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This article does not apply to Classic server software.
This article only describes technical information for SMP Server Hosting.
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Minecraft servers allow players to play online or via a local area network with other people. They may either be run on a hosted server, on local dedicated server hardware, a Virtual Private server on a home machine, or on your local gaming computer. The default free of charge multiplayer software is available by Mojang for Windows, Mac OS X and Unix-like systems (Linux, BSD...) and is relatively easy to set up, see the Minecraft multiplayer server tutorial and Mojang's Minecraft multiplayer server download page for help.

Server setup[edit]

Server installation and configuration[edit]

General recommendations[edit]

  • 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. Probably, your best bet can be 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 and bad I/O perfomance in comparison to desktops and servers.
  • 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[edit]

Playing on a server[edit]

Server commands[edit]

There are useful commands you can use to do things like teleport, set your spawn, kick/ban players, save your world remotely, and other important things.

Types of servers[edit]

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 additional features.

The Big Three[edit]

These types of servers are the most popular choices for creation.


This type of server uses plugins to allow players to form groups called factions and claim & protect land from other factions. Usually this is accomplished with the Bukkit plugins Factions or Towny. 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. Also there are admins, vips, builders and so on... There are usually safe zones too. There are also servers called Towny War servers, similar to faction PvP servers but in that with Towny, larger towns and nations fight one another, rather than small factions, which allows for more fighting. Towny War servers are also accompanied by economy, trade, politics, etc.


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.

Less Popular[edit]

Just because the title states they are less-popular doesn't necessarily mean they are. These servers take more than just a few hours to create.


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 plugins 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 frequently use plugins to provide players with special powers in exchange for choosing a player class, species, etc. They also are usually set in medieval times.

Hardcore PvP[edit]

This type of server is usually unmodified or very lightly modified. 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.


Prison is a gamemode that allows players to experience currency, and mining, and pvping to get to different ranks on the server. Prison servers are one of the hardest gamemodes to construct. It really started setting off around 2013. Ever since it has been a great moneymaking tool for server owners to include in their server.


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 offers one or more areas, usually protected from griefing, 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[edit]

This type of server offers a new type of gamemode for a server, usually via plugins. 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.

Bow Spleef[edit]

Players spawn in with a bow and an arrow and try to shoot TNT beneath players' feet, in the attempt to be the last one standing above it.


This type of server forces players to show their legitimate side. 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.


A server in which players choose from a kit or several kits to have big PVP battles. The gamemode is either Adventure or Survival.


Also called TNT-Tag or Hot potato. One player is the tagger, and the others have to avoid them. to tag someone, you have to hit them with whatever item is the "hot potato" (this can be TNT, a potato, or anything the developer desires). The reason the tagger is in such a hurry to get rid of this is that, after a certain amount of time, the item, and whoever is holding it, get blown to bits. This will eliminate that player, and another player is chosen randomly as tagger.


Players of these servers have to battle against each other after collecting resources and materials. Last player alive wins. Background: The HungerGames are based upon the books of Suzanne Collins called "The Hunger Games" and its movies. The Minecraft community liked the survival aspect of that series and started hosting their own Hunger Games events.

Survival Games[edit]

Similar to Hunger Games, but players can't collect materials. The only way to get geared up is searching for chests hidden everywhere on the map. Winner is the last player standing. Certain servers will have a time limit on survival games. If this time expires, players are teleported to an arena where players fight to the death (often called a death match).


MineZ, developed by the staff of the Shotbow Network, is based on the Arma II: Combined Operations mod named DayZ. MineZ involves dropping a player into a zombie apocalypse, where said zombies, in Shotbow's words, "hit harder, run faster and think smarter. Overall, they WILL kill you." This is a co-operational gamemode, but PvP is enabled. MineZ features new game mechanics such as thirst and player healing, as natural regeneration from a full hunger bar is off. The server substitutes some Minecraft items for DayZ items, such as paper for bandages.


Similar to SkyBlock, but random ores and blocks are generated in a grid that may range from top to bottom of the map. Players must survive as usual, but by parkouring over to certain blocks.


Players find loot and fight other players in a massive city. There are guns made with a server texture pack and there is usually a bank and a casino.

Free OP[edit]

The [average] player is given operator. Free OP servers usually contain hard-coded modifications for administration.


