How to Set Up Minecraft on a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a mighty device with possibilities that far surpass its small size and relatively low cost. People typically use Raspberry Pi for learning programming skills and exploring robotics. But what most people don’t know is that this device can also transform into a retro gaming machine.

How to Set Up Minecraft on a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi not only allows you to play Minecraft but to build a Minecraft server as well. Keep reading to learn more.

How to Set Up Minecraft on a Raspberry Pi 4

If you plan on playing Minecraft on a Raspberry Pi, you’ll need a Pi-optimized version of this popular game. This version is called Minecraft Pi Edition, and it’s significantly behind the latest Minecraft release. It’s also free to play and features Python libraries, allowing various interactions with the gaming world.

Before setting up Minecraft on your Raspberry Pi 4, you should learn about the existing limitations when using this Minecraft version.

  • The game supports creative mode only, meaning there’s no crafting in this version.
  • The game employs the old world format where the world can’t be bigger than 256 x 256 x 128 blocks.
  • No mobs are available.

Minecraft Pi Edition runs on the Raspbian Wheezy operating system and can be found in the Raspbian package repository.

Installing this Minecraft edition will require entering several commands.

  • sudo apt update, to update all your existing packages
  • sudo apt upgrade, to upgrade all your existing packages
  • sudo apt install minecraft-pi, to install Minecraft Pi Edition

After installing the game, you can run it in three simple steps.

  1. Click on the Raspberry Pi icon in the upper-left corner.
  2. Go to the “Games” tab in the drop-down menu.
  3. Select “Minecraft Pi.”

Now that the game is loaded, you can start playing by following these steps.

  1. Tap the “Play” button.
  2. Press the “Create new” button in the “Select world” window.

After the world is generated, you’ll spawn into it right away.

How to Set Up Minecraft on a Raspberry Pi 3

As Minecraft is one of the best-selling games of all time, it’s obvious people have no issues paying for this addictive game. However, Minecraft Pi Edition will cost you all of zero dollars. That’s right, this Pi-optimized game is free. But this comes at the cost of some features.

Unlike the PC and console versions of the game, Minecraft Pi lacks the following.

  • The ability to craft; the game is always set to creative mode
  • Unlimited world size; your world can be 256 x 256 x 128 blocks max
  • Mobs of any kind
  • Different kinds of skin; you’re permanently stuck with the default “Steve”

This game is still insanely fun to play despite its limitations. Plus, it can be set up fairly easily. All you need to do is open a terminal window and enter the sudo apt install minecraft-pi command.

This command will automatically download and install Microsoft Pi. After completing the installation, restart your Raspberry Pi.

Once the device boots up again, launch the game by following these steps.

  1. Click on the Raspberry Pi icon in the upper-left corner.
  2. Scroll down to the “Games” tab.
  3. Select “Minecraft Pi.”

Your game will now open in a new window. From there, you can spawn into a new world in two simple steps.

  1. Click the “Start game” button.
  2. Choose the “Create new” option in the “Select world” window.

Alternatively, you can select the “Join game” option to play a local game with other Minecraft Pi Edition users.

How to Set Up a Minecraft Server on a Raspberry Pi

If you want to play Minecraft on your own terms, you’ll be happy to know you can set up your server on a Raspberry Pi. Your Pi will make an excellent game server, allowing you to play from anywhere on your home network.

To achieve the best results, use a Raspberry Pi 3 or Pi 4. While using earlier models is possible, the resulting servers can experience many problems.

When setting up a Minecraft server on a Raspberry Pi, we suggest using an Ethernet cable, as it is faster than your Wi-Fi. As a result, you’ll have a better in-game experience and an outstanding server provision.

Remember that your server can’t host very many people due to Raspberry Pi’s system specs. If you own a Raspberry Pi 3, your server should probably max out at around ten people. A Raspberry Pi 4 could host more people, provided it has a decent amount of RAM.

The first step in installing a Minecraft server on your Raspberry Pi is configuring the operating system for running this server.

  1. Run the sudo raspi-config command to launch the configuration tool.
  2. Open “Advanced Options.”
  3. Select “Memory Split.”
  4. Set the memory to “16MB” to free more resources for your server.
  5. Tap “Boot Options.”
  6. Click on the “Desktop/CLI” tab.
  7. Choose “Console.”
  8. Tap the “Advanced” button.
  9. Enable “SSH.”
  10. Select “Expand Filesystem.”

After making these necessary changes, complete the process by hitting “Finish” and restarting your Raspberry Pi when prompted. Now the system is ready for a Minecraft server.

Installing a Minecraft server on a Raspberry Pi uses Cloudburst’s server software called Nukkit. You can easily install this software using the command box.

To set up the server, enter the following commands.

  1. sudo apt install oracle-java8-jdk, to install Java
  2. mkdir nukkit, to open a new directory labeled Nukkit
  3. cd nukkit, to open the directory
  4. wget –O nukkit.jar, to download the software
  5. sudo java -jar nukkit.jar, to run Nukkit

The final command will prompt Nukkit to generate the Minecraft server. Once the server is properly set up, you should configure it.

First, run the following commands in your nano text editor.

  • sudo nano nukkit.yml
  • sudo nano

Once the Server Properties window appears, make the necessary changes to the server’s properties. Don’t forget that a Raspberry Pi lacks processing power, regardless of the version, so try not to go too overboard.

We suggest editing the maximum number of players immediately. As previously discussed, there should be a max of 10 people. Edit the command to the desired number, and you should be left with something like this: max-players=10

Other options that you should consider changing include the following.

  • pvp=on, for enabling player-versus-player action
  • difficulty=1, for setting the game’s difficulty starting at 0

After tweaking the server’s properties, press the Ctrl + X shortcut to save the changes and exit the window. Then, run the sudo java -jar nukkit.jar command to restart the Minecraft server.

After setting everything up, there’s nothing left to do but launch your server on a PC or a tablet.

  1. Open Minecraft.
  2. Go to “Play.”
  3. Select “Servers.”
  4. Input the name and the IP address of your server.
  5. Choose the correct server and start playing.

If you don’t know your IP address, you can fetch it by entering the ifconfig command on your Raspberry Pi.

A Whole New World

With so many incredible uses, a Raspberry Pi is a gift that keeps on giving. It seems there’s nothing this palm-sized wonder can’t do, and Minecraft is no exception. You can use your Raspberry Pi to play this game and even set up a whole new server. Whatever your choice ends up being, we’re sure you’ll have tons of fun.

Have you tried playing Minecraft on your Raspberry Pi? What do you think about the experience? Let us know in the comments section below.

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