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If you’re a parent of a young gamer, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Minecraft. It’s one of the most popular games in the world, and kids love it for its open-ended gameplay and creative possibilities. A lot of people assume that Minecraft is free because it is available on mobile devices and is incredibly popular. 

Is Minecraft Free?

We want to be extra clear on this: There is no way to play the full version of Minecraft for free. Any website that tells you otherwise is doing so with ill intent. Beware of those websites and steer clear. 

Was Minecraft Ever Free?

Minecraft has been around a long time and some people (and outdated websites) will reference a free version that was available. This was when Minecraft was still in a beta state so it was full of bugs, didn’t have a lot of its current features and was still being “finished.” That free version is no longer available and isn’t supported anymore.

Are There Any Versions of Minecraft that ARE free?

There are a few limited ways to have Minecraft experiences at no cost, but none of them are really comparable to the full version of the game. 

Minecraft Classic

Minecraft Classic Screenshot

There is a version of Minecraft that is available on your browser called Minecraft Classic. The problem with this version is that it is a version of Minecraft from before the game was released. It’s a beta version of Minecraft with only 32 blocks, only the creative mode, and very old graphics. It doesn’t really make a good substitute for modern-day Minecraft. It’s more of a novelty/nostalgia tool for veteran players.

Is there a Minecraft Demo?

Minecraft: Java Edition has a demo available on the Minecraft website for those who want to try it before they buy! It’s limited in two ways – it isn’t multiplayer and you can only spend so much time playing it. However, if this sounds like your thing then head over straightaway because downloads are available! There are demos for the Java edition, and the Bedrock version for Windows 10, Android, and PlayStation 4. 

1. Navigate to the Free Trial page on the Minecraft site. (https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/free-trial)

2. Scroll down to select the version you are looking to demo.

3. If you are looking for the Windows, Android, or PlayStation demo, then click the appropriate black square with the corresponding logo.

4. If you are looking for the Java edition demo, then scroll down the page until you see the Java edition section of the page. Select the correct demo based on your computer’s operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux) and click the green “Download Now” button.

What about the Minecraft Education Edition?

Minecraft Education Edition is a powerful tool for teaching young children programming, architecture, chemistry, and engineering. The Educational version is available on both mobile and ChromeOS, but you cannot play Minecraft without signing in with a Minecraft Education account from school or somewhere else.

The main benefit of Minecraft Education Edition is that it is set up for teachers and students to use collaboratively in the classroom. It is automatically set up for a server of 30 people to play together in a learning environment without any external server set up. 

There are also a handful of blocks and entities for teachers to use to make it a better learning environment. Two examples are:

  • A chalkboard with text boxes to help give instructions and learning goals
  • NPC’s to help guide students through collaborative work. 

Another interesting feature of the education edition is the chemistry tools. There is a wide selection of tools and items to help teach chemistry, from learning about the formation of atoms, to what happens when certain elements combine.

The Education Edition also has a group of adventure maps, similar to those featured on the Minecraft Bedrock editions marketplace, focused on education and teaching. It also features a coding course, where students can write code and implement it into the game, this is very useful for tech education teachers teaching younger students.

Where can you get a Minecraft Educational Account?

This tool is mainly used in schools, but parents who are homeschooling their children may also find this tool useful, as gaming is a great way to get children engaged and active in learning. Purchasing the education edition for your homeschool is a little complicated though, as it requires jumping through some hoops.

Step one, is to sign up for a Microsoft 365 admin center account, this is how schools manage emails for students, as a homeschooler you may already have one because other programs use them, so you can use the one you already set up if you do.

After you have the admin center account, you have to register your child in the account, this shouldnt be to hard, pick an email and user name for them, this is how your child will log in to Minecraft Education Edition. 

Then you have to purchase a license for the Education Edition, this will happen through the Minecraft Education Edition website, a license will cost $12 per year.

After you purchase the license you will assign it to your child in the 365 Admin Center. After youve done that, youll be set to use Education Edition, its available on chromeOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Ipad/IPhone

How Much Does Minecraft Cost?

