Can I play Minecraft on Windows and Mac Together? [Crossplay Explained]

Minecraft is a sandbox game where you can craft literally anything. Add your friends to the mix, and you get a perfect recipe for a great game to have fun. But what if your friend is on Mac and you are on Windows?

Yes, Minecraft players on Mac and Windows can play together as long as both are running on the Java version. Also, ensure that the version you choose is the same on both players. But if one player is running the Bedrock edition and the other is on Java, then they cannot play together.

Now, let’s explore Minecraft crossplay in detail and see how you and your friends on Windows can join Minecraft right in this article.

How Crossplay Works in Minecraft? 

To crossplay Minecraft, you have to ensure that you are running the same version of the game. The Java and Bedrock edition both support crossplay with different platforms as long as you and your friends are running the same version of Minecraft.

Let’s look at a scenario to understand this. Suppose your friend is on Mac running Minecraft Java. But you are on PS4 running the Bedrock version. As the game versions are different, so is the server that connects the players you cannot join your friend’s world. 

The Java edition is the classic Minecraft version that has been going strong since its launch in 2009. It has numerous mods, graphical updates, and goodies made by the community over the years. So, if you are on Java, you will be able to play together with users from Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.

Minecraft Bedrock, on the other hand, is available for Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4 /PS5, Nintendo Switch, Android/iOS/Fire OS. So, if you are on any of these platforms, you can join your friends’ servers and play with them.

As you can see, if you ensure that Minecraft’s version is the same, then playing it together becomes very easy and effortless.

Can Mac and PS4 Play Minecraft Together?

No, Mac and PS4 users cannot play Minecraft together. Because Minecraft for Macs is based on the Java Edition, whereas Minecraft on PS4 is running the Bedrock version. These two versions do not support crossplay between them.

That’s why if you are on a Mac, you cannot play Minecraft together with your Xbox friends. All consoles and mobile versions of Minecraft are based on Bedrock Edition.

So, if you have the Bedrock edition, you can join players from consoles and mobiles. This is technically the largest crossplay support for a game after Fortnite and Call of Duty.

How to Play Minecraft with Someone on a Mac?

To play Minecraft with your friends on Mac, both must be running the Java Edition. Next, make sure Minecraft’s version is the same on both devices before you launch the game. Then send the Minecraft server address to your friend playing on Mac.

You can host a local server on your PC or you can join the free servers that are available online. There is also the option to purchase a Minecraft Realms subscription to create a custom server only for your friends. 

The step below shows how someone on a Mac can join your Minecraft server. This is basically the same if you are on a Windows computer, too.

Step 1: Connect Minecraft to the Server

  • Open Minecraft on Mac.
  • Click on Multiplayer.
Click on Multiplayer
  • Choose Add Server. Here, you will also see a Direct connection. Use this if you are on a public server, and this changes every time you play with your friends.
Choose Add Server.
  • Give a server name. Name this something that you can remember.
Give a server name
  • Enter the server address that you got from your friend in the next field.
  • Click on Done and go back to the previous Multiplayer screen.

Now the added server will show up in Minecraft’s Multiplayer screen. Next we will go and connect to the server.

Step 2: Join the Server

  • Scroll down to find the server you just added recently.
  • Click on the server and press the Join Server button.
Click on the server and press the Join Server button

You will see Minecraft start loading. If your internet connection is not slow, you will be able to join your friend’s world instantly.

How Do I Create a Minecraft Server on Mac or Windows?

There are three different ways to get access to a Minecraft server. Either you can join a free server hosted by Mojang. This is present for both Minecraft and Java versions.

The second option is to get a Minecraft Realms subscription. This is similar to many third-party services that host a server for you. As long as you pay for the monthly subscription, your friends can join the server and play together.

The last option is to host a dedicated server on your computer. This is completely free, and it works as long as the PC is powered on.

