You can go on a real-world Minecraft adventure later this year to celebrate 15 years of Minecraft, and tickets go on sale soon

Key art for Minecraft Experience: Villager Rescue.
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Minecraft's began its life around May 10, 2009, and saw its first public appearance on May 17, 2009.
  • Now, the survival-crafting behemoth is the best-selling video game of all time 15 years later.
  • To celebrate the legendary game's birthday, Mojang Studios and Xbox are hosting 15 days of gifts and fun.
  • This includes a free Character Creator item for each of the 15 days, but more goodies and events have been teased.

Recent updates

May 29, 2024 — Updated with the announcement of Minecraft Experience: Villager Rescue, an in-person Minecraft adventure coming to Dallas, Texas (and more cities in the future) later this year.

In an interesting turn of events, the latest news to come out of the 15-year Minecraft anniversary celebration is the announcement of Minecraft Experience: Villager Rescue. This isn't an in-game event or merch collaboration — no, this is a real-world interactive adventure that anyone can experience, and it's debuting in Dallas, TX later this year.

Mojang Studios teamed up with Experience MOD to craft a real-life quest for Minecraft players, fans, and basically anyone else to participate in. It's a 1-hour journey that begins by entering a forest and learning the rules of the adventure. Then, participants will move into a village and embark on an epic rescue mission with a scavenger hunt through multiple Minecraft biomes, interactions with various Minecraft mobs (friend and foe), and an end-of-quest Trading Post to create a unique memento.

Get a taste of Minecraft in the real world. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Minecraft Experience: Villager Rescue debuts in Dallas, TX on Sept. 20, 2024, but the adventure will expand to other cities around the world after that. If you're interested in being one of the first to experience this epic event, you can sign up for the Minecraft Experience waitlist right now. Pre-sale tickets will become available on May 31, while the general public will be able to buy tickets beginning June 3, 2024. Individual tickets begin at $32, while family and multipack tickets start at $28.

It's definitely unlike anything else we've seen come out of the Minecraft universe, as there certainly haven't been many opportunities to put yourself into the game. If you live in the area or are willing to travel, don't wait to sign up for ticket access, as spots may be limited.

Recent updates

May 22, 2024 — Updated with the announcement of the Higround x Minecraft Collection, which features exclusive and limited edition keyboards going up for sale later this month.

Mojang Studios isn't just celebrating Minecraft's 15-year birthday with software tricks and gifts — exclusive, limited-edition hardware is coming out of this celebration, and this is the most exciting announcement yet. The Higround x Minecraft Collection marries the legendary game with the expertise of a high-end bespoke keyboard manufacturer. The result? A series of gorgeous custom gaming keyboards with wild Minecraft keycaps, Minecraft-themed mousepads, and exclusive merch.

Six high-end keyboards, two sets of custom keycaps compatible with many keyboards, five unique mousepads, and shirt, and a bag... The choice is yours! You don't have long to wait, as the Higround x Minecraft Collection drops on May 29, 2024 at Noon PT / 3:00 p.m. ET, but you won't want to wait long once it arrives because this is a very limited drop that's liable to sellout quickly.

If you're unfamiliar with Higround (I know I am), you can check out the Higround Shop to get an idea of what this company produces. Spoiler: it's mostly really nice looking keyboards. What better way to celebrate 15 years of Minecraft than with an exclusive, functional collectible that you can keep for many years?

Recent updates

May 20, 2024 — Updated with information on Minecraft's 15 Year Journey map, an interactive museum you can download for free now.

Day 6 of Minecraft's 15-year birthday celebration, and Mojang Studios is upping the ante with another free map. This time around, however, it's a massive interactive museum that you can download for free through the Minecraft Marketplace in Minecraft: Bedrock Edition. Developed by Oreville Studios, "15 Year Journey" lets you explore the entire history of Minecraft's 15-year life, with exhibits on each major chapter and update.

Honestly, this map looks really interesting, and I love efforts like this that will persist long after we've moved on from Minecraft's 15-year birthday. It's also a great opportunity to learn more about all the steps Minecraft had to take to become one of the biggest video games ever released. If you're interested in seeing it for yourself, the 15 Year Journey map works for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Xbox, Windows PC, PlayStation, Switch, and mobile devices, and can be downloaded for free at Minecraft Marketplace.

