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How to make a good Minecraft server!


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Level 28 : Expert Dragonborn

How to make a good Minecraft server!
Written by Middlecraft (In-game name: Minecraftisan)


This blog article will explain how to make a Minecraft server better by introducing certain aspects to it. Of course, this is all in my opinion. These are things that would make me want to play on someone's server.

This one should be pretty obvious from the start. Plugins make your server unique, and are part of why someone would choose your server over someone else's. Unless of course you are making a server that is unique in being a no-plugin survival server or something similar.

Your server should have a friendly community. Why would someone want to log in and have a silent server or be ignored, or even worse be criticized and insulted? Community friendliness makes a good first impression. Personally I like my fair share of "Welcome!" messages from players when I log on to a new server, so I can gauge the community. This rule isn't negated for admins, either. Friendly admins are essential to a good server. Maybe you believe that just building epic stuff on the server will seal the deal, but the whole point of multiplayer is to have experiences with others.

This preference may differ from person to person, but I like my servers to have a specific theme. I wouldn't like a server that's a Survival Games Creative Survival Skyblock Hardcore PvP Casual server. There is just too much stuff to keep track of, and I personally hate it when I don't know what I'm supposed to do on a server that I just logged on to. Also, being multi-themed means that the admins have so much more to manage, and less resources to improve each one individually. Plus, it'll segregate the playerbase.

Tutorial Zone
On my own server I do have a short tutorial segment of the game for new players, but you could finish it in less than a minute. I dislike when I have to read hundreds of signs in a massive room on my first time logging in to a server. I know that many larger servers do this, and it's usually why I don't play on them for more than an hour or so. A good tutorial length is from 1 to 2 minutes. There was a large server I visited in which the tutorial took almost half an hour, and when I finished it there was no clear indication of where I was supposed to go or what I was supposed to do.

This one is pretty broad. Where your cities are, how you travel, how your plugins affect gameplay, how your permissions work... It's all part of server structure. If you have bad server structure, you won't get anywhere. Don't make shops with sell price higher than buy prices and have a bunch of players taking advantage of that. Don't make your towns hours apart with no portal or fast way of traveling to each one in turn. This issue took me quite a while to tackle. For me, it took lots of time invested and a few new plugins. Even now my server isn't perfect (and it never will be, because no server is), but I can strive to get as close as possible.

The spawn point is an important factor in the reception of your server. It's usually the first impression players get on the server, and a shabby spawn is a great way to lose players right off the bat. Unless you're doing a server that has a reason for making the spawn smaller (like mine), make it grand and spacious.

Fun Progression
An important thing to do is to make your server progression fun for players. What does that mean? Well, I doubt that your players would enjoy a server with a bunch of awesome creations where they just have to do the classical survival outtake and make their own living in the wild. I mean, the big buildings are cool, but make your progression toward "end-game" fun. Have twists, add a storyline, use a cool game-defying plugin... These are all ways to stand out from the crowd.

In my opinion, every server should have PvP unless your server is meant specifically for building. Even hardcore economy servers could have economy rewards for PvP, and it's a fun way to interact with others...essentially PvP is a huge part of why multiplayer is so fun. However, there are limits that you should have to PvP. The Factions plugin allows factions to create protected borders, so that PvP is basically disabled there (unless you want to run onto enemy territory and get your butt kicked). On my server, every city has disabled PvP. However, to encourage Factions raiding (because Factions is infamous for being a "safe area" plugin in which a faction has an area where they are basically invulnerable), I have implemented the ability to open doors and chests on the territory of other factions. This would be exploited to the highest level, though, so I have also added Lockette to be able to lock certain chests to deny outsider access.


This is about why people should choose your server, mainly. If you just copied your spawn and your ideas from others, what's going to snag people into choosing your server instead of another one with a higher population? Make something of YOUR design so that your server is attractive for a unique reason. People will be interested in experiencing something they've never seen before over playing creative servers again and again.

