Free games like Minecraft you can play online

Free games like Minecraft - Trove - a character heroically swings around in a cave with other heroes battling behind them
(Image credit: Trion Worlds)

Minecraft is one of the most popular videogames ever made, with more than 238 million copies sold across PC, consoles, and mobile over the past decade. "Sold" is a key word there: Minecraft isn't free. On the PC, it costs $26.95. If you're searching for free versions of Minecraft online, you're mostly going to run into crappy browser game knock-offs.

But there are some ways to play Minecraft for free, or for very cheap. And while most free Minecraft clones aren't worth your time, there are some that you should actually take a look at. Below I've assembled a collection of the best free Minecraft-style games, and clarified how you can actually play the real thing for free. 

For other free game options, check out our lists of best free PC games, best free games on Steam, and best browser games. Also check out our list of the best MMOs, many of which can be played for free.

How to get Minecraft for free 

Mojang offers a free trial of Minecraft: Java Edition on its website. This won't let you play for long, though. As Mojang explains: "This version of the game lasts five in-game days, or about 100 minutes. Playing the demo mode is also useful for seeing if your computer can run Minecraft before you decide to buy it."

Free games like Minecraft 

Okay, so you're dead set on getting something like the Minecraft experience without spending a dime. What's out there? Searching for "Free Minecraft games" will return a lot of junk—browser games that shamelessly steal Minecraft's voxel look, but don't truly offer any of its depth. Many of these also insert ads before you can play. Here are some genuinely good free Minecraft-style games you should spend your time on, instead.


Free games like Minecraft - Creativerse - characters watch a dragon breathe fire on a town

(Image credit: Playful Corp.)

A free to play voxel sandbox game that lets you build massive custom worlds—yup, this is definitely a Minecraft clone! But Creativerse is far better and more expansive than any of the browser-based knock-offs you'll find out there. As in Minecraft, there are public worlds you can join, or you can play solo or with a select group of friends. Best of all, it has Steam Workshop support, meaning there are thousands of mods and items you can add to the game with a single click.


Free games like Minecraft - Roblox - A crowd of characters pose for the camera

(Image credit: Roblox)

Roblox is hard to describe, because it isn't exactly a single game. Rather, it's a platform that lets players create their own 3D games, which has made it popular with millions. Like Minecraft, there's definitely some inspiration from Lego here (Roblox actually predates Minecraft!). Because players can create their own games, there's an immense variety of experiences to be had within the Roblox universe. Games are free, and there's an avatar shop you can buy cosmetic items from. Roblox may not be exactly like Minecraft, but it hosts many, many games that allow for similar multiplayer, creativity, and exploration.


Unturned - a character fires a gun at zombies inside a building

(Image credit: Smartly Dressed Games)

"You're a survivor in the zombie infested ruins of society, and must work with your friends and forge alliances to remain among the living," says the description for Unturned on Steam. This game is a bit like classic zombie survival game DayZ, but with more of a Minecraft aesthetic. The creator was just a teenager when he launched Unturned, and several years and hundreds of updates later, it remains free to play on Steam and far deeper than you'd expect. It's not exactly like Minecraft, but it has crafting and multiplayer, which can keep you and a crew busy for a long time. And it'll run on even a low-end PC.


Free games like Minecraft - Trove - a character heroically swings around in a cave with other heroes battling behind them

(Image credit: gamigo)

A free to play voxel MMO with years of development behind it. Trove has added a battle royale mode, Steam Workshop support for mods, and mixes Minecraft's destructible environments and crafting with RPG classes you can spend hours leveling up. Like other free MMOs, though, expect Trove to feel pretty grindy if you don't spend any money.


Free games like Minecraft - Terasology - a beautiful voxel landscape full of flowers and trees

(Image credit: Terasology Foundation)

If you like seeing how games change in development, the free Terasology is a good choice. This voxel sandbox game was inspired by Minecraft, starting life as a tech demo before turning into something bigger. It's an open source project in active development, so you could even get involved and help make it better. 


Minetest - characters man the bridge of an airship as it flies over a forest

(Image credit: Minetest Team)

Similar to the previous entry, Minetest is an open-source voxel game in active development. Minetest however has pretty expansive mod support, with over 1100 open source mods on ContentDB. If you're looking for a similar fix to play with your friends, this is another great option. Plus, it's also got its own suite of texture packs to customize the look!

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).

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