|This article does not apply to Classic server software.
This article only describes technical information for SMP Server Hosting.
Minecraft servers allow players to play online with other people. They may either be run on a hosted Minecraft server service, a dedicated server, a Virtual Private Server or a home machine.
 Server setup
 Server installation and configuration
For a full tutorial on setting up a variety of different Minecraft servers, see the tutorial page.
 General recommendations
- Setting up a server takes some time, and some technical knowledge. Don't try to set up a server unless you have some basic computer and networking abilities. Your best bet is to look on the internet for a guide on how to set up a server.
- Hosting and playing on the same machine does not usually matter, unless you have a slow computer.
- Netbooks and Notebooks don't usually make for good server machines. They typically have lower-end hardware in comparison to desktops and dedicated server machines.
- Hosting a server with many players in a wireless network (WLAN and especially WWAN) is not recommended. Use a wired network instead, such as Ethernet.
- If you decide you don't want to host, but still want to play online, check out the public server options in the Minecraft servers area of the Minecraft forum.
- If you still want to manage a server, but not from home, check out the Minecraft server hosting area of the Minecraft forum or other websites. Expect to pay monthly for this type of server since finding free hosting is a rarity.
 Server requirements
Please see server requirement comparison tables for more information on server requirements.
 Playing on a server
For information on playing on a server, including joining a server and tips and tricks, read the Playing on servers tutorial.
 Server commands
The server commands page has a list of useful commands.
Special note: Atheros and Realtek network adapters are known to not work well with servers in general. If you experience a total loss of internet (requiring a reboot), or constant disconnects, check and see if you have either brand of network adapter installed. If you do, you can try updating the driver for the device directly from the manufacturer. If a driver update does not fix the issue, the general solution is to buy a new adapter (anything from Intel is recommended as a replacement).
 Types of servers
Multiple archetypes of Minecraft servers exist, distinguished by the unique gameplay features, rules, and societal structures which they implement. No two servers are the same, and frequently the line between archetypes is blurred or indistinguishable. Many special types of servers rely on the use of map editors or the creative game mode to build custom maps and the Craftbukkit server software to provide proprietary features.
 The Big Three
These types of servers are the most popular choice for creation and achieve the most players.
This type of server is modified with proprietary software to allow players to form groups called factions and claim & protect land from other factions. Usually this is accomplished with the Craftbukkit server software and the Factions plugin or the Towny plugin. Land protected by a faction cannot be built on or destroyed by players belonging to a different faction. factions can also ally with each other or declare war on each other. The amount of land one faction can protect at any given time is decided by the number of players belonging to that faction. The FactionPvP servers usually allow griefing and are very flexible with customization.
This type of server typically falls either into the Adventure or Survival categories, with the exception that Player-versus-Player (PvP) combat is allowed or encouraged in tandem with Player-versus-Environment (PvE) combat. Griefing is usually not allowed unless stated otherwise.
This type of server is modified to introduce a currency system, usually in an intangible form. Players trade in this currency to obtain resources, or hoard it in an attempt to be the wealthiest person on the server. This can be included on several other servers.
 Less Popular
Just because the titles states they are less-popular doesn't necessarily mean they are. These servers take more than just a few hours to create and can become the greatest.
This type of server is played entirely in the creative game mode, with building being the focus of the community. Rarely are these servers unmodified due to the ease with which griefing is accomplished; most of these servers use proprietary protection systems to prevent players' constructions from being modified without their consent.
This type of server usually prevents most or all attempts to build or destroy blocks. Instead of traditional gameplay, these servers offer unique gameplay elements, often inspired by Role-Playing Games. These servers are rarely unmodified, often bearing significant changes via server modifications which make normal gameplay impossible.
The most popular current server type, Survival servers are typically played entirely in the Survival game mode. Maps on these servers usually consist of a premade spawn location, which is sometimes built by the server operators using creative mode, and a surrounding area created by players. These types of servers are frequently modified to suit the desires of the operators, and frequently have some kind of system which allows players to protect their structures from griefing, either on their own or with the assistance of an operator.