Online Time

A good, finished server needs a good "up time." You can't be on 2 days a week, every other week. My server is in development, so I obviously have a good explanation (excuse) for this, but even then I try to keep the server up as much as possible, sometimes achieving 24/7. But a finished server should have no excuse for this. Tired of keeping your computer running? Go buy a server host. Online time is one virtue of running servers, and your players won't be happy when you keep your server down for extended periods of time.

Acceptance of Feedback

Server admins should accept and appreciate feedback from their players. When a player says something is pretty bad, don't go into denial. Chances are, they're softening it up and that part of your server is flat out suckish. So listen to feedback and act on it. Improve what your players need. But as an owner/admin/op, you must know where the line is drawn between "want" and "need." A player needs 20 glowstone to spiff up there faction base? No, they want it. You are in no way obligated to give it to them. I know that I am only one MInecrafter in a vast community of them, but I personally find myself liking admins who don't cave in to your every whim. It makes the rules more solid, and gives you the feeling that you actually must earn it; that you can't wheedle everything from the admins.

No Broken Promises

Do not exaggerate on what your players will experience, and don't make any promises you won't be able to keep. Don't tell players that you will cater to their every need if they donate, only to ignore them after they invest their money into your server because they trust you. You should promote your rewards, but be modest about it. Advertising is good, but be true to your word. Give them everything they thought that they would get.

A Few Tips
I can hardly cover everything there is about good servers in a blog post, but here are a few tips to make your server better, although they are not necessary.

- Get some "end-game" content for the players who have worked hard. Nothing is worse than a bunch of time invested in a server and then getting nothing to do again.

- Get a permissions plugin as something for progressing players to strive for, and even players with the best armor and weapons and houses. It's a reward only admins can give, so use the tool wisely.

- I personally will never require something on my server unless it could make the server less enjoyable for others. Requirements are silly when they don't add a lot of enjoyment.

- Promote your server. Post it on Planet Minecraft and bump the submission. Also, get the players on your server to vote for your server daily and to diamond it, and favorite it. This will earn you lots of the popularity you might need to get more people playing with your community.

- Get a custom hostname. I personally don't have this, but I've always admired the servers that do. It makes your server seem more professional, and if players don't save your IP, they may be able to remember a custom hostname over a dozen random numbers.

- Make a website! And if you want to be serious about the server, invest some money into this. This goes hand in hand with the previous tip and professionalism.

- Use what you like. If you really like something, chances are, someone will like it as much as you. So do what you like and you could get a few more people!

And that's about it! I hope you found this guide helpful to you, and that your server prospers. Again, this is all opinionated. I think that much of this will help your server become more popular, but it's not a fact. So don't sue me if this doesn't work (lol). I will update this blog as I think of new aspects of a good server.

If you would like to check out a small server in development, please check out the page for my server (Middlecraft). Thank you for reading this, and I would love to hear your feedback. Please diamond if you found this helpful or simply entertaining!

Credit:middlecraft, minecraftisan

Note: Showing last 25 of 29 logs.

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Update #26 : 12/03/2012 7:35:56 pm12/03/12


Bumop : 11/30/2012 8:10:09 pm11/30/12

Bump spelled wrong

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What else can I say?

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Once more

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Bump : 11/05/2012 10:17:54 pm11/05/12

It's been a while...

Bump : 10/06/2012 5:31:08 pm10/06/12

- Fixed a few typos.

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Bump : 08/22/2012 6:21:02 pm8/22/12

What does it look like?

Bump : 08/09/2012 4:34:57 pm8/09/12


Bump : 08/02/2012 6:40:18 pm8/02/12

- Added "No Broken Promises" header.

Bump : 07/14/2012 6:49:12 pm7/14/12

Fallin' back into the old trend.

