Minecraft vs. Roblox—Similarities & differences between popular games

Students connecting to play a game online

Billions of plays, countless games, and infinite potential: Minecraft and Roblox are taking the world by storm, and have been doing so for years. Both are wildly popular and have a lot to offer kids—so the question is:, what’s the difference between the two?

Parents looking to better understand these gaming sensations have questions, and we’ve got answers!

A little confusion is only natural, as Roblox and Minecraft have numerous similarities and a few key differences. Navigating them successfully will help determine the right fit for kids, not to mention illuminate potential STEM pathways through each. 

First, there’s no doubt that gaming, social media, and the Internet in general will factor more significantly into this generation’s lives than any of their predecessors. This presents great opportunities...but it also can make it seem like kids speak a different language these days.

To tell the experiences apart, knowing a few basics can be a helpful starting point. (You can also check out our Minecraft question and answers and Roblox FAQ, broken down specifically for parents.)

With that, let’s take a closer look at the key similarities and differences.

Similarities Between Roblox and Minecraft

Amazing educational potential

Both Roblox and Minecraft offer a wealth of educational tools designed to get kids thinking and learning. In fact, it’s widely accepted that video games can be good for you and esports have benefits for kids, and these two are no exception.

Kids of all ages can learn from Minecraft and Roblox, and they can learn everything from digital civility and online safety to strategic thinking, coding, and design by making connections to other content areas.

Roblox values learning and provides high-quality learning material paired with a community that encourages creativity.

And Microsoft has an in-depth teacher’s guide for Minecraft in the works (we’re excited to see what they come up with on top of the math content that’s already out there). 

In terms of learning benefits, both Roblox and Minecraft promote creativity, problem-solving, self-direction, and collaboration—all of which stand out as the less-tangible, non-academic benefits that gaming can provide.

Notably, Minecraft is an excellent way to teach coding concepts to kids, and with Java, a key language for any programmer’s repertoire. Using Java, players can create Minecraft mods (what are Minecraft mods?) to enhance the game they love: talk about motivating young learners! Kids will love creating custom mods to share with friends and making the game their own. 

On the other hand, Roblox Studio introduces Lua coding through the engaging lens of creating obbys and awesome games, and presents ways for monetization. 

So, if you have a younger student who loves to build and interact with their games, they’re steps away from becoming a budding game designer! The key lies in interweaving critical thinking and creativity with game play—here’s a starter guide to the ways you can help your child experience the many educational benefits of Minecraft and those of Roblox.

Supportive, vibrant communities

The social aspect of both of these platforms allows for live feedback, collaboration, and teamwork from a group that’s meaningful to kids. Fellow Roblox and Minecraft enthusiasts make for learning partners, which can provide a nice break from the typical classroom dynamic. 

Peer learning communities provide a kind of positive reinforcement that can be tricky to find. It’s authentic and united by a common purpose,  and is therefore all the more valuable in encouraging kids to keep learning, and persevering through challenges.

Unique lingo

It’s true: Minecraft and Roblox are big on their unique in-game lingo, which might as well be Greek to non-gamers. But to understand all of their awesome benefits (and to ensure kids are accessing them safely), it’s important to know what your child is saying when they talk about these online communities. 

Get started with the many Minecraft words to know and our Roblox dictionary—field guides  to supplement your knowledge and build a gamer’s vocabulary that might just surprise your child!

Wide range of games for all ages and preferences

You may have heard the term “sandbox game” thrown around, a game in which creativity is both encouraged and incorporated throughout the gameplay experience, and both Minecraft and Roblox offer such infinite possibilities. 

The Minecraft world is infinite, and kids can explore it endlessly without needing to beat levels like in other video games. As kids play, Minecraft will automatically generate new environments, or biomes, and kids can explore to their hearts’ content. Plus, the many game modes in Minecraft  offer a wide variety of experiences and objectives, so there’s something for every gamer. 

With Roblox Studio, the free tool game developers use to create games, characters, and more, kids can really bring their imaginations to life. True to the “sandbox” genre, there are numerous types of games they can create, ranging from making their own obby or obstacle course, to creating a Roblox game inspired by other popular games on the site.

Differences Between Roblox & Minecraft

Lua and Java Offer Unique Benefits

While Java and Lua are two of the best coding languages for beginners, their applications have key differences.

Java, a core component of AP computer science classes, not to mention professional programming, is compatible with Minecraft. Constructive game time that incorporates Java is an ideal way to connect valuable programming skills with the game kids already love. 

On the other hand, Lua has tremendous potential for design, and it’s a favorite of the pros. Lua is versatile and used by professional game designers, artists, and others in careers kids can get excited about. Intrigued? Check out this Roblox coding tutorial

Roblox offers more monetization opportunities

It may surprise some parents to learn that top Roblox game creators earn over $2 million each year. Of course, these developers didn’t get there overnight, which is just one reason why learning with Roblox studio is so important. 

But yes, kids can monetize with Roblox, and can see the literal payoff of their new coding and game design knowledge. Kids over the age of 13 can cash out, and younger kids will love creating their own side hustle of Robux income. 

While Roblox is better known for its opportunities to monetize, let’s bear in mind that Minecraft also offers players the opportunity to make money with the game by creating awesome worlds that other players are willing to pay to enter. With both games, additional layers of monetization can be added through YouTube channel subscriptions and even potential sponsorships. 

By encouraging kids to think like game designers or programmers, rather than just players, parents can get kids started on the monetization path. Even if they’re not destined to make a fortune with Minecraft or Roblox, they’ll learn valuable lessons about entrepreneurship along the way. 

Minecraft & Roblox can kickstart learning with STEM

By understanding the worlds of Roblox and Minecraft on a deeper level, you’ll be more well-equipped to encourage kids to get creative with them and transform screen time into a design passion project, side hustle, or coding journey. 

Every expert was a beginner once, so now is the perfect time to jump in, even if your child will be new to their chosen STEM path. 

Instead of simply playing Minecraft or Roblox, your child could be making their own obby, coding a custom Minecraft mod, learning to monetize a game, or just getting into game design—channel the power of these two platforms and watch your child transform simply consuming video games into building valuable skills. 

A photo of Virginia

Virginia started with iD Tech at the University of Denver in 2015 and has loved every minute since then! A former teacher by trade, she has a master's in education and loves working to embolden the next generation through STEM. Outside the office, you can usually find her reading a good book, struggling on a yoga mat, or exploring the Rocky Mountains.