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Is Minecraft Ever Free on Play Store? The Ultimate Guide

The short answer is – no, Minecraft is not permanently free on the Google Play Store. However, there are ways to download and play Minecraft for free or at huge discounts on Android devices with some effort.

As an avid gamer and deal finder, I‘ve uncovered the best methods to get Minecraft mobile version without emptying your wallet. Keep reading for an ultimate guide to playing Minecraft free or cheap on Android.

A Look at Minecraft‘s Popularity

Let‘s first understand why Minecraft is so sought after in the gaming world. This open-ended sandbox game allows players to explore, gather resources, craft tools and structures, and go on adventures. Its simplistic blocky graphics belie the nearly endless possibilities.

Some key stats:

  • Over 140 million monthly active users worldwide
  • Sold over 200 million copies across all platforms
  • Available on PC, consoles, mobile devices
  • 91 million players per month on just mobile devices

As you can see, Minecraft has completely captivated gamers of all ages. The mobile version especially resonates, providing on-the-go access to Minecraft‘s creative world.

The franchise continues to expand, with new updates, merchandise, books, movies and more. It‘s clear Minecraft mania won‘t die down anytime soon!

Why Minecraft Isn‘t Free

With such wild popularity, why doesn‘t Minecraft make its mobile app free and monetize through in-app purchases?

Game studio Mojang wants to maintain the integrity of the Minecraft experience. A free app with constant ads or upsells could degrade gameplay.

Instead, they‘ve chosen to stick with an upfront pricing model. This allows them to focus on creating new Minecraft content rather than monetization schemes.

Of course, this means coughing up cash to enjoy Minecraft on your Android device. But I‘ve got you covered on ways to avoid that purchase price.

Take Advantage of Free Trials

In the past, Minecraft offered a free demo version called "Minecraft Trial" on the Play Store. This gave players access to all game modes and mutliplayer for:

  • 100 minutes, or
  • 5 days from first launch

This allowed you to fully test drive Minecraft before purchasing. Unfortunately, Mojang discontinued this free trial option as of 2020.

But all hope is not lost! Here are two current free trial options for Minecraft:

Minecraft Classic

Minecraft Classic is a simplified online version playable for free in web browsers. It retains the core building experience but limits world size and available blocks.

Classic pros:

  • Totally free
  • Works on mobile browsers
  • Lets you sample Minecraft‘s creative mode

Classic cons:

  • Very limited compared to full game
  • No survival or adventure modes
  • Small world size and block types

Still, Minecraft Classic is a great way for mobile users to try basic building for free.

Education Free Trials

Microsoft provides free trials of Minecraft: Education Edition to verified academic institutions. This includes:

  • 25 free logins for faculty
  • 10 free logins for students

Schools can take advantage of this extended free preview period before needing to purchase licenses. Students with school email addresses may be able to access these free trials as well.

Score Discounted or Free Full Versions

Free trials let you sample Minecraft, but eventually you‘ll hit a paywall. Luckily there are ways to snag the full mobile game at heavily discounted or even free prices.

Here are the best methods I‘ve discovered to get the full Minecraft experience without draining your wallet:

Watch for Google Play Sales

Minecraft frequently goes on sale for reduced prices on the Google Play Store. During these promos it can be purchased for under $10, with typical sale prices around $4-$6.

Following are the best ways to catch these sales:

  • Check Play Store listings during major Minecraft updates, conventions, or holidays
  • Follow gaming deal sites that alert when sales go live
  • Add the Play Store page to your wishlist to get sale notifications

With some patience, you can score the full version for 80-90% off!

Use Amazon Free App of the Day

Amazon offers a Free App of the Day through their Appstore. Minecraft periodically appears as the highlighted freebie.

To take advantage:

  1. Install Amazon Appstore on your Android device
  2. Check daily for Minecraft as Free App of the Day
  3. Download when available for free

The only catch is you need to buy any future updates. But you‘ll get the current full game totally free!

Redeem Google Play Credit

Google Opinion Rewards gives Play Store credit for completing short surveys. With enough credit you can entirely offset Minecraft‘s cost.

Tips to earn credit quickly:

  • Check app daily for new surveys
  • Give thoughtful, honest answers
  • Don‘t speed through questions

I average $10-15 free credit per month, enough to pay for Minecraft and then some. It just takes consistency.

Wait for the Next Big Update

Major game updates often come with temporary price drops or deals. When anticipating an exciting update:

  • Save up Google Rewards ahead of time
  • Watch for lowered prices around update release
  • Buy quickly before sale ends

This strategy lets you score both the game plus newest content at a bargain cost.

Play Minecraft Free or Cheap: Final Thoughts

While Minecraft mobile isn‘t permanently free, with the right timing and techniques you can download and play for little to no cash.

Key takeaways:

  • Free trials give a limited but free experience
  • Watch for Play Store and Amazon sales/promos
  • Build up Google Rewards credit over time
  • Purchase around major updates for best deals

I hope these insider tips help you enjoy Minecraft‘s creative world on mobile for less! Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy gaming!