Of course, Minecraft isn’t free, it’s one of the best-selling games of all time. But, Microsoft does a great job of making it accessible to everyone. The game is fairly inexpensive on all platforms, ranging from $5-$10 on mobile devices, and around $25 dollars on consoles and PC.

Is Minecraft on Xbox Game Pass

Minecraft is available on Xbox Game Pass for those with an Xbox or a Windows computer.

  • Xbox – Bedrock Edition
  • Windows Computer – Bedrock Edition AND Java Edition

So, there you have it. Minecraft is not free, but there are ways to get limited access to some of the features in the game. We hope you found this post helpful and that you’ll join our Facebook group for more answers to gaming questions. Thanks for reading!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Minecraft mods on PC number into the thousands, especially if you’re playing the Minecraft Java Edition. The vast majority of the mods available to download from places like CurseForge – a modification repository that’s used for a number of popular games, including Minecraft, World of Warcraft, and Kerbal Space Program – are, for the most part, fairly innocent.

Mods that are available through Minecraft Bedrock Edition, which is probably the version of Minecraft that your kids are playing on console, mobile, and PC, are vetted by the Mojang team at Microsoft to ensure that they are both high quality and family-friendly.

Not all mods are made equal, mind you, and CurseForge ensures that all of those mods are available to download… for good and ill. One of these not-so-great mods is the Jenny mod that’s available through CurseForge on PC and via APK (Android Application Package) for Android OS devices. In theory, you can also purchase a version of this mod through in-game currency.

The Minecraft Jenny mod is a NSFW (not safe for work) unofficial Minecraft mod that introduces an in-game “girlfriend” for Minecraft players that simulates adult interactions. Yes, those kinds of adult interactions. It’s becoming an increasingly popular mod that runs in “Creative” mode. Now, Jenny can be your “bestie,” but that’s not why parents need to be paying closer attention to children downloading this particular mod, of course.

Minecraft Bedrock Edition doesn’t allow unofficial mod installation, so the best way to ensure that kids aren’t going to download and install Jenny is to make sure that Bedrock Edition is the version of Minecraft that they’re using. Java Edition has some excellent mods, including the Redstone mods on CurseForge, but it does require extra intervention. There are no parental controls available on CurseForge, so use discretion.

Jenny might be available for bestie status, but she certainly wasn’t coded just for those purposes. Be cautious.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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When Will Minecraft Dungeons Be released?

Minecraft Dungeons is going to be released on May 26, 2020.

It will have a simultaneous launch on Xbox One, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4.

How much will it cost?

Minecraft Dungeons – Standard Edition will be available for $19.99 USD. 

Minecraft Dungeons – Hero Edition will also be available for $29.99 USD. This is a deluxe bundle that will come with a number of cosmetic items that include a Hero Cape, two player skins, and a chicken pet (The chicken pet is probably worth the price increase on its own). The hero edition will also include two DLC packs at no additional charge once they are released. WILL MINECRAFT DUNGEONS BE INCLUDED IN XBOX GAME PASS? 

Minecraft Dungeons – Standard Edition will also be available as part of your families Xbox Game Pass membership. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will have access on both console and Windows PC.

Xbox Game Pass members will also receive a 10% on related Minecraft Dungeons DLC.

So… What is it?

First off: No it isn’t a Minecraft expansion. This is an entirely separate game set in the Minecraft universe that features a different camera perspective and a different combat style.

Minecraft Dungeons is an action-adventure game set in the Minecraft universe inspired by classic dungeon crawlers like Gauntlet and Diablo. Players will battle new-and-nasty mobs across varied levels in either single player or up to four-player co-op in a quest to defeat the evil Arch-Illager.

What about Multiplayer?

Minecraft Dungeons will feature online and local multiplayer for up to four players. The number of players will help influence the difficulty, the loot, and the enemy count to make sure every will be having a fun and rewarding gameplay experience. 

Will it have Crossplay?

You´ll be able to play online multiplayer with players on the same platform at launch. They’ll be adding cross platform multiplayer at a later date with a free update.

How do you play it?

