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.

Instructors may wish to use Multi-MC along with an instance with built-in tools for world modification and navigation. Follow the instructions here.

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.