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The default file for Java Edition. is the file stores all the settings for a multiplayer (Minecraft or Minecraft Classic) server.

When editing it is important that the same structure as the original is used, although the order of the lines is arbitrary. The text before the equal sign is the key, which should not be changed. The text after the equal sign is the property's value, which can be edited. Lines that begin with # are comments – altering or removing these lines has no effect on the game.

After changes are made to the file, the server must be restarted for them to take effect.

If the file does not list all properties (such as if a new version of the server adds new properties, or if the file does not exist), then on startup the server rewrites the file with the new properties listed and set them to their default values.

File location

Java Edition

This file is automatically generated upon first start of the server (if it doesn't exist).

OS File Location Notes
Windows Same directory as server.jar

Unix Unix/Mac

Path of Working Directory (pwd)

If you start it from your home directory (/home/yourname) the server files will be created in /home/yourname. Follow these guidelines for ensuring that the server files are generated where you would expect them.

  • Set aside an entire directory for all of the server files. (Things could get messy if you don't).
    • Place your server.jar here.
  • Use this script as a guideline for setting up a startup script for your Minecraft server.
    • Make sure it's in your executable $PATH
    • Be sure to add the execution permission to the startup script (chmod +x file_name, or use a folder manager)

Bedrock Edition

This file is downloaded with bedrock_server.exe.

OS File Location
Windows Same directory as bedrock_server.exe
Linux Same directory as bedrock_server

These are the default settings for a newly installed Minecraft server:

Java Edition

#Minecraft server properties
#(File Modification Datestamp)
motd=A Minecraft Server

Bedrock Edition

server-name=Dedicated Server
level-name=Bedrock level

Minecraft server properties

Java Edition

Key Type Default Value Description
allow-flight boolean false Allows users to use flight on your server while in Survival mode, if they have a mod that provides flight installed.

With allow-flight enabled, griefers may become more common, because it makes their work easier. In Creative mode this has no effect.

false - Flight is not allowed (players in air for at least 5 seconds get kicked).
true - Flight is allowed, and used if the player has a fly mod installed.
allow-nether boolean true Allows players to travel to the Nether.
false - Nether portals will not work.
true - The server allows portals to send players to the Nether.
difficulty string easy Defines the difficulty (such as damage dealt by mobs and the way hunger and poison affects players) of the server.

If a legacy difficulty number is specified, it is silently converted to a difficulty name.

peaceful (0)
easy (1)
normal (2)
hard (3)
enable-command-block boolean false Enables command blocks
enable-query boolean false Enables GameSpy4 protocol server listener. Used to get information about server.
enable-rcon boolean false Enables remote access to the server console.
force-gamemode boolean false Force players to join in the default game mode.
false - Players will join in the gamemode they left in.
true - Players will always join in the default gamemode.
function-permission-level integer (1-4) 4 Sets the default permission level for functions.

See #op-permission-level for the details on the 4 levels.

gamemode string survival Defines the mode of gameplay.

If a legacy gamemode number is specified, it is silently converted to a gamemode name.

survival (0)
creative (1)
adventure (2)
spectator (3)
generate-structures boolean true Defines whether structures (such as villages) can be generated.
false - Structures will not be generated in new chunks.
true - Structures will be generated in new chunks.

Note: Dungeons still generate if this is set to false.

