How to play with friends on Minecraft PC? (Java & 1.18.2)

How to play with friends on Minecraft PC? (Java & 1.18.2)

Hello and welcome everyone. In today’s tutorial, we’re going to learn how to play multiplayer Minecraft Java edition with your friends. There are easy, hard, free, cheap and expensive ways to accomplish this. But no worries, we’re going to cover it all.

This guide is specifically for those playing Java Edition on a Windows PC, iOS or Linux device. So go check out our Bedrock edition video if you’re playing in mobile or Xbox/PS console devices.

Watch the video tutorial if you prefer:

One more thing before we get started, the page is divided into sections, feel free to jump into the part you’re interested in, at the end, I’ll try to answer most asked questions, if you have any of your own, please do let me know in the comments and I’ll get back to you right away. I work as a server infrastructure engineer at GameTeam and we hosted well above 50 thousand game servers to date, so you can trust I know what I’m talking about. So without further ado, let’ get started.


Minecraft LAN

This is the free and easiest method out there for those looking to play Minecraft with family or close friends. Now don’t get me wrong, We’d be glad to sell you servers, but the truth is, most Minecraft players don’t need it and you can still play it multiplayer without purchasing a server whether from us or any other company. If your friend could take their laptop and come over to your house or vice-versa, playing Minecraft on LAN, also known as local area network is the cheapest and best option, it literally is free.

So here’s how you play multiplayer over network.

First step is, makes sure both you and your friends are on the same network, connected to the same internet connection. Also double check everyone has the same Minecraft Java version installed, otherwise, they won’t be able to join you.

Next up, let’s fire up our Minecraft launcher, select version and start a new single player game. don’t accidentally start a multiplayer game because that option is for connecting to remote servers only. Just start a single player game, and when your game loads, click on “Escape” button and return to game menu.

There’ll be a button in the menu named “Open to LAN”. Click on that. And this is where we will setup our game.

You can play survival, creative, adventure and spectator, turn on game cheats on and off. Pick your settings and start local network world.

Now if you have that screen on your PC, your friends can launch their Minecrafts as well, but this time, instead of going to single player, they should select Multiplayer. If everything went right so far, they’ll see the local multiplayer game you started on their screen.

Of course, there are pros and cons to every method we are mentioning, so let’s talk about those.

First of all, with this method, you are only limited to playing with people connected to your internet. If you have friends far away, they won’t be able to join you with this method. Another issue is that you must have a relatively high end computer with a solid hardware. Because your computer will not only be running Minecraft for you, it also needs to allocate resources for other players in the network as well, not to mention additional mods and modpacks you will install. So it gets pretty taxing on your computer really quick.

The biggest benefit of playing over network is of course, it’s completely free. You can setup a multiplayer game under a minute without having a prior server management knowledge.


Minecraft Hosting

The second, and honestly most hassle free way to play Minecraft multiplayer is to have professionals manage your server for you. This is where a service like GameTeam comes in. For as little as 3 dollars a month, you can have all your friends join your Minecraft server.

Unlike literally any other service out there, we don’t have limited slots, meaning that, as many people as possible can join and play on your server.

Of course, keep in mind that, the more people join, more RAM you’re going to need. A good rule of thumb is, you could have 10 to 15 people on your server for about 5 to 8 Gigs of RAM.

One click modpack and version installer comes with all of our plans. Let’s say you get bored playing Vanilla and you want to explore tens of thousands of mods Forge offers. You could switch versions with just a click without losing any of your data or worlds.

And when it comes to mods, they’re also supported by our 1-click installer. Simply select the MOD you wish to install and it’s ready to play.

Now of course, there’s a cost associated with this since owning servers with premium hardware isn’t cheap. it’ll cost you anywhere between 3 to 96 dollars a month depending on your specs. But it means you hundreds of people can play on the server without latency and lag issues. And of course you’ll have 100% up time with daily backups to prevent any data loss.

So, yeah. that’s the price you pay for not having to deal with server management, DDoS attacks, software and mod compatibility issues and more.

Another positive thing about this is, if you have a really popular server, you can change people to enter. One of the biggest Minecraft servers for example, 2b2t makes hundreds of thousands of dollars per month by charging people monthly access fees. even if you don’t plan on growing your server that big. You could add donations plugins and Good Samaritans of your server will help you out with the cost.

So yea, this was the affordable and easiest way to play Minecraft with your friends.


