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What are Minecraft Realms and how to create one

minecraft realms
(Image credit: Mojang)
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Want to know more about Minecraft Realms? If you've been playing the blocky building and survival game for a while now, you may be interested in starting your own space for yourself and your pals. The best way to do this is with Minecraft Realms—a subscription service that provides you with your own server, and is perfect for anyone looking to invest even deeper in the game

These Realms have room for up to ten people and as they're private, you don't have to worry about safety at all, since you're in control of who gets an invite. Only one player needs a subscription to create the Realm, then friends can join for free, making it a great option for younger players in terms of a guaranteed safe environment in which to mess around. There's also crossplay, so friends with different devices can join, though Java players can only play with each other.

The main downside is that a number of the best Minecraft mods (opens in new tab) can't be used with them. Still, since they are online 24/7, the host won't need to be active for any of the other Realm occupants to play. If Minecraft Realms sounds like it might be for you, there are details below on pricing, different levels of subscription, and how to set up your own. 

How much does Minecraft Realms cost? 

There are two versions of Minecraft Realms, which are essentially a basic version and a deluxe package. As you might expect, the more expensive one comes with more benefits.

First off, the basic version costs $3.99 / £3.29 per month, and that enables you to create a realm for a maximum of two players plus you, which will remain constantly online. As a rolling month-long subscription, you can stop at any time if you aren’t really getting the use out of it you need. Mojang offer a 30-day free trial for those who want to test the subscription out first. 

What is Realms Plus?

The more costly version, Realms Plus, costs $7.99 / £6.69 and allows up to 10 players plus you. This version also gives you free access to over 50 marketplace packs, which includes mini-games, maps, and skins. You get a 30-day free trial of Realms Plus too, so it basically comes with a free month.

How to set up Minecraft Realms

Once you have decided which Realms subscription you want, it’s time to start setting it up. You do this by opening the game (obviously), then clicking Play, Create New, and finally New Realm. From here, you create the realm as you would create anything else in Minecraft, taking as long as you want to perfect your little world.

Once it’s ready, you will then need to name the realm and choose your realm size. You will then be prompted to invite players to join with an invite link. If you want to invite more players later, you can find the invite link in the Player Settings menu.

How to replace your world in Minecraft Realms

Replacing a world in Minecraft Realms is literally as easy as pushing a button. Which button? The ‘Replace World’ button in the Realms Menu, of course. This then lets you upload a previously downloaded world. You can also push the Realms Backup button instead, which will pull up each of your previous backups and give you the option to restore them. This list comes with timestamps too, so it’s pretty convenient and easy to navigate.

There’s also a Reset Realm button, which allows you to create a new realm from scratch to replace your current one.

What’s the difference between a realm and a server?

As with most things in life, the big difference is cash. Like we said above, Minecraft Realms costs money. Servers don’t. Another difference is that Realms will always be online, whether the creator is or not, but Realms do have stricter limits on how many people can participate.

And that’s all you need to know about Minecraft Realms. Now, whenever you’re talking Minecraft, you can be in your realm-ement.

Rachel had been bouncing around different gaming websites as a freelancer and staff writer for three years before settling at PC Gamer back in 2019. She mainly writes reviews, previews, and features, but on rare occasions will switch it up with news and guides. When she's not taking hundreds of screenshots of the latest indie darling, you can find her nurturing her parsnip empire in Stardew Valley and planning an axolotl uprising in Minecraft. She loves 'stop and smell the roses' games—her proudest gaming moment being the one time she kept her virtual potted plants alive for over a year.