Minecraft Pi Edition was developed by Mojang Studio specifically for Raspberry Pi. A small, single-board computer running Raspberry Pi OS (also known as Raspbian), a spin-off of Debian Linux. It is normally for education and small-scale computing project. It can do what most computers can do: browse the web, writing a document. And most importantly, play small games.
Mojang Studio saw the opportunity of pushing Minecraft to another platform and being used as a learning tool. So, on November 24, 2012, Minecraft Pi Edition was announced on the Mojang Studio website. And on February 11, 2013, Minecraft Pi Edition was officially released as version 0.1.1. It was built on top of Minecraft Pocket Edition Alpha v0.6.1, so they did not have to recode the game from the ground up.
On September 15, 2014, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced that Minecraft Pi Edition would be installed by default with Raspberry Pi OS! After that version 0.0.2 was later released, but it turns out to be the last update for Pi Edition. Minecraft Pi Edition was later been officially discontinued because that Pocket Edition became a lot more ambitious technically, which means that it became a lot harder to strip the game down to run on a Raspberry Pi.
Features of Minecraft Pi Edition:
Minecraft Pi Edition is based on Pocket Edition Alpha v0.6.1, causing it to have an old Pocket Edition texture. Also, Pi Edition is the first Pocket-Edition-based Minecraft to support keyboard import.
Now to the exclusive feature.
The biggest thing that makes Minecraft Pi Edition different from all other versions is the fact that it officially supports modding – you can send commands from the Raspberry Pi OS terminal and develop mods with C++ and Python.
Because Minecraft Pi Edition is based on Pocket Edition alpha, a lot of the exclusive features are the old features from the old pocket edition that has been removed from later updates. These features stayed with Pi Edition because it was no longer updated and maintained. Nevertheless, these features are still remarkably interesting to look at and tell us a lot about the development of the Minecraft pocket edition in its alpha stage.
Cyan Flower – when the Mojang Studio was creating Minecraft Pocket Edition, the developer could not get poppies to generate, so they added the cyan flower instead as a place holder.
Stone Cutter – the developers ran out of space in the crafting menus! So, they moved all the stone related items to a new block called stone cutter. The block was later removed when the number of items in the crafting table was increased but the block stayed with Pi Edition.
Last, but not least, is the Nether Reactor. It creates a simulation of the Nether when Minecraft Pocket Edition is not powerful enough to process two dimensions yet, sadly it is not functional in Minecraft Pi Edition.
What Downside Does This Version Have?
Because Minecraft Pi Edition is based on Pocket Edition Alpha v0.6.1, all the downsides of alpha Pocket Edition do appear here too.
Starting with the world size – the world size is limited to 256×256, so it is quite easy to hit the edge while you are exploring. Even though Pi Edition has the shortest render distance in all of Minecraft, you can still see 8Th of the entire world at all times.
Also, because Minecraft Pi Edition is an incredibly old version, a lot of items and blocks that are in the present version is not in the Pi Edition. Making building structure harder in the version.
Mob spawning is disabled because it impacts performance, and survival is also disabled because the crafting interface is broken in the Pi Edition. So, there is no fun fighting monsters and trying to survive in this version…
Why Minecraft Pi Edition has become community-maintained, and how will it impact the future of Pi Edition?
Founded in mid-2020 as a community project, MCPI Revival’s goal is to revive Minecraft Pi Edition. It includes things like Survival Mode mod, a smooth lighting mod, an animated water mod and even a dedicated launcher for Pi Edition! Their work truly makes playing Pi Edition a more enjoyable experience.
You can see that this fan-based project has a lot of potentials, and the MCPI Revival team is planning to port MCPI Revival to Windows devices. This will remind more people about this abandoned version of Minecraft.
Bonus! Alternative To Minecraft Pi Edition:
What Minecraft versions you can you play if you own a Raspberry Pi, but are not satisfied with Minecraft Pi Edition?
1: Minecraft Java Edition. You can run Minecraft Java Edition by installing Open-JDK on Raspberry Pi OS and installing Minecraft Launcher to play.
2: Minecraft Bedrock Edition (Pocket Edition). You can download the unofficial Minecraft Bedrock Edition launcher for Linux by Thesonicmaster, to play Minecraft Bedrock Edition to your Raspberry Pi. Minecraft Bedrock Edition is less resource-intensive, so it might run smoother on your Raspberry Pi.