What could be better than building and exploring? Build and explore with friends and family! Let’s see how you can easily share your Minecraft experience on LAN and how to stand out from the crowd in the process.


  1. Getting started with Minecraft
  2. Improving Minecraft Performance on Old and New Computers
  3. Get to know Minecraft biomes
  4. Exploring Minecraft Structures
  5. Meet Minecraft Mobs
  6. Exploring Minecraft Game Modes
  7. Survive your first night in survival mode
  8. Your first mine, armor and further research
  9. Advanced mining and magic spells
  10. I am a farmer, you are a farmer, we are all farmers
  11. Engineering with Redstone
  12. Creating Custom Minecraft Maps
  13. Download and install custom maps
  14. Set up local multiplayer and custom player skins
  15. Exploring Minecraft multiplayer servers

Building and exploring together in Minecraft is a lot of fun. We’ve been here for a few hours playing together, overcoming the odds of survival, making huge creations, and otherwise enjoying a lot of fun playing together.

One of the nice things about co-op is not only that it spreads the load, but because Minecraft is such a flexible game, it allows each player to do what they are most interested in doing.

For example, when we all play Survival Minecraft together, each of us has a specialty or interest. Some may enjoy roaming around in search of new resources and biomes. Some people like to build a base and farm (we have the happiest pigs in the Minecraft universe). Still others are fond of mining and are left alone with their devices, completely excavating every last inch of the world.

If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family in a Minecraft game, then it’s foolish not to link your games together and share the experience. One Minecraft-loving family even turned Minecraft together into a fun YouTube channel. YouTube user Chrisandthemike has hundreds of videos detailing his family playing survival mode games, exploring game mods, and otherwise having a great time sharing the Minecraft experience.

In addition to multiplayer, we’ll also look at how to update a player’s skin so everyone in the game isn’t identical.

Opening your game

If your friend is on your local network, sharing them with Minecraft is very easy. Let’s say you downloaded the «Mountain Sky Village» map from the previous section and really wanted your roommate, spouse, child, or other Minecraft buddy to take a look at it.

The very first consideration, first of all, is that the other party is also using the same version of Minecraft. If you’re showing map version 1.6.4, they must use profile 1.6.4. If your client and your friends’ clients don’t match, they won’t be able to connect.

With this important detail in mind, you need to activate the LAN functionality by pressing «ESC» to open the in-game menu and then pressing the «Open in LAN» button.


In the Open to LAN menu, you have some simple options to choose from.


You can switch the game mode between Creative, Survival and Adventure, as well as turn cheats on and off. In this case, cheats mean if the other player has access to console level commands like /tp to teleport or /weather to toggle the weather state on the map.

Once you’ve made your choice, click «Start LAN World» to open the game to other players on your local network.

Connecting to an open game

On the other hand, your friend must launch Minecraft and select «Multiplayer» from the main menu.


Minecraft will automatically scan your local network for available games and list them. If this scanning system fails, you can manually enter the IP address and port number of the remote computer where Minecraft is installed.

Have your friend select a world and click «Join Server» to sneak into your world and find you for a little exploration and fun.


There we, as seen from another computer in the hallway, entered our map. One thing we haven’t talked about yet is skins. See us in the image above? This is the default skin for Minecraft. The skin is known simply as «Steve», the standard default hero that the player uses as their avatar.

When you play by yourself in first person, it doesn’t matter what you look like because you can’t see yourself. However, when you’re playing with other people, it’s nice to customize the look. Before discussing access to remote multiplayer servers, let’s see how to get a new skin so we’re not one of the thousands roaming around Steve.

Changing your skin

Video game appearance customization is a fun way to personalize your game and stand out in multiplayer.

In Minecraft, it’s easy to customize the look by changing the player’s skin to a different one. Skins are simply image files that are overlaid on the player model in the game. For example, the default cover art for «Steve» when opened in an image editor looks like this:


Giving the player model a whole new look is as easy as replacing the «Steve» skin with an alternate skin. Don’t worry, you don’t have to manually edit your skin to give yourself a new look (although if you have the talent and the time, feel free to do so). Just like there are tons of player-made Minecraft maps, there are also tons of player-made skins.

Before we start looking for skins, let’s see where you need to go to replace them.

Skin management is not handled by the actual Minecraft game, but rather through your Minecraft.net account. Visit Minecraft.net, log in and click «Profile» in the site’s navigation bar. There you’ll find a «Change Your Look in Minecraft» subsection, which includes a downloadable reference skin if you’d like to edit it yourself, as well as a «Choose File» button to upload a new skin.

All you need to do to upload a new skin is to click on the «Choose File» button and select an image file, just like you would upload an image to Facebook or attach it to an email. After you download the new skin, you will need to restart Minecraft (if you have it installed) for the changes to take effect.

While you can find many skins websites with a quick search on the internet, MinecraftSkins.net is a great first stop as it not only makes it easy to search for skins in well-organized categories, but also makes it easy to download skins.


Not only can you download and save skins to your computer (using the Download button shown in the screenshot above), but MinecraftSkins.net offers a handy integration with your Minecraft.net account. As long as you are logged into Minecraft.net and browsing the Minecraft skins website, you can click the Edit button and the site will automatically transfer the skin you are browsing to the real Minecraft website and prompt you to allow the skin to be changed.

Note. The skin change will not take effect until you log out of the Minecraft servers by closing all open instances of Minecraft and the Minecraft launchers, and then log back in.

So what do we get in a few minutes of thinking about what kind of skin we need, and in a few clicks of the mouse? A New Look!


Goodbye Steve, hello Link from the legend of Zelda! Although it is very easy to transfer skins from the MinecraftSkins website to your account, we still recommend that you save your favorites on your local computer for safe keeping.

While there are thousands and thousands of skins, what if you want to customize things further? You can open the skin file in any image editor that supports PNG files and image transparency and edit it. However, this method has one drawback: the skin, as shown earlier in this section, is flat and stretched. This makes it very difficult to edit the skin if you don’t have a good understanding of how the skin is mapped to the player model.

We admit that we are terrible at editing when the skin is flat. Despite our best efforts, we never figured out where a pixel on a flat skin map would end up in the player model. Instead, we prefer to use online skin editors that provide real-time skins to show you exactly what changes you are making and how they look on a real model.


You can find various skin editors online with a simple search, but we’ll suggest our favorite: Minecraft.NovaSkin.me. The editor is great: you can import skins, it has a built-in database of skins, it supports layers, it supports extra features like editing the «helmet» layer to add goggles and other adornments, and it lets you turn body parts on and off. off in the editor. This ensures that you don’t miss out on the inner arm or leg color change.

Whether you’re changing your skin hair color or doing a complete overhaul, the user interface is super friendly and saving your creations is a breeze.

Next Lesson: Exploring Minecraft Multiplayer Servers

Sharing Minecraft with someone in the audience (or across the coffee table) is fun, but what if it’s hard to get friends and family together for a local game? What if none of your friends and family even want to play?

In tomorrow’s tutorial, we’ll look at multiplayer servers as a tool for connecting with friends far apart and playing with other Minecrafters around the world.

For homework, the first order of business is getting new skin. Steve is a handsome boy and all, but this is a chance for our personalities to shine. Grab a skin, customize it with an editor if you like, and upload it to Minecraft.net. Once you’ve put on the right leisure suit, you’ll have to help another friend do the same and create a multiplayer game where the two of you run around.

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