How to Make a Minecraft Server in 2019: The Definitive Guide

Unsure of how to make a Minecraft server? We’ve got you covered. This detailed guide will answer all your questions and enable you to make your server easily!
Adrian Bartels Adrian Bartels
May 12, 2019

How to Make a Minecraft Server

You must have heard of Minecraft, the game. After all, it is the second most popular video game of the world with more than 121 million copies already sold. However, what many don’t know is that Minecraft is not just another video game. It’s also a helpful tool that can teach kids to code and it’s an open platform that mod developers can expand. However, it is also the heart of a community of creators expanding worldwide.

Of course, as a beginner, you can purchase the game and get started. However, for the complete experience, you can have a private Minecraft server. As a result, you’ll be able to create your own Minecraft world.

This guide will show you step-by-step how you can do that. We’ll look at how to make a Minecraft server on Windows, Mac, and Linux. We’ll also see if Minecraft hosting is the better option. So, let’s get started!


Why Do You Need to Build a Server?

As someone new to Minecraft’s creative universe, the easiest thing is to familiarize yourself with the game by getting started in the creative mode. You can even use Microsoft Realms and make you’re a Minecraft world using your imagination. But of course, that’s not where the full potential of the game ends.

For those in search of the full experience, the best option is to set up your own server. Doing so will enable you to build any world you want virtually. You can even install any mods, make your own rules, and overall control all aspects of the gameplay!

Important Tips to Know Before Getting Started

Before you start working on setting up your own Microsoft server, there are things you must know. While it is not difficult to set up it, you need to be careful.

Have the Basic Knowledge

Setting up the server requires a little effort. You must also have the technical knowledge of how to configure it. A basic understanding of networking concepts is also crucial for managing servers. In particular, you must be comfortable with the following:

  • Your router configuration if you will be opting for home setups
  • Your system as well as network configuration
  • Networking concepts like ports, DHCP, and IP
  • Using the command line

Setting up the Minecraft Server from Home

To get the server up and running, you don’t need a top-of-the-line system. A desktop computer will work just fine.
Of course, it is possible to run it and play the game on the same system. However, a more powerful machine will be required to do that.

Also, a wired Ethernet connection is more suitable for the server instead of a wireless one. This is because a wired connection is a more reliable option.

Is There Any Alternative to Setting up a Server from Home?

When you host a server from home, it means that you are exposing your private home network to the whole globe. So, if you don’t want to take the risk of exposing, you can use the services of a hosting provider. Of course, you’ll have to pay either an annual or a monthly fee. However, the company will take care of the hassle of managing all the server hardware.

How to Create a Minecraft Server For Free

minecraft-concept

While you don’t need to be an IT pro to set up your Minecraft server, you must have some understanding of specific topics. These include such as the router, network, system configuration, and command line. In other words, you must be familiar with computer and networking concepts that are crucial for launching a server.

However, if you have no prior understanding of such concepts, then you can still make it. You can go for one of the many Minecraft hosting providers that will help set up everything without any coding experience.

But before we move on to that alternate, let’s see how you can make the server from home for free!


How to Make a Minecraft Server on Windows

  1. Installing the Latest Version of Java
  2. Selecting a Location for Server Files
  3. Installing the Most Recent Software Version
  4. Configuring the Server and Network
  5. Starting

1. Installing the Latest Version of Java

First, open the Windows control panel. In the programs section, find Java and then click on update now. Next, open up the command prompt window and enter java -version. Doing so will result in a version number. Then head over to the Java website to check the most recent version of the program. If you have an outdated version or if Java is not installed in your computer, then download it from the official site.

2. Selecting a Location for Minecraft Software

Before downloading the software, you have to choose a location on your computer. This is the location where the server will run. When running the server for the first time, a few configuration files will be created. Thus, it is ideal to have all these files stored in one dedicated folder.

Where you place, this folder is entirely up to you. You can place it in your documents, desktop, or even your programs folder.

3. Installing the Most Recent Version of Minecraft Server

Next, visit the Minecraft website and download the server from there. You’ll notice that it will come as a .jar Java file. Save the file in the location you had previously chosen.

Now, double-click on the .jar file to get the server started. This will create the server configuration files that you will have to modify before you can start using it.

As the next step, accept the EULA. Once the files are downloaded, you’ll see a file named eula.txt has been created. Using a text editor, open this file and change eula=false to eula=true. Failing to do so will prevent your PC from starting the server.

4. Configuring the Server and Network

You now need to enable port forwarding on the router. If you’re hosting a server just for players on the local network, then port forwarding isn’t your concern. However, to make the server accessible to the world, you will have to enable port forwarding on the router.

It is best to find instructions in the router’s documentation about how to configure port forwarding for the device. In particular, for Minecraft, you need to forward the TCP port 25565.

You also have to enter the local IP address of your server as the Server IP or output IP for the forwarded port. This is so that the router knows which device to point at. To know the local IP of your server, open up the command prompt and enter ipconfig.

5. Starting the Server

Finally, to start up the Minecraft server, open the command prompt. Find the file path where the server file of the game was installed. Next, start up the server using the command:

java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar {server file name} nogui

Note that if to use the UI of the server, you can simply remove nogui from this command. Moreover, you can also make a .bat file if you want to batch the commands together.

Now, once you have the server running, invite others to connect to the server via the local IP address on your home network. Alternatively, you can invite them to join the server using a public IP address if they’re not on the home network.

You can find the public IP address by looking up “my IP address” on Google. Plus, to ensure your server is accessible, you can put in the public IP address in Minecraft Server Status Checker.


