Although many of today's popular titles are free-to-play games, it might surprise you to find out that Minecraft — the best-selling game of all time — isn't one of them. Its price varies depending on your platform of choice, but it'll always cost you something to pick up and play the hit title. However, it is possible to play Minecraft for free using a limited-time trial of the game.
It's not available on every system (and there are a few limitations), but it's a good idea to take advantage of the demo before buying Minecraft. There's also a way to access an old version of Minecraft from 2009 for free, so long as you don't mind being more than a decade behind the times.
Play the Minecraft demo on PC and Mac
Anyone looking to test out Minecraft on their home computer just needs to create a new account and download Minecraft from the official website.
That's really all there is to it. This will give you access to the full version of Minecraft, but it only lasts for "five in-game days." A day in Minecraft runs for about 20 minutes, so you'll have just over an hour and a half to decide if the game is for you. It's also a good way to check if your older laptop can handle the procedurally generated worlds and sprawling landscapes of one of the best PC games and Mac games.
Play the Minecraft demo on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
While the demo for the console is more restrictive than PC/Mac, it still allows you to experience the world of Minecraft. Here is where you can access the demo for consoles:
Xbox One owners can locate the demo on the Xbox Store after searching for Minecraft.
PlayStation 4 owners can find it on the PlayStation Store after searching for Minecraft.
You won't be able to save your progress or go past the trial levels, but this is the only way to get a few minutes with Minecraft without dropping any cash.
It's also worth pointing out that Minecraft is included with Xbox Game Pass. The subscription service isn't free, but if you're already signed up, you can install the full version of Minecraft without spending additional money.
Play the Minecraft demo on iOS and Android
Unfortunately, there isn’t a demo version of Minecraft: Pocket Edition available. Instead, it might be worth your time to check out one of the many Minecraft-inspired titles floating around both the Google Play Store and the App Store.
For a detailed list of alternative Minecraft games for Androids and iPhones, check out our current guides.
Play Minecraft Classic for free
If you don't mind missing out on a few decades' worth of updates, you can check out a free version of Minecraft Classic on PC. This free version of the game lacks most of Minecraft’s more modern features, but players can still interact with friends and poke around in Creative mode.
Minecraft Classic is also run directly from your browser, making it suitable for older laptops or rigs with an overflowing hard drive.
If this sounds appealing to you, you can check out the game on Mojang’s official website.
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