Minecraft Dungeons features a real time battle system that is very reminiscent of games like Gauntlet and Diablo. Gameplay is designed around encouraging players to experiment with different fighting styles, weapons, and enchantments.

There are no character classes in Minecraft Dungeons. Instead, you build your character around the powerful items, artifacts, and weapons that you equip.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!


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Microsoft is giving away free Minecraft Education content to help with distance learning for kids that are out of school thanks to Covid-19.

Microsoft, the company that owns Minecraft, announced that they have added a new category to the Minecraft Marketplace that includes content meant to help supplement learning on a variety of subjects. The content includes things like a model of the human eye and a very detailed map of Washington DC.

Educators around the world are doing everything they can to provide digital lessons for the half a billion students who are out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not an easy task and we want to do our part to help keep young minds sharp and stimulated. 

Microsoft

All of this new content is free to download from the Microsoft Marketplace until June 30, 2020.

What do you think? Are you and your kids going to take advantage? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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This week Stephen and Amanda come together to chat about the E3 2019 Schedule and to Celebrate Minecraft’s 10th birthday!!

This podcast was produced in partnership with SuperParent.com

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Minecraft was first released in 2011 and since then has become one of the best selling video games of all time. Its aesthetic is instantly recognizable and the blocky voxels allow for some easy crafting adaptations for a wide range of skills. There are many blogs and Pinterest pages with crafts, many of which are too complicated for children. This collection of crafts use common materials with simple steps that children with a range of skills can complete.

 

Mosaic Magnets

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224910729/

 

Using just a simple print out and an adhesive magnetic sheet and a pair of scissors you can create a wide range of Minecraft creations (especially using the 8 bit designs listed below).

Steve and Creeper Heads

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/Ab38Xdz2aGo0CErUkDDrgjhq9Pr8mlg_2hkfaLQmscHyUky6C9AA8Ts/

These cross over into costume/dress-up too. The link provides directions for making Steve and Creeper heads out of cardboard boxes. The labor intensive part for the adult is going to be making the grid lines.

8 Bit/Perler Bead Patterns

 

These patterns are perfect to use with perler beads. Younger crafters can follow these designs and create their favorite characters.  These designs are not limited to beads, and can be used for a range of crafts for more experienced crafters.  Some additional crafts include: Friendship bracelets, quilt squares, knitting or crocheting.

 

Steve

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224910706/

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224910703/

 

Torch

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842717/

 

Skeleton

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842707/

 

Zombie

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842701/

 

Diamond

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842711/

 

Stone Weapons

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AVDdgSN-t31aqkdLJLq9KT7gcR5QiS9XlkyCeNWjqjEfmbTZc8SGdas/

 

Diamond Sword

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842673/

Diamond Ax

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224913238/

 

Ender Dragon

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842670/

 

Assorted characters

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842588/

Armor and swords

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842721/

Friendship Bracelet

This design is longer and thin which is intended as a friendship bracelet, but could easily be used for other crafts.

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224921401/

 

Characters on canvas

For kids that like to paint and (mostly) can stay in the lines, this is a great painting activity. For younger kids an adult would need to paint the grid and indicate the color to use.  For older kids, they may still need assistance creating the grid. These could also become bedroom decorations for a Minecraft fan.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224910694/

 

DIY Shrinky Dinks

Shrinky Dinks are a classic craft that you can create using any theme.  By tracing Minecraft pictures you can make you can have Minecraft Shrinky Dinks!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224910674/

 

Creeper Magnets

This craft uses glass gems (found in most craft sections of stores) creeper face printouts and adhesive magnets. The blog link also has directions for Minecraft Sticker Block art and Construction Paper Pixel Art

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842732/

 

Creeper Made with Toilet Paper Rolls and a Small Box

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842594/

 

Creeper Construction Paper Art

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/Af2lUetIco90NrlvcvhDTE4e_1iTADgZiz1gwRXTGPnaywSO4Bat4wY/

 

Torch

This blog details a Minecraft Themed birthday party.  The paper torch was one activity for the kids to enjoy.  Directions for the torch are about near the bottom of the page.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842613/

 

