Minecraft is an online computer game where players can create, build and survive in their own imaginative worlds. Often referred to as ‘virtual LEGO’, Minecraft allows players to use blocks to build items from everyday essentials such as containers and tools, to structures such as houses and castles, all within the game’s world. Alongside building, players can also mine for ore, battle enemy creatures, and create new blocks and tools by gathering various in-game resources. Plants, monsters and goods can also be found in addition to blocks. Gameplay is split into different modes – survival and creative – and can be played either as single player or multiplayer.  Minecraft is a hugely popular game worldwide with over 200 million monthly users. Whilst gameplay itself is popular, there is also a huge Minecraft community on other platforms such as YouTube. The game is available on most devices, PCs and consoles, but different versions are available on different platforms. Minecraft Bedrock edition is the version played on consoles, mobile devices and Windows 10 and above, whilst Minecraft Java edition is available for PC and Mac. Players on Java cannot play with players on Bedrock.

Minecraft is a PEGI 7 rated game.

It has been given an age rating of 9+ on the Apple App Store and ‘Everyone 10+’ on the Google Play Store.

Find out more about age ratings in our ‘A parent and carer’s guide to age ratings of apps and games’.

This game appeals to children and young people since they have the freedom to roam and build without restriction. From building homes to mining and fighting, children can navigate and create their very own personal world. Minecraft also appeals to young people since it allows them to engage their minds creatively and develop their problem-solving skills.

Survival mode brings together more traditional video game features. A player has health and hunger bars and will need to gather resources and fight off enemies in order to survive.  This can be exciting for younger players.  

Users can also play with their friends on multiplayer and collaborate to build their own worlds. Many children also enjoy being part of the Minecraft community and watching others playing the game on YouTube.

  • Here users can create their own world by building, hunting, and mining without the threat of attack. This is the recommended mode for younger players.

  • This is a version of Minecraft designed for education in a classroom setting. The Education Edition allows teachers to offer a fun and interactive lesson for their students through playing the game of Minecraft. Teachers can connect children to their classmates in this version of the game.

  • Players collect resources and build whilst having to survive and progress in the game.

  • Here players can visit other worlds created by other Minecraft players. This is a multiplayer mode.

  • Where users can create and play in a world with their friends and other players within the game.

  • Players use this material to build and craft within the game.

  • Items that users need to help build, hunt and mine. These can include pickaxes, shovels and shears, among many others.

  • These are moves that a player can do in Minecraft.

  • This refers to regions of terrain in the Minecraft world where players can build. Each biome has specific geographical features, including desert, jungle and forest.

  • These are characters that can damage a world by exploding.

  • This is when players explore caves to mine for resources.

  • This stands for ‘mobile entity’ which are creatures that attack other characters.

  • Characters that come out and attack players when it is night or in dark places within the game

  • This is the in-game messaging system where players can communicate with each other or enter commands.

  • Commands are advanced features which are activated by typing certain strings of text. For example, ‘/tp’ will allow a player to teleport from one place to another within the game. Players use the / icon to bring up the ‘Commands’ menu found within the chat option.

  • These are other worlds that players can play in. They are created by official Minecraft partners from the Minecraft community.

  • This feature helps users develop their knowledge and skills on the game by setting challenges for them to complete. This feature can only be used on survival mode.

  • In-game currency that can be used to purchase items and add-ons from the Minecraft marketplace. It should be noted that add-ons are optional and are not required for gameplay.  

  • The in-game store where users can purchase items and features with their ‘Minecoins’. Purchases can include ‘Worlds’, ‘Skins’ and ‘Texture packs’.

The PEGI 7 rating suggests that Minecraft is suitable for players of this age and above and does not contain any content that would be inappropriate for young players. The game features mild violence, but the pixelated graphics of the game make it unrealistic and enemies and other creatures will simply vanish when they are defeated. Whilst players can also kill animals in the game for food, this is not conducted in a graphic way, with the animal turning into the food source they provide when killed. The game does include materials and weapons such as pickaxes and swords, but again they are block-like in their design and unrealistic. Whilst the game has a suggested age rating, any user-generated content, such as text in the ‘Chat’ function, will not be rated. Players receive a warning message before playing to remind them that user-generated content has not been rated and may not be suitable for all ages.  To reduce the risk of exposure to inappropriate content in the chat function, it is recommended that your child only plays with known friends. By limiting who your child can access on the platform, your child is less likely to experience language or behaviour that is not suitable for their age. However, it should be acknowledged that your child may still be exposed to inappropriate content by their known contacts.

Minecraft is a hugely popular game around the world and has a strong community following outside of the game. Many Minecraft fans also enjoy watching other players on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. Whilst Minecraft has a PEGI 7 rating, this does not apply to user-generated content, so the language used during live gaming streams and comment functions on other platforms is not rated. If your child enjoys watching Minecraft live-streams, check the settings on the other apps to prevent them being exposed to content that is not suitable for their age or stage of development.

