Minecraft is a sandbox video game developed by Mojang Studios. The game was created by Markus "Notch" Persson in the Java programming language and released as a public alpha for personal computers in 2009 before officially releasing in November 2011, with Jens Bergensten taking over development. Minecraft has since been ported to various platforms and became the best-selling video game of all time, with 200 million copies sold across all platforms and 126 million monthly
In Minecraft, players explore a blocky, procedurally-generated 3D world with infinite terrain, and may discover and extract raw materials, craft tools and items, and build structures or earthworks. Depending on game mode, players can fight computer-controlled "mobs", as well as cooperate with or compete against other players in the same world. Game modes include a survival mode, in which players must acquire resources to build the world and maintain health, and a creative mode, where players have unlimited resources. Players can modify the game to create new gameplay mechanics, items, and assets.
Minecraft has been critically acclaimed, winning several awards and being cited as one of the greatest and most influential video games of all time, being inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame in June 2020 Social media, parodies, adaptations, merchandise, and the annual MineCon conventions played large roles in popularizing the game. It has also been used in educational environments, especially in the realm of computing systems, as virtual computers and hardware devices have been built in it. In 2014, Mojang and the Minecraft intellectual property were purchased by Microsoft for US$2.5 billion A number of spin-off games have also been produced, such as Minecraft: Story Mode, Minecraft Dungeons, and Minecraft Earth
Minecraft is a 3D sandbox game that has no specific goals to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game However, there is an achievement system, known as "advancements" in the Java Edition of the game. Gameplay is in the first-person perspective by default, but players have the option for third-person perspective. The game world is composed of rough 3D objects—mainly cubes and fluids, and commonly called "blocks"—representing various materials, such as dirt, stone, ores, tree trunks, water, and lava. The core gameplay revolves around picking up and placing these objects. These blocks are arranged in a 3D grid, while players can move freely around the world. Players can "mine" blocks and then place them elsewhere, enabling them to build things Many commentators have described the game’s physics system as unrealistic; liquids continuously flow for a limited horizontal distance from source blocks, which can be removed by placing a solid block in its place or by scooping it into a bucket. The game also contains a material known as redstone, which can be used to make primitive mechanical devices, electrical circuits, and logic gates, allowing for the construction of many complex systems
The game world is virtually infinite and procedurally generated as players explore it, using a map seed that is obtained from the system clock at the time of world creation (or manually specified by the player) There are limits on vertical movement, but Minecraft allows an infinitely large game world to be generated on the horizontal plane. Due to technical problems when extremely distant locations are reached, however, there is a barrier preventing players from traversing to locations beyond 30,000,000 blocks from the center. The game achieves this by splitting the world data into smaller sections called "chunks" that are only created or loaded when players are nearby The world is divided into biomes ranging from deserts to jungles to snowfields the terrain includes plains, mountains, forests, caves, and various lava/water bodies. The in-game time system follows a day and night cycle, and one full cycle lasts 20 real-time minutes.
When starting a new world, players must choose one of five game modes, as well as one of four difficulties, ranging from peaceful to hard. Increasing the difficulty of the game causes the player to take more damage from mobs, as well as having other difficulty-specific effects. For example, the peaceful difficulty prevents hostile mobs from spawning, and the hard difficulty allows players to starve to death if their hunger bar is depleted Once selected, the difficulty can be changed, but the game mode is locked and can only be changed with cheats
New players have a randomly selected default character skin of either Steve or Alex] but the option to create custom skins was made available in 2010 Players encounter various non-player characters known as mobs, such as animals, villagers, and hostile