18th Nov, 2022
Minecraft is a groundbreaking title in many ways. It has pioneered some of the most widespread cross-play systems in the game industry. This is Minecraft Realms.
Minecraft Realms is a groundbreaking feature in gaming that deserves a lot of praise. Realms allows Minecraft to connect players from Windows 10, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and VR platforms.
You and up to 10 friends can play together in a shared world, building, crafting, and adventuring together for a small fee. As of writing, no other game has achieved this level of popularity, but many others are making progress in this direction, such as Fortnite, which allows cross-play between Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PC. Minecraft, however, is a completely different game. It revolves around cooperative play in infinitely random environments. However, the rentable Realms feature, which is still relatively new, is missing a frustrating number of features.
Minecraft Realms is a game-changer for the legendary title that Microsoft bought for more than 2 billion dollars. It connects friends from virtually every major gaming platform, allowing them to share a persistent world that never ends.
The Bedrock edition lets players connect from any device, including mobile devices, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. It works flawlessly. This is how gaming should be.
Minecraft Realms allows users to create and manage private worlds at a very low cost. The maximum cost per month is $7.99 and can support up to 11 concurrent users per world. Although the maximum number of players who can access a Realm is much higher, only 11 players can be online at a time. For $3.99 per month, you can get up to three players. This is a better deal for small groups of friends or families who want to play together.
Only the server owner must pay. All other users can connect for free provided they have a compatible version. There are two Realms versions: one for the classic PC edition and one for cross-platform Bedrock.
The Bedrock edition lets players from iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch, Windows 10 PC, VR and Xbox One connect and play together. This is how gaming should be.
Minecraft Realms can also be modified offline and uploaded for all members to enjoy. Minecraft's Add Ons platform allows you to create unique skins and behavior modifiers. It's as simple as double-clicking a few files in Windows 10 to create a Realm. You can also customize your skins with tools as simple and intuitive as Microsoft Paint. All mods and skins are stored in the cloud and can be accessed from any device that has the Bedrock edition.
Minecraft Realms is a great multiplayer platform, with a lot more uptime than other platforms. It's powered by Microsoft Azure and the server latency is generally very low. There are few platforms that can offer the same value, compatibility and fun when it comes to collaborative, creative fun that respects your devices. Realms still has a lot to learn before it can be as robust and feature-rich like other platforms.
The Bedrock edition tools for administration are sufficient if you're creating a small server for close friends and family. Realms is not up to the task of managing a larger Realm with friends and followers from your Mixer, Twitch, or other communities.
Realms' current implementation makes it difficult to moderate trolls quickly, easily, and efficiently.
You can set permissions to either "Member" (or "Visitor") when you create your Realm. Visitors can explore your realm, as the name suggests. Visitors can't break blocks or play the game. However, it would be fine if you could encourage individual visitors to give their permission. But, you can't. Minecraft Realms supports only the ability for everyone in the world to become a member or visitor. This is a problem if you plan to make your Realm public using the invite link. If you aren't careful about managing access to your Realm, any friend-of-a friend can get in on your builds. Realms' current implementation makes it difficult to manage trolls quickly, and is further complicated by the fact that text chat logs don't persist outside the game.
The game now supports automatic backups and rollbacks, which allows you to reset your Realm status to a earlier time in case someone does something wrong. However, there is no way to send a message to the server or notify people about what has changed in-game. Realms instead creates an Xbox Club that allows you to share clips, screenshots, and status updates. Clubs are slow and clunky, so almost no one uses them. The Clubs API is built into Minecraft, but it isn't very user-friendly and difficult to read for simple text updates. ).
It is annoying that you have to export your Realm to make any server tweaks. You can modify files directly and then re-upload it. Conan Exiles and other games that rent servers allow you to make tweaks, bans, and all the rest from within the game by using an admin password.
Realms runs on Microsoft Azure. It is often referred to as the best cloud platform in the world. The 11-player concurrency limit seems quite restrictive considering that Realms runs on Microsoft Azure. It's possible that it's a cost issue, but it's odd that Redmond doesn't offer a higher-paid tier. We've also found that Realms can become slower as player worlds grow and become more complex, especially when you add redstone machine automation, but most players won't have these kinds of issues.
Minecraft Realms is a vision for gaming on Microsoft's intelligent edge. The cloud makes it irrelevant which system you play on. Microsoft's Minecraft experiments across mobile, consoles and other systems will almost certainly be extended to other games in future as Microsoft seeks not to engage millions but billions of gamers.
It is amazing that friends and I can play Minecraft together using our phones, our high-powered Windows 10 PC gaming systems, and our Xbox consoles. Some of Xbox Live's most overlooked features, such as Xbox Clubs and Xbox apps across multiple devices used to communicate and connect, do a lot to keep Minecraft's cross-platform ambitions back.
Realms is also plagued by a lack in moderation and administrative tools that Realm owners have access to. This shows a shocking lack of foresight on the part of Mojang's Realms team. Minecraft Realms is a great option for small groups of trusted friends. It offers endless fun and rewards creativity. It will be interesting to see how this platform develops in the future.