Bump : 07/09/2012 4:36:21 pm7/09/12

Yet again

v 1.1 : 07/06/2012 10:02:27 pm7/06/12

- Added "Acceptance of Feedback" header.
- Added "Online Time" header.
- Added a bullet point under "A Few Tips."

Bump : 07/05/2012 2:09:27 pm7/05/12


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Bump : 07/02/2012 1:00:11 pm7/02/12


Bump! : 07/01/2012 3:25:49 pm7/01/12


Comments : 20

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1 - 20 of 20

Great job, this gave me lots of help!!
  • rjvitt
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Architect
  • April 25, 2013, 11:05 am
cool tutorial gave me some great ideas
  • nxtboyIII
  • Level 1
  • New Warrior
  • February 9, 2013, 12:58 pm
Nice tutorial :)
cool thx thank you!!!!!!
Nice. lol i HATE port forwarding, took me 5 hours!(my router was messed up)
  • Middlecraft
  • Level 28
  • Expert Dragonborn
  • September 17, 2012, 2:59 pm
It happens :/
Very Good Addvice if i make a server if u play on it for awhile ill give u moderator and u can build your way up!
  • Ice rag
  • Level 14
  • Journeyman Robot
  • July 3, 2012, 7:25 am
People can't log on my server, we need to be on the same network... How can I fix this?
I can use Bukkit and plugins :)
  • kiebo
  • Level 1
  • New Explorer
  • July 5, 2012, 10:15 am
You could use logmeinhamatchi, it's free and lets ppl join the server but they must have it too look this up on youtube YOU WON'T HAVE TO PORT FORWARD!

; Logmein Hamatchi Minecraft server tutorial
  • Middlecraft
  • Level 28
  • Expert Dragonborn
  • July 5, 2012, 10:18 am
Hamachi is good, but often laggy and has a smaller variety of plugins.
  • Middlecraft
  • Level 28
  • Expert Dragonborn
  • July 3, 2012, 8:22 am
Have you port forwarded? If not, check one of the port-forwarding tutorials on YouTube. You need to port forward in order for your friends to play on your server.
  • Ice rag
  • Level 14
  • Journeyman Robot
  • July 3, 2012, 8:34 am
I can't port forward idk the username and the password, and I have tried the things that google say...
  • jarofhacks
  • Level 1
  • New Explorer
  • July 19, 2013, 2:45 am
Username: admin
Password: admin
Password: admin
Have fun with port forwarding :D
  • Middlecraft
  • Level 28
  • Expert Dragonborn
  • July 3, 2012, 6:20 pm
You must port forward for Bukkit to work. If you don't have the UN/PW, get them from your host provider or your parents (depending on how old you are :D).
  • Ice rag
  • Level 14
  • Journeyman Robot
  • July 4, 2012, 6:27 am
I have asked dad, but he don't know it...
  • Middlecraft
  • Level 28
  • Expert Dragonborn
  • July 4, 2012, 6:41 am
Well... Get him to call your host provider and stuff. Without port-forwarding, the server can only be played from your own network, which kinda sucks. You may as well play single player, if you can't port-forward.

Your host provider company should be able to give you the username and password you desire. But without PF, it's impossible to make your server public.

Also, when you do get your username and password, and if you don't understand port-forwarding that much, use Simple Port Forwarding. I'll leave a link. Look up a tutorial or two on MInecraft port-forwarding, and some should include SPF as a method. It's easier and more intuitive than manually port-forwarding. And if you need help with SPF, look up a tutorial on YouTube, as always.

SPF: [size=10pt]http://www.simpleportforwarding.com/[/size]
  • flame12176
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Crafter
  • June 27, 2012, 9:45 am
and the server need a unique minigame
Good job
  • Middlecraft
  • Level 28
  • Expert Dragonborn
  • June 28, 2012, 5:06 am
Thank you! :D
  • maddeer
  • Level 37
  • Artisan Toast
  • June 25, 2012, 4:17 am
I use vmlweb.co.uk. They have a great support team.

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