Recent updates

May 16, 2024 — Updated with Day 2 of Minecraft's 15-year birthday celebration, including a new free Java Realms map and a Google shout-out.

It's Day 2 of Minecraft's 15-day-long anniversary celebration, and that means a new free Character Creator item, new sales and discounts, and more. It also means more events, such as a free Java Realms map for all Minecraft: Java Edition players! This map was built by over 100 Minecraft creators, and celebrates 10 years of Java Realms and Minecraft multiplayer fun. There is a ton to explore on this map and lots of secrets, and you can learn more about it (and download it for free) at

There's a whole lot to see on this map. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

That's not all, of course. Head to Google and search "Minecraft," and you should see a little Minecraft logo near the bottom of your screen. Click it, and you can then take on the role of Steve, hijacking the Google search page by replacing search entries with Minecraft images. Whenever you're done, clicking the "X" will dispatch a Creeper to clear your creations, letting you peruse Google like normal again. It's a small shout-out from the Google team, but it's kind of neat.

Mojang Studios is partnering with different companies on new Minecraft collaborations. You can pick up some Minecraft pool floaties for the summer from $26.99 at Amazon, for example. There's certain to be more as celebrations continue.

Finally, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can redeem a new Perk for 500 Minecoins, useable in the Minecraft Marketplace for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition across Xbox, Windows PC, PlayStation, Switch, and mobile devices. Minecoins can pay for textures, skins, maps, adventures, and more, so it's a nice bonus for Minecraft players.

Recent updates

May 15, 2024 — Updated with more information and news regarding Minecraft's 15-year anniversary celebration, including game sales and more.

Now that Minecraft's 15-year anniversary celebration has officially kicked off, we have a better idea of how Mojang Studios and Xbox are commemorating Minecraft. For one, Minecraft has completely taken over the official Xbox website, including custom iconography and various banners and links. There's also a link to download a collection of Minecraft wallpapers for your devices. You can find even more information, including a timeline exploring Minecraft's history, on the official Minecraft website.

Mojang Studios is also offering 50% off all three of the mainline Minecraft games, and up to 70% off the mobile Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Android and iOS devices. You can find all the discounted items from $2.99 at Microsoft Store (Xbox & PC). This is a great time to check out Minecraft Dungeons, for example, an excellent co-op action-RPG swimming in a ton of content. Don't forget that the Minecraft Marketplace will also be offering big discounts on in-game items like skin packs, texture packs, maps, adventures, and more.

Finally, Mojang Studios may be hosting in-person parties in your area to bring the community together. You'll have to check your local Minecraft social media accounts for more information on these events, but I do know that one is happening in London on Saturday, May 18!

Our original article continues below.

Minecraft may now be the best-selling video game of all time, but it still had modest beginnings. Development on the survival-crafting game began around May 10 in 2009, with the game's first public release being on May 17. Since then, the game has enjoyed 15 years of content updates, spin-off games, new platform releases, expanding feature sets, and much more. Nearly ten years ago, Minecraft even became a part of the Xbox family.

So, how are Mojang Studios and Xbox celebrating this momentous milestone? Well, we already know that Minecraft is getting a ton of new in-game paintings and music as a part of the Minecraft 1.21 'Tricky Trials' Update, but Minecraft's creators certainly aren't stopping there.

A brief teaser trailer reveals that Mojang is planning 15 days of celebration for Minecraft's birthday — one day for each year Minecraft has dominated the video games industry. For over two weeks, Mojang is inviting the community to enjoy an assortment of themed gifts and discounted items, presumably mostly from the Minecraft Marketplace, with each day highlighting a different year of Minecraft's history.

Mojang Studios isn't rushing to reveal every surprise, but the studio has teased a varied plethora of presents for the Minecraft community. One thing we know for certain is that each day will gift a new free Character Creator item to players. There will also be other exclusive freebies and discounts to celebrate Minecraft, with Mojang using words like "watch," "share," "play," and "explore" to describe the gifts. Here's hoping Mojang Studios and Xbox have something big planned for Minecraft's actual birthday beyond free Character Creator and Marketplace items, though.

Minecraft players already got quite the treat recently, though, with the surprise release of new wolves and armadillos in the Minecraft Armored Paws update. A lot more content and Minecraft's 15 new celebratory paintings are also arriving later this year, and you can read our Minecraft 1.21 'Tricky Trials' update FAQ for more info on that.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.