A middle ground between survival and creative servers, this type of server requires players to gather certain materials in the traditional way, but allows them to use infinite amounts of other materials, usually common materials like wood, stone, sand, and other plentiful resources.
This type of server encourages or requires players to assume the role of their character. Usually this means that there is a system in place which allows the player's ingame character to be customized, frequently by assuming species, social ranks, superhuman abilities, and the like. These servers are frequently modified with proprietary software to provide players with special powers in exchange for choosing a player class, species, etc.
 Hardcore PvP
This type of server is usually unmodified or very lightly modified with proprietary software. Subtypes of this server type including Anarchy and Chaos servers, Hardcore PvP servers generally have few rules and encourage killing, looting, and griefing other players.
Constructed to emulate life in Prison, this type of server is comprised of a prison where players spawn, sometimes with multiple "cell blocks" which players advance through in order to gain freedom. This type of server must be modified with proprietary software to control players and simulate a Prison experience. you will start with a wood pickaxe finding diamond to survive through many dangerous routes.
Typically consisting of a premade map and the survival game mode, this server offers a variation on the survival mantra such as surviving without the use of a certain material or in unique terrain. Describing a Challenge server is best accomplished by example - Skyblock servers, one type of challenge server, place players on a small island with exactly enough renewable resources to survive and expand the island.
This type of server is modified to introduce a currency system, usually in an intangible form. Players trade in this currency to obtain resources, or hoard it in an attempt to be the wealthiest person on the server.
This type of server offers one or more areas, usually protected from griefing using proprietary software, in which players can receive
A space to build in, either for free or for some form of currency system as in an economy server. This type of server is rarely unmodified.
 Capture the Flag
This type of server offers a new type of gamemode for a server. However this usually requires proprietary software. Two teams are chosen and they battle it out, trying to collect the other teams flag and return it to their home point a number of times to win the game.
This type of server forces players to show their legitimate side. This requires proprietary software. Players will spawn on a small island with a chest full of basic items. They will be forced to survive with few items by creating a farm, a cobblestone generator, and other useful renewable devices. These types of servers are sometimes PVP servers.
 Hunger Games
Players of these servers have to battle against each other after collecting resources and materials. Last player alive wins.
 Survival Games
Similar to HungerGames, but players can't collect materials. The only goal is to be the last man standing.
Based on the Arma II: Combined Operations mod named DayZ, this type of server involves dropping a player into a zombie apocalypse. This is a type of PvP server, and substitutes some Minecraft items for DayZ items, such as paper for bandages. Also, zombies are harder, health does not regenerate, and thirst is added.
 Delete player
If you want to delete a player from the game, you can remove the player's .dat file. Navigate to the Minecraft server directory, open the world folder, open the player's folder, and delete the PLAYERNAME.dat file. In Minecraft version 1.4.6, this folder is at "minecraft\world\players", where "minecraft" is the folder where Minecraft was installed on the server. This will cause the player to start over at the spawn point with no inventory. The player's changes to the world will be untouched, along with any inventory stored in chests. This will not ban the player that has been deleted.
 Ban player
If you want to ban a player from playing on your server, edit the minecraft\banned-ips.txt", where "minecraft" is the folder where minecraft was installed on the server and add the user you want to ban to this banned-ips.txt file. Bans an IP address from the server, the full IP address must be specified; wildcards are not valid. Players who are banned through this method will see "Your IP address is banned from this server!" when attempting to connect. Alternatively an operator can use the "ban-ip" command via "ban-ip ipaddress" where "ipaddress" is the IP address of the user you wish to ban. This can be undone via the operator issuing the "pardon-ip ipaddress" command or editing the server's banned-ips.txt file
 Edit player
If you don't want to delete a player completely, but want to remove something from him or move him to a different spot, or even give him an enchanted item, you can edit the PLAYERNAME.dat file with NBTedit similar to how you would a level save. (Only the player needs to be offline. No server restart needed.)
