What Is a Minecraft Server, and How Can You Host One?

Imagine a place where pixels hold endless fun — that’s Minecraft! You can explore, build, and play with the right server.

In Minecraft, you can build amazing things with blocks, explore, and fight monsters. But you can make it more fun with a server. It’s like having your own space to imagine and create together!

A Minecraft server is a multi-player platform where people can play together in a sandbox-like environment.

Discovering the world of servers requires time and money, but you’re in the right place — simply continue reading!

Understanding Minecraft Servers

Whether it’s owned by a player or a business client, a Minecraft server is a multi-player platform dedicated to Minecraft, by Mojang Studios.

These servers are individually crafted multi-player experiences nurtured by trusted members of the Minecraft community.

What is a Minecraft server: A dedicated server has a unique external IP address you use to enter the game, as long as you are on the right version and have the correct mods installed, if necessary.

Key takeaways:

  • Setting up a Minecraft server enhances gameplay.
  • Configuring a Minecraft server can be technical — setting up hardware, software, and networking.
  • Costs of owning and maintaining a Minecraft server involve hardware, hosting, size, features, and potential add-ons.
  • Some of the most popular Minecraft servers in 2023 include Hypixel, Complex Gaming, and MCC Island.

Server Types in Minecraft

Minecraft servers come in multiple archetypes characterized by their distinct gameplay elements, rules, and social dynamics.

Certain specialized servers rely on map editors or creative game aspects to build custom maps for added variety.

They offer a variety of gameplay experiences, from (Player Vs. Player) PVP-focused to survival, creative, and adventure modes. Some servers also have built-in economies and minigames.

Here are some of the popular Minecraft server types:

  • Survival: Players work together to survive in the hostile world of this server.
  • Creative: Players have unlimited resources and can build anything they can imagine.
  • Minigame: Players compete in various minigames, like Spleef and Capture the Flag.
  • Anarchy: Players can do anything they want, including cheating and exploiting.
  • Faction: Players claim land and battle for control.
  • Personal: Players create their servers for their friends.
  • Hardcore: Players in this server only have one life.
  • Roleplay: Players act out or roleplay characters in a fantasy world.

In addition to choosing the best Minecraft server type, players who want to customize their experience can also explore best Minecraft plugins to enhance their gameplay.

How Minecraft Servers Work

A Minecraft server is a multiplayer world created by trusted players, offering unique content and minigames.

They’re like special online playgrounds where you and other players can gather to build, explore, and play together.

To join a server, click on it, and the computer network lets you in. Inside, you can do everything you do in the regular game, and the computer makes sure everyone sees the same things and plays together.

Different servers have different games and rules. Some are about surviving, some are for building amazing things, and others have fun games inside.

A Minecraft server is either public or private.

Public servers are open to everyone, while private ones are only for invited players, requiring external links to join and play online.

Why Use a Minecraft Server?

The benefits of playing on a server are as endless as the possibilities in Minecraft itself.

Servers typically offer larger worlds to explore compared to the single-player version of the game.

Servers can also make changes to the game (such as bug fixes) apply to single-player and multiplayer games.

Mods and plugins on a server enhance the experience, allowing you to personalize gameplay.

Besides these core advantages, servers provide larger worlds for exploration and can simultaneously accommodate more players.

They also introduce a wider range of mods and plugins, enhancing creativity.

Each dedicated server can enrich your experience by enabling social interaction, customization, and extended possibilities.

Advantages of Owning a Server

Creating and managing your own Minecraft server is the best option. You can completely control how the game runs by creating your own game.

A few other advantages include the following:

  • Control: Enjoy complete server control – decide on the world, players, mobs, plugins, and game mode, crafting a tailor-made experience for you and your friends.
  • Customization: Tailor your server with new mods, plugins, and game mode changes to create a unique experience suited to you and your friends.
  • Social Interaction: Engage with players worldwide, forging connections and friendships in a global community.
  • Extended Possibilities: Unlock broader possibilities than single-player games, including expansive worlds, abundant mods/plug-ins, and intricate gameplay.
  • Security: With self-ownership, ensure data security; dedicated servers also offer heightened DDoS protection.
  • Cost Savings: Server ownership cost varies, influenced by size and hosting, but it is often more affordable than third-party server rental options.

Multi-player Gaming on Minecraft Servers

Multi-player gaming on a Minecraft server is available on both the Java edition (also known as Minecraft Java) and the Bedrock edition of the game.

However, a notable distinction lies between the two versions – they employ separate servers.

Java and Bedrock players cannot share the same game server. So double-check and verify your friends’ versions before joining.

Java Edition

In the Java edition, players can join or host a multiplayer video game server with different gameplay styles.

Java gives the player an “add server” option over the local area network using the server’s IP address so you can team up with friends or interact with fellow gamers worldwide.

Bedrock Edition

Similarly, the Bedrock edition also supports multi-player gaming through servers. Players can either join existing servers or create their own private realms.

