Minecraft servers allow players to play online or via a local area network with other people. They may either be run on a hosted server, on local dedicated server hardware, a Virtual Private server on a home machine, or on your local gaming computer. The default free of charge multiplayer software is available by Mojang for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Unix (e.g. BSD) and is relatively easy to set up
Minecraft is an open world game that has no specific goals for the player to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game. However, there is an achievement system. Gameplay by default is first person, but players have the option to play in third person mode. The core gameplay revolves around breaking and placing blocks. The game world is composed of rough 3D objects—mainly cubes—arranged in a fixed grid pattern and representing different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, and tree trunks. While players can move freely across the world, objects can only be placed at fixed locations on the grid. Players can gather these material blocks and place them elsewhere, thus allowing for various constructions.
General recommendations for Minecraft servers
Setting up a server takes some time, and some technical knowledge. Don’t try to set up a server unless you have some basic computer and networking abilities. Probably, your best bet can be to look on the Internet for a guide on how to set up a server.
Hosting and playing on the same machine does not usually matter, unless you have a slow computer.
Netbooks and Notebooks don’t usually make for good server machines. They typically have lower-end hardware in comparison to desktops and dedicated server machines.
Hosting a server with many players in a wireless network (WLAN and especially WWAN) is not recommended. Use a wired network instead, such as Ethernet.
If you decide you don’t want to host, but still want to play online, check out the public server options in the Minecraft servers area of the Minecraft forum.
If you still want to manage a server, but not from home, check out the Minecraft server hosting area of the Minecraft forum or other websites. Expect to pay monthly for this type of server since finding free hosting is a rarity.
Types of Minecraft servers
Multiple archetypes of Minecraft servers exist, distinguished by the unique gameplay features, rules, and societal structures which they implement. No two servers are the same, and frequently the line between archetypes is blurred or indistinguishable. Many special types of servers rely on the use of map editors or the creative game mode to build custom maps and the CraftBukkit server software to provide additional features.
The Big Three
These types of servers are the most popular choices for creation.
This type of server uses plugins to allow players to form groups called factions and claim & protect land from other factions. Usually this is accomplished with the Bukkit plugins Factions or Towny. Land protected by a faction cannot be built on or destroyed by players belonging to a different faction. Factions can also ally with each other or declare war on each other. The amount of land one faction can protect at any given time is decided by the number of players belonging to that faction. The FactionPvP servers usually allow griefing and are very flexible with customization. Also there are admins, vips, builders and so on, and so on… There are usually safe zones too. There are also servers called Towny War servers, similar to faction PvP servers but in that with Towny, larger towns and nations fight one another, rather than small factions, which allows for more fighting. Towny War servers are also accompanied by economy, trade, politics, etc.
This type of server typically falls either into the Adventure or Survival categories, with the exception that Player-versus-Player (PvP) combat is allowed or encouraged in tandem with Player-versus-Environment (PvE) combat. Griefing is usually not allowed unless stated otherwise.
This type of server is modified to introduce a currency system, usually in an intangible form. Players trade in this currency to obtain resources, or hoard it in an attempt to be the wealthiest person on the server.
Just because the titles states they are less-popular doesn’t necessarily mean they are. These servers take more than just a few hours to create.
This type of server is played entirely in the creative game mode, with building being the focus of the community. Rarely are these servers unmodified due to the ease with which griefing is accomplished; most of these servers use plugins to prevent players’ constructions from being modified without their consent.
This type of server usually prevents most or all attempts to build or destroy blocks. Instead of traditional gameplay, these servers offer unique gameplay elements, often inspired by Role-Playing Games. These servers are rarely unmodified, often bearing significant changes via server modifications which make normal gameplay impossible.
The most popular current server type, Survival servers are typically played entirely in the Survival game mode. Maps on these servers usually consist of a premade spawn location, which is sometimes built by the server operators using creative mode, and a surrounding area created by players. These types of servers are frequently modified to suit the desires of the operators, and frequently have some kind of system which allows players to protect their structures from griefing, either on their own or with the assistance of an operator.
A middle ground between survival and creative servers, this type of server requires players to gather certain materials in the traditional way, but allows them to use infinite amounts of other materials, usually common materials like wood, stone, sand, and other plentiful resources.
