How to Set up a Multiplayer Game at Home

The Minecraft: Education Edition Multiplayer experience was designed and optimized for students to play together in a classroom across the same network. With the current focus on remote learning we understand the importance of making connections across different networks. It is possible to connect to other players outside of the classroom by making some changes to your home network configuration.

The How to Set up a Multiplayer Game article walks you through many aspects of multiplayer, such as how to host and join a game, as well as managing players permission inside a game. Read on for additional information about hosting and joining Multiplayer games from different networks.

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Since the equipment and configuration for each home network is different, you may need to do a little extra research to understand how the following steps apply to your particular setup. Our support team is limited in our ability to troubleshoot these unique network issues, but we are always happy to try to help.

Hosting a Multiplayer Game

To start a Multiplayer world, one player must host the world on their machine, and then invite other players to join. If you want to host a game, follow these steps to get your device ready to host!

Get Setup to Host

Requirements

In order for players to host and join games together, they must meet the following conditions:

  1. Players must be logged into the same Office 365 Education tenant.
  2. All players, including the Host, must run the same Minecraft: Education Edition version.
  3. (Optional) Allow list the website https://*.minecrafteduservices.com/ in your router, and any safety software such as your firewall or anti-virus. This is normally not necessary unless your network has been specifically locked down for unauthorized sites, For some guidance on how to do it, you can consult this website.

You can find the version number on the lower right corner of the welcome screen, right under your character. If the game versions of all devices joining the world don't match, update the devices that aren't running the latest version.

version_number.png

Find the IP address of the device where you will host your game

The IP address of your device allows your home network to identify and connect to your device. You'll need to know what the IP address of your device is in order to open the ports on your device.

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There are cases where a device may have two different network cards that will each have a distinct IP address. This would be the case if your iPad has the ability to connect to your cellular data as well as your wifi, or if your laptop has a port for a network cable and the ability to connect to wifi. In these cases, it’s even more important to identify the IP address that the Minecraft network traffic is routed to.

  1. Connect your device to the internet using the method that provides the best network speed (cabled into a router, wifi connection, cellular connection etc.)
  2. Open Minecraft: Education Edition and then follow the instructions in the Multiplayer Guide to open a world and host it
  3. Pause the game by clicking the Esc key, and then click on the Multiplayer tab.
  4. friends_tab.png
  5. Note the IP Address – this is the IP address of the device where you are hosting the Minecraft: Education Edition Game
  6. hosting_settings.png

Dynamic IP addresses vs. Static IP addresses

Networks can be set up to assign dynamic IP addresses each time a device connects, or a static IP address. If your network is set up to assign dynamic IPs, your device may be assigned a different IP address each time it connects to the network, which would mean you would have to go through the port forwarding process again for the new IP. If this is the case, you may want to consider setting up your device to have a static IP. Here are some resources to help you do this:

How Do I Set a Static IP Address in Windows?

Static IP Configuration for iOS

How to Set a Static IP Address in Mac OS X

Dynamic vs. Static IP Addresses

Configure your Router for Port Forwarding

The player hosting the game must go through the process to open specific network ports on their device so that other players on different networks can connect to their game. A port is like a door that lets internet traffic flow in and out. Games like Minecraft are assigned these ports, and then channel traffic to and from the port in multiplayer scenarios.

You can connect to and configure your router by navigating to an IP address in a web browser and updating the settings for your router. The software used to configure your router will vary based on your hardware and your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If you have any trouble following these steps, visit the support site for your ISP or your specific network hardware for help.

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to the router configuration site on your home network. If you don't know this address, you can normally find it on a sticker on the router itself. This number will vary from device to device, however a common IP address for router configuration is https://192.168.0.1
  2. Login as the admin for your home network. Again, the login ID and password are normally found on a sticker on your router. If you don't have this information, contact your ISP.
  3. Find the setting for Port Forwarding and configure the following:
    • Enter the IP Address that you recorded for your device from the Multiplayer tab in Minecraft: Education Edition
    • Set the starting port to 19132
    • Set the ending port to 19133
    • You will need to set this for both TCP and UDP protocols. If there isn't an option to select both, you may need to go through this process twice and choose one protocol each time

Host a Game Using Join Codes

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After you have configured your router, you can host a game and invite other players to join you.

  1. Open Minecraft: Education Edition and then follow the instructions in the Multiplayer Guide to open a world and host it
  2. Share the picture-based Join Code with other players, using email or another method to communicate. You can share the Multiplayer Guide with players that aren’t familiar with how to use Join Codes.
  3. There is currently an issue that prevents users from joining a game with Join Code if they have previously joined a world in the same game session. Ask each player to close Minecraft: Education Edition if they have it open, and then re-open the game before joining a world with a Join Code.
  4. Check out the Multiplayer Guide to learn more about managing players in a hosted world, including assigning default permissions for players who join your world, and changing permissions once they are in your world.
  5. Watch other players join and then enjoy the world together!
  6. If players are having issues using Join Codes to join your game, follow the directions in the next section to invite players to join by IP address.

Host a Game and Share your IP Address

If players are having issues using Join Codes to join your world, you can also try sharing the IP address of your router. This method does have some drawbacks, as you will lose the flexibility of being able to generate new Join Codes for each Multiplayer session.

Find the IP address of your network router

Your network router communicates with the internet, so the IP address of your network router is the address that allows people to connect to you from other networks. This is the address you will give to others to allow them to join your game.

Note that you will need to go through the process of opening the port on your device before you are able to allow other players to join your game, even when you send them the IP address of your router.

  1. Visit the site wtbblue.com and note the listed IP Address. Click the Copy button next to the address to copy it.
  2. Open Minecraft: Education Edition and then follow the instructions in the Multiplayer Guide to open a world and host it
  3. Once your world is open, send the IP address of your router to other players.
  4. Instruct players joining the world to:
    • Open Minecraft: Education Edition and click Play
    • On the Play screen click the Join World button
    • Click the More (ellipsis) button at the bottom right of the screen

join_codes_more_button.png

  • Enter the IP address you supplied to them in the Join World dialogue box

join_with_IP_address.png

  • Click Join
  1. Check out the Multiplayer Guide to learn more about managing players in a hosted world, including assigning default permissions for players who join your world, and changing permissions once they are in your world.
  2. Watch other players join and then enjoy the world together!

Troubleshooting

I was able to host a world and other players joined me, but then the next time I tried to host a world it didn't work.

  • There is a known issue where after joining a world and then leaving, a player can't join another world. To solve this, have player(s) close Minecraft: Education Edition, then re-open it and join the world as the first action they take.
  • If your network is set up to assign “dynamic” IP addresses, the IP address of your device could change each time you connect to the network. In this case, you may want to investigate how to assign a static IP address to your device.

A player trying to join my world sees the error “Unable to connect to world”

  • This error is normally seen when the port on your device hasn’t been configured correctly. Make sure you’ve gone through the steps to find the IP address of your device on your network, and also make sure you’ve open to port to both UDP and TCP traffic.

A player trying to join my world sees the error “Unable to access the service you need right now”

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  • This error is normally seen when the player’s device isn’t able to connect to the Minecraft: Education Edition service, which routes traffic between the host and player devices. The player should check that any safety software, such as their firewall or anti-virus, isn’t blocking traffic for the Minecraft: Education Edition application or website: https://*.minecrafteduservices.com/. For some guidance on how to do this, you can consult this website.

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