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Differences Between Minecraft Bedrock and Java Minecraft

Minecraft is a sandbox game where players explore a blocky, procedurally generated 3D world with virtually infinite terrain and build structures using the raw materials, craft tools and items. The game is great in terms of quality, detail, and variability of game play enhanced by user-created content. And this difficulty extends to the different versions and arenas in which block adventure resides. Although the game has found its way into almost every major stadium in the last decade, there are two major versions from which countless variations exist: the original Java Edition, and the Bedrock Edition, built for mobile and consoles.

Outwardly, the Bedrock Edition and Java Edition look very similar, but under the hood there is a completely different story. The basics of different codes create different development areas. This tutorial highlights those differences.

Minecraft: Java Edition

The Java version of Minecraft was originally released in 2009. Until September 2017, the version was called Minecraft; later it was renamed Minecraft: Java Edition. As evident by its name, it is developed in Java and isn't compatible with the current version of Minecraft for the most part. It is also simply referred to as Java.

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition

The Bedrock version of Minecraft was released on September 20, 2017, and was promoted to the lines of Minecraft: Pocket Edition, released in 2011. It integrates nine major device platforms under one codebase called Bedrock Engine. It was basically a refining of Minecraft from the ground up and brought significant changes to the platform, paving the way for a delightful new community. It is also simply referred to as Bedrock.

Key Differences

The most obvious difference between the two versions is the world format. The Bedrock Edition uses the LevelDB format to save the world, while the Java Edition uses the Anvil format. As a result, many third-party tools created for Java Edition landscaping will not work in Bedrock Edition.

These two versions use a completely different block format. Java Edition has made its block format flat, uses a unique character unit for each block and maintains the status of that block separately. Similarly, the Bedrock Edition has moved to a system based on a series of blockchains but has kept certain blocks collected together defined by the amount of data. Basically, it means that the blocks are named differently between versions. In Bedrock Edition, granite will be stone1, and, in Java Edition, it will simply be granite.

Another important difference is how the world is produced. Both versions use the same process in generating space, using a different random number generator. This means that the seeds do not match between versions. The seeds used in Bedrock Edition will produce differently than they would in Java Edition. This makes creating Java Edition content for Bedrock Edition very difficult.

Redstone and Command Differences

The structure and function of the commands between the two versions are also different. Redstone's commands and functions are complex and flexible in Java Edition. Bedrock Edition does not support Redstone circuits with quasi-connections. The command structure of the Bedrock Edition is similar to the system used in Java Edition versions before 1.13. Instead of using a long, sophisticated JSON character unit to customize entities, you can call an entity with an event to shoot and name it in a single command.

Currently, there's no way to give players custom items in Bedrock Edition as you can in Java Edition. The item will need to be created beforehand and teleported to the player. The most common way of doing this is either by placing the item in a chest and breaking the chest or making an entity drop it on death via loot table.

Aside from that, commands should feel very familiar between Bedrock Edition and Java Edition versions prior to 1.13. The execute format introduced in Java Edition 1.13 is not supported in Bedrock Edition.

Scoreboards function the same way between the two versions, but Bedrock Edition currently doesn't have support for the wide range of criteria that Java Edition does. Currently, the only criteria supported by Bedrock Edition are the dummy criteria. None of the other criteria available in Java Edition have been implemented by Bedrock Edition. There's also no support for commands such as /stats or /team.

Schedule commands differ between editions. In Java Edition, the /schedule command has the following syntax:

Functions will be set to start later after the certain amount of time passes, by choosing to edit the same function and using "add", or cancel previous work schedules using "append" before editing a new one. In addition, scheduled functions can be postponed with a "clear" option.

In Bedrock Edition, the /schedule command has the following syntax:

Instead of starting a project after a certain period of time, functions can be organized to take effect when a particular place on the world is loaded. The "tickingarea" option will run the specified function when loading the tickingarea of the specified name. If the tickingarea is already active, then the function will work immediately. However, if the tickingarea does not already exist, the function will remain in the limbo until the tickingarea is constructed using the /ticking area command, after which the function will be active.

Many functions can be set to the same location or tickingarea. Unlike Java Edition, however, scheduled tasks cannot be deleted.

