Minecraft and Roblox are two of the leading videogame sandboxes. They allow players, particularly in the younger age brackets, to build worlds and games from something akin to digital Legos, explore worlds created by other players, and go on adventures alongside friends from the real world and those met in-game.
But beyond that, the two hit games are actually very different from each other. Here, the differences between Minecraft and Roblox are discussed so that you can work out which one’s best for you (or your child).
Minecraft vs. Roblox Microtransactions
Microtransactions will be a key question on the minds of wary parents who’ve had their wallets burned one too many times from kids getting obsessed with special items. How do they work in both games?
There are several different versions of Minecraft. You’ll find very few microtransactions on the PC version of the game because of the wealth of community-created content, but on Android and consoles you’ll need to pay for various premium “add-ons” that you buy using Minecoins through a dedicated marketplace.
At an estimate, texture packs cost about $4 to $5, as do bigger “mash-up” packs. Various game modes and structures cost approximately between $1 to $10. Of these prices, 70 percent goes to the creators, while Microsoft takes a 30 percent cut.
Roblox works a little differently. The entire game is “freemium,” and once you’re in, you can access different game modes and player creations using a currency called Robux. Prices for in-game items are increasing, with $10 game passes offering limited access to games and cosmetic items costing $5 and up.
There are also third-party sites selling in-game items for frankly extortionate prices (like Gameflip), where you can pay dozens of dollars for a single item. In this way, Roblox feels a little less safe and controlled in terms of microtransactions.
Minecraft vs. Roblox Price
A big point of divergence between the two games, and particularly important if you’re a parent who is the person actually paying, is that one is an outright purchase, and the other is free to play, which usually means you’ll end up paying more over the long run.
The Minecraft Starter Pack costs $26.99, which will give you access to all the game’s content. You can get the Master Collection for around $50, which comes pre-packed with some of the best community creations as well as 1000 Minecoins.
Roblox, on the other hand, is free to play but is more dependent on the in-game currency Robux (which you buy using real-world money) once you’re inside. Many games created in Roblox charge Robux for access, and there’s not necessarily a lot of quality control.
You can also subscribe to Roblox Premium ($6 to $20 a month), which cuts out a lot of the grind and gives you a monthly income of Robux and more trading options with players. Though, of course, those subscription costs do add up quite quickly.
Savvy players can even earn Robux in the game which can then be converted into real money, but that takes a lot of dedication and effort and isn’t likely to work for more casual players.
Minecraft vs. Roblox Gameplay
Despite superficial similarities, Minecraft and Roblox play very differently. Minecraft is a more solitary game, focused more around creating worlds using the various building blocks in the game. Many of the levels tend to be single-player – or if online, on smaller servers. Minecraft is very much a game within itself, played from the first- or third-person, letting players explore and build in other players’ created worlds.
Roblox is more of a toolbox for making games across a number of genres – shooters, strategy games, other games, you name it. So within Roblox, you have extremely popular games like Jailbreak – where you must prevent or carry out a bank heist, Natural Disaster Survival, and Theme Park Tycoon 2.
The variety is huge, though you may have to pay a small amount of Robux if you want to play some of them (by buying in-game cash in Jailbreak, for example). There’s a much bigger focus on multiplayer here, too, so you’ll be interacting a whole lot more with fellow players. If you’re a parent, that means you should be more wary in Roblox of abuse or other misbehavior, because as we all know, the Internet can be a rough place!
A good way to separate them would be to say that Minecraft is at its core a crafting/building/survival game, while Roblox is a toolset whose audience is split between the creators of various games and the consumers who play them.
MineCraft vs. Roblox Popularity
Because Roblox has been surging in popularity in recent years and wasn’t talked about much before, there’s a misconception that it came out after Minecraft or even that it’s a Minecraft ripoff. The truth is that Roblox has been around since 2006, making it three years older than Minecraft, which came out in 2009. Who’s the copycat now?
Regardless, Minecraft was by far the more popular game for many years, though its waning popularity since its 2013 peak meant that interest in Minecraft and Roblox was close to equal by 2017, and in August 2019 Roblox surpassed Minecraft’s 91 million monthly users by having 100 million. Impressive!
All in all, it’s fair to say that the two games both enjoy huge popularity, and you won’t have trouble finding servers and games to play with others in either of them.
Minecraft and Roblox aren’t as similar as you first thought, right? If you opt for Minecraft over Roblox and happen to own a Raspberry Pi, then you can turn the Pi into a Minecraft server! Or, for something more casual and instant, see our list of hidden Google games.