This type of server encourages or requires players to assume the role of their character. Usually this means that there is a system in place which allows the player’s ingame character to be customized, frequently by assuming species, social ranks, superhuman abilities, and the like. These servers frequently use plugins to provide players with special powers in exchange for choosing a player class, species, etc. They also are usually set in medieval times.
This type of server is usually unmodified or very lightly modified. Subtypes of this server type including Anarchy and Chaos servers, Hardcore PvP servers generally have few rules and encourage killing, looting, and griefing other players.
Prison is a gamemode that allows players to experience currency, and mining, and pvping to get to different ranks on the server. Prison servers are one of the hardest gamemodes to construct. It really started setting off around 2013. Ever since it has been a great moneymaking tool for server owners to include in their server.
Typically consisting of a premade map and the survival game mode, this server offers a variation on the survival mantra such as surviving without the use of a certain material or in unique terrain. Describing a Challenge server is best accomplished by example – Skyblock servers, one type of challenge server, place players on a small island with exactly enough renewable resources to survive and expand the island.
This type of server offers one or more areas, usually protected from griefing, in which players can receive a space to build in, either for free or for some form of currency system as in an economy server. This type of server is rarely unmodified.
Capture the Flag
This type of server offers a new type of gamemode for a server, usually via plugins. Two teams are chosen and they battle it out, trying to collect the other teams flag and return it to their home point a number of times to win the game.
Players spawn in with a bow and an arrow and try to shoot TNT beneath players’ feet, in the attempt to be the last one standing above it.
This type of server forces players to show their legitimate side. Players will spawn on a small island with a chest full of basic items. They will be forced to survive with few items by creating a farm, a cobblestone generator, and other useful renewable devices. These types of servers are sometimes PVP servers.
A server in which players choose from a kit or several kits to have big PVP battles. The gamemode is either Adventure or Survival.
Also called TNT-Tag or Hot potato. One player is the tagger, and the others have to avoid them. to tag someone, you have to hit them with whatever item is the “hot potato” (this can be TNT, a potato, or anything the developer desires). The reason the tagger is in such a hurry to get rid of this is that, after a certain amount of time, the item, and whoever is holding it, get blown to bits. This will eliminate that player, and another player is chosen randomly as tagger.
Players of these servers have to battle against each other after collecting resources and materials. Last player alive wins. Background: The HungerGames are based upon the books of Suzanne Collins called “The Hunger Games” and its movies. The Minecraft community liked the survival aspect of that series and started hosting their own Hunger Games events.
Similar to Hunger Games, but players can’t collect materials. The only way to get geared up is searching for chests hidden everywhere on the map. Winner is the last player standing. Certain servers will have a time limit on survival games. If this time expires, players are teleported to an arena where players fight to the death (often called a death match).
MineZ, developed by the staff of the Shotbow Network, is based on the Arma II: Combined Operations mod named DayZ. MineZ involves dropping a player into a zombie apocalypse, where said zombies, in Shotbow’s words, “hit harder, run faster and think smarter. Overall, they WILL kill you.” This is a co-operational gamemode, but PvP is enabled. MineZ features new game mechanics such as thirst and player healing, as natural regeneration from a full hunger bar is off. The server substitutes some Minecraft items for DayZ items, such as paper for bandages.
Similar to SkyBlock, but random ores and blocks are generated in a grid that may range from top to bottom of the map. Players must survive as usual, but by parkouring over to certain blocks.
Players find loot and fight other players in a massive city. There are guns made with a server texture pack and there is usually a bank and a casino.
The [average] player is given operator. Free OP servers usually contain hard-coded modifications for administration.
This is a combination of servers. A player spawns in a lobby and they can choose which type of gamemode they would like to play.
Theme Park servers try to recreate theme parks 1:1 (1 block is 1 meter) in Minecraft. Regular users act as guests in the theme parks as they ride on interactive rides, watch shows, partake in games, buy merchandise and anything else typical people do in theme parks. Staff positions (Usually called “Cast Members”) usually need to be applied for and typically consist of a team of builders and a team of people dedicated to helping guests, some servers have technicians as well. The most common parks build are Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Universal parks with some servers venturing to create legoland or Sea World.