Minecraft offers an expansive world of adventure and endless possibilities. And the best part? You can create your own Minecraft server on your PC in just a few easy steps!
In this guide, we’ll focus on Java Edition and provide you with step-by-step instructions to host your own server. From customizing your server with mods and plugins to the necessary system requirements, join us on this journey through Minecraft’s biomes, conquering adventure maps, and creating a unique multiplayer experience. You’ll never need to use a public server after reading this.
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- Ensure your hardware and software meets the minimum requirements for running a Minecraft Java server
- Download the latest stable release of Minecraft Java server software from a reputable source
- Create and configure a server properties file to customize settings such as spawn rates and game modes
- Set up port forwarding to make sure players can join your server easily
What Is a Minecraft Server?
A Minecraft server is a virtual space that allows players to connect and play together in a customized Minecraft world. These servers can be owned by individuals, businesses, or communities and offer endless possibilities for gameplay and social interaction.
While a personal computer is sufficient for hosting a small server limited to a few players, larger servers with commercial purposes may require a more powerful dedicated machine.
In a Minecraft server, the in-game world can be customized with texture packs, skins, mods, and seeds to create a unique and immersive experience for players. As the server host, you also have administrative abilities to control various in-game aspects such as weather and mob spawn frequencies.
- Before setting up a server, it’s important to consider the system requirements and ensure your computer or dedicated machine can handle the necessary resources
- With the right setup, hosting a Minecraft server can provide a fun and exciting way to connect with other players and create your own customized Minecraft world
System Requirements on How to Make a Minecraft Java Server
Without the right hardware and software specifications, your Minecraft Java server may run slowly, experience lag, or even crash, resulting in a less-than-optimal gaming experience for you and your friends.
However, keep in mind that running a Minecraft server requires more resources than just running the game itself. As such, it’s recommended that your computer exceeds these minimum system requirements to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted gaming experience.
- In addition to the hardware requirements, you’ll also need to download and install the Minecraft Java Edition server software. This can be downloaded for free from the official Minecraft website.
- It’s also important to note that hosting a Minecraft server may require opening certain ports on your router to allow incoming connections from other players. This process, called port forwarding, is necessary to ensure that your server is accessible to other players outside of your local network.
- By ensuring that your computer meets the system requirements and following the necessary steps for port forwarding, you’ll be well on your way to creating a stable and enjoyable Minecraft Java server for you and your friends to play on.
Hardware and Software Requirements
To run a Minecraft Java server smoothly and without any issues, it is essential to ensure that your computer meets the minimum hardware and software requirements. These include:
- A 64-bit operating system (Windows 7 or later, macOS 10.12 Sierra or later, or Linux)
- At least 4GB of RAM
- A multi-core processor with 2 GHz or higher clock speed
- A graphics card that supports OpenGL 4.5 or higher
- A stable internet connection with a minimum upload and download speed of 3 Mbps
Meeting these requirements is essential for ensuring that the Minecraft Java server runs smoothly and without any hiccups. The operating system requirement is important because Minecraft Java Edition only supports 64-bit operating systems, so running the server on a 32-bit operating system is not possible.
The amount of RAM required is also significant. Minecraft Java Edition can consume a lot of RAM, and running a server requires even more resources. Not having enough RAM can cause the server to crash or run slowly, making the game unplayable.
A multi-core processor with 2 GHz or higher clock speed is also necessary to ensure that the server can handle multiple players and game elements without any lag or delay. The server does not rely on graphics processing, so you don’t have to worry about the graphics card requirement. But having a graphics card that supports OpenGL 4.5 or higher will ensure that you can run the client and the server simultaneously without any issues.
Finally, a stable internet connection with a minimum upload and download speed of 3 Mbps is required to ensure that the server is accessible to players and that they can play without any lag or disconnections.
While meeting the minimum hardware and software requirements is essential for running a Minecraft Java server, having better specifications can significantly improve your gaming experience. Better specifications allow you to host more players on your server and run more complex mods and plugins.
With a faster processor and more RAM, the server can handle more players and generate more complex worlds without experiencing lag or crashes. Here are some recommended hardware and software specifications that go beyond the minimum requirements, providing a more immersive and engaging gaming experience for you and your friends:
- A 64-bit operating system (Windows 10 or later, macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later, or Linux)
- At least 8GB of RAM (16GB or more is recommended for larger servers and more complex mods/plugins)
- A multi-core processor with 3.5 GHz or higher clock speed (Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen processors are recommended for larger servers and more complex mods/plugins)
- A dedicated graphics card with 4GB of VRAM or more
- A high-speed internet connection with at least 10 Mbps upload and download speeds
A dedicated graphics card with 4GB of VRAM or more can also provide better graphics quality and improve the overall visual experience of the game.
