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Which are the differences between Minecraft Beta single player and multiplayer version?

I mean, is there some kind of PvP or is more oriented to collaborative team play? Are the rules different?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The main difference is that other people can log into the same persisted world and build their own stuff. This results in a few different changes to overall gameplay:

  • Multiplayer has increased potential for griefing (people destroying what you build), although their are add-ons people can place on servers to prevent changes. This is the closest thing there is to "PvP" at this time on a lot of servers; there's a "battle the other players" mechanic inherent in the game, but it's turned off on many multi-player servers
  • Larger projects are possible since you can work on them collaboratively.
  • You have a greater need for things like signs that give directions.

In addition, with multiplayer, you are beholden to whatever the server admin desires in terms of features and add-ons they want to implement.

Technically-speaking, those are the only intended differences. In reality, there are some bugs with features that result in them working in one version but not the other. Trying to maintain a list of those changes isn't feasible, however, since the developers are actively working to resolve these issues.

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I'm not sure why you overlooked directly attacking the other players as PvP. – StrixVaria Feb 5 '11 at 13:26
Clarified to mentioned that it's turned off in a lot of cases, but it exists. – Shaun Feb 5 '11 at 15:43

As far as I know, currently the only large difference (except mods) is that other people can be on the server with you and that portals to the Nether don't work.

And bugs of course, missing chunk problem being the biggest of them (nothing a simple rejoin can't fix) but those are going to be fixed eventually.

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There are also subtle changes, such as larger ore spawns in SMP.

There is PvP, as it can be turned on. All the servers I frequent have it off though.

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