What’s remarkable about the Bedrock Edition is its cross-platform compatibility. It allows players across consoles, mobile devices, and PCs to gather on the same server and enjoy shared playtime.

REMEMBER: You can install Java for video game modding, custom servers, and Bedrock for cross-platform play.

Customizations and Controls with Minecraft Servers

The level of control you possess in a Minecraft server varies based on your role — owner or player.

Server owners have complete control, enabling them to make desired changes, while regular players enjoy limited control.

  • Game Settings – Change features such as maps, maximum players, world time, and player roles.
  • Access & Permissions – Choose who can join your custom server. By default, only you can join. You can view the Access List, invite players, grant access to the control panel, and change access modes.
  • Manage Presets – Save your custom server settings and generate a code to use them again later. Use official featured servers’ presets or create your own.
  • Start Game – Start the game within 15 minutes of opening it, or it will expire.
  • Reset Settings – Reset any changes you made to the game settings.
  • Kick Player – Remove a player from your server or lobby and return them to the main menu.

Setting Up a Minecraft Server

Players should consider various server hosting options to help them manage and host a server. Note that most servers require specific requirements for optimal performance.

The default multi-player software, provided by Mojang Studios, is free and available for Windows, macOS, and Unix-like systems (Linux, BSD, etc.)

You can follow these steps to make setting up your own server easier:

  1. Choose a hosting server that suits your needs and budget.
  2. Download the server software from the Minecraft website provided by your chosen hosting provider.
  3. Configure the software by locating the server seed and setting properties like world name, difficulty, and player limit.
  4. Start the server using a command in the command prompt.
  5. Connect to the server via the Minecraft launcher, using its IP address or domain name.

TIP: You can also check the Minecraft multiplayer server tutorial for guidance.

Pre-requisites for Setting Up a Server

As you set out to configure a Java server for the latest Minecraft version, it’s imperative to grasp the fundamental system requirements that ensure seamless gameplay.

Ensure your personal computer meets these minimum system requirements before playing.

Here are the needed hardware specifications to host your own Minecraft server:

  • CPU: Intel or AMD (2 cores or more), 2 GHz or higher
  • RAM: 2 GB for 1-2 players, 5 GB for 3-6, 8 GB for more than 6
  • OS: Any major OS
  • Bandwidth: 45 Mbit/s for more than six players
  • Disk space: 2 GB for 1-2 players, 18 GB for 3-5, 35 GB for more than 6

NOTE: The more players you’ll be hosting, the more RAM and disk space you’ll need.

Step-by-Step Guide to Server Setup

As seasoned crafters, we understand that the process can be a maze of technicalities and choices — much like traversing a complex mine.

A fundamental requirement is to have Java installed and updated on the host computer to handle .jar files seamlessly.

  1. Install the Java exe file on the computer that will host the server.
  2. Download the Minecraft server .jar file.
  3. Create a folder to store the server files.
  4. Copy the jar file to the folder.
  5. Open a command prompt and change the directory to the folder.
  6. Run the text file or command java -jar minecraft_server.jar.
  7. Open the eula.txt file and set eula=true.
  8. Open the server.properties text file and configure the server settings.
  9. Forward the port listed in the server.properties file.
  10. Find your public IP address.
  11. Give your public IP address to players who want to play and connect to your server.

Costs Associated with Minecraft Servers

The costs associated with each official server software can vary depending on the type of server you’re hosting, the number of players, whether you have the latest version, and the mods or plugins you will use.

Here are some key costs associated with Minecraft servers:

  • Dedicated Servers are the most expensive option but offer the most control and flexibility. The cost of a dedicated server is primarily determined by the amount of RAM you need.
  • Self-hosting a server requires building a PC (around $1000-$2000), technical knowledge, and 24/7 power.
  • A shared hosting server is the most affordable option, but it offers control and flexibility. Costs start from around $2/month.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is a type of hosting where you rent a virtual server dedicated to your Minecraft server. More powerful dedicated servers run around $50 or more per month.

Detailed Breakdown of Potential Costs

Running and setting up Minecraft servers involve aspects and factors that can contribute to the overall cost.

Understanding the detailed breakdown of potential Minecraft server costs is essential for anyone looking to establish and maintain a server.

Here’s a breakdown of key aspects influencing the expenses:

  • Hosting Provider: Different server providers offer various service levels, reputations, and features at different price points. Specialized Minecraft hosting ensures reliable server performance within your budget.
  • Server Size: Server size, player capacity, and RAM affects costs. Larger servers that need higher resources and player slots cost more due to upgraded hardware and local network requirements.
  • Server Plugins and Mods: Adding plugins and mods enriches gameplay but can impact expenses. Resource-demanding ones may require a more powerful server, increasing costs.
  • Location: High-cost regions might lead to increased server expenses. Opting for a geographically favorable location ensures low latency and smooth gameplay.
  • Payment Plan: Payment plans for a server vary between monthly and long-term contracts. Long-term plans offer cost savings, while monthly billing provides flexibility.
  • Other Expenses: These include electricity, bandwidth (internet connection), domain name registration, backup and recovery, dedicated IP address, DDoS protection, and support.

