store are extremely limited in 2023. The main official options are now history. Most players around the world need to look to other workarounds to maximize free playtime.

How to get free or discounted Minecraft mobile play

While indefinite direct free downloads are scarce outside China, here are some creative tips to stretch your free Minecraft mobile gameplay:

1. Use the 100 minute Android free trial

On Android, the Play Store offers a free trial with some key advantages:

  • It provides 100 minutes of free access to full Minecraft. Once the time expires, you must purchase to continue.

  • Uninstalling and reinstalling Minecraft resets the 100 minute allowance, extending your free play.

  • You can repeatedly reinstall/uninstall to chain together multiple 100 minute periods. With patience, that‘s hours of free play.

The iOS App Store sadly does not have an equivalent Minecraft trial option. But Android users can exploit this loophole for big free play value.

2. Try "lite" spin-off Minecraft apps

Official free versions like Minecraft Classic and Minecraft Earth provide simplified, limited takes on Minecraft playable on mobile for free. These can also help satisfy your Minecraft cravings:

  • Minecraft Classic – The original 2009 browser-based Minecraft preserved for free mobile play. No survival modes but unlimited creative building.

  • Minecraft Earth – An augmented reality mobile spin-off by Mojang where you build mini 3D creations in real world locations. Shutting down in 2023 but still playable for now.

While not full substitutes, these free official apps capture aspects of the Minecraft experience. Minecraft Classic, especially, offers unlimited creative building servers for mobile.

3. Keep an eye out for Play Store sales and deals

The base price for Minecraft is $6.99 USD on the Play Store. But seasonal sales can cut that price tag significantly:

  • Halloween and Christmas sales often offer 50% off discounts, dropping the price temporarily to $3.50 USD.

  • Wishlisting on the Play Store lets you receive alerts for sales and deals when they pop up.

The complete list of Minecraft sale dates from 2022 where it dropped to $3.50 on Play Store:

Sale PeriodSale Length
March 28 – April 41 week
May 12 – 191 week
June 23 – July 72 weeks
October 20 – 271 week
December 22 – 291 week

Timing a purchase around sales gives up to 50% off, multiplying the value of your dollar.

4. Use Google Opinion Rewards for store credit

The Google Opinion Rewards app gives Play Store credit in exchange for completing quick surveys:

  • Each survey provides $0.10 to $1.00 or more in credit. Surveys may be daily or weekly.

  • Rewards directly accumulate as Play Store balance to spend on apps.

  • Consistently using Opinion Rewards, you can easily earn the $6.99 for Minecraft in 1-2 months.

This lets you "pay" for Minecraft just by actively using the Rewards app without spending actual money. It takes some patience but pays off.

5. Consider using a VPN to buy at regional pricing

VPN tools can shift your Play Store country to buy apps at lower pricing in different regions:

  • For example, switching to Argentina can buy Minecraft at only $1.99 USD equivalent.

  • However, VPN app store purchases often violate terms of service. Use at your own risk!

While clever for big savings, VPN purchasing tricks directly clash with Play Store rules. Tread carefully with this approach to avoid account issues.

Time for you to play Minecraft mobile for free!

And there you have it, my complete guide to scoring Minecraft mobile for free or cheap in 2023! China remains the one place where indefinite direct free downloads are standard. Everywhere else requires getting creative with trails, deals, or other workarounds. But with this advice, you‘re now equipped to maximize your budget and enjoy Minecraft mobile to the fullest.

Now get out there, start mining some blocks, and build some epic pixel art masterpieces and redstone contraptions! This has been your Minecraft free play expert guiding you to mobile sandbox success. Game on!



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