Minecraft is an engaging game in itself. But it can be even more fun when you invite your friends to play along with you. You can easily set up a local multiplayer game or a server and play with your friends.
It can be tricky to start playing multiplayer if you are a beginner and are new to servers. But worry not, as we bring you a simple guide on how to play Minecraft with your friends.
How to Play Minecraft With Friends?
There are multiple ways to play Minecraft in multiplayer mode. Here are some of the official ways for all versions of Minecraft.
Using LAN Multiplayer Mode
Minecraft has an option to turn your singleplayer world to multiplayer with a click of a button. In short, you can turn on the LAN for your world, and your friends in the same network can join in your world.
Starting the LAN World
- Launch the game and start the world you want to play. You can create a new world if you’re going to start a fresh playthrough with your friends.
- While in the game, press Esc and go to Open to LAN.
- You can then toggle the game mode for the multiplayer mode and cheats before starting the LAN world.
- Press Start LAN World in the bottom left, and your world will now be open for other players in the same network.
You can manually activate LAN multiplayer in the Java Edition of the game. However, it is already on by default in the Bedrock Edition. But if it is not, you can follow the steps below to make sure that LAN visibility is active by the following steps.
- Launch the game and create a world or edit an existing world.
- Ensure that the option, Visible to LAN Players is active under the multiplayer section.
- Play or create the same world and start the game.
Joining the LAN World
- Open Minecraft and go to Multiplayer.
- Your game will scan for games on your local network.
- Once it finds the game, you can select it and press Join Server.
- You will be loaded in the game that is open for LAN.
Joining a LAN game in Bedrock Edition is also a different process.
- Hit the Play button in the game.
- Go to the Friends tab and select the LAN game you want to play.
- You will then spawn in the world that is visible to LAN.
If you are the host, the Save File for the world you opened to LAN will be on your PC. You can always play offline in the same world as well. Your friends can join the world where you, as the host, will leave the game.
Setting Up Your Server
Before setting up your server, it is best to know about the command line, general networking, and your PC configuration. If you are unsure about it, it is best to skip this part.
You can download the default server Minecraft provides for the JAVA Edition. The file is a dedicated server file (.jar) that helps you host a server. Then, run the file you downloaded, creating a EULA file that lets you configure your server. Once you configure the server and save the edits, you will need to port forward through your router so that your friends will be able to play on it.
When you complete the process, you can run the server, and your friends can join using the IP you give them. You can also find and follow the detailed wiki article on setting up your server for an in-depth tutorial on how to set up the server.
Additionally, you can only set up the server in Minecraft Java Edition. But people with Minecraft Bedrock Edition can join and play on the servers.
Using Minecraft Realms
Minecraft Realms is an easy-to-use server hosting platform by Minecraft that allows you to host and play on your private servers. However, it is Mojang’s subscription-based service. You can also play a list of mini-games in Minecraft Realms or play in pre-made world maps, adventure maps, and more.
Minecraft Realms are very easy to use as it focuses on letting people with no hosting experience host their own game. But the paid service may not fit everyone’s terms.
Using Hosting Platforms
You can also use the hosting platforms found across the internet to host your Minecraft multiplayer world. You can look for the websites such as Apex hosting or Minehut and use their features to host the world.
The major drawback of using such services is that these hosting platforms run on a subscription basis. Some websites offer free server hosting services but give you very limited functionality.
Joining Online Servers
Some servers are publicly available for everyone to enjoy for free. You can browse for the ones you prefer, get the information you need, and join the server. Furthermore, your friends can join in and meet up at a location in-game and play together.
- Collect the Server address for the server you want. It is best to keep in mind servers may be set up differently, so you may need more information on them as well. Please read the server’s page instructions to know what you need to do.
- Launch the game and go to Multiplayer.
- Press Add Server.
- Fill the server address in the designated space. You can also name the server whatever you want. It will not affect the game.
- Hit Join Server and you will enter the server world if the server is online.
You can easily find out if the server is online or not by looking at the left side of the list. There will be a network icon with blue bars if your PC can get a ping from the server.
Playing Split Screen
Just because you are a console player and cannot join the official servers does not mean you cannot play with friends. Console players have the unique ability to play split-screen with their friends.
- Launch the game and select the world you want to play.
- Turn off the multiplayer mode in the settings.
- Start the world.
- Turn on the second controller and press start on it. Press it again to join as player two.
- Use a different account or hit cancel so that player two can join as a guest.
- You can then play split-screen with three other friends, assuming you even have them.
These are the ways you can play Minecraft with your friends. You can try the options mentioned above and find out which one suits you and your friends best.