Minecraft Server on PC

Now let’s get to the hardest way to accomplish this. I’d recommend this option for tech savvies with a high end computer since it involves advanced understanding of server management, port forwarding and actually poses severe security threats since other people are going to be connecting to your network IP, it’s never a good idea to advertise that server publicly, only share it with people you trust. However, it’s not much to be scared of because I’ll be showing you everything step by step, even if as a company, it’s not in our best interest to tell you that you could host Minecraft on your very own computer and have your friends join you. But hey, if it’s going to work for you, you should do it!

How to Host a Minecraft Server on your PC?

So, first, fire up your browser and go to Minecraft server download. File we need is located at the bottom of the page. It’s called Java Edition Server under “Server Software”.

Download that server file and place it in a folder you created for your Minecraft server. Call it Minecraft Server so you don’t lose it.

Next up we create a text file called start. This file is essentially how we run the server. Go back to Minecraft download page and there you’ll see a one line code. Copy and paste it into your text file. Now the code could be slightly different depending on the current Minecraft version, anyway, it’s fine. It’ll not affect the way we create the server.

So, What does this code mean?
As you can tell our one line code is divided into some random looking strings divided by a space. However, what this code is basically saying is, use the Java language, start the server with specified amount of RAM, define the minimum amount of RAM, which is 1024Mb, or 1GB. And the rest of the code defines where our Minecraft Jar file is stored. We can now save it as a bat file if you’re done editing. You can simply double click on the txt extension, and change it to .bat

Next up, simply run your start.bat file. It’ll start a command prompt and will be installing necessary Minecraft files to our folder. However, in order to continue, we’ll need to accept Minecraft terms of service. Go to your Minecraft server folder and locate Eula.txt. It just means “End User License Agreement”. Open it and at the end of the file, you’ll see “eula=false”. If you agree to Mojang’s terms, change false to true and save it. Run your start.bat file once again, and installation will continue as normal.

If you see a responde saying, “Done”, it means your server is up and running. You could type “stop” and press enter to stop to server.

If you take a look at your server folder, you’ll see about 14 or more files and folders installed by Minecraft. Server.properties is the file we’ll need to manage our server and change its settings. Open it with your favorite text editor and you’ll see all your Minecraft setting that you can change however you like. There’s PVP, Difficulty level, OP permissions, white-lists and many others. For example, if you’d like to enable flights in game, change “allow-flight=false” to True.


Now let’s talk about why you should host Minecraft on your PC and then why you shouldn’t. Well obviously, you don’t pay for a server since you’re using your own computer’s resources to run Minecraft. But that’s pretty much it. For saving a couple bucks a month, you need to handle the tech behind running a server yourself. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be able use your computer as a heater when you install a bunch of mods and invite just a few people to play. Remember, your computer will be handling the load of all the people and mods on the server. It uses up all the resources pretty quick. And then, obviously the server will be up only when you have your computer open. So you shouldn’t expect 24 hour availability unless you are willing to keep your device open 24 hours a day. Your computer isn’t designed for that, but our servers are made just for that purpose.

I’d say for most people, its costs outweigh the benefits. But in the end, it’s up to you.

Now let’s get to the Q&A. These are some of the most asked questions we get from folks running their servers on GameTeam. If you have questions of your own, even if you’re not hosting with us, feel free to ask. I’ll make sure to answer them as soon as possible.

Minecraft Q&As

How to join LAN Minecraft?

To join a LAN Minecraft server someone has already created, simply go to Multiplayer and wait for your network to detect any available server over LAN. You don’t need to enter IP address, your system will automatically find it.

How to play Minecraft with friends without realms?

Realms offer a way for you and your friends to play Minecraft multiplayer, however, it comes with a subscription fee. Alternatives to Minecraft Realms include playing multiplayer over LAN, hosting your Minecraft server with GameTeam, and turning your computer into a Minecraft Java server.

How to play modded Minecraft with friends?

The same way you play Vanilla Minecraft online, but you install mods. The methods vary depending on how you play it. If you are hosting your server on GameTeam, we have one-click installers over 100,000 mods. Go check out Forge Minecraft server hosting features. If you’re playing over LAN or hosting locally, you’ll need to install your mods manually. Please check our Minecraft mod installation tutorial for more information.

How to play Minecraft PE with friends far away?

Minecraft PE, also known as Pocket Edition or Bedrock is a bit different than Java version. You need to follow a separate tutorial for that. We suggest playing Realms, LAN, or hosting bedrock server with us, starting from just $3 per month. Since it’s the cross-platform mobile version of Minecraft, it requires much less RAM and CPU than Java.

How to play Minecraft with friends on different WiFi PC?

