Bec's Mailbag

I get a lot of mail here at MineMum. The most common questions end up in the FAQ, but from time to time I share some of the longer, fiddly or more unique ones here for readers who are tackling the same kinds of issues. So behold, I give you... the Mailbag!

If you have a Minecraft question or issue you’d like help with, head on over to the contact form or holler at me on Twitter @becoakley.

Just-in-case disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Mojang in any way and none of these responses constitute any kind of professional advice. I'm just a parent who likes Minecraft.

Mods in Pocket Edition

Michele wrote:

My 4.5 year old son plays and is a whiz - I can't help him because I don't know how to use the game.  Glad to find your site - seems i am not alone. The problem is he plays on iPad and the instructions appear to be for PC or Mac. Can I add more creepers or mods to his game? Thnx.

Answer:

Hi Michele

The version of Minecraft for the iPad is called the Pocket Edition - you can only add mods to the full PC/Mac computer version, which is why the mods installation instructions are only for that one. Many of the other tips on the site apply to the iPad though... if there's anything specific that you need help with just drop me a line.

Isn't it amazing how quickly even very young kids can become experts at this game?

~Bec

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Weak server signal strength

Josh wrote:

Hello, My son complains of only having 2 bars on server despite all bars on his internet? Ideas? Thank you!

Answer:

Hi Josh

The bars showing for the server are an indication of the 'ping speed' for the server, which is how fast the communication is between the server and your computer. It can be affected by a number of different things like your internet connection, the set up of the server and the hardware that's running it, how far away the server is from you, if the server has to talk to other servers before it gets to you, how many people are playing on the server at one time and the ability of the server to handle that many players. Most of those things aren't in your control, unfortunately.

So the upshot is that even with the best internet connection you can get, you may still get a poor connection with some servers.

~Bec

Josh wrote:

Bec, thank you! I tried increasing the RAM Minecraft will accept and that maybe is helping a little bit.  I will pass this along to my son. Thank you again!

Answer:

No problem Josh! You might also want to try out the suggestions in How To Make The Game Run Faster which can help to reduce lag.

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Praise for Stampy

Catherine wrote:

I wish I'd found your page about Youtube a year ago! Fortunately OH deals with all the tech aspects but youtube fell into my timezone.  I finally found Stampy and we love him. I did find a few others that seemed fine, right up until things went badly and they lost their cool and while they may not have resorted to swearing they blamed and sulked and generally behaved poorly. So the thing that sold me on Stampy is that he models really good attitude when he 'loses'. He laughs it off, and gets on with the game. He only ever reproaches himself, no blame, no performance, just accepts that losing is part of the game, you learn what not to do and try again.  I'm a huge fan.

Thanks for the site, it's a corker and I'll let several friends without in-home helpdesk service know you're out there.

Answer:

Hi Cath!

A lot of people find Stampy annoying but I like the way he handles things too. You're right, he has a fun, positive attitude and there definitely needs to be more of that when it comes to people who make Minecraft videos.

Glad you found the site handy, thanks for saying hello!
~Bec

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Additional Minecraft accounts

Christine wrote:

Hi! Thanks for all the great info!  My daughter loves playing Minecraft and we have been enjoying playing together as a family using PE.  I just bought her the PC version and was wondering if we could all play together on the same world.  We all have individual laptops so we wouldn't be sharing a computer.  When researching before buying, I was under the impression that we could just get individual mojang accts and not have to each purchase the minecraft game.  Is this possible?  My daughter and I each have accts but when I log on it only gives me the option to play the demo but she can play the full version.  We only want to be able to play together, I do not want the option of playing online with other users. 

Thanks for any help you can offer!! Have a great day!

Answer:

Hi Christine

Yes unfortunately you do have to each buy a game licence if you want to play together at the same time on different laptops. If you wanted to share a world but not play at the same time, or play at the same time but not together, then you could share a licence but for concurrent joint play you'll all need one.

Once you do that though it's very easy to share a world, one player logs in and then selects 'Open to LAN' and everyone else in the house will then see the world listed under their Multiplayer server options.

