Minecraft didn’t have much of a multiplayer feature when it was first made available. Over time however, multiplayer has been expanded and enhanced. Now it’s possible for players to play in creative or survival mode with people across the globe.
There’s just one problem. For all its enhancements, Minecraft doesn’t have a multiplayer server browser yet. If you’d like to connect to a server you need to know its web address, and you’ll have to find that on your own.
Finding A Minecraft Multiplayer Server
The best place to find a Minecraft server is the Minecraft official forums. You’ll find two boards there, one for creative servers and one for survival servers.
are cooperative. You won’t encounter monsters and you won’t have to worry about fighting other players. Your only goal is to do what the server type implies – be creative, build stuff, and have fun.
, which are still a beta feature, replicate the single-player survival mode. The world is hostile and full of monsters, but is now full of other players as well. By default, anyone can attack anyone else on a survival server.
The forums for both types of servers are basically the same. People who are hosting Minecraft servers make a post with their server’s web address and maximum player capacity. In order to join you simply copy-and-paste the web address into the multiplayer menu of the Minecraft client.
One thing that is notably lacking from this system however, is a way to make sure a server is actually running before you try to join.
Fortunately, there’s a site called MinecraftServers.biz that lists hundreds of multiplayer servers that you can join and play on. It’s wise to check a server’s thread before getting too excited, as players will complain about servers that are frequently down. The only thing worse than being unable to connect to a server is joining one, spending three hours building your first base, and then returning the next day to find that the server is unavailable.
Can I Play? Please?
Now you’re ready to join a Minecraft server, right? Well, not so fast.
If you simply try to randomly join servers that look attractive, you may have some problems. Why? Because many servers have what is called a whitelist. If you’re not on the whitelist you should be able to join the server, but you may be booted out shortly thereafter, or you may not be able to actually change the world (any block you destroy will instant respawn).
Getting added to the whitelist is usually as simple as posting in the server’s thread or sending a forum message to the server’s owner. However, some of the more complex and popular servers actually require applications. You’ll need to state why you want to join, how often you want to play, and other information.
Then if you want to stay whitelisted, you better read the rules. While there are some “no rules” servers, they’re relatively rare. Most servers are trying to provide some kind of unique experience, and to do that they implement certain rules. Players might be expected to only attack other players outside of towns, for example. Or there might be rules against setting structures on fire, looting player chests, etc.
Once you’ve found a server you want to play on, read a server’s rules and been whitelisted, you can connect and start playing. Shew! If that sounds like a lot of work, it is. I’ve seen veteran gamers throw their hands up in frustration trying to find a reliable server to play on.
Minecraft is unfortunately not a game where you can just hop into multiplayer any old time and start playing, but if you’re patient, it is a lot of fun. The biggest Minecraft multiplayer servers are essentially mini-MMORPGs with towns, economies, wars and more. They’re worth the time it takes to check them out.
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