If playing over LAN network isn’t an option, you could either host the server on your own computer, adding extra load to your computer in the process. Or, as what most gamers prefer, you could host your server with a professional company that specializes in gaming hosting.

How to play Minecraft with friends without signing in?

Minecraft developer Mojang requires you to sign in to play multiplayer whether you’re playing over LAN, Realms or hosted. You won’t be able to play multiplayer with cracked versions or without singing in. We strongly advise you to purchase Minecraft for your security since you don’t know what you’re installing on your computer.

How to join a LAN world in Minecraft?

While you go to “Single player” to create a LAN world, you must go to “Multi Player” page in your menu. Your system will automatically recognize it if everything is set up correctly.

Do you need a server to play Minecraft with friends?

Yes, you need servers to play Minecraft with friends. The question is, where should you store that server? It could be a LAN connection, managed server hosting, Minecraft realms or self hosted.

How to play Minecraft survival with friends?

When you first create your server whether on GameTeam or your local machine, it automatically starts as a survival game. You could change that to creative or something else by editing your “server.properties” file of your Minecraft install. If you’re playing over LAN, the person creating the world decides the game mode from the menu.

How to play Minecraft with friends on mobile?

Playing Minecraft on a mobile devices requires Minecraft Pocket Edition, also known as Bedrock. If any of your friends have Java instead, they won’t be able to join you. If everyone have the same Minecraft version, you could purchase Realms, which is currently 7.99 dollars a month. or you could get a hosted Minecraft server. Minecraft Realms support up to 10 players, while GameTeam have no limit on how many players can join your server.

Why can’t my friends connect to my Minecraft server?

Some of the main reasons your friend can’t connect to your Minecraft server are include:

  1. Playing different versions/types of Minecraft. Everyone needs to be on the same type. It could be either Java or Bedrock.
  2. Cracked Minecraft can’t connect to most servers.
  3. Incompatible mods.
  4. They aren’t whitelisted

How to open a Minecraft server to friends

There are various ways to whitelist players depending on how you setup your server. LAN worlds don’t need whitelisting, as anyone connected to the wi-fi can join your server. If you are hosting your server with GameTeam, we have a management tool for this purpose that allows you to decide who can join the server. Additionally, you could always go to your command center and type “whitelist add username” to allow players to join.

How to play Minecraft with friends on different devices?

Everyone needs Minecraft Bedrock edition if all your friends are playing on different devices. Unfortunately, Java is for PC/Mac/Linux only. If you’re on mobile and your friends are on console, you’ll need Bedrock. Since it is cross-compatible, you can also play Bedrock on PC.

How to play with friends on Minecraft Switch

You can play Minecraft multiplayer with your friends on Switch. However, that requires everyone to have Minecraft Bedrock version.

How to play MC:PE and MC PC together

Unfortunately Minecraft Pocket Edition players can’t play with Minecraft Java owners. The two versions are written in different languages and are incompatible with each other.

How to join cross platform Minecraft?

Minecraft Java is written in, well, Java. While Bedrock is written in C++. They’re incompatible with each other and a Minecraft Java player can’t join a Bedrock world. Irrelevant of your device, whether it’s a PC, mobile or a console device, Bedrock will run anywhere. The important thing to keep in mind is, Bedrock players can play with other Bedrock players on any device, while Java players can play with other Java players only on PC, Mac and Linux computers.

How to find each other in Minecraft?

It’s very easy to get lost in Minecraft since it’s literally an unlimited world. However, you can still find each other with your friends if you happen to get lost. Simply click on F3 and your game information will appear including your X, Y, Z coordinates. Click on “P” to tell your friend where you are so they can get to you.

How to add friends to whitelist Minecraft?

Type “whitelist add username” in your command. For LAN games, there is no need to whitelist players. If you wish to remove a player from your whitelist, you could use “whitelist remove username”

Do you have to be online to play Minecraft?

You have to be online to play Minecraft multiplayer with your friends. However, single player Minecraft doesn’t require an internet connection. You’ll be able to download potential updates only when you are online.

Can I play Minecraft with my friend on Xbox?

Yes, you can play Minecraft with your friends on Xbox. Both you and your friends will need Minecraft Bedrock edition. You could either get yourself a Minecraft hosting or play over Realms.

When was Multiplayer added to Minecraft

Minecraft first introduced its multiplayer version on May 31, 2009. It’s first multiplayer version was strictly available on desktop computers.

Can you play Minecraft LAN with one account?

Fortunately, you don’t have to purchase a separate Minecraft account for every one of your kids or their friends as long as they’re going to be playing over the same wi-fi network. You can simply login to the same account on another device and enjoy the game without paying extra.