The Ultimate Guide to Running a Minecraft Server

Posted on September 17, 2020 in minecraft

Tagged with: minecraft-servers, tutorial

Ultimate Guide to Running a Minecraft Server Banner

Running a Minecraft Server can be a daunting task. There are so many choices you need to make, and so many things you need to understand. This guide acts as a portal to various other resources on Minecraft server management and will be routinely updated. You'll find answers to questions, explanations of how to use various systems, as well as general advice on server administration. After reading this, you'll have everything you need to know how to run a Minecraft server.

Choosing Version, Software, and Plugins

The first step when setting up a server is choosing what Minecraft Version you wish to use. This handy guide goes over the various reasons for why you should generally try to stay on the latest version.

Almost every public Minecraft server is modded in some capacity. Most servers run server-side plugins, using a system known as Bukkit. There are many different flavours of Bukkit-based servers available, however, such as Paper and Spigot. This guide can help you decide which flavour of Bukkit you should use. If alternatively, you would like to run mods that add new blocks, items, or mobs to the game, you'll want to use something like Fabric or Minecraft Forge. Do be aware that doing this will require players who use your server also to have these mods installed. Check out this guide for help in deciding between Forge and Fabric.

If you've decided to use a Bukkit-based server, you'll notice just how many plugins are available. Some plugins offer a selection of features, such as EssentialsX or CraftBook, while others provide a single feature. There are some disagreements throughout various parts of the server admin community about which you should use. This article goes over how to make the best choice around using large or small plugins.

How to Solve Issues


If you're having performance issues, the first thing you should always do is make sure you're using Aikar's optimised Java flags. Aikar frequently updates this guide to make sure that the flags are up to date for modern Minecraft servers, and provide the best performance.

Celebrimbor on the Spigot forums has created a guide on optimising Minecraft servers and provides a thorough look at many of the different configuration options that both Paper and Spigot provide. Check out his guide here.

If you're still having performance issues, this guide goes over how to properly use the Timings system built into Paper and Spigot to identify the source of the problem.

Plugin Issues

Issues on your Minecraft server that you can't find the cause of are often frustrating. There are a few techniques that can help you find the reason that this guide covers.

Once you've identified the cause of the issue, you should reach out to the developers of the plugin. Asking in a generalised support forum or chat room is often slower and won't provide as accurate answers. Most server plugins have support Discords that will happily field your questions and problems.

Host Issues

There are some common issues that many server hosts face. Check out this article on a few of them, and how they can be fixed.

General Advice for Server Admins

If you're running a Bukkit-based server, you may have noticed the /reload command or other plugins that claim to reload plugins. On a production server, you should never do this. This article explains why. If you encounter an issue and you've used /reload or similar, always restart the server to see if the issue still occurs.

If you're downloading Minecraft builds to add to your server, or have hired a build team, you've likely seen files that end in .schem or .schematic. These are schematic files and are loaded using the mod and plugin WorldEdit. Check out this guide on how to work with these files.

If your server is public, security should be one of your highest priorities. MrDienns of Dyescape has written a fantastic guide on how servers get hacked, and how to protect yourself. Check it out here.


This article will be updated to include new guides as they are requested and links to other high-quality external resources. If you have a request of something you'd like me to write about, or have a link to a high-quality resource you feel should be included, let me know.

Suppose you're curious about the history of the Minecraft server community and how it became what it is today. In that case, this article provides an in-depth look at all of the significant events that have taken place.

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