Finally, having a high-speed internet connection with at least 10 Mbps upload and download speeds can ensure that players can join your server quickly and play without any lag or connectivity issues.
Downloading Minecraft Java Server Software
To set up your own Minecraft Java server, you need to download the server software. Here’s a guide on where to download the software and which version to choose:
Where to Download
The official Minecraft website is the best place to download the Minecraft Java server software. You can access the download page by visiting the following link: https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/download/server/java
On this page, you can download the latest version of the Minecraft Java server software for free. The download will be in the form of a JAR file, which you’ll need to run on the server.
Here are step-by-step instructions for downloading the Minecraft Java server software and links to the official Minecraft website where you can download it:
- Go to the official Minecraft website at https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/download/server
- Scroll down to the “Minecraft: Java Edition server” section.
- Select the version of the Minecraft Java server software you want to download. If you’re not sure which version to choose, go with the latest stable release.
- Click the download link for your operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux).
- Once the download is complete, unzip the file to a location of your choice.
- Run the server software by double-clicking the .jar file you just downloaded.
- The server software will start up and create the necessary files and directories. After a few minutes, it will generate a message stating that the server has successfully started up.
That’s it! You now have a functioning Minecraft Java server. Of course, there are many additional steps you’ll need to take to customize your server and make it playable, but this should get you started.
Which Version to Download
It is important to choose the right version of the Minecraft Java server software to ensure compatibility with plugins and mods, as well as to take advantage of the latest bug fixes and new features.
I recommend that you download the latest stable release of the Minecraft Java server software, as this version will have the most up-to-date bug fixes and features.
However, if you’re using specific mods or plugins, you’ll need to check their compatibility with the server version you’re planning to use. You can do this by referring to their documentation or consulting community forums. Some mods and plugins may have specific versions that are optimized for certain Minecraft server versions.
Compatibility with plugins and mods
Let’s say you want to use a specific mod on your server that requires version 1.16.5 of the Minecraft Java server software. In this case, you’ll need to download that specific version of the server software to ensure that the mod works correctly. If you download a different version of the server software, the mod may not work or may cause compatibility issues.
Suppose you’re experiencing a specific bug on your Minecraft server, such as an issue with players’ movements not being synced correctly. You check the release notes and find out that version 1.17.1 of the Minecraft Java server software includes a bug fix for that issue. In this case, you may want to download version 1.17.1 to improve your server’s performance and address the bug you’re experiencing.
If you rely heavily on several mods and plugins that are only compatible with an older version, but you’re interested in trying out the new cave generation feature that was introduced in Minecraft version 1.18, you’ll need to weigh the benefits of the new feature against the risks of compatibility issues with your mods and plugins.
Your two options will be either deciding to wait until your mods and plugins are updated to be compatible with version 1.18 before downloading it, or passing on the new feature altogether and sticking with the older version for the time being.
Setting Up the Server
Running the Server for the First Time
- Open the folder where you unzipped the server software and find the .jar file.
- Double-click the .jar file to start the server. You may be prompted to accept the end-user license agreement before the server starts.
- The server will create some files and folders, including the world folder where your server data is stored. This process may take a few minutes.
- Once the server has started up, you will see a console window with messages indicating that the server is up and running.
- Configure server settings, such as server name, game mode, difficulty, and max players. To do this, open the server.properties file located in the server folder using a text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit. You can change settings such as server name and max players by editing the values next to the corresponding properties.
- Save the server.properties file and restart the server by closing the console window and double-clicking the .jar file again.
- Once the server has restarted, it will be running with your custom settings.
Troubleshooting on Minecraft Java
Here are some tips for troubleshooting common issues that may arise during the initial setup process:
- If the server does not start up or you receive an error message, make sure you have installed the correct version of Java and that it is up to date
- If you are unable to connect to the server, make sure that the port forwarding settings on your router are correctly configured
- If you encounter lag or other performance issues, try adjusting the view distance and other server settings to improve performance
What are the best practices for customizing server properties in Minecraft Java?
It’s important to carefully consider any changes you make to your Minecraft Java server’s properties. Consider the preferences of your players, and make changes gradually to avoid overwhelming them. Additionally, be sure to test any changes thoroughly to ensure they do not negatively impact gameplay or performance. here are some best practices for customizing server properties in Minecraft Java:
- Spawn rates: You can adjust the spawn rates of certain mobs or creatures in the server.properties file. This can help you tailor the gameplay experience to your liking. For example, you can increase the spawn rate of cows or pigs to make it easier to find food, or you can decrease the spawn rate of creepers to make the game less challenging. It’s important to strike a balance between customization and maintaining the game’s intended difficulty level.
