How Many Bits Is Minecraft?
Minecraft was released back in the day when games were more straightforward, and PCs that you used to play these games were too. Over the years, the computer industry grew to an unperceivable size, and with it came the dawn of powerful PCs that eat games considered the most demanding back in the day for lunch. Minecraft was and still is an exception to this but development never stopped. Minecraft has become increasingly complex, so how many bits is Minecraft today?
Minecraft is 64-bit, although you can still play it on 32-bit systems. Over time, the support for 32-bit systems will cease to exist, so you won’t be able to play it anymore. Then, you’ll be left with the possibility to upgrade to a 64-bit system or give up trying, depending on how strong of a computer you have.
Now that we know how many bits Minecraft is, I’m curious about the difference between these systems. What do they have to do with games, how do they affect your computer, and in the end, what can you do if you’re stuck with a 32-bit system even though it’s highly unlikely that you are? We’ll talk about this and more throughout the rest of this article.
Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems
Operating systems back in the day were all made using 32-bit computing. You can view it as these operating systems being straightforward and being able to process a lot less than 64-bit operating systems nowadays. Windows XP, for example, the operating system that was shut down and lost its support, was a 64-bit operating system.
The 64-bit version was released in 2005, so it’s safe to say that 64-bit operating systems were there long before Minecraft was released. You would think that it would make Minecraft a 64-bit game right from the start, but perhaps, the answer to the question is a lot more complicated.
Windows 10 was released in 2015, and you can acquire both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Unfortunately, Windows 10 is the last 32-bit operating system available, and soon, the support for these operating systems will be dropped, and they’ll cease to exist entirely.
Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit processors
64-bit processors are, simply put, a lot more capable than 32-bit processors. This is something an average joe can conclude on their own easily. In computer science vocabulary, it’s simple as well. 64-bit processors can handle more data at once, meaning you can do several tasks on your PC without crashing, lagging, and being downright slow.
64-bit processors can store more computational values, which means they can access over 4 billion times the physical memory that a 32-bit processor can. 32-bit processors can handle less RAM than 64-bit processors. Today, computers come with at least 8GB of RAM, so the 4GB limit of 32-bit processors becomes utterly useless.
64-bit processors can handle much more and use it to a greater extent, but to achieve this, your operating system also needs to be designed with 64 bits. That way, the CPU will take advantage of having access to that much more memory.
Most perceive memory as downloading something that takes up memory on your hard drive. But RAM has nothing to do with that. RAM makes the PC function properly and the simple act of starting up your computer and you being able to use all of its functions sucks it up. Starting up a game also requires RAM.
The relationship between CPU and RAM simplified
RAM can do nothing independently, but CPUs rely on RAM to work. RAM gives instructions to the CPU and then executes them, and it does so by reading and writing data from specific locations in RAM. There’s a lot more going on in between, but explaining it will complicate things, and the simplified explanation will lose its value.
Does Minecraft run on 32 or 64 bits?
Up until ten months ago, you could play Minecraft on both 32 and 64-bit systems, so the answer is that it ran on both systems. That all changed when Mojang announced that you would no longer be able to play Minecraft with a 32-bit system. 64-bit systems are now a requirement to play Minecraft successfully.
Did Minecraft ever run on 32 bits?
Whenever Mojang updates Minecraft, they also update Java, the programming language used to code the game. Java 16 and 17 use 64-bit systems, making Minecraft running on 32-bit systems impossible.
Technically, running Minecraft would be possible even with all the new and complex features. Still, it’s just that providing support is expensive, difficult, and likely a waste of time, so Mojang simply canceled it. The chances of you running a 32-bit system in 2022 or 2023, if you’re reading this in the new year, are meager, though.
32-bit systems are ancient and belong in a museum. If you received the notification but have a powerful laptop or PC, you might need to upgrade your operating system to 64-bit. The name of a 64-bit operating system will usually look something like this: Windows 10 x64. The same goes for 32-bit operating systems.
Will there be a 128-bit system in the future?
As of 2022, there are no commercially available PCs that run on 128-bit systems, and, likely, it’ll never happen. It’s not like 128-bit systems don’t exist. So do 256-bit and 512-bit systems, but they wouldn’t serve their purpose. You wouldn’t use them to their full extent ever. The hardware that makes up a computer would be able to handle these larger systems, though. Still, when it comes to operating systems, they’ll never exist or at least be commercially available.
Is Minecraft graphics 8-bit?
Minecraft as a game is 64-bit, and I’ve already covered why that is but in terms of graphics, people seem to think that it is 8-bit. 8-bit, a word used to describe the 2d games that defined the previous century when it comes to games, was never meant to describe the fact that these games are pixelated or 2D. It was never about the graphics.
8-bit refers to the processors that gaming consoles like the NES and Atari 7800 used to power them. But even if you took the generally accepted definition of 8-bit games, Minecraft still isn’t one. The textures of Minecraft are 24-bit.