 Creating backups
Enter save-all into the console or /save-all in Minecraft (as a server op).
Enter save-off into the console or /save-off in Minecraft (as a server op).
Copy the world folder to create the backup. DO NOT MOVE IT! (No server restart needed)
Enter save-on into the console or /save-on in Minecraft (as a server op).
 Resetting the Nether or the End
Ensure there are no players in that dimension, stop the server. Delete the "DIM-1" folder to reset The Nether, delete the "DIM1" folder to reset The End. Any builds inside those dimensions will be lost, the Ender Dragon will also reappear for The End.
Restart the server.
 Setting the server's texture pack
You can set a default texture pack for your server and the client will download it and use it for your server. (Please note: the client can turn off the texture pack)
- Choose a texture pack.
- Upload the texture pack to Dropbox, or similar. The important thing is that you can have a DIRECT link to the .zip file.
- Set the file to public. (at least on Dropbox)
- Open your server.properties file.
texture-pack=and edit it like this:
texture-pack=<link to your .zip>. For example:
- Restart the server & log on to check the texture pack
 Death messages
Death messages are broadcast to everyone on the server upon a player's death. These messages relate to how the player died and some are intended to be humorous. Death messages were added in Beta 1.8 Pre-release. New death messages were added in Snapshot 13w02a.
- [player] was squashed by a falling anvil
- [player] was pricked to death
- [player] walked into a cactus whilst trying to escape [player/mob]
- [player] was shot by arrow
- [player] drowned
- [player] drowned whilst trying to escape [player/mob]
- [player] blew up
- [player] was blown up by [player/mob]
- [player] hit the ground too hard
- Only caused if the player is killed by a short fall or Ender Pearl damage.
- [player] fell off a ladder
- [player] fell off some vines
- [player] fell out of the water
- [player] fell from a high place
- [player] fell into a patch of fire
- [player] fell into a patch of cacti
- [player] was doomed to fall (by [mob/player])
- [player] was shot off some vines by [mob/player]
- [player] was shot off a ladder by [mob/player]
- [player] was blown from a high place by [mob]
- [player] went up in flames
- [player] burned to death
- [player] was burnt to a crisp whilst fighting [player/mob]
- [player] walked into a fire whilst fighting [player/mob]
- [player] was slain by [mob]
- [player] was shot by [mob]
- Only caused by mobs with projectile attacks
- [player] was fireballed by [mob]
- [player] was killed by [mob] using magic
- Only caused by Witches
- [player] got finished off by [mob] using [weapon]
- [player] was slain by [mob] using [weapon]
- [player] tried to swim in lava
- [player] tried to swim in lava while trying to escape [player/mob]
- [player] died (shows when killed by lightning)
Player versus Player (PvP)
- [player] got finished off by [player] using [weapon]
- [player] was slain by [player] using [weapon]
- [player] was shot by [player]
- Only happens for kills using a bow
- [player] was killed by [player] using magic
- Only happens for kills using a splash potion
Potion of Harming
- [player] was killed by magic
- Only happens when the potion is shot from a dispenser, by drinking it, or with the effect command
- [player] starved to death
- [player] suffocated in a wall
- [player] was killed while trying to hurt [player/mob]
- Can be caused by a mob if it is able to wear armor
This message is never used since snowballs, chicken eggs and ender pearls do not cause any damage to players, it will only hit them.
Void (including /kill command)
- [player] fell out of the world
- [player] fell from a high place and fell out of the world
- [player] was knocked into the void by [player/mob]
- [player] withered away
 Renting a server
While you can build your own server, sometimes renting a server can be a better option if your Internet or computer can't handle the amount of players you want on the server. You can search for hosts on the Internet, or find them in the Minecraft Server Hosting section of the Minecraft Forums or similar websites. Avoid sites that don't have good reputation or look suspicious, these hosts may often be simply out looking for your money and may not provide the best service.
There will be an option to make small servers with the Realms server hosting feature in the future, although it will cost money.