Tin Can Containers

Creating a pencil tin using paper and an old tin can is a classic craft.  This simple activity takes a Minecraft print out and attaches it to a tin can to decorate.  For the younger crafter this is nice and simple. For a more skilled older child, they could use grip paper to design their own image.

http://www.redtedart.com/minecraft-desk-tidy-diy-printables/

 

No Sew Pillows

This blog details how to make Minecraft pillows without sewing at all!  The pillows are held together with fusible bonding, which you iron to bond it, or fabric glue.  The Minecraft characters are painted or glued on with felt.  This is a more involved craft, but being no sew it is safer for crafters of all ages.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/432275264224842640/

 

Minecraft is wildly popular and in the game Creative Mode allows the players to use their imaginations.  The crafts listed above allow them to tap into their interest of Minecraft and be creative in the real world. There are crafts that have a wide range of skills, depending on the child and the level of support desired by the adult.  Crafts are a fun ways to connect the love of creation in Minecraft to making real objects.

 

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Microsoft announced the Better Together update at E3 2017. This update is intended to allow players multiple platforms to play together. In essence, it is intended to unite all of the platforms where Minecraft is available into a single game. This means cross-platform support that allows console, windows 10 PC, and mobile Minecrafters to play together!

The update is coming soon, but first Microsoft will be running a beta for Windows 10 PC and Mobile players. The beta started on July 31 and will be followed shortly by a similar beta including the Xbox One.

The update itself will come later this summer and will include the biggest collection of new features to ever come to bedrock platforms (mobile and Windows 10 PC). The list of new features will include:

  • Stained Glass
  • Fireworks
  • Parrots that dance
  • Customizable banners
  • Armor stands
  • Jukebox and music discs
  • Recipe books
  • Ravines

The update also includes new multiplayer features, like the ability for hosts to set player permissions and host options, and other tools. Lastly, the update includes the ability for players to share their custom creations in 3D by uploading the 3D models directly to Remix3d.com.

This is a pretty big deal for Minecraft. We’ll be keeping you all updated as we get closer to the update going live.

 

 

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Release Date: Graphics Pack Fall 2017, Better Together Update Summer 2017

Developer: Mojang

Platform:  Xbox, Xbox X, Switch, Mobile (iOs and Android), Windows 10, and VR
Minecraft had two big announcements in their video revealed for E3.  First, they are putting out a “Better Together” update.  This was revealed in the first portion of their trailer which opens with one of the Minecraft landscapes with the words “Coming this Summer” in pixelated letters.  The camera zooms forward and the next landscape has the words “Community Marketplace”.  What Minecraft is revealing with this trailer is that this summer Minecraft will be available for Crossplay as the game is being unified.  Now gamers can play across several consoles and platforms.  These include;  Xbox, Xbox X, Switch, Mobile (iOs and Android), Windows 10, and VR. Unfortunately, it appears the PlayStation 4 is not a console that will be included in the crossplay program.

The second announcement is revealed in the trailer as the camera zooms into a tunnel and the screen goes dark.  A moment later the camera emerges in the Minecraft world, with a vastly different look.  Coming this fall there will be DLC called the Minecraft Super Duper Graphics Pack which will be available on Xbox One, and Windows 10.  This DLC brings Minecraft into 4k, and while the pixelated aesthetic of Minecraft remain, the visual elements of the game are significantly upgraded.  The way they are incorporating the quintessential Minecraft look while integrating 4K is accomplished with lighting and shadowing.  The sky alone in the first look at the Super Duper Graphics Pack demonstrates the change.  Sunlight is streaming through a light fog over the ground while clouds above maintain their pixelated shape.  The trees below still look pixelated, but they are much smaller squares and have a more refined look.  As the camera and the characters move there is a significant amount of shadowing that go along also giving the game a vastly different and richer look.  With the level of detail, to get the most out of the Minecraft Super Duper Graphics Pack, you would need to have an Xbox One or a higher quality computer that is equipped for this level of graphics.  For those gamers who are ready to change up the Minecraft aesthetic, and have the 4K level computer or Xbox One, this is the perfect DLC.

