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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.
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 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?