generator-settings string blank The settings used to customize world generation. See Superflat and Customized for possible settings and examples.
hardcore boolean false If set to true, server difficulty is ignored and set to hard and players will be set to spectator mode if they die.
level-name string world The "level-name" value is used as the world name and its folder name. You may also copy your saved game folder here, and change the name to the same as that folder's to load it instead.
Characters such as ' (apostrophe) may need to be escaped by adding a backslash before them.
level-seed string blank Add a seed for your world, as in Singleplayer.
Some examples are: minecraft, 404, 1a2b3c.
level-type string default Determines the type of map that is generated.
default - Standard world with hills, valleys, water, etc.
flat - A flat world with no features, can be modified with generator-settings.
largebiomes - Same as default but all biomes are larger.
amplified - Same as default but world-generation height limit is increased.
buffet - Same as default unless generator-settings is set to a preset.
max-build-height integer 256 The maximum height in which building is allowed. Terrain may still naturally generate above a low height limit.
max-players integer (0-2147483647) 20 The maximum number of players that can play on the server at the same time. Note that more players on the server consume more resources. Note also, op player connections are not supposed to count against the max players, but ops currently cannot join a full server. However, this can be changed by going to the file called ops.json in your server directory, opening it, finding the op you want the change, and changing the setting called bypassesPlayerLimit to true (the default is false). This means that that op does not have to wait for a player to leave in order to join. Extremely large values for this field result in the client-side user list being broken.
integer (0–(2^63 - 1)) 60000 The maximum number of milliseconds a single tick may take before the server watchdog stops the server with the message, A single server tick took 60.00 seconds (should be max 0.05); Considering it to be crashed, server will forcibly shutdown. Once this criterion is met, it calls System.exit(1).
-1 - disable watchdog entirely (this disable option was added in 14w32a)
integer (1-29999984) 29999984 This sets the maximum possible size in blocks, expressed as a radius, that the world border can obtain. Setting the world border bigger causes the commands to complete successfully but the actual border does not move past this block limit. Setting the max-world-size higher than the default doesn't appear to do anything.


  • Setting max-world-size to 1000 allows you to have a 2000×2000 world border.
  • Setting max-world-size to 4000 gives you an 8000×8000 world border.
motd string A Minecraft Server This is the message that is displayed in the server list of the client, below the name.
  • The MOTD supports color and formatting codes.
  • The MOTD supports special characters, such as "♥". However, such characters must be converted to escaped Unicode form. An online converter can be found here.
  • If the MOTD is over 59 characters, the server list will likely report a communication error.
integer 256 By default it allows packets that are n-1 bytes big to go normally, but a packet of n bytes or more will be compressed down. So, a lower number means more compression but compressing small amounts of bytes might actually end up with a larger result than what went in.
-1 - disable compression entirely
0 - compress everything

Note: The Ethernet spec requires that packets less than 64 bytes become padded to 64 bytes. Thus, setting a value lower than 64 may not be beneficial. It is also not recommended to exceed the MTU, typically 1500 bytes.

online-mode boolean true Server checks connecting players against Minecraft account database. Only set this to false if your server is not connected to the Internet. Hackers with fake accounts can connect if this is set to false! If is down or inaccessible, no players can connect if this is set to true. Setting this variable to off purposely is called "cracking" a server, and servers that are presently with online mode off are called "cracked" servers, allowing players with unlicensed copies of Minecraft to join.
true - Enabled. The server will assume it has an Internet connection and checks every connecting player.
false - Disabled. The server will not attempt to check connecting players.
op-permission-level integer (1-4) 4 Sets the default permission level for ops when using /op. All levels inherit abilities and commands from levels before them.
1 - Ops can bypass spawn protection.
2 - Ops can use all singleplayer cheats commands (except /publish, as it is not on servers; along with /debug) and use command blocks. Command blocks, along with Realms owners/operators, have the same permissions as this level.
3 - Ops can use most multiplayer-exclusive commands, including /debug, and commands that manage players (/ban, /op, etc).
4 - Ops can use all commands including /stop, /save-all, /save-on, and /save-off.
player-idle-timeout integer 0 If non-zero, players are kicked from the server if they are idle for more than that many minutes.
Note: Idle time is reset when the server receives one of the following packets:
prevent-proxy-connections boolean false If the ISP/AS sent from the server is different from the one from Mojang's authentication server, the player is kicked
true - Enabled. Server prevents users from using vpns or proxies.
false - Disabled. The server doesn't prevent users from using vpns or proxies.
pvp boolean true Enable PvP on the server. Players shooting themselves with arrows receive damage only if PvP is enabled.
true - Players can kill each other.
false - Players cannot kill other players (also known as Player versus Environment (PvE)).