- Game modes: Minecraft Java offers several different game modes, each with its own set of rules and challenges. You can change the game mode by editing the server.properties file. For example, you can switch from survival mode to creative mode to allow players to build freely without worrying about resources or health. Alternatively, you can switch to adventure mode to create custom maps or puzzles for players to solve.
- Game difficulty: Minecraft Java has several difficulty levels, ranging from peaceful to hardcore. You can adjust the difficulty level by editing the server.properties file. Be aware that changing the difficulty level can significantly alter the gameplay experience, so it’s important to consider the needs and preferences of your players before making changes.
- Mods and plugins: Minecraft Java supports mods and plugins that can add new features, gameplay mechanics, or visual enhancements to the game. You can find and install mods and plugins from reputable sources such as CurseForge or SpigotMC. When choosing mods or plugins, be sure to read reviews and check compatibility with your server version.
Configuring Server Settings
It’s important to note that some settings may require the server to be restarted before they take effect. In addition, certain advanced settings such as changing the world seed can have significant impacts on the game by affecting the balance. So be sure that you understand the potential consequences before making any changes.
Here is a detailed overview of the server settings that can be configured in the Minecraft Java server software:
1. Server Name
This is the name that will appear in the server list for players to see. It can be customized to any name you prefer.
2. Difficulty Level
This setting determines how challenging the gameplay will be. The options range from peaceful, where no monsters will spawn, to hard, where monsters are stronger and more frequent.
3. Player Limits
You can adjust the maximum number of players that can be connected to the server at the same time.
4. Game Mode
This setting determines the default game mode for players when they join the server. The options are survival, creativity, and adventure.
5. World Type
This setting determines the type of terrain generation in the game world, such as default, flat, or amplified.
6. Spawn Protection
This setting determines the size of the protected area around the spawn point where players cannot build or break blocks.
This setting determines whether players can attack each other. The options are enabled, disabled, and team-based.
8. Hardcore Mode
This setting makes the game more challenging by setting the difficulty level to hard and permanently banning players from the server if they die.
9. World Seed
This setting determines the starting point of the game world and the type of terrain generated.
This setting enables or disables cheat codes in the game. Cheat codes allow players to spawn items, teleport, and change game modes, among other things.
11. Advanced Settings
These settings include options such as view distance, server IP address, and resource pack settings. Advanced settings also include a range of options that can enhance the gameplay experience or provide more control over the server. Here are some examples:
- View Distance: This setting determines how far players can see in the game world. Increasing the view distance can improve the visual experience but may require more resources from the server.
- Server IP Address: This is the IP address that players will use to connect to the server. It can be set to a specific IP address or left blank to allow players to connect using the server’s hostname.
- Resource Pack Settings: Resource packs can be used to change the appearance of the game by adding new textures or sounds. The server can be configured to require players to use a specific resource pack or allow players to use their own.
- Whitelist: The whitelist is a feature that allows the server owner to restrict access to the server to only certain players. This can be useful for private servers or servers that are still in development.
- Server Properties: The server.properties file contains a variety of settings that can be adjusted to customize the server’s behavior. These settings include things like game rules, difficulty level, and the world seed.
- Cheats: Cheats can be enabled or disabled on the server, allowing players to use certain commands that are not available in regular gameplay. Cheats can be useful for testing or troubleshooting, but can also be used to cheat in the game.
- Operator Status: Server operators (or “ops”) have additional privileges on the server, such as the ability to run commands and change settings. The server owner can designate specific players as ops or remove op status from existing ops.
How to Test Your Minecraft Server
Testing your Minecraft server is an important step to ensure that everything is working as expected before inviting other players to join. Here are some steps you can follow to test your server:
1. Connect to the Server
Start Minecraft and select Multiplayer. Enter the server IP address and click Join Server. If everything is working correctly, you should be able to connect to the server.
2. Test Basic Functionalities
Once connected to the server, test basic functionalities such as moving around the world, breaking and placing blocks, and interacting with items and entities. This will help ensure that the server is running smoothly and that there are no major issues.
3. Test Plugins and Mods
If you have installed any plugins or mods, test them to make sure they are working correctly. For example, if you have installed a plugin that adds new features to the game, test those features to make sure they are functioning as expected.
