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Can You Play Minecraft Without Xbox Live?

Can You Play Minecraft Without Xbox Live?

Minecraft is a game that has made it to a multitude of platforms. While the game runs fine on all of them, there are certain platform-based limitations that it adheres to. That being said, there is a lot you can and cannot do if you put your brain into it. 

Nonetheless, certain actions can only be done after performing a certain step. While it might cost a lot of gamers some unnecessary bucks, it is a necessity to have, especially when you’re playing Minecraft on Xbox. 

The Xbox version of Minecraft requires you to have a live subscription in order to play online with your friends. However, the online version is still readily available. Therefore, local multiplayer is still playable without an active Xbox Live subscription. 

Needless to say, the game is extremely fun when played with friends. However, it does not mean you will absolutely need to have an active subscription to enjoy the multiplayer experience. 

What is an Xbox Live Gold Subscription?

The Xbox networking service is only accessible by paying a set amount every month. The main premise is to provide its users with online connectivity so they can enjoy the multiplayer options of the said game. This service is currently available on the following variants of Xbox:

  • Xbox One
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox Series X
  • Xbox Series S

However, this is not the end of what the service entails. Rather, you also get a set amount of free games each month that are yours to keep for as long as you want. Therefore, it is very possible for you to get a popular title without needing to spend another paycheck on it. 

That being said the Gold subscription includes online multiplayer and game recording.

Consequently, it is also possible to share your recorded media by being able to broadcast it to a wider audience. You will also get exclusive access to the beta version of the upcoming games. Therefore, you will most likely be next in line to enjoy the upcoming masterpieces one step ahead of the curve.

How to Play Minecraft Multiplayer on Xbox Gold

There is not much to do once you’ve subscribed to the Xbox Live Gold service. Simply head into the game and click on the multiplayer option. You won’t be welcomed with the usual annoying subscription ad popup. Therefore, feel free to rejoice for as long as you want since the subscription will continue automatically at the regular price. 

Related: How to Stop Water from Freezing in Minecraft

That being said, you will have to actively cancel the subscription in order to not be charged for the very next round. However, this also means you won’t be able to enjoy the online experience with your friend since Minecraft reverts back to the offline copy once the internet is out. Therefore, we recommend you keep the service up and running if you want to play Minecraft with your friends. 

Playing Minecraft Multiplayer Without Xbox Gold

As the title suggests, it is possible to do that. However, you need to check a few requirements before proceeding. This method requires the consoles to be connected to the same local network.

That being said, here is how you can connect your Minecraft account to your friend’s console without needing a proper internet connection:

Download Identical Versions of Minecraft

A later version of Minecraft will be unable to detect an earlier version. Therefore, it is mandatory to have the latest versions installed on both ends in order to avoid inconvenience during the pairing process.
That being said, certain versions do allow you to connect to a later version. However, they come with their fair share of connectivity issues and bugs, so they’re generally not recommended. 

Nonetheless, you will generally be on the same edition since the Xbox service regularly updates your current games unless you’re devoid of an internet connection. 

Playing on LAN: Server’s Side

For those unaware, the server is usually the one that has a Minecraft world. The rest of the players join its world from their respective PCs in order to enjoy the respective multiplayer experience. 

That being said, the process is generally simple and should require no more than 5 minutes. Here is how you can play Minecraft multiplayer through a local area network:

  • Start the game and hit the Edit button on your respective world.
  • Choose the Multiplayer option and enable the Visible to LAN toggle from the settings that open up. 

Simply launch the game and wait for your friend to join from his/her Xbox console.

Note: This method is only viable with both Xbox consoles under the same Wi-Fi or wired connection.

Playing on LAN: Client’s Side

Unlike the Server, the client doesn’t have to do much in order to join the game. Simply launch the game and head to the Play Menu. From there, do the following steps in order to join the multiplayer game:

  • Navigate to the Friends section and find your desired friend within the list. If you haven’t added your friend to the list, then do the following steps:
    • Press the Xbox button and head to the People menu. 
    • From there, click on Find and search for their GamerTag.
    • Press the A button for the selection and choose Add friend on the account you want to add. 
    • Wait for them to accept your request and you’re good to go!
  • Look for the LAN game under your friend and click on Join.

Once you’re in, you will be able to see your friend and thus, will be able to play multiplayer with your friends. 

Needless to say, this method is rather complex and can be annoying to ensue, especially when your friends live long distances apart. Therefore, we recommend you go for the Xbox Gold Live subscription instead.


All in all, it is not really worth going for offline multiplayer unless you have the requirements pinned down without active effort. Needless to say, the setup is possible, therefore, don’t hesitate to go for it for the sake of having fun in the multiplayer!