Getting Started with Minecraft Java Edition

Project WHIMC hosts an open-source Minecraft server for free use as a core part of our research. It is a [no PVP] collaboration-oriented exploration server intended to help players who want to learn more about astronomy, exoplanets and building habitats in extreme settings.

Step 1: Overview and Controls

Not sure what Minecraft is or how it works? Some resources to get you started:

New to Minecraft? Never played on a computer?
WHIMC server recommended settings for Minecraft.

Step 2: Install Java Edition Minecraft

We use Minecraft Java Edition because it has a huge community of creators and astounding repertoire of extensions that can enable powerful and robust learning experiences. You can purchase it for OSX (mac) or Windows (PC) for about $27 or participate in one of our camps to borrow one of our accounts for free.

Only have an iPad? Sorry iOS, phones, Xbox and non-computers run Bedrock Edition and can’t use our server. Check out Minecraft Education Edition to find many tutorials and guides great for introductory learning for these simpler platforms.

Step 3: Sign up for our Server

E.g. Starseeker2000

Don't have an account? Can't play at school? Need help getting started on Minecraft? We got you covered:
Selected Value: 3
1 = newbie - (just learning how to play and build)
3 = intermediate (beat the ender dragon, play on servers, can fly an elytra)
5 = expert (redstone, mods, slime automations, shaders, running a server)
Please select all that apply
Remember this server is part of a research project!

Before you get started playing please review the server use agreement and informed consent (opens in a new window).
You must be a US Resident to participate in this study.


If you get a CAPTCHA error upon submission just try again.

Step 4: Learn More

Check out the documentation below to learn more about our other informal learning programming, building, making your own version and more.