4. Test Server Performance
Test the performance of your server by having multiple players join and perform various actions simultaneously. This will help you identify any lag or performance issues that need to be addressed.
5. Troubleshoot Issues
If you encounter any issues during testing, troubleshoot them by checking server logs and error messages. You can also consult online resources such as forums and support communities to find solutions to common issues. We will discuss more on this further in the article.
Port forwarding is the process of opening a specific port on a router to allow external connections to access a device or server on a local network. This procedure is necessary for allowing players outside of the local network to connect to your Minecraft Java server. If you encounter any issues with port forwarding, it may be helpful to check the firewall settings on your computer and router to ensure that they are not blocking external connections.
When you Port forward, you are leaving your network vulnerable to outside attacks. To minimize the risk, it’s recommended to use a strong and unique password for the server and keep the server software up to date with the latest security patches. Setting up port forwarding for your server may vary depending on your router and internet service provider.
The general steps for port forwarding are as follows:
- Determine the IP address of your server computer. This can typically be found in the network settings of your computer or by running a command such as “ipconfig” in the command prompt.
- Log in to your router’s configuration page by entering the router’s IP address in a web browser and entering the appropriate login credentials.
- Find the port forwarding settings on your router’s configuration page. It is usually located under a section such as “Advanced Settings” or “Firewall Settings.”
- Create a new port forwarding rule. This typically involves entering the IP address of your server computer, the port number used by the Minecraft server (default is 25565), and the protocol (TCP or UDP).
- Save the port forwarding rule and exit the router’s configuration page.
Inviting Players to Your Server
Once your Minecraft Java server is up and running, the next step is to invite players to join your world. This can be done by sharing your server’s IP address and whitelisting players.
Sharing a Server IP Address
To allow players to connect to your server, you need to share your server’s IP address with them. The IP address is a series of numbers separated by dots that identifies your server on the internet. You can use a website such as whatismyip.com to find your server’s IP address. This will display your public IP address.
Your public IP address is the address that players outside of your local network will use to connect to your server. Once you have your server’s IP address, share it with the players you want to invite to your server. They can then enter the IP address into the server address field in the Minecraft game to connect to your server.
Whitelisting is a way to control who can join your server. When you whitelist a player, only they will be able to join the server. This is useful if you want to keep your server private or only allow trusted players to join.
- You obviously need to add the player’s Minecraft username to the whitelist.txt file in your server directory to whitelist them.
- You can do this by opening the file in a text editor and adding their username on a new line
- Alternatively, you can use the /whitelist command in the server console or in-game to add players to the whitelist
- For example, to add a player with the username “Player1” to the whitelist, you would enter the command /whitelist add Player1
Keep in mind that if you have enabled whitelisting on your server, only players on the whitelist will be able to join. All other players will be unable to connect to the server.
Customizing Your Server
When it comes to customizing a Minecraft Java server, installing mods and plugins can add a whole new level of excitement to the game. Mods are modifications to the game’s code that can change or add new features, while plugins are add-ons that enhance or modify the server’s functionality.
Installing Mods and Plugins
To install mods and plugins on your Minecraft Java server, you’ll need to find and download the ones you want to use. There are many websites and forums dedicated to Minecraft mods and plugins, so finding them shouldn’t be too difficult. However, it’s important to download them from reputable sources to avoid downloading any malicious software.
Once you’ve downloaded the mod or plugin, you’ll need to add it to your server’s “mods” or “plugins” folder, depending on which type of file it is. Make sure to follow the specific instructions provided with the mod or plugin to ensure that it’s installed correctly.
Configuring Mods and Plugins
After you’ve installed your mods and plugins, you can configure them to your liking. Most mods and plugins come with configuration files that allow you to adjust various settings, such as enabling or disabling specific features or changing how they function.
If you’ll be installing multiple mods or plugins, it’s essential to check if they are compatible and to read any documentation provided with them carefully. To configure mods and plugins, locate the configuration file within the mod or plugin folder, open it using a text editor, and make the desired changes. Be sure to save the file before closing it.
Errors While Making a Minecraft Server
Making a Minecraft server is no small feat, and it can be even more challenging when unexpected errors pop up along the way. Don’t worry, we have also experienced our fair share of errors and have found some quick solutions for each one. Keep reading to learn how to fix some of the most common errors you may encounter while creating your server.
1. JNI Errors
When opening the server.jar file from the official website, or when the command prompt fails to start the server. Don’t panic, most JNI errors can be solved by updating Java. If the automatic update doesn’t work, you can manually update Java by downloading it from this link.
