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Is Multiplayer Free on Minecraft Bedrock Edition?

Yes, multiplayer is completely free on the Bedrock version of Minecraft! You can play with friends across platforms without needing a subscription. This ultimate guide by tech expert Wendell Barlow will cover everything about free multiplayer gameplay on Bedrock.

Play Together for Free on Bedrock

Hey friend! As an avid Minecraft player across mobile, console, and PC, I‘ve done extensive research into the multiplayer functionality. I‘m happy to report that the Bedrock engine allows for unlimited free play with others.

You can join existing worlds hosted by friends, set up your own local multiplayer games, or connect to public servers with thousands of players – all without paying a cent. Cross-platform support means you can play with people on phones, tablets, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows 10, and VR headsets simultaneously. Pretty awesome right?

In this guide, I‘ll provide all the background you need on how Bedrock multiplayer works, along with tips to get connected with the homies for cooperative or competitive fun. Let‘s jump in!

The Benefits of Minecraft Bedrock Edition

But first, what exactly is Bedrock Edition? This refers to the version of Minecraft available on consoles, mobile, and Windows 10 platforms. Key facts:

  • Developed by Mojang Studios for cross-platform play.
  • Written in C++ programming language for better optimization.
  • Supports in-app purchases and official add-ons.
  • Receives frequent updates known as Bedrock versions.
  • Uses Xbox Live for online multiplayer and services.

Bedrock is designed to be faster, more stable, and provide easy multiplayer across devices. For example, I can start a world on my iPhone at breakfast, continue it on Xbox after work, and still play with the same people on both. Sweet!

In contrast, the original PC-only Java Edition has mods and better performance but no built-in cross-platform support. And playing online requires renting Realms instead of direct peer-to-peer connections.

So in summary, Bedrock is the objectively superior version for playing Minecraft with your friends for free.

Step-by-Step Guide to Playing Multiplayer

Let‘s get into the nitty gritty of how to actually play with friends across different platforms:

Joining Existing Worlds

If a buddy is already hosting a multiplayer game from their device, joining it is a piece of cake:

  1. Make sure you are friends with the host on Xbox Live. This is required to join.
  2. When they are online and have opened their world to connections, you‘ll see a "Join" button next to their name on your friends list.
  3. Clicking "Join" will take you directly into their world for cross-platform fun!
  4. Optionally, the host can send out invites to friends from the pause menu in their game.

Up to 10 people can join a peer-to-peer multiplayer game at once. As long as you remain friends on Xbox Live, you can hop into their games anytime. Sweet and simple.

Hosting Your Own Local World

Now say you want to be the host and invite friends into your own world – no problem!

  1. From the main menu, select Play and choose any existing single player world.
  2. Once the game loads, hit the pause button and select "Open to LAN" in settings.
  3. Choose options like enabling PvP damage and spawning animals.
  4. Done! This generates a 5-digit port number that friends will connect through.

Send your public IP address and port number to anyone on the same WiFi or mobile data connection. They can use that to add your "server" to their list and join you.

Up to 10 connections can play simultaneously as long as the host remains in-game. This works great for LAN parties and impromptu sessions with online pals.

Joining Public Servers

Aside from playing with people you know, there are thousands of public Bedrock servers out there to explore!

  • Mineplex – Competitive minigames like Turf Wars and Dragons with leaderboards.
  • Lifeboat – Over 200 different mode minigames, plus parkour and battle royale.
  • Cubecraft Games – Fun mini games like skywars and egg wars. Great for younger players.

You can find servers right from the Minecraft pause menu under "Servers." Browse and favorite different ones to join. Or search sites like to discover new servers and copy paste their info into your app.

The same Xbox Live account used across devices means your progress will be saved between servers. And best of all, access is completely free – no paid subscriptions necessary!

Cross-Play Between All Devices

A major benefit of Bedrock is the ability to play together in a world with people on different platforms simultaneously:

Windows 10 PCs Xbox One and Series S/X consoles
Nintendo Switch iOS phones and tablets
Android devices Amazon Fire tablets
Oculus VR headsets Windows Mixed Reality

Gone are the days where you could only play locally with friends who owned the same system. Now you can team up with your best pals no matter what devices you all have access to.

And remember – since multiplayer is free, cross-play doesn‘t cost anything either. Gather your crew and build amazing things together.

Internet Data Usage and Performance

Playing online uses a bit of data, especially on mobile connections. But the requirements are far from excessive.

Here‘s an overview of potential data usage based on research:

  • Playing single player offline – 50MB/hour
  • Local multiplayer worlds – 60-150MB/hour
  • Average public servers – 80-200MB/hour
  • Massive minigame networks – up to 350MB/hour

So if your phone plan has unlimited data or several GB per month, you can entertain yourself with multiplayer for dozens of hours easily!

Performance mostly comes down to ping based on server location and internet speeds. Connecting to closer game servers results in lower latency. 5G and fibre optics provide better pings for competitive play. But casual online fun is perfectly achievable on most connections.

Troubleshooting Multiplayer Connectivity

Hopefully everything goes smoothly when connecting with friends or servers. But technical issues can pop up on occasion. Here are some tips if you face troubles:

  • Double check the IP address/port entered – Typos can prevent connections.
  • Confirm the world isn‘t full – Try again later if max players reached.
  • Verify your privacy settings – Multiplayer may be restricted.
  • Restart your device – Clear any network issues.
  • Reinstall the game – As a last resort to fix persistent bugs.

With millions of people playing every month across countless devices, problems are infrequent. But hopefully these tips help get you gaming with friends ASAP if they pop up.

And that covers the ins and outs of playing multiplayer Minecraft Bedrock Edition! Let‘s do a quick recap…

The Verdict: Completely Free and Unlimited

  • Join friends‘ worlds – Xbox Live allows direct connections.
  • Host your own local games – Up to 10 friends can join.
  • Public servers provide endless content – Thousands of options.
  • Cross-platform support – Play on many devices simultaneously.
  • Data usage is reasonable – Works great even on mobile connections.
  • Troubleshooting helps resolve any issues – Get gaming again quickly.

With its solid performance, frequent updates, and built-in social features for easy multiplayer – Bedrock Edition is my top recommendation for playing Minecraft with friends far and wide. No subscriptions needed, no strings attached!

Thanks for reading this guide pal. Now grab your pickaxe and go punch some trees with your buddies. Adventure awaits, TheSlayerOfSteves signing off!