Yes, you can, but there are some features you’ll miss out on. If you care about those features, I’d recommend that you play Minecraft while connected to the internet. But if you want a blissful and relaxing experience of mining and building in your own private world, then you’re good to go.
Hi, I’m Aaron, a technologist and long-time Minecraft player. I bought Minecraft when it was in Alpha, about a decade ago, and have played on and off ever since.
Let’s walk through what you can and can’t do in Minecraft when you play without an internet connection. Then we’ll dive into some common questions along those lines.
Table of Contents
- All versions of Minecraft can be played without an internet connection.
- In order to play Minecraft offline, you may need to play it with an internet connection for the first time you play it.
- If you play Minecraft without an internet connection, you may miss out on entertaining and impressive content.
Does it Matter what Version of Minecraft I Use?
No. Whether you have the Java version of Minecraft, the Microsoft Store version of Minecraft (called Bedrock), Minecraft Dungeons, or Minecraft for other systems like the Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS, or consoles you don’t need to have an internet connection to play Minecraft regularly.
That being said, you do need an internet connection to download Minecraft for the first time. Regardless of the version you use (except for consoles that have disk drives or cartridges) the only way for you to get Minecraft on your device is to download it from Microsoft’s servers, the Google Play store, or the iOS App Store.
Also, depending on the version you use, you may need to play for the first time on the internet. That is not the case for the Java version, which I use, but may be the case for other versions.
What Do I Lose Without an Internet Connection?
It really depends on your play style. If you’re like me and most of the time you’re just playing vanilla for an hour or two in your own private world to relax, then not much. In fact, depending on the quality and speed of your internet connection, you may even experience performance benefits to playing offline.
If you want to do anything else, then you need an internet connection. What else is there to do?
This is by far the biggest loss for most Minecraft players who play without an internet connection. Minecraft has the ability to connect people around the world in shared Minecraft worlds. If you don’t have an internet connection, you can’t readily experience this aspect of Minecraft.
I say readily, because you can, but it’s a little complicated to set up. Minecraft has a Local Area Network, or LAN, mode. If you have a router in your house, you can use that to set up a local multiplayer world to share with your friends if they bring their computers. Here’s a good YouTube how-to on doing that.
Notably, LAN play is much easier to set up on Bedrock than it is on Java Edition. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like consoles, Android, or iOS support this. You can do it on your Mac or PC, though.
Content creators for Minecraft have done amazing things with their worlds. Some even share those worlds on the internet. One such world, posted by Reporters Without Borders, contains one of the largest uncensored collections of news and publications in one place.
Without an internet connection, downloading these worlds yourself is very difficult, as they’re only shared via the internet. However, you can have a friend download the world for you, put it on a USB or other external drive, and give that to you.
The physical transfer of digital storage media is dubbed the “sneakernet.” It’s especially popular in developing countries that lack substantial internet infrastructure. There are fascinating stories about the vibrant and unique Cuban sneakernet. Here’s a short Vox documentary on the subject.
Mods, short for modifications, are files which add content to Minecraft. These mods can add functionality and content or completely change the appearance of your game.
Similar to downloading other worlds, you’ll need an internet connection to download mods. Like downloading worlds, you don’t need an internet connection to run mods. So a friend can hand you a USB drive or external hard drive with them on it and you can install them from there.
Updates are the way that Mojang delivers new features, performance improvements and bugfixes. Without the internet, you can’t get any of those. If you’ve been playing without the internet, though, and you’re content with the experience then this probably isn’t too important to you.
Here are some other questions you might be curious about playing Minecraft.
How do I Play Minecraft Offline?
If you’ve installed Minecraft on your device and played once, you just need to open Minecraft and start playing!
Can I Play Minecraft Offline on Switch/Playstation/Xbox?
Yes! Just open and play it!
You can play Minecraft without the internet if you want a relaxing single-player experience. If you want mods, additional content, or to play with friends, then having an internet connection becomes a lot more important.
What do you like most about playing Minecraft? Do you have any mods you really like and want to suggest to others? Let us know in the comments!