Note: Indirect damage sources spawned by players (such as lava, fire, TNT and to some extent water, sand and gravel) still deal damage to other players.

query.port integer (1-65534) 25565 Sets the port for the query server (see enable-query).
rcon.password string blank Sets the password for RCON: a remote console protocol that can allow other applications to connect and interact with a Minecraft server over the internet.
rcon.port integer (1-65534) 25575 Sets the RCON network port.
resource-pack string blank Optional URI to a resource pack. The player may choose to use it.

Note that the ":" and "=" characters need to be escaped with backslash (\), e.g. http\://\=somevalue

The resource pack may not have a larger file size than 50 MiB (≈ 50.4 MB). Note that download success or failure is logged by the client, and not by the server.

string blank Optional SHA-1 digest of the resource pack, in lowercase hexadecimal. It's recommended to specify this. This is not yet used to verify the integrity of the resource pack, but improves the effectiveness and reliability of caching.
server-ip string blank Set this if you want the server to bind to a particular IP. It is strongly recommended that you leave server-ip blank!
Set to blank, or the IP you want your server to run (listen) on.
server-port integer (1-65534) 25565 Changes the port the server is hosting (listening) on. This port must be forwarded if the server is hosted in a network using NAT (If you have a home router/firewall).
snooper-enabled boolean true Sets whether the server sends snoop data regularly to
false - disable snooping.
true - enable snooping.
spawn-animals boolean true Determines if animals can spawn.
true - Animals spawn as normal.
false - Animals immediately vanish.

Tip: if you have major lag, turn this off/set to false.

spawn-monsters boolean true Determines if monsters can spawn.
true - Enabled. Monsters will appear at night and in the dark.
false - Disabled. No monsters.

This setting has no effect if difficulty = 0 (peaceful). If difficulty is not = 0, a monster can still spawn from a Monster Spawner.

Tip: if you have major lag, turn this off/set to false.

spawn-npcs boolean true Determines whether villagers can spawn.
true - Enabled. Villagers will spawn.
false - Disabled. No villagers.
spawn-protection integer 16 Determines the radius of the spawn protection as 2x+1. Setting this to 0 does not disable spawn protection, but protects the single block at the spawn point. 1 protects a 3×3 area centered on the spawn point. 2 protects 5×5, 3 protects 7×7, etc. This option is not generated on the first server start and appears when the first player joins. If there are no ops set on the server, the spawn protection is disabled automatically.
use-native-transport boolean true Linux server performance improvements: optimized packet sending/receiving on Linux
true - Enabled. Enable Linux packet sending/receiving optimization
false - Disabled. Disable Linux packet sending/receiving optimization
view-distance integer (3-32) 10 Sets the amount of world data the server sends the client, measured in chunks in each direction of the player (radius, not diameter). It determines the server-side viewing distance. (see Render distance)

10 is the default/recommended. If you have major lag, reduce this value.

Note: A value less than 9 has a big impact on mob spawning on the server, as noted in bug MC-2536.

white-list boolean false Enables a whitelist on the server.

With a whitelist enabled, users not on the whitelist cannot connect. Intended for private servers, such as those for real-life friends or strangers carefully selected via an application process, for example.

false - No white list is used.
true - The file whitelist.json is used to generate the white list.

Note: Ops are automatically white listed, and there is no need to add them to the whitelist.

enforce-whitelist boolean false Enforces the whitelist on the server.

When this option is enabled, users who are not present on the whitelist (if it's enabled) get kicked from the server after the server reloads the whitelist file.

false - No user will be kicked if not on the whitelist.
true - Online users not on the whitelist will be kicked.

In versions prior to Java Edition 1.12, the announce-player-achievements boolean property (default true) was used to toggle whether achievements were broadcasted to all players. This property no longer exists, but if it is set, the announceAdvancements gamerule is automatically updated to match, and the property is removed.