 

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A Minecraft update was released recently and added several new features to the game. The update adds a few new gameplay elements which encourage players to expand their horizons and travel to different places. These changes have seen 1.11 dubbed the Exploration Update, and it’s one of the biggest additions we’ve seen in recent times.

The additions include a few mobs, new items and a cool new location which contains treasure and various other interesting goodies. This is alongside the usual bug fixes and tweaks we’ve come to expect from the regular updates.

New Items

Arguably the most interesting new item is the Treasure Map, which can be acquired from the Cartographer Villager (also a recent addition). It can be used to help find important locations which are likely to contain loot, such as monuments, dungeons and Woodland Mansions.

There are now more item storage options available for players, with the shells dropped by Shulkers able to be turned into inventory boxes. The advantage is that these Shulker Boxes will keep their inventory even if they are broken.

The last major item addition is the Observer Block, which will output and update a redstone signal. There have already been some interesting creative uses for this item, including things like automated self-harvesting farms, elevators and flying machines.

New Mobs

There are a handful of new mobs in the 1.11 update to help make it a little easier for you to explore. Firstly, the aforementioned Cartographer Villager will sell you his treasure maps in exchange for some emeralds. Given the treasure available at some of the locations, this is more than a fair trade.

Another friendly mob which has been added is the llama, which can be used as transportation and as item storage. While they can’t be controlled when riding them, putting them on a leash will mean other nearby llamas will follow you and form a caravan. With each having a 6 slot inventory it can be a really useful way of transporting items over distance.

Finally, there are a few new hostile mobs added to the game. Illagers are a new enemy which can be found in the Woodland Mansions, and these outcasts will attack the other villagers as well as the player. There are two kinds of illagers in the mansion – Evokers and Vindicators. Evokers have different abilities to Vindicators and can summon Vex, a flying mob which will attack the player during a summon attack. They are surprisingly tough to defeat, so make sure you prepare before you take them on!

New Locations

The new Woodland Mansions are a really interesting addition to the game, and can be found in the Dark Oak Forest biomes. It’s unlikely to be something the player will stumble across accidentally, as it’s typically quite a distance from the spawn point and they’re fairly rare in the game. The most likely way of finding them is to purchase the Treasure Map from the Cartographer Villager and hope there’s one in your world. If there is, it’s well worth visiting as they contain lots of useful items and pre-built rooms (more than 70 types) which makes it an excellent base if you can clear out the hostile mobs.

While it won’t fundamentally change the way play the game, it’s yet another update where enough improvements have been made to keep things interesting for long-time players. Microsoft has stepped up its game over the last year or so and there have been several innovative updates for gamers to enjoy.

While it will be a challenge for them to keep up with the various mods and plugins which have helped make the game so popular, it’s good to see the basic gameplay being updated after all this time. It will be interesting to see where they take the game over the next couple of years, and if they can tempt those who left to come back to the vanilla version of the game.

Playing version 1.11 is as simple as opening your existing launching and changing your profile to the 1.11 version.

Stuart works with Apex Minecraft Hosting, who offer reliable Minecraft servers to players around the world.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Pixelkin.org. Be sure to check them out when you get a chance!

Mojang and Microsoft made some significant Minecraft announcements during their E3 2016 Press Briefing. Minecraft has already sold over 100 million copies, but neither company is ready to rest on their laurels. Massive updates are coming to all versions of the game to increase the number of ways people can play together, and number of people they can play with.

They opened the Minecraft segment with a demo that showcased  cross-device play between iOS, Android, Samsung Gear VR, and Windows 10 devices. This is being made possible through what they are calling the “Friendly Update” for the Minecraft Windows 10 Edition and the Minecraft: Pocket Edition.

They also announced that they would be launching the Minecraft Realms services that will allow Windows PC and Mobile players to create and host their own multiplayer worlds that they can play in with their friends 24/7 even if they are offline. A one month demo of Minecraft Realms is available to people with Xbox Live accounts starting today.

They also announced that they will be bringing more add-ons and texture packs to allow players to more fully customize their worlds. Even more announcements and surprises are in store for us at Minecon in September.

Keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for more information as it is released!

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