Minecraft is great fun with friends but unless you join a server multiplayer isn’t as straightforward as it could be. Minecraft Realms is a new subscription service that aims to change that.
Minecraft doesn’t have direct online peer-to-peer multiplayer support on Mac and PC, which means if you want to play with others outside of your LAN, you have to join a server. If you’re lucky enough to have friends with a private server you’re laughing, but most of us who play Minecraft on Mac and PC join public servers. The problem with that is you have to put up with trolls and griefers – and it’s not exactly a great option for kids playing alone.
It’s relatively easy to set up a Minecraft server – I had one running on my media PC for a while, and I’m a total newb – but not everyone is comfortable faffing about with IP addresses and what not. Minecraft Realms promises to do away with all that guff by taking the work out of it.
Hosted by Mojang, a Minecraft Realm will set you back $13 per month and supports up to 20 players – a really reasonable cost when shared among a group of parents wanting a safe space for their kids to play, for example.
It’s a pretty cheap price for 24 hour availability, and also includes some sweet bonuses like the ability to roll the world back if something goes terribly wrong, like someone inviting little Timmy even though everyone knows little Timmy is a nightmare child interested only in destruction.