Starting a Minecraft Server: A Brief Overview

One of the fun aspects of Minecraft is playing together with your friends and other players. This is where setting up a Minecraft server comes in.

If you want to set up a simple server at home, you can use the Minecraft game itself to act as a server. You just have to make sure that everyone is connected to the same network. This is ideal for when you want to invite a couple of neighborhood kids over for a play date.

You can share your single player world by going into Singleplayer Mode in Minecraft.

Minecraft Single Player Button

Choose the world that you want to share with your friends and click on the Play Selected World button.

Select Minecraft world

In the game, Press Esc to go to the Minecraft Game Menu and click on the Open to LAN button.

Minecraft Game Menu

Choose your Game Mode and whether or not to allow cheats. Click on Start LAN World.

Starting LAN World

After doing this, other players on your same local network can join on their own computers by going into Multiplayer and selecting the world when it pops up.

Multiplayer LAN world

This option may be okay for small groups below 5 players. When more players join the game, performance may begin to lag and the gameplay experience may begin to suffer. Performance will depend on the computer processing speed, memory, local area network and hard drive speed.

If you want to be able to accommodate more players or improve performance, a more optimal solution would be to run the server on a dedicated machine without any other programs running. You will run a standalone server process instead of doing it through the game. This is where things can get a little complicated since there are many options that are customizable.

There are several flavors of servers out there. You can run the default Minecraft (Vanilla) server available for download at the Minecraft website. However, Vanilla has little to no support to add plugins that make the game fun. You can also run third party servers such as Craftbukkit or Spigot. The caveat is that these plugins tend to break whenever Mojang releases a Minecraft update. Keeping the server up to date and running is an ongoing process. In most cases, you will need to alter configuration files and use the command line to run the server.

bukkit command line

Running a CraftBukkit Server from the Command Line.

Putting up a Minecraft server on the Internet is another story all together. It’s possible to host from home, but you’ll have to mess with your network router to open it up to the outside world. Plus, the server will have limited bandwidth depending on your Internet connection. Another option would be to find a Minecraft hosting provider for a fee.

Setting up a server definitely takes a lot of time and effort. If you don’t want to start your own server you can join our camp. We’ll save you the hassle of setting one up online. Starting this July, we will be running a few servers for our Online Kid Camp. By registering, kids will have access to a server and will have the opportunity to collaborate with players from all over the world. Our camp counselors will also be in game to help campers with fun activities such as building and adventuring. To ensure a safe online environment, aside from our counselors monitoring what is going on, we are installing a few plugins to prevent griefing and other inappropriate behavior. We’ll feature some of the plugins we will be using and more tips in future posts on this blog.



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