COVID-19 is a pandemic that has plenty to complain about. Aside from its more serious effects, it also hinders day-to-day life.

Video games have been a forever-fun tradition since the beginning, offering countless games that kids (and families) can enjoy for hours on end.

With Minecraft's initial PC (Java) release, the game is now available online and on many different consoles including PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox 360, as well as mobile devices.

Advice: Before playing Minecraft games with friends, test your clicking speed with and work on your clicking speed to win.

Minecraft already offers a great deal of entertainment even at its most basic - solo play with the vanilla version for instance - but this expansion, the power of modding, and the growing number of options for playing with friends have certainly made it better.

There are a few different ways to enjoy the ever-popular sandbox adventure-and each multiplayer experience offers its own benefit-ranging from playing with others under the same roof to connecting with friends across the country or even internationally.

Interested in more information about the game? Here is a complete guide on how to play Minecraft with friends.

How to Play Minecraft with friends

Kids can play Minecraft with friends by setting up a LAN, creating a Private Minecraft Server, playing Minecraft Realms, or even just splitting the screen on their favorite console.

Minecraft Bedrock Edition

Let me make a quick point before we begin: if you're looking into ways to play Minecraft with friends, it's important to keep in mind that the Java and Bedrock editions of the game offer different features. It's helpful to know what your child is working on, even though there is some overlap between the two.

Minecraft Java Edition is compatible with Mac, Linux, and PC, so you can play with your friends using computers. If you are going to make Minecraft mods, which require Java, you'll be pleased to learn that the Java edition is easier to use. 

Minecraft Bedrock is compatible with consoles, so it's perfect if kids want to play it on Nintendo or Xbox products. 

The Java and Bedrock versions of the game both allow you to connect via realms and private servers (more on that later!) 

When playing Minecraft, should you use Bedrock or Java? It depends! The beauty of this game lies in its limitless customization options.

Note that these instructions are meant to be followed by parents, and kids should not attempt to set up LANs or private servers without parental guidance.

Private Minecraft server

There's no denying that the word "server" can be intimidating, especially when kids are connecting to public servers filled with strangers. 

By setting up your own private server, you will be able to mitigate much of that risk, as you'll know who's connecting to and playing in your child's world.

However, we are still talking IP addresses, so these instructions are for parents assisting their children with setup. In other words, kids shouldn't do anything about this without parental permission.

Why is that so? By setting up and running an online service, anyone with your external IP address will be able to connect to your server and play Minecraft with you. It's important that adults keep an eye on this. 

On that note, it's also a good idea to keep track of who you and your kids invite to play on the server. To ensure online play is as safe as possible, you should only invite those you know and trust. 

It would be good to ask yourself: would you personally invite these people into your home? By doing so, you will reduce surprises and uncertainties. 

Let's not get too technical here, as we've already shown you a lot of what you'll need to set up your own Minecraft server.

  • Make sure you have the latest version of Java
  • and download the files from Mojang
  • Run the server by creating a batch file
  • Accept the EULA (End User License Agreement)
  • Start the server
  • Join the server
  • Direct your port to the server
  • Determine your external IP address
  • Invite others to the server
  • Configure the file

Private Minecraft server

Minecraft Realms

It is also possible for kids to play Minecraft with friends using Minecraft Realms, which is like renting a Mojang server.

It is similar to setting up your own server, but Realms is much easier and perhaps even safer. When it comes to console-setup, players simply need to create a world and click the "create" button to begin.

As for safety, Realms has built-in protections. The only way to connect to a Realms world is with an official invite, whereas with the server we described above, anyone with a valid IP address can join.

A realm is a great option for children who just want to play with close friends.

There is a cost associated with Realms, though; they require a monthly subscription of $7.99 for up to 10 players per month

The gameplay experience will also differ. Realms, for instance, live on even when the creator is offline, according to games radar. As a result, anyone on the guest list can jump in and out at their leisure, which on one hand can be viewed as a fun benefit.

As for those who wish to play with mods and plugins, Realms does not currently support that capability. (Realms Plus contains additional content, texture packs, skins, and more.)

Split-screen console play

Does Mine-craft require an internet connection? On the console, the split-screen feature allows kids to play together offline without the need for servers (or to use Realms). 

The downside is that players must play with only what's available on consoles and share a single screen.

Split-screen console play

And Finally

The benefits of computer games are numerous. We encourage parents to find positive ways to use them to motivate kids, as they can be effective education tools as well as fantastic ways to bond with them.

Use this guide on how to play Minecraft with your friends who live far away to enjoy this pandemic day with your friends and have fun playing Minecraft.