How old is Minecraft?

Minecraft seems to have been around forever, and i actually has for almost the majority of my life. But how old is it, exactly?

Minecraft Java edition today is either 11 or 13 years old, depending on whether we consider the first Alpha or the earliest development stage as the birth of the game. Minecraft Bedrock Edition is instead 5 years old, being released in September 2017.

But let’s see more in details what we are talking about.

Emojiwiki, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Early days of Minecraft

If we consider its earliest stage, Minecraft was released in May 2009. At the time it was very different, and many of its current mechanics (like crafting for example) were not available. It even had a different name: Caveman.

This is how the game looked like back then:

If we consider May 2009 as the actual birthday of Minecraft, then the game is currently 13 years old.

How old is Minecraft? Official release

After the first version, Minecraft has been in development for over two years, during which the creators added many of the aspects that we know and enjoy today.

Trees, hills, clouds, Water and Lava were first added, other than the Wooden Plank block (see more about the first Lava mechanics in How to have infinite Lava in Minecraft?). The game was what is now called Minecraft Classic.

The Survival mode was also introduced, with players having to fight the Minecraft hostile mobs: Skeletons, Zombies, Spiders and the infamous Creeper. Then the crafting system was developed, which came with the introduction of many new blocks and crafting recipes.

minecraft creeper

The first Alpha release was in June 2010, which then evolved into a Beta stage one month later in December 2010. The game was then officially released in November 2011. The game was then very similar to what we know today. Obviously it didn’t have many of the features that we have today, it didn’t have Redstone for example, but the gameplay of Survival mode was exactly what it is today: a procedurally-generated world made up of blocks where players can use those blocks to build anything they could imagine, while fighting mobs and gather food to survive.

If we consider November 2011 as the birthday of Minecraft, then the game is currently 11 years old.

How old is Minecraft Bedrock Edition?

Bedrock Edition is much younger. It was actually based on Minecraft Pocket Edition, the mobile version of the game that was born in August 2011. In fact, the Bedrock edition brought together nine of the device platforms that Minecraft was running on.

Minecraft Bedrock Edition was officially launched on September 2017, so it is 5 years old.

All the updates of Minecraft and their release dates

The following is a list of all the updates that Minecraft went through, with the main additions highlighted for every update:

  • 1.0 November 2011 the first official release, as we already said.
  • 1.1 January 2012 added different languages, Spwan Eggs, the Beach biome and the superflat world type.
  • 1.2.1 March 2012 with Jungle biomes, Abandoned Mineshafts and Desert Wells. It also introduced new blocks (like Redstone Lamp and Chiseled Stone Bricks) and two new mobs: Iron Golems and Ocelots (see also: Do Iron Golems despawn?)
  • 1.3.1 August 2012  introduced several new features, including Villager Trading, adventure mode, Jungle Temples, Desert Temples, and new blocks/items such as Emeralds, Book and Quills, and Written Books (see also: How to copy Books in Minecraft).
  • 1.4.2 The Pretty Scary Update – October 2012 brought several new additions to the game, including four new mobs (Witches, Bats, Zombie Villagers, and Wither Skeletons), the Wither (which is technically a boss), new food: Potatoes, Carrots and Pumpkin Pies.
  • 1.5 Redstone Update – March 2013 which is quite self explanatory: it introduced many new features, mechanics and blocks related to Redstone.
  • 1.6 The Horse Update – July 2013 added Horses, Leads, resource packs and a new Launcher.
  • 1.7 The Update That Changed The World – October 2013 introduced many new biomes and generated structures.
  • 1.8 The Bountiful Update – September 2014
  • 1.9 The Combat Update – February 2016 added several new combat mechanics and even new weapons and armor, such as Shield and Tipped Arrows.
  • 1.10 The Frostburn Update – June 2016 which improved hot and cold biomes and mobs.
  • 1.11 The Exploration Update – November 2016 improved the Survival mode, introducing new mobs and exploration mechanics.
  • 1.12 The World of Color Update – June 2017 added the Advancements system (see for example the Uneasy Alliance advancement) and allowed players to unlock recipes (without having to search online how to craft every single thing).
  • 1.13 The Aquatic Update – July 2018 that changed the Minecraft water bodies forever. Seas weren’t just an empty mass of water standing between us and another piece of land anymore. They were now populated by the fierce dDrowned, a variety of different water creatures and they offer outstanding attractions to visit, such as shipwrecks and reefs. They also updated how to swim.
  • 1.14 Village and Pillage – April 2019 whose main emphasis was on Villages: it introduced new hostile Illagers called Pillagers, Vindicators, Evokers, and Vexes, as well as redesigned Village architecture to fit in with the surrounding biome. These changes enhanced the game’s exploration aspect by adding more variety to the Villages and their inhabitants. Related topic: How to get and craft Ominous/Ilager Banners in Minecraft?
  • 1.15 Buzzy Bees – December 2019 added Bees, Beehives, Honey Bottles, and Honeycombs (see also: How to move a Beehive (and its Bees).
  • 1.16 Nether Update – June 2020 that drastically changed how the Nether looks, dividing it into biomes just like the Overworld. Every new Nether biome had now new features and mobs, other than new structures.
  • 1.17 Caves and Cliffs – 2021 revamped caves, cliffs and mountains.
  • 1.18 Caves and Cliffs part II – 2021 added new cave and mountain biomes, flooded caves, made caves and cliffs deeper and mountains higher.
  • 1.19 the Wild Update – 2022 introduced new biomes and mobs, and the Deep Dark with Ancient Cities and the new boss, the Warden.

History of Minecraft

You can check the following video if you want to see the evolution of Minecraft throughout the years.


Minecraft is currently 13 years old if we consider the earliest release (also known as Caveman) as its official birthday. Otherwise it is 11 years old if we consider the first Alpha of 2011 as the first official version of the game. Minecraft Bedrock Edition was launched in 2017, so it is 5 years old. Thank you very much for reading the article this far and I hope I’ll see you again around here. See you and take care!