Minecraft is one of the world’s most popular games and boasts one of the world’s most active creator communities.
Sure, you can just download Minecraft and dive in, buy a subscription to Minecraft Realms Plus, invite ten friends, and have at it. That’s a perfectly reasonable way to go and a plenty fine way to get your feet wet. But much like anything in life, it won’t be long before you’re eyeing a more advanced configuration.
Benefits of a Minecraft Server
If you’re looking for a more immersive and customized Minecraft experience, hosting the game on your own server is a logical progression. You can host online multiplayer games at higher capacity—think hundreds of players as opposed to just ten—and it’s a chance for you and your friends (or your kids and their friends) to get crafty on a much grander scale.
With a dedicated Minecraft server, you’re in complete control of your environment and will enjoy better speed and performance. If you’re part of the Minecraft development community, a dedicated gaming server gives you added power, reliability, and security options than any other approach.
Security is a critical concern, as Minecraft is essentially a community of coders. Like any other game, players tend to be very competitive, and some will go to great lengths to take down a rival’s network. The more control you have, the safer and happier you’ll be.
How to Create a Minecraft Server on Windows, Mac, or Linux Systems
Let’s start with the basics. Setting up the actual server will take a little technical know-how. You need to understand, at least at a fundamental level, how a server and a network function, and you ought to be comfortable with command lines as well as the hardware you’re using.
Some questions people ask include:
Do I need a specific type of computer to run a Minecraft server?
No. You don’t need a special computer, but you’ll likely do better setting it up on a desktop.
Can I run the server and play the game on the same computer?
Sure, with an explanation. It’s possible to run the server and play the game on the same machine, but you need to have a pretty powerful system to get the best possible performance.
Can I run a Minecraft server over a wireless connection?
This is not recommended. A wired connection is far more reliable and preferable.
Do I need any specialized hardware?
You could purchase server hardware, but a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server is a much simpler way to go. You won’t have the hassle of maintaining your hardware, and it’s a scalable solution, in case you need more server power. Also, having a hosted server means there is no risk of exposing your network to the world.
With these points in mind, here are the steps you will take in setting up your Minecraft server, in a broad sense:
- Install the newest version of Java on your computer.
- Download the most recent version of Minecraft.
- Configure your network and the server.
- Run the server.
- Make sure you can access the server.
Setting Up Your Minecraft Server on Linux
A Linux-hosted VPS is perfect if you don’t expect to have a lot of players on your server, and it’s a great way to get started. If you find you need more power, you can scale up pretty easily. If you have bigger plans, you might want to consider a dedicated server.
LinuxGSM is an open-source command tool that works exceptionally well for game server deployment. You will need to manually configure Java and point LinuxGSM to it. Click here for a detailed step-by-step guide on how to deploy a Minecraft server in Linux.
- Install the latest iteration of Java. You will need to connect your host via SSH before you start.
- Create a location for your server files.
- Download the Minecraft server files. Check this page to be sure you have the latest version. You will also need to install and execute “screen” so that the server will run even when you’re not connected to it.
- Launch the Minecraft server. Once this is complete, you will need to check to be sure the server is running properly.
Save the server.properties file and restart the server. You will then need to put your server IP address into Minecraft’s status checker to see if it’s running.
Point your domain to the Minecraft server. Use an easy-to-remember name rather than an IP address so your peeps can find you. You can do this by updating your domain’s DNS records with an A record or a subdomain that you can point to your server’s IP address.
How Much Will You Pay for a Minecraft Server?
As with most things in life, what you’ll pay for a Minecraft server really depends on what you need. If you’re just looking to experiment a bit or only need something that can handle up to 20 players, you’re looking anywhere between $6 and $35 per month for a virtual private server. The more active players you have on the server, the more you’ll pay.
However, if you’re looking for better performance and greater capabilities, the sky’s the limit. A dedicated Minecraft server offers top-level performance and features from about $101 per month. Whether you have a bunch of kids or you’re developing for the game, a dedicated server has a lot of advantages in terms of security, stability, availability, bandwidth, and memory.
Whichever way you decide to go, whether you choose a VPS or a dedicated server, it is critical to ensure you’re getting enough bang for your buck. If you want your Minecraft experience to be superior in every way, be sure you’ve got enough resources to make it all go.
Ultimately, it’s really about how you plan to use it; but if you’re unsure, we’re standing by to help you decide. Plus, once we know what kind of setup you have in mind, we might be able to give you a few hints on things you can do to make the game experience even better.
If you’re thinking about setting up a Minecraft server, talk to us first. We power some of the world’s most well-known Minecraft hosting platforms, so we know a thing or two about it. Reach out today, and let’s get started.