Gaming Minecraft

Minecraft Pocket Edition: where’s it gone? How do I play now?

Minecraft Steve toy
Out of Pocket: the mobile version of Minecraft has changed

If you’re an old-school Minecraft player returning to the game after a break, you might notice something missing. Minecraft Pocket Edition is no more. How, then, do you get your block-building buzz? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers.

What is Minecraft Pocket Edition?

Minecraft Pocket Edition was launched way back in 2011, bringing the game to smartphones and tablets for the first time. It was first released for Android, but soon arrived on the iPhone later that year.

Pocket Edition was something of a stripped-back version of the Java Edition that was available on PCs and Macs at the time. It had a more limited set of blocks, Redstone didn’t really work, and there were no mods to start with.

Over the years, as smartphones and tablets became more and more powerful, an increasing number of features were added to Minecraft Pocket Edition. It didn’t quite reach feature parity with the Java Edition, but it wasn’t far off.

However, Pocket Edition finally reached the end of the road in 2017. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play Minecraft on mobile devices…

How to play Minecraft Pocket Edition

Minecraft Pocket Edition was replaced by the so-called Bedrock Edition in 2017. For the first time, this allowed mobile players to cross-play with the Xbox and Nintendo Switch consoles.

Bedrock’s now available on Android, iPhone, iPad, the Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch consoles and even on Windows 10 and 11 computers. There is still a separate Java Edition for Windows and Macs, but Bedrock has become the dominant version of the game. If you want to get the closest thing to the old Minecraft Pocket Edition, choose Bedrock.

You won’t find Minecraft referred to as “Bedrock” in the app stores. It’s something of a codename. Simply search for “Minecraft” in the Google Play Store, the Apple App Store and so on, and you’ll automatically be directed to the Bedrock edition.

Only Windows players really need worry about which version they’re getting, as Windows 10 and 11 support both Bedrock and Java Edition. Bedrock is the version you’ll find in the Microsoft Store on your PC. If you want the more powerful Java Edition, you can get that directly from the Minecraft website.

If you want a more in-depth explanation of the differences between Java Edition and Bedrock, there’s a detailed breakdown on the Minecraft website.

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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