Minecraft has definitely outgrown its humble roots, in no small part thanks to Microsoft’s push to other platforms and use cases. A certain segment of the Minecraft community, however, has managed to stay firmly rooted in the game’s original form, from the PC-only Java-based program to the ways they log in. The latter, however, will soon change forever as Microsoft will soon be requiring Microsoft account and only Microsoft accounts to be able to log into any incarnation of Minecraft, including the venerable Java Edition.
To be clear, Microsoft is assuring Minecraft Java players that nothing is changing other than the way they log into the game’s servers. This is an important promise because, unlike the Bedrock Editions, only the Java Edition has the nearly unrestricted ability to mod the game that, in turn, has made Minecraft so popular with creators and extremely patient players.
What it is doing is, instead, to offer a more secure way to login, since Microsoft accounts support two-factor authentication. It also means having the same account to access any and all Minecraft games, including those that may still be on the drawing board. It doesn’t, however, mean cross-play between Java and Bedrock editions, at least not yet.
Tying everything into a Microsoft account also gives Microsoft more control to develop or improve features like parental controls or chat blocking. That said, as the case with Facebook accounts and the Oculus Quest 2, it does put all your Minecraft eggs in one basket. At least you get an in-game cape for your efforts and worries.
The transition will be done in batches, with Minecraft reaching out to Java Edition players little by little. One important thing to note is that if you miss the deadline and Minecraft already flips the switch, you won’t be able to log into the game or play it anymore. Then you’ll have to go through an account recovery process and, hopefully, all your data will remain intact until then.