Minecraft has exploded over the last couple of years to become one of the greatest indie games of all time. There’s simply so much you can do with the game – not only by its own, but also with the wealth of plugins that are now available. It’s even available on any imaginable device, including the Raspberry Pi. If you haven’t played the game before, it’s never too late to learn more about it.
With so many people playing the game, there’s no better time than now to learn how to setup a Minecraft server. It’s not too difficult to get started, and with some time you can turn your server into the next big thing.
Client-Based Temporary Server
There’s a number of different ways for you to get a server started. For example, you can easily run a temporary, unmodified server whenever you run the game client. This has been made possible ever since the developers changed the game’s architecture so that it creates its own local server session and then connects to itself to run a single-player game. You can then simply use other clients and connect to them, either via the Internet or via LAN, depending on what’s physically possible.
Just remember that all ports need to be open (and possible forwarded) if you expect people from the Internet to connect.
Launching a Dedicated Server
If you want to set up a real “dedicated” Minecraft server, you’ll need to download the separate server binary, which is available as an .exe file for Windows machines or a .jar file for all other platforms. These files can be downloaded directly from Minecraft’s website after logging into your account.
Windows users can launch their Minecraft server simply by double-clicking on the .exe file, while others (such as Linux) should open a terminal, change into the same directory as the .jar file, and run the command :
java -Xms1G -Xmx1G -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui.
Of course, in order to integrate the Minecraft server along with the rest of your installed application, you should follow some additional instructions for moving the .jar file as well as creating a special Minecraft user on your server which will only have the permissions that you explicitly set for it. You can check out these instructions and related start-up scripts by checking out the Minecraft Wiki.
However, for simplicity’s sake, here are the Ubuntu instructions as Linux servers are usually preferred and Ubuntu is easy to set up.
Ports & Server Settings
To finish the process, make sure that you configure other settings, both on and off the server. Such tasks include configuring the port forwarding if necessary, and tweaking the Minecraft server’s settings within the server.properties file. The settings allow you to modify basic gameplay characteristics, such as enabling or disabling the nether, enabling or disabling flight, difficulty, game mode, level seeds, and PvP mode.
More information on how to configure the server via the server.properties file can be found here.
Once you’re done configuring all of your settings, you need to think about installing some plugins to make your Minecraft server experience one people will remember. There are plenty of plugins available at Bukkit where you also find easy to use instructions. Which plugins you actually install is up to you, however, there are a few which you maybe interested in as most servers currently implement them.
Some of these plugins include functionality such as teleportation and game modes.
Connect To Your Server
Once you have your server all set up, it’s easy to connect to it. If the server is within your LAN network, you should be able to find it by simply clicking on the Multiplayer button in the Minecraft client. For servers anywhere else on the Internet, you’ll need to click on Add Server and type in the IP address or domain name, depending on what information is given to you.
Provided that all the settings are configured properly and all necessary ports are open and forwarded, you should be able to connect successfully.
Hopefully, with the steps in mind, you can successfully setup a Minecraft server on which you can play with friends. Having your own Minecraft server allows you to have complete control over what functionality and other features are included in your server, allowing you to have the best, most customized gameplay experience possible.
If you need some suggestions on which plugins to install, check out this article for some top recommendations!
Do you run your own Minecraft server? What do or would you do on it to make it fun and special? Let us know in the comments!