If you are in the United States or Australia, using a gift card may be the easiest way to buy Minecraft. There is also the option of purchasing Minecraft directly online. For either option you need to create a Mojang account first. This is not your Minecraft game account, but an account with Mojang itself.
Creating a Mojang Account
Creating a Mojang account is easy.
Figure 4.2 The Minecraft home page
Click Register in the upper-right corner.
You are taken to the page where you’ll set up your Mojang account before you purchase the game (Figure 4.3).
Figure 4.3 The Mojang account registration page
Enter your email address and password. Enter your password again in the Repeat Password field to verify they are identical. You will also be asked your name and birth date, as well as three security questions to verify your identity should you forget your password.
Note that children under the age of 13 must have a parent or guardian create an account for them (though this is something many kids get around simply by changing their age on the form).
You or your children will be using this email address to log on to Minecraft, so if you are planning to have more than one Minecraft account, you need to register for individual Mojang accounts as well.
Once you enter your information, you are directed to a page stating that you have received a verification email.
- Open the email verification. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, look in your spam folder.
Click the link in the Mojang email, and a new page will open (Figure 4.4).
Figure 4.4 Your Mojang account page
This page has a clearly marked button for redeeming a prepaid gift card or gift code, but no immediately obvious place to actually purchase the game.
- If you have a gift card or code, click the Redeem Gift Code or Prepaid Card button to go to the redemption page, and skip to the section ”Creating Your Minecraft Game Profile.” Otherwise, follow the directions in the next section, “Buying Minecraft Online.”
Buying Minecraft Online
Buying the game is pretty straightforward. You will need a credit card or PayPal account, as well as your Mojang account information.
To get to Minecraft.net directly from the Mojang page where you created your account, click the drop-down menu in the upper right, hover your mouse pointer over Games, and then click Minecraft.
Go to www.minecraft.net in your browser.
Now that you are registered, you will need to log in.
- Click Log In in the upper-right corner, and you will be taken to a log-in page.
- In the Username field, enter the email address you used to register, and enter your password in the field below that. New accounts with Mojang (since mid-2012) use an email address to log in.
Click the Buy Now button (Figure 4.5).
Figure 4.5 Buy it
You are redirected back to the Minecraft Store page (Figure 4.6). You’ll see that the price is listed in Euros, but if you are in the United States, it will be converted to US dollars once you move through to the purchase page.
Figure 4.6 The Minecraft Store
Click “Buy Minecraft for this account.”
On the purchase page, you will see the retail price, as well as a link to system recommendations (Figure 4.7). You’ll also choose whether to buy the game for yourself or as a gift.
Figure 4.7 Purchase options
Your payment options list only Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal, but there is a more extensive list of options provided via the link below these choices.
- Complete your billing address and make your payment type choice.
Click Proceed to Payment Details.
You are taken to a basic payment page.
Enter your billing information, and click Pay. You may be asked for a verification of your card. Follow the directions on your screen to complete your purchase.
When your purchase is complete, you are automatically directed to a page that gives you your receipt information and tells you that you must still choose a player name.
- Click Check Your Inbox to be directed to an email that contains a link to the Create a Game Profile page and three links to download your new game for Windows, Mac, or Linux.
Using a Gift Code or Gift Card
Redeeming a gift code or gift card is a matter of a few quick steps. Instructions are on the back of the gift card. In the US and Australia, cards can be purchased at many stores where gift cards are available. Mojang has announced that cards will soon be available in Canada and Europe but hasn’t given a date for this.
- Log in to your account at www.mojang.com. You will be taken to your account page (Figure 4.4).
- Click the Redeem Gift Code or Prepaid Card button.
- Enter your code, click the Redeem button, and you are ready to create your Minecraft profile.
Creating Your Minecraft Game Profile
Your game profile is where you select your username. It is also the place you need to go if you’d like to change your character’s appearance (known as a skin) by uploading an image file (more on this later).
You can find the Create a Profile page at www.account.mojang.com. When you purchased the game, you were sent an email with a link to this page.
Enter your username in the Profile Name field.
Remember that at this point, names cannot be changed, so be sure you are happy with your username.
Click Check Availability to see if your chosen name is available. If it is, click Choose Name. If your chosen name is not available, try another until you find a free name.
Once you’ve selected your name, you’ll be asked if you are certain this is the choice you want.
Double-check the spelling, and be very sure before you proceed, because you will not be able to change it. Click the Choose Name button (Figure 4.8).
Figure 4.8 Creating a game profile
Your page updates, with your new account, its start date, and your username listed under the My Games section. Now you are ready to download Minecraft.