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Minecraft is an awesome game to play on your own. Its an even better game to play with other people.
In order to play with other people you need to establish some sort of server that you can all access, wherever you all are in the world. The methods that you can use to accomplish this vary greatly in difficulty and price, we are going to explore them here.
Home Computer Minecraft Server
The cheapest (well practically free) method of setting up a Minecraft server is to do it on a home computer. There are quite a few problems with this method and you have to ask yourself is it worth dealing with them for the sake of a few dollars?
Problems such as:
- Speed – the server won’t be very fast, especially if it’s the same machine you are playing the game from, slowing both your game and server down for everyone connected
- Internet – a few players connect to your server and your home network could come crashing to a halt due to the increased upload traffic
- IP Addresses – trying to get a static IP address that other players can see and connect to on a home internet connection can be tricky. A lot of the time you will have to contact your ISP and sort out a technique of accomplishing this with them
- Uptime – your home setup is not built like a data-center with up-time guarantees and backup power sources etc. so downtime is expected
Ordering a Windows server from a VPS or dedicated server provider then installing a Minecraft server yourself is the most time intensive and expensive method in this guide. You will be looking at spending around $40 per GB (roughly) and will lose out on support.
The company that you rent your machine from will not help you with any Minecraft related queries but they will help with anything wrong on the hardware side or setting up Windows itself.
If you know what you are doing and want more control over your MC server then this would be a good way to go, otherwise it could quickly turn into a massive headache.
A Ready To Go Minecraft Server Package
For the best mix of value for money and simplicity we massively recommend going with a ready to go package from a Minecraft server hosting company. With just a few clicks and prices starting from $2.76/month (the latest price on CompareGameHosting’s Minecraft page) you could have your server up and running in minutes. To get an idea of how the process works we have broken it down into 6 steps:
The 6 Step Guide To Renting A Ready To Go Minecraft Server
1. Decide What You Need
Do you know how many players will be joining you on your server? Do you play vanilla Minecraft or do you like to mod your game? These are the kind of things you need to check before ordering your Minecraft server.
Minecraft server packages are sold in GB increments, this refers to the amount of RAM that your MC server can use. Usually the more RAM you have available the higher number of connected players you can have at one time. A good way to check to see how much memory you need is to go to the Minecraft wiki page.
Modding is another factor that can affect memory usage. If you are planning on having a lot of mods running on your server (especially mods that change a large portion of the game) you will want to double the amount of RAM you think you need for a smooth experience. A game server that constantly lags will kill the fun for everybody connected.
2. Compare Prices & Reviews
Now that you have an idea of what you need to order you can check the prices and reviews of potential providers. On the CompareGameHosting Minecraft page you will see a list of current providers along with prices and filters to help you shop around.
You can also open up the reviews tab on each provider to view the Minecraft server hosting reviews. Checking out what other previous customers say about a host will help you choose based on what real people say, rather than the company itself.
Be sure to make sure that the game hosting company has Multicraft, this is the control panel that makes setting up your server dead easy. Not all Minecraft hosting companies offer this as it costs them money to get the license.
3. Order Your Server
Now that you have decided on who you want to host with you are ready to order. Using PayPal to pay monthly for your server is a great idea, they will be able to protect you if anything goes wrong.
When ordering your Minecraft server you may get asked which base installation to install from. You may be able to install a Spigot or Bukkit server that are pre-configured if you use these mod packs (this will save you time and effort in the long run).
Some hosts even have a “host transfer” service that automatically copies your game server files and settings from other providers. If you do not have a Minecraft server yet then just ignore this.
Another important option that you will most probably be presented with during ordering is the location of your server. Be sure to choose a location close to you and the other players that will be joining you to reduce on lag. A server that is based in another continent for example is going to noticeably jumpy when you are playing on it.
4. Set Up Your Server
Now you have ordered your server you should get some important information by email from your provider. Check this email for IP addresses and sign-in details to control panels and billing panels, be sure to make a note of these as they are important.
Your welcome email will include other important information. Be sure to check to see if you need to somehow sign the EULA digitally to activate your server, this is a strange unique feature to Minecraft servers. If you do not digitally sign this (usually by changing a zero to a one in a settings file or clicking a checkbox) your Minecraft server probably won’t start.
If you like to mod your Minecraft server then check out the process for adding mods. If you have access to Multicraft then its as easy as using the built in FTP tool to upload the mod files into the appropriate folder.
Check to see if your provider has a help section where they list the steps needed to add a new mod, this will prove very useful especially if they use a custom control panel.
5. Connect For The First Time
Fire up your Minecraft game and then using the IP address, subdomain or dedicated domain mentioned in your welcome email attempt to connect manually.
If all goes well then you will be teleported into your new world for the first time and you can begin installing important server maintenance plugins. Otherwise, try to diagnose the problem yourself or contact the support team at your chosen provider for help. Some game hosting companies offer a live chat or even alive Discord channel to give you instant help.
6. Install Important Plugins
If you are going to be inviting other players or even the general public onto your server you are going to want to install some important plugins. Players don’t always follow the rules and sometimes those that do can still ruin the fun for others without realizing.
This tool for you Minecraft server adds over 100 functions for the admin players to use that simplify managing the map and other players. Almost all server have this plugin or another that does similar things, take a look at it in action on YouTube.
Have you ever wanted to separate an area for yourself and build without having to worry about other players destroying your creations? Well WorldGaurd does that, it allows admins to assigns squares of the map to certain players.
This tool does require some management but if you want your players to invest time and keep returning to your server it’s hugely important. Watch a video of this plugin on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvmO5mchNF4
It’s better to get your server fully protected earlier rather than too late. With CoreProtect you gain some important logging features (to keep track of who did what in order to know who to ban) as well as some anti-griefing tools to maintain a quality of life on your server. See CoreProtect in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwijCiueZ3Y.
Minecraft is far from perfect. Microsoft is still working hard to make improvements and release updates regularly but there are still some things that need sorting and LaggRemover is the short term solution.
This plugin removes elements of the game that are not needed in order to reduce lag, such as removing monsters that no players can see but still require processing power and lag players connection. For a more in-depth explanation and to see it in action check out this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7SdUe-wFEA