This is a combination of servers. A player spawns in a lobby and they can choose which type of gamemode they would like to play.

Theme Park[edit]

Theme Park servers try to recreate theme parks 1:1 (1 block is 1 meter) in Minecraft. Regular users act as guests in the theme parks as they ride on interactive rides, watch shows, partake in games, buy merchandise and anything else typical people do in theme parks. Staff positions (Usually called "Cast Members") usually need to be applied for and typically consist of a team of builders and a team of people dedicated to helping guests, some servers have technicians as well. The most common parks build are Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Universal parks with some servers venturing to create Legoland or Sea World.


Reset player[edit]

If you want to reset a player's inventory, position, and any other related data about them, 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[edit]

If you want to ban a player from playing on your server, edit the minecraft\banned-ips.json", where "minecraft" is the folder where minecraft was installed on the server and add the user you want to ban to this banned-ips.json 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.json file

Edit player[edit]

If you don't want to delete a player completely, but want to remove something from them or move them to a different spot, or even give them an enchanted item, you can edit the PLAYERNAME.dat file with an NBT editor similar to how you would a level save. (The player in question must be offline during this operation, but you do not need to restart the server afterwards)

Creating backups[edit]

Use the save-all command ingame (as a server op) or from the server's console to save the world.
Create a copy of the world directory to create the backup. Do not move the directory as this might crash the server.
No restart is required.

Resetting the Nether or the End[edit]

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 resource pack[edit]

You can set a default resource pack for your server and the client has the option to download it and use it for your server. (Please note that the client can turn off the resource pack)

  1. Choose or create a resource pack.
  2. Upload the resource pack to Dropbox, or similar. The important thing is that you can have a DIRECT link to the .zip file.
  3. Set the file to public. (at least on Dropbox)
  4. Open your file.
  5. Find resource-pack= and edit it like this: resource-pack=<link to your .zip>.
  6. Restart the server & log on to check the resource pack.

Setting the server's icon[edit]

Servers can have an icon that will show up in the Multiplayer list.

  1. Create a PNG image with a size of 64 by 64 pixels, transparency is supported.
  2. Save (or rename) it to server-icon.png.
  3. Move it to the server's directory.
  4. Restart the server.

Kick messages[edit]

Kick messages are messages that are displayed when an operator kicks the player, or the player has issues connecting to the server.

  • End Of Stream (Client message) – The server has stopped sending data to the client
  • Internal Server – The server is sending unknown information to the client, usually from a server mod
  • Internal exception: Received string length longer than maximum allowed (105>100) – A message the client sent that isn't in the frames of normal messages
  • Internal Server Error – The server generated an exception when handling the client's request.
  • Disconnected - The player disconnected by using the Disconnect button in the Main Menu
  • Illegal characters in chat – The client was denied sending certain characters, such as the § symbol
  • disconnect.spam - The client is sending chat messages too quickly
  • Read timed out – The server can't find the player's connection
  • Bad login – The client is running in offline mode and can't connect to an authenticated server
  • Outdated client (Please use {version}) – The server is running a more recent version of Minecraft then the client is
  • Outdated server (I'm still on {version}) – The client is running a more recent version of Minecraft than the server is
  • You are banned from this server (May be followed by Reason: {reason} and/or Your ban will be removed on {date}) – Self-explanatory, the client is banned and will remain banned until pardoned by an admin
  • You have been IP banned. - The client's IP has been banned.
  • Kicked by an operator. - The client has been disconnected using the kick command.
  • Flying is not enabled on this server - The client tried to fly for longer than 5 seconds in Survival or Adventure mode
  • Attempting to attack an invalid entity - ??, Happens when a client tries to hit themselves (using mods)
  • Illegal stance - ??, Happens when a client is extremely high or low
  • Illegal position - The client is beyond ±30,000,000 x or z position
  • You have died. Game over, man, it's game over! - The client is dead but tried to join in Hardcore mode.
  • You have been idle for too long! - The client was idle for a longer time than allowed.
  • Out of memory! - This only happens when your memory is 100% (It shows it up on the F3 Debug screen)

Please note that the kick command on modded Servers can disconnect clients with arbitrary message.

Renting a server[edit]

While you can build your own server, sometimes renting a server can be a better option if your Internet connection 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 is an option to make small servers with the Realms server hosting feature, although it costs money.

External links[edit]