Minecraft is not just a game; it’s a platform for building and exploring virtual worlds with your friends and family. Whether you want to host a server for a small group or embark on an ambitious project to recreate your favorite TV show’s universe, there are various hosting options available. In this article, we’ll explore different ways to create your own private Minecraft multiplayer oasis.
Minecraft Realms: Simple and Affordable Hosting
Minecraft Realms, a cloud-based server hosting service by Mojang, has been discontinued, but there are still two subscription models available: Realms Plus and Realms for Minecraft: Java Edition.
Realms Plus is perfect for gamers on mobile, console, and Windows 10. It offers easy and cost-effective hosting, allowing you to create and manage a persistent Minecraft world without any prior hosting knowledge. With over 50 Marketplace items and regular content updates, there’s always something exciting to explore. Your world and add-ons are securely stored in the cloud, ensuring that your friends can join even if you’re not available.
To create a Minecraft Realms Plus world, follow these simple steps:
- Select “Play.”
- Click on “Create New.”
- Choose “Create New World.”
- Configure the world to your liking.
- Select “Create on Realms.”
- Choose between a 10-player or two-player Realm.
- Set up your Realms Plus subscription.
If you want to modify your Realm, follow these steps:
- Select “Play.”
- Click on the Pencil icon next to your Realm.
- Select “Game” to rename the world, change the difficulty, mode, and activate cheats.
- Select “Members” to add friends, send join requests, and manage user status (Visitor, Member, or Operator).
- Select “Resource Packs” and/or “Behavior Packs” to enable or disable add-ons.
Be the Host: Set Up Your Own Server
If you prefer not to subscribe to a hosting service, you can set up your PC as a server to share your Minecraft world with friends.
Mobile, Console, and Windows 10
For the mobile, console, and Windows 10 versions of Minecraft, multiplayer is enabled by default when creating a new world. If you initially disabled multiplayer but now want to play with friends, follow these steps to turn it back on:
- Select “Play.”
- Click on the Pencil icon next to your world.
- Select “Multiplayer” on the left-hand side.
- Toggle the button next to “Multiplayer Game.”
- Toggle the button next to “Visible for LAN Players” for local multiplayer support.
Since this version of Minecraft uses Xbox Live, you can play with anyone logged into their Microsoft Account. You can also customize multiplayer settings to control who can join your world.
Minecraft: Java Edition — LAN Play
Playing multiplayer on Minecraft: Java Edition requires hosting a world on a local network using the integrated multiplayer component. However, for online multiplayer, you’ll need Mojang’s standalone server software.
To enable multiplayer in Minecraft: Java Edition, follow these steps:
- Select “Singleplayer.”
- Create or open an existing world.
- Press the “Esc” key.
- Click on “Open to LAN” in the menu.
- Choose the desired game mode, enable or disable cheats, and select “Start LAN World.”
Other players on the same network can now join your world by selecting “Multiplayer” and connecting to your server. Remember that hosting a multiplayer Minecraft world requires a decent PC with sufficient hardware specifications to handle rendering and synchronization for all players.
Minecraft: Java Edition — Online Play
If you’re interested in a dedicated server, Mojang offers three options for Minecraft: Java Edition:
- Minecraft: Java Edition Server
- Windows Server Software for Windows (alpha)
- Ubuntu Server Software for Ubuntu
Let’s focus on using Minecraft: Java Edition Server on Windows for simplicity. Before you start, ensure that you have the latest version of Java installed on your PC.
To set up an online Minecraft server:
- Download the Server.jar file from Mojang and save it in a dedicated folder.
- Right-click on the Server.jar file and select “Open” to extract files.
- Open the EULA file, change “eula=false” to “eula=true,” and save the file.
- Right-click on the Server.jar file and select “Open” to extract additional files and open the Minecraft Server window.
- To modify the world’s properties, right-click on the server.properties file and select “Open With” followed by Notepad.
With the server configured, create a direct path for remote players to connect to your server. Note your public-facing IP address assigned to your modem and the IP address of the local PC running the server. Set up port forwarding for Minecraft packets to ensure proper connectivity. Guides on finding your IP address, port forwarding, and changing your IP address are available.
To launch the Java Edition server using a batch file:
- Right-click within the server folder and select “New” followed by “Text Document.”
- Rename the file for easy identification.
- Open the file and enter the command:
java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar server.jar pause.
- Save the file and rename its extension to “.bat” (batch file).
- Double-click the new BAT file to launch the server.
To connect to the server and create a world:
- Select “Multiplayer” in Minecraft.
- Check the box next to “Do Not Show This Screen Again” and select “Proceed” if prompted.
- Click on “Add Server.”
- Enter the server name.
- For remote players, enter the public-facing address assigned to your modem along with the port.
For local network play, enter the server PC’s network address without the port.
- Select “Done” to complete the setup.
Craftbukkit: Customize Your Minecraft Experience
Craftbukkit is a modified version of Mojang’s vanilla server software for Minecraft: Java Edition that supports Bukkit plugins. Setting it up is similar to Mojang’s version: extract files, agree to the EULA, modify server.properties, create the world, and more.
To use Craftbukkit:
- Download the Craftbukkit.jar file and extract it.
- Follow the same steps as mentioned earlier for Mojang’s server software, with the following BAT file command:
java -Xms1024M -Xmx1024M -jar craftbukkit.jar -o true pause.
Bukkit maintains a forum with user-created plugins designed for Craftbukkit, providing a solution for managing multiple plugins in-game. These plugins cover various categories like admin tools, chat-related tools, role-playing elements, and world generators.
To use a plugin, place the JAR file in the plugins folder. Remember to restart the server whenever adding a new plugin.
Connecting to a Bukkit server is similar to connecting to a standard server, and clients don’t need to install mods on their side. For better performance, it’s recommended to run Bukkit or the regular Minecraft server software on a separate PC.
Additional Paid Server Options
If you prefer a third-party, subscription-based, or free hosting option, there are numerous choices available. These services offer easy setup, consistent access, and technical support. While free options exist, paid services often provide better features and support.
Setting up your own server can be complex, requiring networking knowledge. However, paid services designed for Minecraft automate the process, making it as simple as selecting the number of players and world type before starting. Web interfaces provided by these services offer robust configuration options, making server management easier.
Some hosting companies, like Multicraft, provide limited control to users while allowing the host to handle certain configuration decisions. This ensures players have freedom within the server while retaining the ability to ban users or reboot the server.
Alternatively, you can use any service with servers offering sufficient RAM for Minecraft or Craftbukkit. You can find acceptable servers from online retailers or use Amazon’s services. This option allows more customization but requires manual configuration.
Remember, using your own server gives you more control over settings and files, providing greater flexibility to customize your Minecraft experience.
Creating your own Minecraft server opens up a world of possibilities for you and your friends to explore and build together. Whether you choose a subscription-based hosting service like Realms Plus, set up your PC as a server, or opt for third-party hosting options, the decision ultimately depends on your needs and preferences.
So gather your friends, unleash your creativity, and embark on exciting adventures in Minecraft. Dream, build, and conquer!
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