Minecraft can be played in single player or multiplayer modes, which means your child may potentially play with people they do not know. When users create a ‘World’ in Minecraft, they can manage their multiplayer settings, choosing from ‘Invite only’, ‘Friends only’ and ‘Friends of friends’. If you child wants to play in a multiplayer server, it is recommended that they play with people who are known to them, choosing either ‘Invite only’ or ‘Friends only.’ More information on how to do this can be found in the ‘Managing interactions and content’ section of this guide.  Remind your child not to accept a gaming invite shared by someone they do not know and trust in real life. Speak to your child about the risks of chatting with strangers and explain the importance of not sharing any personal or identifiable information with other players within chats. Encourage them to tell you if they have been asked more personal questions or feel upset or uncomfortable by anything shared within the chat.

Whilst voice chat is not available in Minecraft, it is worth noting that some gamers use third party chatting apps like Discord or sites such as Zoom to chat while gaming. Ask your child if they are using any additional chatting apps while playing and check who they are communicating with. It may be helpful to know that although chatting is an appealing part of gaming, it is not essential to play.

Minecraft has its own Community Standards, which all players are encouraged to follow when interacting with each other and with the game, to ensure the gaming experience is inclusive and safe for all players. Players are encouraged to use the report and block functions if they encounter behaviour that deviates from these guidelines. Speak to your child about what is appropriate behaviour when playing a multiplayer game and ensure they know how to report inappropriate or offensive behaviour. Information on how to do this can be found in the ‘Reporting and blocking’ section of this guide. Players who are using the ‘Chat’ feature should also be aware of what is and is not appropriate for them to post in chats and discuss the various ways they can protect themselves by playing in private, rather than public, games. Ensure your child knows it can be difficult to keep ownership of any content once it has been shared online, as content can easily be copied and reposted without their knowledge and can then become difficult to remove from the internet.

Minecraft is a paid-for gaming app that can be played on a range of devices and consoles. Like many other online games, players can make in-app purchases within Minecraft. Using the in-game currency known as ‘Minecoins’, players can purchase various add-ons and packs within the Minecraft Marketplace. It should be noted that these purchases do not benefit the gameplay, but they can nonetheless be extremely appealing for players.  Speak to your child about in-app purchases to affirm their understanding that real money is used to make purchases within the game. You can set in-game purchase settings on the device itself or apply the necessary settings if your child has their own account within a linked family account.

There is also a huge market for Minecraft with lots of merchandise available from different outlets.

  • When you first download the game, you are required to set up an Xbox profile. Here you can make some changes to the privacy settings for that account.

    To manage an Xbox profile:

    • Login to the Xbox account and select ‘Profile’.
    • Choose ‘Privacy settings’ and scroll to ‘Privacy and online safety’.
    • Work through the list of options and toggle on and off the options that best suit your child.
  • For younger players, it is recommended that they play in ‘Creative’ mode and turn off the multiplayer option, rather than interacting with others. They could also play Minecraft Education Edition which is available for maintained schools in Wales through Hwb.  

    To select creative mode:

    • When you enter the game, select the ‘Create new’ option.
    • Choose ‘Create new world’.
    • Go to the ‘Default game mode’ menu and select ‘Creative’ from the drop-down menu.

    To manage multiplayer settings:

    • Go to the world you want to manage and select the edit icon next to that world.
    • Scroll to ‘Multiplayer’ and toggle on or off as necessary.
    • Directly below, select the ‘Microsoft account settings’ drop-down menu.
    • Choose from
      • Invite only
      • Friends only
      • Friends of friends
    • Note: it is not recommended that you choose the ‘Friends of friends’ option for younger players.

    To add a friend:

    • When you launch the app, select the ‘Friends’ tab and select ‘Add friend’.
    • Enter the gamer tag of your friend into the box and send a request for shared play.

    To manage ‘Chat’:

    • When playing a multiplayer game, pause the game you are playing by selecting the pause icon.
    • Choose ‘Settings’ and go to ‘Accessibility’.
    • Toggle off the option for ‘Enable open chat message’.

    To mute a user:

    • Pause the game you are playing.
    • Find the user that you wish to mute and select that user’s game tag.
    • Select the ‘Mute’ option.
  • Users can report and block other users who may be bothering them or behaving inappropriately on the platform.

    To report or block a user:

    • Pause the game you are playing.
    • Find the user that you wish to report/block and select that user’s game tag.
    • Select the ‘Report or block’ option.
  • Whilst this game is free to play, in-game purchases are available. You can disable in-app purchases on each individual device itself.

    To disable in-app purchases on iOS:

    • Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Screen time’ and scroll down to ‘Content and privacy restrictions’.
    • Select ‘iTunes and App Store purchases’ and set the option to ‘Don’t allow’.

    To disable in-app purchases on Android:

    • Go to your Google Play Store app.
    • Select ‘Menu’ > ‘Settings’ > ‘Require authentication for purchases’.

Whilst the Minecraft app has its own range of settings available, you can enable parental controls for the game if you set up a family account using additional apps. E.g. If your child is using an Xbox console, Xbox has their own Family Settings app, where parents can apply parental control settings such as screen time limit and content filters.  Microsoft also have a Family Safety app, which can be used to help manage your child’s Minecraft gaming experience.

Minecraft Education Edition is available for children and young people in maintained schools in Wales through Hwb.