~Bec
 

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Summoning bad guys

Joe wrote:

Who is this guy you have to summons and if you do he can come in a wipe everything out or something.  I use to not care if my son played this but it is really becoming an obsession.

Answer:

Hey there Joe

It sounds like the guy he's talking about is something called the Wither. It's not a guy really, but a monster with three skeleton heads... you can see a picture and get more info on the Minecraft Wiki. Players summon the Wither when they want the challenge of doing battle with it, because it's hard to defeat and destroys things easily.

Hope that answers your question!
~Bec

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Multiplayer with faraway friends

Kate wrote:

Hi I have two minecraft mad kids, as are their friends who want to contact and play mini games etc when they are not in the same place. They also want to connect with friends who live miles away and a friend in Turkey. Can we create a safe and secure minecraft server that they can all connect to? And how?

Answer:

Hi Kate

Have you had a look at Minecraft Realms? It's a service offered by Mojang (the makers of Minecraft) to make it easy to set up private multiplayer games without needing to know anything about servers. They do all the hosting and back ups, you control who can play. One player subscribes (it costs $13 a month) and then can invite up to 20 friends to play with them on that world. The only downside is that you can't use mods or texture packs, and it's only available for the computer version at the moment.

Good luck!
~Bec

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Minecraft apps

Carol wrote:

Hi, we have an Ipad and our 8 year old really wants to play minecraft.  When I go to the APP store I find hundreds of choices.  what is the best app to start with?  Free would be great.  Thanks so much!!

Answer:

Hi Carol

It can be confusing, can't it! Most of the apps on the app store are not the Minecraft game itself, but rather apps that support the game or somehow leverage off the popularity of it. The only official Minecraft game available in the app store is called Minecraft Pocket Edition, and it costs about $8. That's the one you should get, ignore everything else.

Hope that answers your question!

~Bec

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Mod versions

Michelle wrote:

I'm reviewing the minecraft mod website, and it states:  Requirements: Minecraft Forge to install Minecraft Comes Alive mod.  Also, the mod says Minecraft 1.7. Does that mean 1.7 is the minimum version, or it's the only version this mod will work with?

Answer:

Hi Michelle

Minecraft Forge is in itself a mod which makes it easier to install other mods. It can sometimes be difficult to get working, but it's well worth giving it a go because it does make things a lot easier. There are instructions in the first half of the installing mods article, but if you get stuck at any point just give me a holler and I can help.

Yes when a mod mentions a specific version it means that it's made to run on that version. Sometimes it can mean a maximum version, so it will run on earlier versions, but it will never mean a minimum version. That's because each new Minecraft update adds new functionality or makes changes to the code that can interfere with the way the mod works. So you can't run 1.8 with any mod unless it says that it's compatible - since it's such a recent update it's unlikely that many (or any) mods have been updated to be compatible with it yet.

But that being said, it's super easy to run Minecraft in an earlier version. You don't need to reinstall it or anything like that, Minecraft has the ability to be run in almost any version each time you start the game. To do that you just need to change the version in the Profiles drop-down menu on the left when you start up - there are instructions in the How To Set Up A Version Profile article if you need them.

I hope that makes sense to you! Please do write back if you need help with anything, I know it can all be a bit confusing.

~Bec

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Finding Minecraft folders

Michelle wrote:

First I would like to say Thank You for putting together such an informative website for parents. It has been very helpful. Question: I can not find the minecraft.jar, .minecraft/stats or .minecraft/saves files to backup. I purchased Minecraft last month, and the only file I can find and the only way we launch the game is in Downloads. I do not have this directory on my Windows 7 computer either: C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\

Can you help?

Answer:

Hi Michelle!

Thanks, I'm glad you've found the site helpful.

Move Minecraft from the downloads folder onto your desktop and run it from there. Do you find that it takes a while to load each time you run it? Minecraft is programmed to check for new files every time you run it, but I don't think it checks in the Downloads folder so it's likely that it's downloading again each time you run it.

To find your missing folders, check that you can see hidden files. It's a setting in the control panel, in Windows 7 you find it under Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options > View tab > Advanced settings ... then click Show hidden files and folders.

If those two things don't help, let me know and I'll see if I can figure it out for you.

~Bec

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