2. EULA Error
Technically, the EULA error isn’t really an error as it’s included intentionally by Minecraft. But still, you’ll come across it when opening the server.jar file for the first time. The solution is simple enough: open the eula.txt file in your Server folder and accept the EULA agreement by replacing “false” with “true”.
3. Stuck at Scanning for Games in Minecraft
Whether it’s your internet connection or some other issue, you may find yourself stuck scanning for Minecraft servers in the multiplayer window for an extended period of time. Waiting it out works for most people, but you can also try manually loading the server using its server address by clicking the “add server” button. Restarting the game is another quick fix.
4. Failed to Login: Invalid Session
This common Minecraft error can affect both you and your friends, indicating that Minecraft can’t recognize your username or register it in the server you’re trying to enter. Restarting the game may work for some, but logging out of Minecraft and logging back in will register your username while your server is running, turning the invalid session into a valid one.
5. Firewall or Connectivity Errors
Last but not least, the most common Minecraft server errors stem from firewall and antivirus settings. Firewalls can block people from joining the Minecraft server, causing connectivity errors. To avoid this, make an exception for your Minecraft server in your firewall settings.
Backing Up Your Server
Regularly backing up your server is crucial to prevent data loss in case of any issues. Here are some different backup methods to consider:
To manually back up your server, follow these steps:
- Locate your server files and make a copy of the entire folder
- Store the backup in a safe location, such as an external hard drive or cloud storage
Automated Backup Plugins
Automated backup plugins can simplify the backup process and ensure that backups are done regularly. Here are some popular plugins to consider:
Running a server requires ongoing administration and maintenance. Here are some tips on how to effectively manage your server:
1. Monitoring Server Performance
To monitor server performance, consider using server monitoring tools such as:
- Minecraft Server Status Checker
2. Managing Player Complaints
Managing player complaints is an important part of server administration. Here are some tips on how to effectively handle player complaints:
- Respond promptly and professionally
- Be fair and consistent when enforcing rules
- Consider creating a public feedback form to collect feedback and suggestions from players
3. Updating Server Software
Regularly updating your server software is important to ensure that your server is secure and running smoothly. To update your server software, follow these steps:
- Check for updates on the official Minecraft website
- Download the latest version of the server software
- Replace the old server files with the new ones
Minecraft servers can be vulnerable to attacks, such as DDoS attacks and hacking attempts. Here are some tips on how to secure your server:
1. Protecting Against DDoS Attacks
To protect your server against DDoS attacks, consider using a DDoS protection service such as:
2. Protecting Against Hacking Attempts
To protect your server against hacking attempts, consider implementing the following security measures:
- Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication
- Regularly update your server software and plugins
- Use a firewall to prevent unauthorized access
3. Community Building
Minecraft servers are all about community building and creating a space where players can enjoy the game together. Here are some tips on how to foster a positive community on your server:
4. Setting Clear Rules and Guidelines
Setting clear rules and guidelines is important to ensure that players understand what is expected of them. Consider creating a rules page on your website or in-game.
5. Creating Events
Creating events for players to participate in can help foster a sense of community and keep players engaged. Consider hosting events such as:
6. Build Contests
- Scavenger hunts
- PvP tournaments
If you are running a public server, you may want to consider monetizing it through donations or other means. Here are some tips on how to monetize your server without compromising the player experience:
1. Donation Systems
Donation systems are a popular way to monetize Minecraft servers. Here are some popular donation systems to consider:
Advertising your server can help attract new players and increase revenue. Here are some popular advertising platforms to consider:
- Planet Minecraft
- Minecraft Server List
Everything Else You Need to Know about Creating a Minecraft Server
There are a few things to know before you run off to create your own addictive online world.
- Customizing your Minecraft world can be done by tweaking the text file ‘server properties’ in the Minecraft Server folder
- To allow friends from outside your home to join your server, they’ll need your IPv4 address plus some extra digits
- To find your IPv4 number, search “what is my IPv4 number?” on Google
- Each IPv4 number is specific to each computer
- Add a colon followed by ‘25565’ to your IPv4 number to create your server address that other players will need to enter when joining
- Forward your router ports to allow access from other parties to allow other players to join. YouTuber Voizdev has a great explanation and walkthrough on this.
Setting up and running your own Minecraft Java server requires careful consideration of various factors such as hardware requirements, software specifications, and server settings. It also involves management, community building, and security measures.
Hopefully, we have provided the right guidance and resources to help you set up and maintain a successful server. You may want to explore the best web hosting for your Minecraft server.
Next Steps: What now?