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How to use Minecraft cross-play on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Minecraft Nintendo Switch
Minecraft Nintendo Switch (Image credit: Windows Central)

Minecraft now spans millions of devices, unified via cross-platform multiplayer attributed to its shared "Bedrock" engine. The unification breaks long-established barriers between platforms, including home console rivals, the Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Here's how to get started with cross-play for Minecraft today.

Related: How to set up cross-play on Minecraft for PlayStation 4

Setting up Minecraft cross-play for Xbox One

Xbox Search Menu

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Preparing cross-play on Xbox One is straightforward, thanks to relaxed content restrictions compared to other platforms. And with direct Xbox Live integration on the console, you'll be ready to go after installing the game. Xbox One users should ensure "Minecraft" is used, rather than the incompatible "Minecraft: Xbox One Edition."

  1. Open the Microsoft Store on Xbox One.
  2. Select the Search title.
  3. Type Minecraft.
  4. Select Minecraft from the available titles.
  5. Download Minecraft for Xbox One (opens in new tab). This will be a free download for existing Minecraft: Xbox One Edition owners or priced at $43.
  6. Open Minecraft.

After completing the above steps, your Xbox One is primed for Minecraft cross-play with other systems.

Setting up Minecraft cross-play for Nintendo Switch

Minecraft Switch Home

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Cross-play on Nintendo Switch brings a few additional hurdles to overcome, due to limitations of the console. Without native Xbox Live integration, you'll need to sign into a Microsoft account. Furthermore, the lack of an integrated browser means you'll need help from a mobile or PC. Like the Xbox version, Nintendo Switch users should ensure "Minecraft" is installed, rather than the incompatible "Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition."

  1. Open the Nintendo eShop.
  2. Navigate to the Search tab.
  3. Search for Minecraft.
  4. Select Minecraft from the available titles.
  5. Download Minecraft for Nintendo Switch (opens in new tab). This will be a free download for existing Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition owners or priced at $29.

Minecraft Switch Sign In

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Open Minecraft.
  2. Select Sign In For Free when prompted to sign into your Microsoft account.
  3. Navigate to https://aka.ms/remoteconnect on your PC or mobile.

Minecraft Switch Sign In

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Enter the unique code displayed on-screen.
  2. Sign into your Microsoft account. A confirmation screen will be displayed. Your Xbox Live profile will appear on your Nintendo Switch shortly after.
  3. Select Let's Play to complete the process.

Minecraft is now linked to Xbox Live and ready for cross-play with other systems.

How to create Minecraft cross-play games

Minecraft Cross Play Setup

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The process of creating cross-play sessions is the same as any other Minecraft multiplayer game – set up your world, and you're ready to go. For those with an existing Minecraft Realm from other platforms, these steps can be ignored.

  1. Select Play from the main menu.
  2. Choose Create New under the Worlds tab.
  3. Select Create New World to start a fresh game.
  4. Navigate to the Multiplayer subsection.
  5. Check to see if multiplayer is enabled.
  6. Select Create once you're ready to play

Your Minecraft world will now start and be open to other players.

How to join Minecraft cross-play games

Minecraft Realms

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Using Minecraft's Friends tab is a quick way to see active games and join sessions. Navigating to this section will breakdown which online games are joinable across compatible platforms.

  1. Select Play from the main menu.
  2. Press RB to access to Friends tab on Xbox One. Press R to access to Friends tab on Nintendo Switch.
  3. Select an active game to join.

On Xbox One, games will be split between joinable friends and joinable Realms. On Nintendo Switch, games are sorted by Nintendo Switch friends, Xbox Live cross-platform friends, and joinable Realms.

Awesome Minecraft merch

We love Minecraft just as much as you do. These are some of our favorite Minecraft accessories.

Minecraft Guide Book Collection (opens in new tab) ($25 at Amazon)

Want to learn more about the intricacies of Minecraft? These awesome books make for a great gift, or learning experience for a younger loved one!

Minecraft Creeper T-shirt (opens in new tab) (From $7 at Amazon)

For the creeper in your life!

Creeper Hat (opens in new tab) ($14 at Amazon)

The spookiest hat of them all. Thankfully, it doesn't explode.

Minecraft Pig Plushie (opens in new tab) ($18 at Amazon)

Creepers too ugly? Try this cutesy plushie instead!

Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.