What You'll Learn
On this page, you will learn how to select the best hosting environment as a Minecraft advocate.
There are dozens of factors affecting your gaming experience, depending on which hosting provider you go for.
Not only is this page a guide for Minecraft fans, but anyone into gaming enough wanting to launch their own server.
Let's dive right in.
Compare Minecraft Hosts
Without the restrictions of a traditional video game, Minecraft offers endless opportunities. These include 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 Lego for a new generation.
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.
Considered the 'digital lego' of our time, Minecraft has gripped the attention and commitment of more than a million people worldwide.
Bear in mind, this is on multiple platforms. There are various ways of playing the game, which we'll cover now.
Millions of people have been won over by the distinct, vibrant, block-like world of Minecraft.
Game Modes of Minecraft
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.
Extreme Game Modes
A more extreme version of Survival mode is Hardcore mode.
Unlike Survival mode, where you may "respawn" and enjoy cheats and bonuses, the 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.
Not having the option to respawn or resume a previous circumstance adds a huge factor of pressure for players.
This pressure is the essence of the gripping nature of Minecraft as a world and game.
There is even a classroom mode on the Minecraft website. How awesome?!
The Difference in Game Modes
Just to sum and wrap things up, let's take a look at differences in game modes.
Having them side-by-side makes it simpler to make any newbies understand how it all works.
|Survival Mode||Creative Mode||Hardcore Mode|
|Material must be gathered to build and craft, so you can gain experience.||Infinite access to all block and materials in the game's world. They can also be destroyed.||Essentially similar to Survival mode, but constantly on a 'hard' setting, with one single life.|
|Health, hunger, and armor bars are present.||No health, armor, or hunger bars. You can also fly!||One life, but still health, hunger and armor bars are present.|
|There is an inventory present.||Access to spawn eggs, which do not exist in Survival mode.||There is an inventory present.|
|If you die, you go back to your spawn point.||You must spawn command blocks.||If you die, you either go into spectator mode forever or delete the map.|
Here's What Your Minecraft Hosting Needs To Offer
Minecraft is a game of creativity and survival in a Lego-like world. If you want to run multiplayer games, you need to have your own server. Many hosting companies provide plans specifically designed for this. Since there is more than just the base application, keep in mind the mods and plugins you may want to install. We suggest checking out HostGator for Minecraft hosting.
Find The Best Minecraft Hosting For You
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).
Renting or Hosting Your Own Server
If you want to enable a Minecraft multiplayer game, you must rent or host your own server.
You must ensure it supports the game and offers sufficient resources to support your gaming group (many hosts base plans on the 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.
Note that the resource requirements don't change much based on which game mode or type you choose, whether it's survival, PVP, or just vanilla Minecraft.
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.
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.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Minecraft Hosting Plan
When selecting a hosting plan exclusively for Minecraft hosting, there are numerous ingredients to bear in mind. Some of them being:
- Mod and Plugin Updates
- Minecraft Installation and Setup
While not absolutely necessary, see if your hosting plan comes with a control panel. A control panel lets you upload and edit files without having to use the command line (if you're uncomfortable with that).
In terms of latency, server location may be of paramount importance. Not only will the server location affect the general speed of the server, but the travel time of data. This is especially important if you're aiming to launch a globally targeted server.
The server's processor and processing power is a further factor to look out for. This can greatly impact scalability in the long run. Ensure you check the spec for the number of threads as well as processor generation.
Aim for a dedicated server - the more Ram you have, the better the server. It is worth doing some research and forum reading first, to see first-hand feedback from server hosts.
Ideally, a solid state drive (SSD) is preferable. This is primarily due to a very high internal transfer rate, making it the faster form of storage. Definitely a performance booster.
Mods and Plugin Updates
One-click updates are preferable for the sake of ease. Free and simple plugin updates are also an ideal bonus to factor in.
Not all plugins are free, but easy-update options always help in saving time.
Minecraft Installation and Setup
The selected hosts' support for Minecraft, it's installation and setup will determine how much time you spend doing it. In all honesty, this should be a basic thing to look for in any hosting provider you choose.
