I want to run the minecraft client and server on a local network.

To avoid what appears to be a pile of "free" scam sites, I want to purchase and download it from the official site.

However, on the official site it appears that you can't do that. It seems like you are buying access to minecraft.net. I don't want to play on public servers. I just want to download the .jars and run them locally.

Does the software validate against public servers even though you are playing locally and potentially offline?

Do you need a subscription to minecraft.net, or is there somewhere else to download the game .jars?

  • I'm really not sure what you're trying to ask. Could you try to explain it more clearly?
    – Wipqozn
    Feb 9, 2013 at 0:54
  • 9
    Are you asking if you need to buy Minecraft to play the game? Yes, yes you do. We don't condone piracy on this site. Feb 9, 2013 at 1:06
  • 2
    I don't need to pirate it--though apparently Notch says it's ok ( twitter.com/notch/status/157261795139125248 )--I just don't want to pay for a subscription if I am not going to play online.
    – jedatu
    Feb 9, 2013 at 1:55
  • I updated the question to hopefully be more clear. Thanks for the assistance.
    – jedatu
    Feb 9, 2013 at 3:07
  • It's not a subscription model, you only have to buy it as a one-off payment.
    – shanodin
    Jun 29, 2013 at 2:56

2 Answers 2


I don't think you quite understand Minecraft's business model.

Minecraft checks in with Minecraft.net as a rudimentary form of DRM - if you can't log in, you don't have an account with the site; if you haven't bought an account with the site, you haven't bought the game. It's a little bit like Starcraft 2 in that respect - you must log in to your online account in order to play the game, even in single player.

It's been that way since the first for-pay version of Minecraft, before multiplayer was even a feature. It's literally just a quick "do you actually own the game" check, nothing more.

It's also not a subscription. You pay for the game once, and then the account with which you purchased the game can download it from the website. There is no recurring fee.

TL;DR: You do just purchase and download the .jar files.

  • OK, so you can play offline after the client authenticates against the minecraft servers and I have to have a separate account for each of my kids?
    – jedatu
    Feb 9, 2013 at 1:36
  • @jedatu If they all want to play at the same time, yes. I bought a Minecraft account for my 5yo for his last birthday so that we could play together. Feb 9, 2013 at 1:53
  • @SevenSidedDie thanks for the insights. Since kids can't create accounts do you need separate email addresses to set them up or can you nest them under your primary account?
    – jedatu
    Feb 9, 2013 at 3:12
  • @jedatu I'm not sure, since I already had an email address set up for him, but you probably need separate email addresses since Mojang doesn't nest accounts as far as I know. (If you want a definitive answer, consider submitting a new question.) Feb 9, 2013 at 3:34

There is no way, as far as I know. You need to buy the game in order to play offline by closing internet access

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