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Minecraft Java Edition will require a Microsoft account starting in 2021

Mojang Studios has announced that all of its games, including Minecraft Java Edition, will soon require a Microsoft account in order to play. 

In a post on Minecraft.net, Mojang Studios gave a detailed overview of the decision behind the account migration and clarified that it will be mandatory for all users starting in 2021 -  players who don't make the move will eventually be unable to log in and play.

"Change can also pave the way for a better future. That’s why we’ve decided that moving forward, all of our games will require a Microsoft account to play – including Minecraft Java Edition," the post begins. "Why? Think of it as moving house; when you outgrow one place, you move on to the next. It involves a logistic effort, but once you’re settled in your new home, you realize you’d do it ten times over just for that extra room. Except in our case, the extra room is all of these features, from which all Microsoft accounts will benefit." 

The list of benefits given as a result of moving over from Java and Mojang to Microsoft accounts includes increased security for accounts with two-factor authentication, chat and invitation blocking, and improved parental controls. Mojang Studios also highlights that all of your Minecraft games on PC will be connected to the same account as a result of migration: "Currently, that's Minecraft and Minecraft Dungeons, but who knows what we'll do next?"  

The post also provides an FAQ support page for a rundown of how to make the move, along with a video overview of all the benefits of migrating to better address some questions players may have. A follow-up video is set to come at a later stage to guide you through the process. You'll also receive a special cape reward for logging in with your new Microsoft account once the move begins. 

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Heather Wald

After trying to get into the industry for a number of years, I eventually landed my dream job as a full-time staff writer at GamesRadar+. You'll see all sorts of articles from me here including news, reviews, previews, and features.