Minecraft Hosting Requirements - Close-Up
As you can see, there are some serious player numbers statistics for these custom servers.
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.
RAM, Processing Power, and Empty Promises
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. 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.
Type of CPU Load with Minecraft
CPU performance is just as important but bears 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 or even the rare come with a number of limitations. These come in the forms of manual plugins and mod installs, no preinstalled MySQL. Or worse, no dedicated ports for plugins, with limited or no backup.
Free Server Hosts - Nope
You're unlikely to find a free Minecraft server host, unfortunately.
Even if you did, it's performance would be terrible.
While many of these issues can be overcome, they are often a great way of wasting time and losing users in the process. 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 too. The premium for automatic or 1-click updates is relatively small in return.
5 Advantages of Running Your Own Minecraft Server
Some gamers don't ever attempt to or even think about owning a server. You clearly have, hence why you're reading this page. Even better if you're already in the process of setting it up!
Here are five benefits of running your own Minecraft server:
- Installing Mods
- Provide an Environment
Your server, meaning it's your game - you guessed it - your rules! Create a rule-set or in-game law to match your community, make it a happy place for people to play and build.
You can build your own community, but there are also brilliant existing groups.
Perhaps the most rewarding part of creating and owning a server is having a community. Creating and maintaining a server community will create a platform for new relationships via Minecraft. These communities are often the strongest in gaming!
How cool is it to be able to install mods of all sorts to a server under your control? Similarly to rules, mods are entirely up to you and how you want to market your server.
While this may sound bizarre, Minecraft can act as a brilliant teaching tool. Many kids have played the game for some years, teaching them basic server administration. This includes basic setup, Linux administration, and commands.
Provide an Environment
For every server, there is a group with a specific preference. Use your opportunity of being able to create a server to provide a community with an environment to play in. Another rewarding aspect of owning your own Minecraft server.
Things to Watch for with Minecraft Hosting
As a recap, I wanted to highlight a few things before you go off and purchase hosting specified for Minecraft. Here they are:
- Plenty of RAM - You'll want a minimum of 4GB of RAM for a server meant for 7-8 players
- Reliability - If your server goes down, the game goes down for all players. Find a host with a high uptime guarantee.
- Any operating system - Minecraft can run on Linux or Windows, just pick the one you're most comfortable with. Linux servers are usually cheaper.
My Top 3 Minecraft Hosting Providers
I have chosen three hosting providers as top picks, should you want to have a Minecraft server. Take a look at the brief descriptions below, alternatively check out their individual pages.
If cost is no issue and you're trying to make the best server to play Minecraft on as possible, Liquid Web should be near the top of your list. They specialize in high-performance servers that are highly scalable, meaning that you can easily accommodate influxes of players as they come.
The servers come with a 100% uptime guarantee, so it should always be available for players. The big thing that Liquid Web offers is "heroic support," which is available 24/7/365. Even though Liquid Web isn't a game-specific host, their support staff is highly trained (over 300 hours of training minimum) and typically go the extra mile to help.
ServerMania also specializes in high-performance servers, mainly cloud and dedicated servers, but are a bit more affordable than Liquid Web. Additionally, they have some Minecraft specific documentation to help you pick a plan, download Minecraft and get it running.
All plans come with SSD storage, and there's plenty of RAM on all dedicated plans. There's also a 100% uptime guarantee.
Finally, Sharktech is another good option to host a Minecraft server, but even more affordable. Their big advantage over other hosts is having advanced DDOS protection, which could come in useful if your server is ever targeted.
You can choose from Linux or Windows for an operating system, and the plans all come with plenty of SSD storage. There's quite a bit of flexibility in plans on Sharktech, so you can pick a plan that's close to the exact specifications you'd like.
In this article I recommended SSD (solid state drive) storage for Minecraft. You can learn more about SSD Hosting and pitfalls to avoid here: Compare SSD Hosting.
Minecraft Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
What is Minecraft?
Minecraft is an open-world video game that allows players to build constructions out of 3d blocks.
What is the point of Minecraft?
To have fun!
