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Background: I'm writing some articles on Minecraft in an attempt to introduce 10-year olds to development through modding. I know very little about the game itself, though :)

I'm trying to understand why Minecraft appears to run in an "odd" default resolution. Grabbing a screenshot, I think it's rendering at 550x310 but that doesn't seem to match any of the "common" aspect ratios (although it's close to 16:9), nor is it evenly divisible by 16, which appears to be what the texture packs use.

  1. Is it actually running at 550x310 in its default windowed mode? If not, what is the resolution?

  2. Depending on the answer to the first question, why isn't it using one of the standard aspect ratios? I'm not familiar with OpenGL programming either so perhaps there is a common resolution close to what I'm guessing at that would make perfect sense.

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Actually, Minecraft will run at whatever resolution you size your window to (348x866):

enter image description here

So it's likely that whomever took the screenshot you grabbed, just happened to have their window sized that way.

The default screen size when I start the game appears to be 856x482, which is pretty close to 16:9. It doesn't need to use a standard aspect ratio or resolution. The display size doesn't have anything to do with the texture packs. It's not required to be divisible by 16. A game might have these restrictions if it was 2D and you wanted to fit a whole number of tiles on the screen at one time. However, with a 3D game the display size (in windowed mode) can be whatever the developer decides they like.

When the game is run full screen, it's best to match the game resolution and aspect ration with the resolution and aspect ratio of the screen.

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Furthermore, there is some variance from system to system dependent on OS, and the way Java handles the window styling of the OS. For best screenshot results, go full screen, and it will match the screen resolution. –  zeel Jul 5 '13 at 20:00
    
Hmm, interesting. This (550x310) was the resolution is started at for me from a clean install, Windows 8, 1920x1080, dual-monitor setup. Thank you for the explanation about texture packs vs resolution as well. –  Jedidja Jul 5 '13 at 21:23
    
Curious. This was the default for me on a 1920x1080 dual monitor setup, Win 7. I guess we'd have to have Notch come explain why it is the way it is if we want more details. Anyway, good for you trying to get more kids into development! I wish you good luck with that. –  Byte56 Jul 5 '13 at 21:29
    
@zeel actually if you want to provide screens for a forum thread it's best to minimize the size, beyond 500x500 there is not much more detail for the average MC screenshot –  ratchet freak Jul 6 '13 at 1:02
    
@ratchetfreak True, but it is always best to take images at the highest quality, and reduce them from there. You can always make it smaller, but you can never regain information that was never captured. Though, for your situation that is probably unnecessary. –  zeel Jul 6 '13 at 1:57
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