A 3D exploration and survival sandbox game, based in large generated worlds made of blocks. This tag is for the Java-based edition of Minecraft for PCs. For other editions of the game, please use the tag specific to that edition, e.g. [minecraft-bedrock-edition]
Minecraft is an exploration and survival-based sandbox game with a twist: every world is procedurally generated and (almost) endless.
In the main game mode – Survival – players have to gather natural resources such as wood and stone in order to craft blocks and items. Monsters can spawn in darkness depending on the difficulty setting, which requires players to defend themselves and/or build a shelter at night.
Over time a lot of different playstyles and communities have formed, each focusing on different elements of the game. Some examples:
- Redstone: Designing circuits and machines to do Survival-assisting or recreational tasks, from a simple piston door over Rube-Goldberg machines to multiple-kilometer-long quarries that autonomously mine out huge areas of the world. Use the minecraft-redstone tag for questions about redstone circuits, in addition to the tag for the game itself.
- Commands: Commands (sometimes also called "cheats", because they are not intended to be used in regular Survival gameplay) allow detecting and acting on almost every aspect of the world, from simply teleporting one player to another, to complex datapacks that heavily modify the game's effective behaviour or even bring entire other games into Minecraft. Use minecraft-commands for questions about commands and minecraft-datapack for questions specifically about datapacks, in addition to the tag for the game itself, but please make sure to provide a "minimal reproducible example" when asking for help about a command that does not work as expected.
- Survival challenges and adventure maps: If someone does not find regular Survival game hard or diverse enough, they can play adventure maps, prepared worlds made by other players, usually with custom objectives and challenges, or apply a (usually simple) change to normal gameplay, like the popular "ultra hardcore mode", in which natural health regeneration is turned off.
- PVP: "Player versus player" describes two or more players or teams competing against each other, usually in direct combat and in a rather fast-paced way, but sometimes also more indirect and strategic, like in Slicedlime's "Entrapment" minigame.
- Decoration and 3D modeling: Minecraft is not only a game, but also a very easy to use 3D modeling tool. Players use this to build e.g. nice-looking houses, artists to create large-scale builds like entire cities or to recreate real-life structures and even architects and designers use it to plan out concepts before realizing them.
- Modding: Minecraft is one of the games with the biggest modding community, despite not officially offering a modding API. Fan-made mod frameworks like Forge, Bukkit or LiteLoader add this functionality and are used by mods that add more technical or magical elements or even entirely new dimensions with their own creatures and resources. Some mods just improve little details, like fixing bugs, or add compatibility with outside resources, like ViveCraft for VR goggles, ReplayMod for cinematic video creation or various 3D printing exporters. Use minecraft-mods for questions about mods, in addition to the tag for the game itself, but please note that questions requesting support for technical issues in modded Minecraft, like crashes, are off-topic.  (Technical support for unmodded or "Vanilla" Minecraft is allowed, please see How do I ask a good Minecraft Bug/Crash Question?)
- Roleplay: Many differently themed roleplay-centered Minecraft servers exist, often imposing specific behaviour rules to help the immersion. Some single groups like Hermitcraft have developed their own huge communities on video and streaming platforms and beyond.
- Teaching: Minecraft is used in some schools to teach skills like 3D thinking, social interaction or even basics of electronic circuits (using the analogy of redstone). There is also a separate game made by Mojang made for specifically this purpose: Minecraft Education edition, here using the tag minecraft-education-edition. There are also many individuals who publish videos or articles that use Minecraft as a tool to illustrate scientific concepts.
- Research and documentation: That is what this website is a part of. Not only do many people share their knowledge about the game and findings about how mechanics work, test things in-game and help others with their questions, many go further and specifically analyse the decompiled source code to find so far unknown behaviours (including bugs), then apply them to the game to use (or abuse) mechanisms to their maximum potential or, in the case of bugs, extensively test and report them and generally participate in the bug tracker.
Note: The following information is relevant only to Minecraft Java Edition. Other editions may have separate release dates, developers and publishers:
- Developer: Mojang
- Publisher: Mojang
- Composers: C418, Lena Raine
- Available on: pc
- Release Milestones:
- 13th May, 2009 (Pre-Classic)
- 17th May, 2009 (Classic)
- 23rd Dec, 2009 (Indev)
- 27th Feb, 2010 (Infdev)
- 30th Jun, 2010 (Alpha v1.0)
- 20th Dec, 2010 (Beta v1.0)
- 18th Nov, 2011 (Full Release v1.0)
Full version/release history can be seen on the Minecraft Wiki
The full version is still in active development for both new features and bug fixes. To follow its development you can read the Mojang team's blog. The game is currently being written mainly by Jens Bergensten, Nathan Adams, Eric Broes, Michael Stoyke, and Agnes Larsson with assistance from the other developers at Mojang.
On November 6, 2014, Microsoft acquired Mojang and the Minecraft IP for 2.5 billion dollars.
Other Games/Versions of Minecraft
Game components and periphery
Mods in general