How to Make a Minecraft Server on Mac

  1. Install Java
  2. Select a Location for the Server Files
  3. Download the Server Software
  4. Enable Your Router’s Port Forwarding
  5. Launch the Minecraft Server

1. Install Java on Your System

The new versions of MacOS come with Java by default. For versions older than OS X, you’ll have to download Java’s legacy version from Apple’s website.

2. Select a Location for Minecraft Server Files

Create a folder that will contain the server files. You can make the folder anywhere in your system; the choice is yours.

3. Download the Server Software

Go to Minecraft’s website and download the server software. It will be a Java .jar file, and you can save it in the location you chose previously. Next, launch TextEdit and set the format to plain text. After that, enter:

#!/bin/bash
cd "$(dirname "$0")"
exec java -Xms1G -Xmx1G -jar {server file name} nogui 

Now, save the file with start.command in the same folder which contains the server’s .jar file as start.command. Now open the Terminal and give permissions for the new start.command. Type in chmod a+x and a space after the command. Finally, drag and drop the saved file into the terminal window and press enter.

4. Enable Your Router’s Port Forwarding

Port forwarding, as mentioned earlier, is only essential if you want to make the server accessible to the world. To configure port forwarding for your particular device, refer to the manual. Just remember, for Minecraft, you need to forward the TCP port 25565.

You also have to enter the local IP address of your server as the Server IP or output IP for the forwarded port. This is so that the router knows which device to point at. To know the local IP of your server, open up the command prompt and enter ipconfig.

5. Launch the Minecraft Server

Double-click on the start.command file you’ve already created. This will open up a Terminal window. When you run the server for the first time, you’ll also see error messages which are pretty normal. Once you have the server running, you can invite other players to connect to the server you made.


How to Make a Minecraft Server on Linux

If you don’t want a Minecraft server at home, then you can opt for a Linux hosting plan instead. This way, you won’t be responsible for managing the hardware. Moreover, you won’t be exposing your home network to the public as well.

A Linux VPS hosting plan is a good option if only a handful of players will be joining your server. However, if you are expecting many players, a dedicated Linux server will be the better option.

Making a Minecraft server on Linux involves the following steps. When following these steps, you’ll have to connect to the host with SSH.

1. Install Java

While you are SSH’d in the host as the root user, enter the following command in the command prompt:

apt-cache search openjdk

Doing so will list all the available OpenJDK packages you can use to install Java. Here, you will have to select one. Then, update the list of all available packages from the remote repositories using the following command:

apt-get update

Now, install the software package you selected previously (for this example we’ll select openjdk-9-jdk). Here’s how you can do it:

apt-get install openjdk-9-jdk

When you will be prompted to authorize the storage space for installing the file, press “Y.” Once this is complete, make sure that Java is installed by entering: java -version. This will show you the Java version that was installed.

2. Make a Location for the Game’s Server Files

Make a directory on the host where the server files of the game will be saved. Once this is done, move to that directory. Here’s how you do that:

mkdir minecraft
cd minecraft

3. Download the Server Files

In the Minecraft directory, run the wget command so that the server files can be downloaded. After that, install and run screen so that the server keeps on running when you’re not connected. To do this, enter:

yum install screen
screen

4. Start the Minecraft Server

Enter the following command to start the server:

java -Xmx512M -Xms512M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui

To ensure that everything is functioning smoothly, you can stop the server just by entering stop in the command prompt. Next, edit the “server.properties” file and enter:

enable-query=true

Now, save the “server.properties” file and restart the server. Check if your server is publicly accessible by entering the IP address in the Minecraft Server Status Checker.

5. Point a Domain at the Minecraft Server

Give the players a domain name that is easy to remember instead of a complicated one. As a result, it becomes easier for gamers to connect to your server.

Pointing a domain at your server is quite simple. Just update the DNS records of your domain by adding an “A” record either for your domain or subdomain. The domain or subdomain should be one that points to the IP address of your Minecraft server.

Remember that it can take up to almost a day for the DNS changes to take place globally.

Making a Minecraft Server vs. Purchasing Hosting

While making your own server for Minecraft sounds interesting, it does come with its fair share of problems. Primarily, there are two problems. The technical process can be slightly tricky even if you former knowledge of networking concepts. You might start feeling lost in no time. So, if you just want to enjoy a game of Minecraft with your friends, then making your own server is just too much hassle.

Minecraft Server vs Hosting

Secondly, whenever your computer is down, it means your server will be down as well. So, people will be unable to login to your server. Remember, your router and computer are things that keep the server running. Thus, you’ll have to keep both of them running continuously which is just not possible. There will come a time when your server must stop working.

For this reason, Minecraft hosting seems to be the better option. Instead of letting the server rely on your computer, you can simply turn to professionals. With their servers worldwide, they will able to keep your project running.

Plus, setting everything will be easy. You’ll also get a dedicated team of experts to help you. Similarly, the server will continue to work even when your computer is switched off. The best part is that hosting is not too expensive at all!


The Final Word

Now that you know both the methods of making a Minecraft server, it is up to you to decide the better option. You can either get started on making one by doing some work on your PC. Or, you can always go for Minecraft hosting. While you have to spend a little money, you can get increased accessibility and ease of use.

Of course, the final choice is up to you. We hope this guide of how to make your own Minecraft server was helpful. Let us know your preferred way of making one in the comments!

Published: May 12, 2019 | Updated: 09 Jun, 2019June 09, 2019
12 May, 2019
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