64 bit Minecraft on Raspberry Pi-400 with ATLauncher

Guide on how to install Minecraft on 64 bit Raspberry Pi400

Posted by J├╝rgen on 28 September 2022

9 october UPDATE:

A lot of issues which this guide tackles have been fixed in the past few months, so this guide is largely made redundant. You can still follow the steps for a working install, but a lot of the hacking is no longer needed.

Raspberry Pi 400

The Raspberry Pi 400 is a neat little computer akin to the computers of yore like the ZX Spectrum or the Commodore 64. Inside the cleanly looking keyboard is a Raspberry Pi with a 4-core BCM2835 ARM64 CPU and 4GB of RAM. By default the device comes preinstalled with a 32 bit version of RaspiOS.

Why should you ever use a Raspberry Pi 400 for running Minecraft? Well, I've got two small children and with a (current) price of 109 EUR, the device is a relatively cheap way to get them started with Minecraft.

ATLauncher and Microsoft accounts

AtLauncher is a custom Minecraft launcher has support for authenticating Microsoft accounts.

Minecraft and the problem with bits

This guide will focus on how to install version 1.16.5 of Minecraft with Forge for mods and OptiFine for shader support. The problem with the default OS that comes with the Pi400 is that it's 32 bit which means that the Java heap can be no larger than 1GB, which is not a lot for Minecraft if you intend to run some mods.

Note that any version higher than 1.16.5 will not run on the Pi.

lwjgl problem

The biggest problem with installing Minecraft 1.16.5 on an ARM platform is the dependency on lwjgl 3.2.2 which does not have ARM support. There are some 3.2.2 versions of lwjgl in the wild that have been compiled for ARM, but they're of questionable origin. Luckily version 3.2.3 added official ARM64 versions and is nearly completely compatible with its predecessor, so we'll be using that one.

Installation

Download the 64 bit version of Raspberry Pi OS and install it on an SD card.

Overclocking

Add or overwrite the following content to /boot/config.txt


arm_freq=2147
over_voltage=8
gpu_freq=750

This is a stable overclock which adds some more oomph to the CPU and GPU. Note that these settings have not been tested with a Pi 4, only with a 400. So be careful. And even with the 400, these values are still pretty high. Your device might have a shorter lifespan using these.

JRE installation


sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y default-jre

ATLauncher installation


mkdir -p ~/minecraft
cd minecraft
wget https://atlauncher.com/download/jar -O ATLauncher.jar

After downloading, ATLauncher can by started with:


java -jar ATLauncher.jar

You can also create a launcher using the Main Menu Editor in Raspberry Pi OS. The command used should be:

/usr/bin/java -jar /home/<user>/minecraft/ATLauncher.jar

Creating an instance

After some experimenting I found that the most stable settings I could use for the amount of RAM was 1500. Something ATLauncher sets automatically after creating the instance. In order to prevent the game from crashing, you'll need to disable discord integration from the global ATLauncher settings, since it will try to load a x86 compiled library.

Updated 9 october 2022

The discord option is now disabled by default, so nothing needed here.

Log in account

In the Accounts section, make sure to log in your Microsoft account.

Patching the instance

Updated 9 october 2022

This used to contain a section to patch the instance files with ARM64 specific files, but after revisiting this manual, this is no longer required since the minecraft servers now provide proper ARM64 libraries.

Conclusion

Minecraft works on the Pi 400 (and probably on the Pi 4 as well), but you'll notice this will give the little computer a run for its money. A limitation is that I cannot get it to run anything higher than version 1.16.5, but at least for my needs, this more than acceptable since my kids get to play Minecraft and they're happy.