Multiplayer is the server-based version of the game that, as the name would suggest, enables multiple players to interact with each other on a single world. Players can work with others to create structures, mine and fight with each other.
Users can run the server package that allows other players to connect to and play on their server. Different game modes can be chosen for a server, which includes Survival, Creative, Hardcore, and Adventure. It should be noted that game modes are individually attributed to each player meaning some can be in creative and some in survival mode. Players can also be promoted to op (system operator) status by the server admin or other ops, which grants them access to server commands such as setting the time of day and teleporting players around.and
Currently, Minecraft does not have an official pre-populated survival server list available, but there is a server list for Minecraft Classic, and the wiki's sidebar has a link to it. There are also third-party server lists available (such as the Minecraft Forums maintained server list).
An option available for players who do not wish to port forward is set up their server on a local network (using the local IP address as opposed to a global IP address presented by the server's router). A local server does not require port forwarding.
Variations of servers
Servers can be classified into a server type, there are a multitude of server types available:
- SMP (Survival Multiplayer) The standard server type and when creating a server, will by default, become SMP. "SMP" has become a generic term sometimes used to describe any type of multiplayer, including Creative and others.
- CMP (Creative Multiplayer) Players have unlimited health and resources. Useful for team building purposes.
- HMP (Hardcore Multiplayer) Players are permanently banned from the server once they die.
- AMP (Adventure Multiplayer) Players cannot place or destroy blocks. Useful for preventing certain types of griefing.
- There are also servers dedicated to provide their own purpose that do not fit under standard server types.
Some servers use mods ("modifications") to add custom items, crafting recipes, and more that are dedicated to enhancing the vanilla Minecraft multiplayer experience.
Please note: Several of these commands are configurable (the defaults are shown here)
In multiplayer, players can press T to chat to others or enter commands. Commands are identified by the server with the use of a forward slash (/) at the beginning of the message. Chat functions include:
- Chat history - A small scroll bar is on the side of the chat bar. You can also scroll using the mouse wheel or PAGEUP and PAGEDOWN. The last 100 chat messages are stored.
- Clickable links in chat.
- Up/down keys for recently sent messages.
- Copy & paste in chat. (CTRL+V is for paste and CTRL+C is to copy. ⇧ Shift+Arrow keys will select text for you.)
- The section symbol,
§, allows players to change the style of the text.
- Just like typing
§kin chat displays random characters,
§ocreates bold, striked, underlined and italic text respectively, while
§rresets any set states. These (the section symbol:
§) cannot be typed in vanilla clients because they are restricted from being typed. If
§is pasted and posted in chat, the player who sent it will be automatically kicked from the server with an "Illegal characters in chat" message, and a
- Just like typing
- Pressing the / acts like a command key: it opens the chat with a
/in it. In other keyboard layouts, it might be another key. It is possible to change the key in the Controls options.
- Pressing a letter or typing the first few letters of a username and then pressing Tab ↹ enters the first username starting with that letter or phrase. If there are multiple with that letter (or phrase), it will give a list in chat and pressing tab more than once scrolls through the names.
- You can also do this with commands: Type / and the first letter of the command.
- Just typing / and then tab will list all commands
- Some commands will also have additional parameters added with just pressing tab at that point.
Third-party server lists
In Beta 1.8, a Server list was introduced to the multiplayer menu. This does not have a full server list, however, but it does save servers that you add, shows you your current latency to them, and can tell you the number and names of players online and the maximum allowable connections.
The Minecraft site contains a server list for Classic servers. There is currently no official server list for current game versions, but there are several sites that allow players and/or server owners to add their server to a list, providing site visitors with current server stats such as players connected, uptime, and more.
Local area network
A LAN game is only accessible to other people in your local network (e.g. just the people also connected to your router/switch are able to connect to you) unless you setup port forwarding on your router, then people can direct connect with your IP and port. (ex. 126.96.36.199:43787)
To open your current single player world for other players in your LAN, type the command
/publish into the chat (note that this is still very restricted, e.g. you can't adjust the game options using the commandline) or access the Game Menu and click on the "Open to LAN" button. There you can select the gamemode for other players and whether they should be allowed to use Cheats. Both of these methods give you an IP for use, for example: "Local game hosted on hostname:12345". If you type
/publish and want to change the default gamemode, type
/defaultgamemode 1 for example. Note: two computers using the same Minecraft account name cannot connect with this method.
Now other players can either connect to your game using the link minecraft provided you or they can connect using the multiplayer menu with its new "Scanning for LAN-Worlds" section at the bottom.
On the technical side, a Minecraft client with an opened LAN game sends a UDP multicast to the local address 188.8.131.52:4445 every 1.5 seconds. Other clients then listen for this multicast to show your game in their multiplayer menu.
In Classic, the server saves the level to the server_level.dat file every minute, or by issuing the
/save-all command. In the full game, the server saves the level in the "world" folder every 30 seconds if chunks have been modified, by default.
Home-made servers do not strictly require access to minecraft.net, and so can be played on an isolated local network with no Internet connection. They use minecraft.net as a repository of player skins and also a database containing a list of accounts, preventing hackers and griefers from using false names while on such a server. This and other settings are modified by editing the server.properties text file.
|0.0.15a_02||Players' name shows above their head.|
|0.0.15a_03||Added admin commands.|
|Reduced bandwidth usage.|
|0.0.16a||Multiplayer released after many beta trials.|
|0.0.17a||You can now see the chat log when typing.|
|Added the ability to see the list of players logged in by pressing Tab ↹.|
|0.0.17a_02||Custom player skin test.|
|0.0.18a||Custom skins released.|
|0.0.18a_01||New chat characters: |, @, and $.|
|0.23||Clicking a player's name under the Tab menu pastes their nickname into the chat.|
|1.0.15||Survival multiplayer is released.|
|1.2.2||Vehicles are now functional.|
|1.2.3||Health and damage now functional.|
|1.2.4||Other players are shown as sneaking when they are sneaking.|
|1.0||Inventory is now server-side (fixes disappearing items and duplication as a result).|
|1.2||Worn armor is now visible on other players.|
|Paintings now work.|
|1.3||Players standing on fences no longer get stuck.|
|1.4||"Ghost" client-sided slimes no longer spawn.|
|1.5||Wolves no longer constantly whimper when they have full health.|
|1.6||Huge bugfix update|
|The Nether now works in multiplayer.|
|Dispensers now emit smoke and play sounds when used.|
|Fixed fake client-sided music discs spawned when ejecting them from a jukebox.|
|New settings in Server.properties:
|1.7.3||Modded clients may no longer edit text of placed signs.|
|1.8||Ghast attack sounds in multiplayer fixed.|
|1.1||It was now possible to enter colored text in multiplayer chat.|
|1.2.1||It is no longer possible to enter colored text in multiplayer's chat with the vanilla client.|
|Monster spawners now show the correct mob inside them.|
|Mob hitboxes were fixed (it is now possible to hit their legs).|
|1.2.4||Chat was greatly improved. There is now a chat history, it is now possible to complete usernames using the Tab ↹ key, and it is now possible to copy-paste text.|
|Many multiplayer bugs were fixed, such as ghost TNT.|
|1.3.1||12w23a||Players can now see the cracking effect when other players mine blocks.|
|Multiplayer now scans for local games.|
|1.8||14w02a||Improved chat communication.|
|Messages are now either chat, system or action bar messages.|
|Action bar messages are always shown, chat and system messages are only shown if chat settings are configured that way.|
|Some instances of usernames in the chat will now show the player's UUID when hovered on when debug tooltips are enabled.|
Issues relating to "Multiplayer" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.