But you must ensure the PC hosting the Minecraft server can handle the loads when many players join your world. That way, you can run the game and host the server at the same time. Here are the recommended system specifications to host a Minecraft server:

ProcessorA quad-core CPU or higher
Memory16 GB
StorageSSD

Let’s now look at how to manually configure your Minecraft server on Mac and Windows.

Step 1: Download Java and Minecraft Server Files

For Mac:

  • Click the macOS tab. Select x64 for Intel Macs and ARM x64 for Macs running M1 or M2 processor.
Download Java JDK 20 from Oracle’s website on mac

For Windows:

Click the Windows tab and download the x64 installer.

Download Java JDK 20 from Oracle’s website foe windows
  • Click the downloaded package file and complete the installation.
  • Download the Minecraft Server file for the Java Edition.
  • Create a separate folder and place the Minecraft server file there.
Create a separate folder and place the Minecraft server file there

Step 2: Set up the Minecraft Server

On Mac:

  • Open Finder and navigate to the Minecraft server folder.
  • Right-click on the folder and select New Terminal.   
Right-click on the folder and select New Terminal
  • Type in the commands and press Enter: java -jar server.jar
Type commands terminal and press Enter
  • Wait for the process to complete and close the Terminal.
  • Double-click on the eula.txt file.
  • Change false to true, save the file, and close it.
Change false to true, save the file, and close it
  • Open a new file on Text Edit.
  • Write these in the exact order: #!/bin/bash cd “$(dirname “$0″)” exec java -Xmx2G -Xms2G -jar server.jar nogui
Open a new file on Text Edit and write coad
  • Click on Format > Make Plain Text from the Apple Menu.
Make Plain Text from the Apple Menu.
  • Save this file, giving it a name of start.command.
  • Open Terminal again.
  • Type in chmod a + x and drag the file we created in the previous step into the Terminal.
Type in chmod a + x and drag the file we created in the previous step into the Terminal
  • Press the Enter key.
  • Open the start.command file from the Minecraft server folder.
Open the start.command file from the Minecraft server folder.

On Windows:

  • Create a new folder and paste the Minecraft server file there.
Create a new folder and paste the Minecraft server file there
  • Change its name to server.
Change its name to server
  • Open Notepad.
  • Type in java -Xmx2G -Xms2G -jar server.jar nogui.
Open Notepad and type coad
  • Save it as server_start.bat and select the File Types as All Files.
Save it as server_start.bat and select the File Types as All Files
  • Double-click on the server_start.bat file. It will run some configurations and close after some time.
Double-click on the server_start.bat file. It will run some configurations and close after some time
  • Open the eula.text file.
  • Change the false and set it as true. Save this file and close it.
Open the eula.text file
  • Open the server_start.bat file. If you see a > sign displayed in the command window, that will indicate the server has started successfully.
server has started successfully

Note: The Minecraft server properties are saved in a file inside the server folder. You can open it using TextEdit and make the necessary changes. Meanwhile, to stop the server, just type stop in the Terminal window and press Enter

The server is up and running. But no one will be able to join it as we have opened it to accept connections from your friends. Let’s go do that.

Step 3: Find Your IP Address

Now, we need to find the IP Address that is used to connect to the Minecraft server. If you and your friend are on the same network, use the private IP address. Others outside your network will need the public IP address to join your Minecraft server 

On Mac:       

  • Click the Apple Menu and open System Preferences.
Click the Apple Menu and open System Preferences
  • Go to Network.
Go to Network
  • Click on TCP/IP.
Click on TCP_IP.
  • Copy the IPV4 Address. This is your private IP Address.
  • Go to your browser and search for what is my ip. It will show your public IP address. Note this down.

On Windows:         

  • Press the Windows key  + R, type in cmd, and press Ok.
Press the Windows key + R, type in cmd
  • Type in ipconfig and press Enter.
Type in ipconfig and press Enter
  • Copy the IPV4 address. This is your private IP address.
Copy the IPV4 address

Step 4: Set up Port Forwarding

This step is the same for both Windows on Mac. Here, I have shown it for Mac OS. But for Windows computers, the process is the same.

