Can a 5 or 7 year-old kid figure out Minecraft on their own?

My daughter, who reads pretty well, is 7 and has asked about Minecraft. Yep, a couple boys in her class play and talk about it.

My 5 year-old boy does not read yet, but he has heard of it and is interested.

Despite being a gamer and tech. guy(and a middle school teacher as well), I have never played it. I know it is a sandbox game where you can build anything you want.

If I get it on my Ipad Air, will they be able to figure it all out on their own?

Also, if I get it on the Ipad, can I get it for the computer and they have the same save? I mean, is it a game with cloud saving where no matter what device you are on, it loads up the same game?

I could be wrong, but my understanding is that it is possible for Minecraft players on different platforms to play together, but right now the saves for different platforms are not compatible with each other. So you won’t be able to port your stuff from your ipad to the PC or vice versa.

I don’t know how much help he got from his father when he was learning to play, but I know my friend’s six year old is thoroughly immersed in Minecraft and doesn’t require assistance to play. It doesn’t answer your question about how much help they might need to get started, but it might be useful to know that a kid that age can be proficient enough to play unaided at some point.

There’s two types of play in Minecraft. There’s Creative, where they just give you a world space and all the blocks and let you go nuts. This is basically digital legos.

Creative mode turns off the dangerous monsters, especially the exploding shrubs known as Creepers. Those assholes do a real number on the stuff you’re trying to build.

Then there’s adventure mode, which plays like a sandbox RPG. Monsters will kill you. You have to harvest all the stuff. Creepers will blow your shit to rubble.

There’s not a whole lot to figure out here, once you show him how to acquire materials and make/use the crafting benches. He can look up all the item recipes, or he can experiment, whatever floats his boat.

Five year olds eat this game alive. I would bet that your kid goes nuts on it, and also, that maybe he will want to start reading about it. It has that effect on kids. They love being able to build stuff, like in a normal legos playtime, but here, the stuff is in 3d and they can get in there and move around in first person mode. Also, sometimes, the stuff fights back, if they’re into that sort of thing.

So I’m sure your kids will dig it.

If he likes it, he and his friends can get together and play on their own server (there’s a nominal fee for that, per month). The you can set up private servers, but the easiest thing is to subscribe to Minecraft Realms. This gives you a private server run by Mojang (the company behind Minecraft). You will have admin rights to this server. You can invite or kick people as needed and you set the rules for the server. This costs $8 a month and you can have up to 200 people in your server, so that covers your kids and one they invite. This is much safer for your kids than playing on the public servers.

Right now Minecraft Realms only works for the PC/Mac version of the game. Eventually it will come for the mobile games, which are known as the Pocket Edition. For that reason, if you tink your kids might want to play with friends, you’ll want to get the full desktop version.

Here’s more about Realms -

Correction: The difficulty determines the likelihood of you dying, not the mode. On Peaceful it’s impossible (unless you fall off the world in The End, and a typical 5-year-old won’t get that far). From Easy to Normal to Hard, the threats to your life get correspondingly greater. It is very possible to die in Creative; the difference is that this is completely harmless since can just re-call up everything you lost.

I often hear a lot of grief about creepers. The truth is, ANY enemy is deadly if you’re not prepared. In my early sessions, I actually got far more trouble from skeletons, and Endermen can mess you up fast. The only answer is to face them and figure out what works against them and how to avoid getting slaughtered like a lamb. Iron armor is always good, and you’ll definitely want a solid bow at the first opportunity.

As for the OP…sure, why not? Thanks to Creative/Peaceful, the difficulty essentially starts at “Challenge? What is this strange thing you call ‘challenge’?” I know I would’ve enjoyed the hell out of a toybox like this in my formative years. You might want to lend a hand once in a while, y’know, if he keeps digging into lava or getting lost underwater, but other than that, there’s no better game for letting a kid just cut loose for the hell of it.

Do they like Lego and Duplo? If yes, they’ll love Minecraft. It’s basically virtual Lego.

Is the pocket edition adequate? I have an Ipad Air.

Does it allow two accounts so my girl and boy can have separate saves?

Pocket edition is adequate, it’s just not compatible with the PC version. Same with XBox, they’re all different ecosystems and never the 3 shall meet.

You create worlds, so your 2 kids can each have their own world(s) that won’t interfere with each other. My kids were about the same ages when they picked it up on their own, but they didn’t start building anything interesting until older kids at school taught them.

Mine did, proving once again they are smarter than me…

You will never, ever be able to use your, I mean their iPad again. Every day when I get home, the first words out of my kids mouths are “Minecraft phone please?”

Seriously, my 6&7 year old figured it out all on their own to the point where I don’t know what the heck they’re even talking about most of the time. One great thing about Minecraft is they can play to whatever level they like. If they just want to kill sheep, they can. Later, they can move up to building houses, roller coasted, etc… Finally, you can learn how to grow gardens, raise cattle, build electric circuits. It’s pretty amazing what kids this age can do.

I kind of wonder how well it works on an Ipod 4th generation. I do have that in addition to an Ipad.

My kids play on my old iPhone 4S, roughly the same tech. The screen’s painfully small but it runs ok.

My 4 and 6-year-old grandsons have a playroom in our home. It has a WII U and a TV and a ton of hot wheels cars. They have figured out every game they have on the WII. You have to sit through it once and read the words that they don’t know yet, but they soon recognize a words such as start, pause, reload, victory, defeat, etc.

Never underestimate the determination of a 5 to 7 year old.

OK, so I got it for the Ipad and my Ipod.

I started a creative mode game for me to practice. Do I swing the axe or do I just have infinite blocks?

Question for Minecraft parents: Were your kids able to figure out the crafting recipes on their own, without having to consult the Minecraft Wiki every five minutes?

Mahaloth - In Creative, striking any object once with anything will completely destroy it. An axe isn’t going to do you any good since its purpose is to harvest wood, which 1. you can’t, and 2. don’t have to since you can just pull up anything you want. Enemies and animals take damage normally, so Creative is a good place to practice your fighting/hunting techniques. Aim carefully, though, or else you’re going to be making lots of unwanted holes in the ground.

buddha_david - In both of the versions I played (XBox 360 and PS3…), I never had to work anything out; I just selected the item and the recipe would show up automatically. If your version doesn’t allow this, I’d definitely suggest printing a chart of at least the common items…crafting table, shovel, pickaxe, bread, furnace, etc. There’s a LOT to remember.

My 6 year old only plays on Creative, when they just select whatever they want from a list, be it tools, blocks, spawn eggs or whatever.

My 10yr old, who has been playing for a few years now, still has to look up crafting recipes on the wiki when she plays Survival. But then, so do I.

I’d say looking up crafting recipes is just part of the game. It’s the missing instruction booklet that helped create the Minecraft community.

I have four Minecraft guides that Scholastic sells. As a teacher, I’ve gotten them free.

My kids are having a heck of a time getting trapped under water and under ground.

I don’t know how you would ever get out of the underground in Survival mode. Flying while mining straight up has been my only way to help out my kids. I keep telling them not to fall below ground!

Make a stair case, either carve it out the rock or just construct it from blocks in your inventory. You can also make ladders at the crafting table that you can place on the wall.
In general digging straight down(or up) can be very bad for your health unless you know exactly what is underneath(or above) you, in case you dig into a large cavern or a lava pool.