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Compare Minecraft Hosts

Without the restrictions of a traditional video game, Minecraft offers endless opportunities for taking on challenges and being creative, depending on the mode players choose. At its core, the game consists of building with textured cubes within a three dimensional space - it's a bit like Legos for a new generation.

Minecraft gameplay

The Minecraft universe is procedurally generated, meaning it generates content via an algorithm during play. Players can interact with each other in a multiplayer setting if one of them has a powerful enough hosted server.

Players select one of two game modes: Survival or Creative. You can enjoy both at once in a multiplayer setting. Survival mode puts players in a dangerous world where building with the cubes is necessary for staying alive. Gangs of monsters and other creatures threaten and attack, requiring watchfulness, especially at night. Health and hunger must also be monitored. Creative mode lets you create your own experience, building with unlimited resources, free from health and hunger concerns, and without monsters. The blocks in Creative mode are simply pulled out of the air, taking any shape or size players desire.

A more extreme version of Survival mode is Hardcore mode. Unlike Survival mode, where you may “respawn” and enjoy cheats and bonuses, Hardcore mode doesn't allow the difficulty level to be changed or the world to be retained after “death.” However, some third party tools are available for saving created worlds in Hardcore.

Minecraft server hardware requirements

Many hosting providers specialize in Minecraft hosting, with plans and features designed to enhance the gaming experience (including additional content and custom configurations).

If you want to enable a multiplayer game, you must rent or host your own server, and ensure it supports the game and offers sufficient resources to support your gaming group (many hosts base plans on total number of supported players). Getting started is as easy as downloading the file and connecting to the server, but be sure to discuss available packages with your provider before committing to a specific plan - and be mindful of scalability.

Even hobbyists can build Minecraft servers capable of handling several hundred players, with off-the-shelf components. Smaller Minecraft servers can be set up on obsolete PCs, but since you are reading this we will assume that your needs have already outgrown such setups.

However, bear in mind that some entry level Minecraft server plans aren't much better than improvised solutions - and unfortunately in some cases they are not better at all.

    Here are some things to consider in Minecraft hosting plans:

  • Latency - server location may be of paramount importance
  • Processor - check the spec for number of threads and processor generation
  • Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • RAM - dedicated, the more the better
  • Storage - solid state is preferable
  • Mod and plugin updates - 1-click is preferable
  • Minecraft installation and setup - save some time

A closer look at Minecraft hosting requirements

Since Minecraft is a multiplayer game, hardware requirements depend on the size of your demographic. Furthermore, server location plays an important role in eliminating latency, especially if you want to focus on regional markets. If you want to go after several regional markets, make sure the same host has them covered with low-latency access. Get the geography right if you are targeting a global audience.

Most hosts offer dedicated RAM and shared processor power on entry level plans. Disregard offers promising 'unlimited RAM' as that's false advertising. RAM is divided by the number of servers hosted on each machine into dedicated lots.

Since a wide range of different plans is available, ranging from cheap VPS servers to enterprise class hardware with solid state drive (SSD) storage, you should check the spec carefully. Promises of abundant storage are usually not a good sign, as they indicate the host is using the cheapest possible mechanical storage. SSD storage is highly recommended and for many users HDDs are simply not an option.

CPU performance is just as important, but bear in mind that Minecraft, especially when packed with lots of mods and plugins, can have high single-thread load. This usually means Xeons on relatively high clocks (3.6GHz or more). We suggest you do your homework when it comes to CPUs.

Aside from hardware, cheaper plans come with a number of limitations - such as manual plugin and mod installs, no preinstalled MySQL, no dedicated ports for plugins, limited or no backup.

While many of these issues can be overcome, they are often a great way of wasting time and losing users in the process, so unless you plan on spending a lot of effort on maintenance and investing time in building your community, they may be a bad choice. Lack of timely updates will inevitably drive some users away and the premium for automatic or 1-click updates is relatively small.

Minecraft Frequently Asked Questions

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