Posted by: kurtsh | April 26, 2020

INFO: Deciphering Minecraft Multiplayer Environments: “Realms”, “Realms Plus” & “Education Edition”

For folks deciphering their children’s recent endeavors into the world of “Minecraft” (possibly a result of “remote learning” efforts), I thought I’d go into clarifying some of this:

Here is the workflow you should go through for understanding how your kids can play together in Minecraft.

  1. imageDoes your child have an Office 365 account at school?
    Are they using Office 365, i.e. OneDrive or PowerPoint or Teams or Outlook, etc?  If so, they should have a login ID that’s ususally something like “”.
        1. If so, they have access to “Minecraft: Education Edition”.  This is a version of Minecraft that costs nothing to you or your child as your school already has purchased the rights to it. 
        2. Simply visit:

          Be prepared to have your child type in their school username/password.
        3. Follow the instructions for verifying your account, downloading the software for Windows, Mac, iPad and everything else should be simple.
        4. A collaborative shared world can be played online in amongst classmates that is secure to only people in the school/class.
  2. imageWill your child be playing on:
    Mac and/or Windows
    Will your child want to play with others on these same platforms?
          1. Download & purchase “Minecraft: Java Edition”.  This is the version that works cross platform with all operating systems & devices – except Xbox.  It also requires creating a new user account & password to login to.
          2. Go to and download the Java release of Minecraft.
          3. Online play will require a subscription to:
            Minecraft Realms for Java:
            ($7.99/mo, 10 players) 
  3. imageWill your child be playing on:
    Xbox, Windows 10, iOS, Android, Switch, Fire
    Will your child want to play based on their Xbox Live Account?
          1. Download & purchase “Minecraft for Windows 10, Xbox or Mobile”.  These are the releases that works with existing Xbox Live Accounts.
                1. WINDOWS 10: Visit the following site on your Windows 10 system to download the Xbox Live aware version of Minecraft.
                2. XBOX: Visit the following site on your PC or from your Xbox
                3. MOBILE: Download one of the following:
          2. imageOnline multiplayer gaming will require a subscription to:
            Minecraft Realms PLUS: ($7.99/mo, 10 players)

The "Minecraft for Mobile, Xbox, Win10" is called "Minecraft Realms Plus" and they need to have Xbox Live accounts.  If they want to use Xbox or mobile or Win10, players need to friend the Realms Plus subscription owner on Xbox Live and the owner can add them to the Minecraft Realms Plus membership.

More more details behind this, check out this help article from


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