Here's How to Play Minecraft in Google for Its 15th Anniversary

Learn how you can mine from your search engine page.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read
screenshot of Google search result for Minecraft showing a blocky pickaxe

If you know the trick, you can play Minecraft in Google. Kind of.

Google/Screenshot by CNET

Minecraft, one of the bestselling games of all time, is teaming up with the world's biggest search engine to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Now, when you type "Minecraft" into Google, an interactive game option appears, where you can "mine" the world behind the search results.

The search experience works with other Google search terms too, like Minecraft Dungeons, or references to the game's main character, Steve. As you mine the world behind search results, breaking through trees, dirt and stones, you sometimes get upgrades like the game's popular pickaxe to help speed up your explorations.

Google teaming up with Minecraft is a marketing stunt, sure. But it's also a reminder about how large some fandoms on the internet can be. The game has sold more than 300 million copies, and in 2021, Minecraft videos crossed 1 trillion views on YouTube, more than any other game on the platform. Its appeal has continued to grow, even after Microsoft bought Mojang in 2014 for $2.5 billion.

Screenshot of Minecraft Dungeons

Minecraft Dungeons was an effort to crossover into another popular genre.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Part of Minecraft's appeal is how its blocky Lego-like art style gives players tools to build and explore their own worlds (and, not unrelated to its popularity, makes it easy to run on very limited computers). Most games by comparison are designed to depict ultrarealistic battles, deeply engrossing storylines or quirky and intricate puzzles. Though it has a story of sorts, Minecraft encourages players to create their own experiences.

Though Minecraft itself has become a cultural phenomenon, other Minecraft-related efforts haven't been as successful. Minecraft Dungeons, an action-adventure game, received mixed reviews when it launched in 2020. Minecraft Earth, a Pokemon Go-style mobile phone game, launched just before the COVID-19 pandemic whose worldwide lockdowns hampered its play-outside dynamic.

Still, Minecraft isn't merely sticking to its well-worn efforts. The game's being turned into a film starring Jason Momoa and Jack Black. Black's portrayal of the big baddie Bowser in last year's Super Mario Bros. Movie helped that film blow past $1 billion in ticket sales. The Minecraft movie is slated to be released on April 4, 2025.