Understanding Minecraft Server Hosting

Now that you’re familiar with Minecraft server costs, you can create your server or opt for a modded server to enhance your gameplay experience.

Minecraft server hosting entails renting space from a provider, freeing you from the burden of hardware setup and maintenance.

When you open a world to LAN, you are essentially creating small, private games that are only accessible to other people on your local network.

Your friends and family can join your server without setting up port forwarding.

Again, self-hosting entails establishing and managing your server, which is suitable for those seeking complete control but can be time-consuming and costly.

On the other hand, renting from a server provider offers convenience as they handle instant setup and maintenance, yet it’s pricier.

While single-player games remain a pinnacle in gaming, the allure of collaborative adventures with friends is unmatched.

Delve into these top servers, catering to builders and those seeking mods, parkour challenges, PVP-oriented players, and much more.

What is a Minecraft Server – Top Minecraft Servers for Different Gaming Experiences

Looking for a way to connect with other Minecraft players?

Join the diverse multi-player world through these top Minecraft servers in 2023, or if you want your own Server, find inspiration from this top server list here.

1. MCC Island

IP address: play.mccisland.net

Modes: Minigames, Parkour

2. Hypixel

IP address: mc.hypixel.net

Modes: Minigames, Sky Wars, Hunger Games, Hardcore, Parkour

3. PirateCraft

IP address: mc.piratemc.com
Modes: Role Playing, PvP, survival, and Adventure mode

4. Complex Gaming

IP address: hub.mc-complex.com
Modes: Pixelmon, Skyblock, Factions, Prison, Hunger Games, Survival, Creative, Minigames

5. Manacube

IP address: play.manacube.com
Modes: Parkour, Survival, PvP, Creative, Skyblock, Factions, Prison

Safety Measures and Child-Friendly Servers

While public Minecraft servers offer social opportunities and engaging features, you may be concerned that your children are being exposed to inappropriate content, predators, or bullying.

Some popular child-friendly Minecraft servers include:

1. Hypixel

IP address: mc.hypixel.net

Modes: Minigames, Sky Wars, Hunger Games, Hardcore, Parkour

2. Famcraft

IP address: survival.famcraft.com

Modes:  PVP, PVE, Economy, Capture the Flag

3. Cubeville

IP address: cubeville.org

Modes: Minigames, Roleplay, Skyblock, Creative, and Adventure mode

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a Minecraft improvement idea, or are you curious about the community’s desires? Read these FAQS to learn more about servers in Minecraft.

What Is a Parent’s Guide to Minecraft Servers?

One way to keep your child safe is to choose a well-known, established server over a random one. These servers typically have rules against inappropriate content and behavior.

Another way is to review all game settings with your child before they play multiplayer.

You can also use parental controls to block inappropriate content or refer to Minecraft’s help settings about managing parental settings and access to a child’s account.

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Minecraft Server?

Owning a 20-player server may cost about $15/month, while building a PC for self-hosting can range from $750 to $2,000 or more for a powerful setup.

Server size determines pricing, with small servers starting at $5/month and larger ones for hundreds of players costing upwards of $100/month.

Additional features, like custom maps and mods, can increase costs, and hosting providers offer varying pricing based on features and performance.

How Safe Are Minecraft Servers for Children?

Mojang Studios’ Minecraft servers are generally safe for children.

All players must have an Xbox Live account, which includes a code of conduct prohibiting inappropriate behavior.

Official server software partners also have chat filters that remove bad language and personal information.

Additionally, child accounts have multiplayer disabled by default, offering extra security until parental settings are adjusted.

Can You Create Your Own Minecraft Server?

Yes, you can create your own Minecraft server. You can either pay a VPS provider to host your server or host it on your own computer.

If you choose to host your own server, you will need to have Java installed, and you will need to set up your server to handle port forwarding.

But before doing this, we recommend understanding server addresses in Minecraft to make the setup easier.

What Are the Best Minecraft Servers to Join?

Two servers take the lead when considering the best Minecraft servers to join.

The first is Hypixel. With its extensive selection of modes like Cops and Crims, Duels, and Murder Mystery, Hypixel remains the most popular and prominent server name in 2023.

Another notable server software is Complex Gaming.

This Minecraft server offers various game modes: survival, PvP, PvE, hunger games, skyblock, and creative realms.


Running your own Minecraft server download is the best way to make playing online easier and more customizable.

Therefore, when choosing a Minecraft server, consider the unique gameplay features you’re interested in, the size of the dedicated server, and the community on the server.

Ready to create your own? Download Minecraft and embark on your multiplayer game journey.