Bedrock Edition

Option name Possible values Default value When is it used Use Notes
gamemode survival (0), creative (1), adventure (2) survival Always or only for new players Sets the game mode for new players.
difficulty peaceful (0), easy (1), normal (2), hard (3) easy Always Sets the difficulty of the world.
level-type FLAT, LEGACY, DEFAULT DEFAULT World creation Determines the type of map that is generated.
server-name Any string Dedicated Server Always Used as the server name This is the server name shown in the in-game server list.
max-players Positive integer 10 Always The maximum number of players that can play on the server. The maximum numbers of players that should be able to play on the server. Higher values have performance impact.
server-port Any integer 19132 Always Which IPv4 port the server should listen to.
server-portv6 Any integer 19133 Always Which IPv6 port the server should listen to.
level-name Any string level Always The "level-name" value is used as the world name and its folder name. You may also copy your saved game folder here, and change the name to the same as that folder's to load it instead. The name of level to be used/generated. Each level has its own folder in /worlds.
level-seed Any string Defaults to empty (th34f1ju34facjn5f871df312h) World creation Use to randomize the world The seed to be used for randomizing the world. If left empty, a seed is chosen at random.
online-mode true, false true Always If true then all connected players must be authenticated to Xbox Live. If true then all connected players must be authenticated to Xbox Live.
white-list true, false false Always If true then all connected players must be listed in the separate whitelist.json file. If true then all connected players must be listed in the separate whitelist.json file.
allow-cheats true, false false Always If true then cheats like commands can be used.
view-distance Any integer 10 Always The maximum allowed view distance in number of chunks. The maximum allowed view distance. Higher values have performance impact.
player-idle-timeout Any integer 30 Always After a player has idled for this many minutes they will be kicked. After a player has idled for this many minutes they will be kicked.
max-threads Any integer 8 Always Maximum number of threads the server will try to use. If set to 0 or removed then it will use as many as possible. Maximum number of threads the server will try to use.
tick-distance An integer in the range [4, 12] 4 Always The world will be ticked this many chunks away from any player. The world will be ticked this many chunks away from any player. Higher values have performance impact.
default-player-permission-level visitor, member, operator member Always Permission level for new players joining for the first time. Which permission level new players will have when they join for the first time.
texturepack-required true, false false Always Force clients to use texture packs in the current world If the world uses any specific texture packs then this setting will force the client to use it.

Minecraft Classic server properties

Key Type Default Value Description
verify-names boolean true If enabled the server will make sure that the client is logged in with the same IP on This has caused problems for people trying to play on the same computer they are hosting the server on as the server will see the local IP ( while will see the external IP. It is recommended that this is enabled unless you want to play on your server from the same computer you are hosting it on
true - Enabled. The server will check all names with
false - Disabled. The server will make sure the IP matches
admin-slot boolean false Allow ops to join even if the server is full.
public boolean Whether the server should be displayed in the server list, or not.
true - The server will be displayed in the server list - anyone can see it.
false - Only people with the URL which can be found in externalurl.txt and people who know the IP and port can join the server
server-name string The name of the server. This is displayed in the server list and when someone is joining the server
  • A single line of text. Characters such as ' (apostrophe) may need to be escaped by adding a backslash before them.
max-players integer (0-256) The max numbers of players that can play on the server at the same time. Note that if more players are on the server it will use more resources. Note also, admin connections are not counted against the max players.
max-connections integer (1-3) The max number of connections the server will accept from the same IP.

Note: If you try to set it higher than 3 it will be changed back to 3.

motd string MOTD is short for Message of the day, though you do not need to change it every day. The MOTD is displayed when people join the server.
grow-trees boolean Whether or not the server will allow planted saplings to grow into trees.
true - the server will allow saplings to grow into trees.
false - the server will not allow saplings to grow into trees.


Java Edition
1.14Pre-Release 4function-permission-level option got added, that controls what permission level functions have