Developed by Mojang Studios, Minecraft has been around for about a decade and comes in two different flavors: Java Edition and Bedrock Edition. The content, updates, and look of the two games are virtually identical, but the reality is that they are two different games. In technical terms, Java is coded in (you guessed it) Java, while Bedrock is coded in C++. This means that the two games have completely different UI and rendering systems.
The Java Edition is the original version of Minecraft and is available for purchase from the Minecraft website, only for PC. On the other hand, the Bedrock Edition is available on consoles (Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4) and mobile, and can be purchased through the official Microsoft store. If you’re planning on playing with your friends, you’ll want to make sure you all have the same version of Minecraft. Here are the significant differences between the two versions.
In Java Edition, it is much easier to install, manage and maintain mods. It’s nearly impossible to mod in the Bedrock Edition, since you’re playing on a console or mobile device. In short, there are almost no limitations for mods for the Java edition, while the Bedrock edition is the opposite.
Java Edition servers tend to be easier to configure than Bedrock Edition. However, there are more free multiplayer servers to choose from in the Bedrock Edition. Keep in mind that if you’re playing on a console, you need to make sure you have internet access, probably from an online subscription on your platform of choice.
If you are continually looking to test out new game features, go for the Java edition. The reason for this is that the developers release weekly content snapshots for players to test out effectively. The same cannot be said for the Bedrock Edition, as this process is much more difficult when you are not on a PC. Nevertheless, both editions receive major releases on the same release date.
Java Edition players can play with any other Java Edition players, and the same goes for Bedrock Edition players. However, for Bedrock Edition players, you and your friend can play on any of the various consoles or cellphones while still being able to play together.
If you and your friends only play Minecraft on PC, enjoy modding the game easily, and are often eager to try out new features, go with the Java Edition. If you and your friends plan to play on either console or mobile, or you’re more of a casual gamer where cross-play is very important to you, and modding isn’t a major priority, then go with the Bedrock Edition.