Get the full version of Minecraft running on a Raspberry Pi

Don't want to mess around with the less capable Minecraft Pi? Here's a workaround to get the real deal on your Pi.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read
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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Installing Raspbian on your Raspberry Pi means you'll find Minecraft Pi in the Games section. Minecraft Pi is a bare-bones version of the popular survival game designed to help teach users various programming languages.

Sure, it's fun, but it's not the Minecraft game we've come to know and love. As with all things Raspberry Pi, a group of users have figured out how to install the full version of Minecraft on your Raspberry Pi 2 or 3.

As with all things Raspberry Pi, there's a lot of editing and tinkering with files and Terminal commands. Just be sure to take your time, read through each step and you should be fine.

Keep in mind

Before you dive in, there's some things you should know:

  • You will need to know your Mojang account log-in info, along with your Minecraft username.
  • Naturally, you'll need a paid license for Minecraft. You can purchase one from Minecraft.net
  • The guide is specific to Minecraft 1.8.9. However, with a simple tweak you can run the latest version, currently 1.9.4 (more on this below).
  • Running Minecraft on a $35 computer isn't going to be the smoothest experience, but it's definitely playable.
  • Plan on spending an hour getting everything up and running.
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Raspbian Terminal window on the left, Minecraft installation guide on the right.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

I suggest opening this guide in your Raspberry Pi's browser, with a Terminal window next to it. There are some altered log files stored in Dropbox accounts you'll need to download, and I'd hate to post the commands here, only to have the links changed at a later day.

The process is simple, mostly requiring you to copy various Terminal commands from the browser, pasting them into the command line. After pasting each command in, press enter on the keyboard and your Pi takes care of the rest.

Tips to make the process as smooth as possible

Here are some tips I came up with to make the process go as smooth as possible:

  • Step 1 does not apply to Raspberry Pi 3 users. Currently you cannot overclock the Pi 3. Besides, the Pi 3 is actually faster out of the box than the suggested overclock speed of the Pi 2.
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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • After entering Step 4's command, use the arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight Advanced options and press enter. Next, highlight GL Options, select Enable.
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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • I got a bit confused by Step 7 of the guide where it says to click on "edit profile," You actually need to click on Profile Editor, then double-click on the first (and only) listing. Under Version Selection click on the drop-down next to Use version and select a build number. Keep in mind, the guide defaults to 1.8.9. For now, use that version and then we can change it after everything is working.
  • Step 10 tells you to edit the "run.sh" file, without any further instructions. To do this, open the Minecraft folder located in your Pi directory and right-click on the run.sh file, then select Text Editor.
  • To launch Minecraft, you have a two different options. The guide will tell you to use "./run.sh" in Terminal to launch Minecraft. While that works, before entering the command you'll need to enter "cd Minecraft" into a Terminal window. The other option is to open the Minecraft folder, double-click on the run.sh file and select "Execute."

Run the latest version

Alright, so once you get everything up and running, you can start tinkering with the installation. In order to jump to the latest version of Minecraft, you'll need to relaunch the Minecraft.jar file.

  1. In a Terminal window, enter: cd Minecraft
  2. Next, enter: java -jar Minecraft.jar
  3. Click on Profile Editor then change the version to 1.9.4 (or whatever the latest version is).
  4. Save your change and click on the Play button, forcing Minecraft to download the latest version.
  5. Next, open the Minecraft folder.
  6. In order to eliminate any headaches should you make a mistake, take two-seconds and make a copy of the run.sh file. Rename it to something alone the lines of "runcopy.sh".
  7. With a copy safely tucked away, open the run.sh file by right-clicking on it and selecting Text Editor.
  8. Press Ctrl-F on your keyboard, and enter 1.8.9 in the text field. There should be two -- and only two -- instances found. Replace each one with the current version of Minecraft (this should be the same version number you selected in step 3).
  9. Save the file, then reboot your Raspberry Pi.
  10. Launch Minecraft as you normally would and enjoy.