Redstone works differently too. Unlike Java Edition, Bedrock Edition does not support quasi-connectivity. Systems that use mechanics like Block Update Detector (BUD) switches will not work. The pistons also need one tick to retract and will not leave the blocks behind if given a one-tick pulse. Even the way the review is done is slightly different. While most redstone circuits work well between these two versions, very complex circuits may not work.

Resource Packs

Even though there are so many of the similarities between Java Edition and Bedrock Edition when it comes to the resource packs, but they do contain some of the differences as well. And the most apparent one is the swapping of .mcmeta files with the .json files in the Bedrock Edition. The purpose of these files is to define the properties of different interface parts and are mostly used with distinct syntax differences between the two formats but in the same way. Other large differences that you'll also see is in the texture file formats, the use of TGA files to work with alpha channels instead of PNG being one of the main differences. Some of the textures (mainly entities) are placed slightly differently as well.

Behaviour Packs

The use of behaviour packs is one of the biggest differences between Java Edition and Bedrock Edition. Behaviour packs are quite similar to the data packs in Java Edition, but the actual use and implementation of behaviour packs vary quite a lot.

Whether it be adding new blocks and items, building your own entities from scratch or to access events using the JavaScript APIs, behaviour packs bring in a whole new functionality. It is one of the most powerful parts of Bedrock Edition when compared to Java Edition as it allows for vast amount of control and flexibility.

Gameplay and Player Input

The type of platform that players of different versions use is one of the major differences that tends to be forgotten. You can be rationally sure that your player in Java Edition is using a keyboard and a mouse but your player isn't likely doing that on a Bedrock Edition.

Bedrock Edition's most common input method currently being used are console controls with touch being a close second. The tiny bit of percentage of the player base is occupied by the keyboard and mouse controls.

So, keeping in mind the different types of inputs the players will be using is something you should be aware of while designing experiences in Bedrock Edition. Also, keep in mind how your players are playing. For example, spam clicking might be fine for a player with a mouse or even with a controller but it'd be a poor experience for a touch player. Similarly, the player using keyboard and with a bow might have close to perfect aim, but when using a controller or touch it might become way more difficult. Complex parkour might even be game-breaking for a mobile player.

Keeping in mind who's playing your content is a great plus. The demographic for Java Edition may trend a bit older but on Bedrock Edition your target audience is much younger which means there's a high probability that the player might've never played before on a PC.


The Bedrock Edition Engine is designed to be played on Mobile, PC and console, it tends to be a lot more lenient platform and performs way better on low-end hardware than Java Edition does. Although, it has its faults. Performance is the area where things get mistier and tougher to define.

The advanced features provided by the platform also means that there are many more ways to break the game that too aside from normal bugs causing issues. Complicated behaviour of tons of entities can slow down some devices. RAM gets easily eaten up by the overly complex custom entities. And on lower-end devices like mobile, the number of chunks that can be loaded at once may be dramatically low.

And to tackle such kind of performance issues, Bedrock Edition has split up the ticking of chunks and the rendering. Bedrock Edition allows you to set your render distance (i.e., how far can you see) to different value than the simulation distance (i.e., how far chunks tick) unlike Java Edition in which there is a direct relation between them (i.e., whatever you see is loaded).

This feature prompts you the ability to visually render far-out areas without ticking those chunks. There is a direct impact on performance by ticking chunks. The potential for issues on lower-end devices rises if there are more chunks ticking at any given moment.

Gaming Platforms

Bedrock Edition is supported by mobile, PC and various consoles that includes PS4 (compatible with PS5 as well), Xbox One, Switch, etc. whilst Java Edition is exclusive to PC, Mac and Linux systems. And if you know how to mod the game, then you can also run it on TVs, Chromebooks and streaming devices.

The migration from Java Edition to Bedrock Edition is trouble-free if you are adequately prepared and understand the differences as a lot of features that the creators of Java Edition used to rely upon through commands have now been moved to the Behaviour packs. Most aspects of the game are being remade to be data-driven with a huge focus on flexibility. Along with the evolution of the game, the overall experience of the gameplay will feel the same but what drives that experience will function very differently.

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