There are actually several different play modes. In individual games, you can play however you want. In multi-player games, the game operator usually sets up the “rules.”
Minecraft can be played as a combat game, as an exploration game, as a building game or some combination of these.
How does the game work?
A Minecraft game takes place in a virtually infinite three-dimensional virtual world made up of cubes and other block-like objects.
Characters can move around the world and move blocks around to build things or accomplish other tasks.
Different blocks have different properties, so they are used differently for various types of building projects.
There are also non-player entities, such as animals and monsters, in the world, which players can fight.
Can many people play Minecraft at once?
Yes. Online instances of Minecraft can include many players around the world.
Is Minecraft a single virtual world that all players exist in?
No. Minecraft is a game that anyone can install on their own computer or server. There are many Minecraft worlds running.
So I can set up my own Minecraft server for myself and a few friends?
Yes. You can set up a Minecraft server and play with people from anywhere in the world.
Is Minecraft Open Source?
No. You have to pay for the software.
What operating systems can run Minecraft?
Minecraft can run on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. There are also versions of the game for several video game consoles and handheld devices.
Do I need a web hosting account to run a Minecraft server?
That depends on whether or not you have a powerful and fast enough desktop computer, and a very fast internet connection, you may be able to run a Minecraft server off of your own computer, and allow a small handful of people to connect to it.
But if you want a long-term game with many people involved, you will be better off running an actual server or a hosting plan.
Are there different versions of the Minecraft server application?
Yes. There are two versions, called “Vanilla” and “Bukkit.” The Bukkit version is supports community-developed plugins, which can help with server administration and improving the gameplay experience.
Are there any control panels for managing a Minecraft hosting site?
Yes. Multicraft is the most popular and most powerful Minecraft hosting control panel.
Can I run Minecraft on a shared hosting account?
Usually not. Shared hosting accounts do not generally allow for the amount of file space, bandwidth, and processor use that would be required to run a Minecraft server. Moreover, most shared hosting plans specifically disallow the use of their servers for gaming.
Can I run Minecraft on a VPS account?
Possibly, but you want to pay careful attention to your usage limits and usage fee structure. You should also see if gaming is allowed according to the plan’s Terms of Service agreement.
Is it easy or hard to set up a Minecraft server?
It can be rather tricky to get everything set up just right.
Is there one click installation for Minecraft servers?
No, unfortunately not.
What type of hosting plan should I get for running a Minecraft server?
If you run your own server equipment (dedicated server, collocation, or a server in your own building), you probably have both the needed equipment and the needed technical skills to run your own Minecraft server.
Otherwise, you may want to think about using a managed hosting solution.
What is managed Minecraft hosting?
There are many companies that provide some form of managed Minecraft hosting, and they usually offer some amount of installation and setup support.
Some of them have automated setup, so you have a running Minecraft server as soon as you pay for your account.
The problem with these automated setup services is that Minecraft can run a number of customizations. Part of the reason that many people want to run their own Minecraft server is that they want to be able to customize it the way they like.
However, some of the managed hosting solutions eliminate this ability by providing everyone with the same, automatically generated basic installation.
Not all of them have this disadvantage, so it’s important to look into the actual features of a specific plan. Many managed Minecraft hosting services provide auxiliary tools like Multicraft.
I want to play multiplayer Minecraft, but I can’t set up my own server. What can I do?
Connect to an existing Minecraft server.
But I really only want to play Minecraft with my friends, and none of us can set up a server. Are there any alternatives to running your own Minecraft server?
Mojang, the company behind Minecraft, has a subscription service available called Minecraft realms. This allows you to set up a multiplayer game, hosted on their servers, which you and your friends can connect to.
Do I need to buy Minecraft in order to play on someone else’s server?
Yes. The Minecraft software acts as both server and client. You use the same software to run a multiplayer game as you do to connect to one.
How do I connect to a multiplayer Minecraft game on a remote server?
From the menu, select Multiplayer and then “Add Server.” You need to know the IP address of the server you are trying to connect to. Lists of active Minecraft servers are available online.
Are there any alternatives to Minecraft?