Catch Up With a Classic: Minecraft
The creative blockbuster keeps breaking new ground. Tap to dig in.
Create, explore and survive!
What keeps Minecraft’s millions of monthly players coming back?
There’s no single answer, of course. Minecraft gives you a bottomless bucket of virtual blocks and lets you craft your own worlds and adventures. This global phenomenon is many things to many players.
And years after the mobile version’s 2011 debut, it continues to wow us in new ways. Here are just a few reasons we still dig this pixel-perfect paradise:
It’s built to last
At its heart, Minecraft is about constructing just about anything you can imagine with simple chunky cubes. In Creative mode, you’re free to do this at your leisure, as all resources—virtual pieces of wood, stone, and other materials you acquire with your mining tools—are free and plentiful.
With enough time and patience, the architectural possibilities are endless, and over the years players have crafted astonishing structures, from the Taj Mahal to Game of Thrones’ Westeros. That potential only grows with each update. A trove of decorative items, like delicate stained glass and groovy diamond-encrusted jukeboxes, have been added since the game launched. If you can think it up, it’s probably been built in Minecraft.
It’s a survivor
Minecraft really began as a survival game, challenging players to explore the world, mine resources, build a shelter, and craft items in an attempt to make it through the night.
That still exists in the thrilling Survival mode. You’ll have to think creatively—and strategically—to thrive in what can be a hostile world. Floating Ghasts and hissing, explosive Creepers are just two enemies that threaten to end the fun early, though before long you’ll have crafted bows and swords to deal with them. Danger lurks everywhere—even in underwater biomes, which house poisonous puffer fish and seaweedy zombies.
Whichever mode you favor, it’s more fun with a few pals. Whether you’re taking down the Elder Dragon or taking on an elaborate construction project, Minecraft is a wonderfully social experience.
And a massive one. A 2017 update lets you find, play, and collaborate with millions of others across platforms. If you’d prefer to just dabble, liven up your game by downloading user-created templates, skins, textures, and even entire worlds.
Parents are well aware that Minecraft lets kids explore the fundamentals of art, architecture, and programming. Minecraft: Education Edition, available on iPad, goes a step further. Designed for use in schools, it takes the classroom into Minecraft’s blocky halls, teaching topics like STEM and history in creative, engaging new ways. Educators can even enter this world by writing on virtual chalkboards.
Most games taper off after a few years, but Minecraft is showing no signs of slowing. It's been on the App Store charts since its release, thanks to the empowering creativity the game encourages and the constant stream of updates. How can one of the biggest games ever keep getting bigger? Step into the sandbox and find out.