  • Copy your private IP Address from the previous step.
  • Open your browser, paste this address, and press Enter.
  • Log in to your router’s admin panel using the username and password written on the router’s sticker at the back.
Log in to your router’s admin panel
  • Navigate to Advanced Settings > Forwarding > Virtual Server. This may vary on your router’s model. Just look out for Port Forwarding inside every option inside Advanced Settings.
  • Enter your IP Address in the address field and type in 25565 as the port.
  • Select TCP as the protocol and save the changes.
Select TCP as the protocol and save the changes

Step 4: Join Minecraft Server

You have successfully set up your own server in Minecraft. But how can you or your friend join it? Let’s look at that in the following step.

  • Open Minecraft.
  • Click on Multiplayer.  
Click on Multiplayer option
  • Press the Add Server button.
Press the Add Server button
  • Select a server name and paste the IP Address that you got in the earlier step. Remember, use the Private IP for players in the same network and Public IP for your friends joining from outside.
elect a server name and paste the IP Address
  • Click on Done.
  • Go back to the server select screen, and click the server you just added.
click the server you just added

You will instantly be able to join the game now.

How Can I Play Minecraft Free on Multiple Devices?

You can log in to your Minecraft account to any number of supported devices. If you have the Bedrock version, you can log in to a PC and console such as PS4.

However, only one device can be online at a time. That means if you wish to join servers and play in multiplayer, you have to purchase Minecraft separately for different devices.

Now, there is also the question of whether Minecraft can be played for free. There are options such as TLauncher that allow you to play Minecraft for free, but these dwell in the gray region of piracy.

So, keep that in mind if you wish to go on that route. You should always purchase your own copy of Minecraft to support the developers instead of going for the free route.

If you are really looking to get into Minecraft for cheap, purchase an Xbox Game Pass subscription. This is available on PC, and Minecraft is bundled  without any additional charge.

FAQs

Now, let’s go over some queries that can pop up when thinking of Minecraft and crossplay. We will try to answer as many questions for different platforms where Minecraft is available. 

Can I play Minecraft on a Mac if I bought it on a PC?

If you bought the Minecraft Java version, you can use the same account and play it on your Mac. But if you have the Bedrock version on your PC, then you need to purchase Minecraft Java Edition separately for your Mac.

Is Minecraft better on Windows or Mac?

In terms of performance, Minecraft used to run better on PC. But Macs with M1 processors have narrowed the gap, and you can get very good frame rates. But older Macs with Intel processors do not run Minecraft well, requiring you to drop the level of detail and resolution. 

Is Minecraft Java or Bedrock better?

Minecraft Java has many advanced customization options and a huge selection of mods. These are way large in numbers compared to what Minecraft bedrock offers. But Bedrock offers crossplay with PC, console, and mobile players. Plus, it has an easy learning curve and runs very well on low-end hardware.

Can Minecraft Java and Bedrock play together?

No, Minecraft Java and Bedrock edition cannot play together. Microsoft has separate servers hosted for these games. Plus, they are built differently and use different in-game assets. So, you can only play Minecraft together if you are in the same version.

Can Minecraft Bedrock and Pocket Edition play together?

Yes, Minecraft Bedrock can be played with players from the pocket edition. Because they are essentially the same version of the game. Infact, Microsoft has retired using the Pocket Edition name and uses Bedrock naming for mobile devices.

Conclusion

So, there you go. Now you know about Minecraft on Mac and its crossplay ability.

Even though Mac gamers are way less than on Windows or consoles, Microsoft has not left them in the dark.

There is a large Minecraft player base in Windows, so you will have a great time slaying Ender dragons or building your own farms.

And we have reached the end of this article. Hope you enjoyed reading it.

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