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How To Make A Successful Faction/PvP Server


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Level 43 : Master Goblin
Hello! I have been looking around for a decent server tutorial with some fairly good tips, but have failed to find one. I decided to throw this together for new server owners out there trying to go for the factions gameplay. Many of these may apply for other server types aswell, so be creative!

Factions Plugin Download: Click me

Check out my official servers!
Factions: pvp.venturemc.org
Survival: play.venturemc.org

How To Make A Successful Faction Server:

Before taking the time to design the server, you are going to want to make sure of a few things:

First, try to have a good dedicated server host. I am currently using http://www.hosthorde.com for my server, but there are other hosts out there that have some quality hosting. Google is your friend in most occasions, and this is no different. Once you have found one you like, do some research on the company are make sure you're positive it will fit your needs. It's important that they have active support to help you at any time when you have questions.

Don't host your server from a home computer. Although you may have good ram, it is not the best idea when you are planning on making your server big. Your internet most likely will not be able to handle more than 30+ players at a time. Doing this will ensure a lag free environment for your players. If you don't plan on having many players on your server, don't mind slowing your bandwidth down, and don't mind the server only running while your computer is on, then by all means go for it.

Once that task is accomplished and you're satisfied with your server, you're going to want to make sure that you are running the latest version of bukkit that matches with the newest minecraft version. Sometimes the newest release will be in "Alpha" or "beta" which means it will have the occassional bug, but if they aren't too threatening and don't affect the server then its worth it. Players are much less likely to close out of minecraft to go back to later version just to join one server.

Edit: The paragraph above is a little out dated. I'd personally recommend running spigot (or paperspigot to fix cannoning bugs) instead of bukkit and running an older version like 1.8.8 or 1.8.9. Lots of players don't like the new updates to Minecraft and prefer the older versions. Then, simply put the plugin "ViaVersion" on your server and any client version will still be able to join.

There are a few basic plugins, that pretty much every server uses. The main ones I recommend you use are:

Essentials - http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/essentials/
World Edit - http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/worldedit/
World Guard - http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/worldguard/

Group Manager - http://wiki.ess3.net/wiki/Group_Manager

Essentials gives the server its 'essential' commands and features such as /spawn, /home, /warp, /kit, etc. It also works well with Group Manager and gives you full control of dangers and spawning rate of things on your server.

World Edit is used to speed up the building process with various copying, building, and resizing commands while World Guard is used to protect areas of your server from grief. Factions or not, these two plugins can make building and savezoning servers extremely easy. World Guard can also enable different building and playing perks to players within the areas you create.

Group Manager is used to create ranks, and permissions for each rank. This is very ideal when having trusted ranks, staff members, and donation ranks. By having ranks, it encourages players to play more often to rank up between ranks. You can give people permission for certain commands/abilities too. I will not be going through how to set this up, but there are many tutorial videos out there that will break down the process of creating a group, changing their prefix/suffix in chat, and giving them specific permissions.

Step 2:

Next, you'll want to think of a theme for your server. Do you want pirate battles? Medieval? Futuristic? With the theme decided from the beginning, you'll know what to base your buildings and features of your server around. Always smart to think ahead!

There are many other plugins that are helpful when creating your faction server. First, I would recommend getting the plugin Votifier (http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/votifier/). This plugin allows players to vote for your server on server lists, and get rewarded for it in-game. By having more votes for your server, it will show up higher in the lists and get more people to come join. Having more players means having more votes, and having more votes means having more players! This will add up and in the end create a great server! I would also get the plugin GAListener (http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/give-anything-listener/) to have more control over what you can reward players for voting. Litterally anything you can type in game and be preformed by this plugin.

Some other plugins I would recommend are:

SilkSpawners - http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/silkspawners/ - Allows players to mine spawners with a silktouch pickaxe. You can also enable crafting spawners through a crafting table and customly define the crafting recipe.
Obsidian Destroyer - http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/obsidiandestroyer/ - Allows players to break obsidian, or any other block in-game that once couldn't be broken. This is for TNT, Pickaxes, or anything else. I use this to allow players to do directly what the plugin says, destroy obsidian with tnt. But this can also come in handy on extremely OP servers and you can allow Bedrock to be destroyed with tnt.
NoCheatPlus - http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/nocheatplus/ - Every server will encounter hackers at some point. This plugin simply does its best to stop hackers and does a very well job at it to. It will notify any ops in chat if it detects a hacker and the reason why it believes they were.
ClearLag - http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/clearlagg/ - This plugin has many features that you can use to stop your server from excessive lagging. A neat feature that I use is a automated lag removal. What this does is it deletes any entities laying about that could be causing lag. You can define the time it will clear them, a custom message sent to players in chat, and what exactly will be cleared.
CombatLog - http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/combatlog/ - This plugin stops players from disconnecting while in combat. Basically all it does is kill players if they leave while in combat, letting the cheated out opponent be able to pick up the loot he/she should have gotten.
floAuctions - http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/floauction/ - I honestly love this plugin. It allows players to auction off items to other players. You can see the chat blazing with people bidding on different items. It really gets the players involved in the economy aspect of the server.

It may be agood idea to find a good developer (This may be yourself). to design some custom plugins for your server. This will make it look more professional, and add your own touch to the game. But this also will usually come with a price as most developers only will do it for money.

Also, another vital part of your server is actually how it looks in the game. Make sure your spawn is sexy and really makes the players go "WOAH" apon joining. Honestly, if I join a server with a small little square box with a bunch of donation signs shoved in my face, I will probably leave within 5 seconds. Keep your spawn open, make it a bit big (Not too big!) and keep everything organized. Make sure most of the aspects of the game are all accessble from spawn. (A shop, rules board, donation ranks, staff, minigames, etc.) Take your building abilities to the test. If you know anyone else who is good at building, invite them on to help build the spawn.

One of the most important parts of your server is donations. With the EULA out, people are scared of risking losing their server for breaking the rules, but EVERYONE, and I mean everyone does it and nothing has happened for years. Only large servers like Minplex and Hypixel are forced to follow these because they are so large.

Back to donations, they are one of the most important parts of your server. How else will you pay the monthly bills? It can become a profitable business if you really want to, and I will say now that I made of $1,000 USD on my previous server through hard work and consistency. I had some great ranks aswell!

Do not force or threaten players to donate This will defenetly bring your server down within a week. Shoving donation ranks/packages in players faces at spawn is almost just as bad. Make the players feel at home, and let them know that donating is an option. Tell them through autobroadcasts that donating is a good way to help out the server and show your respects. Make sure they get some cool items for donating. Wisely make some reasonable donation options.

Also, a great plugin for setting up donation ranks is MinecraftMarket (http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/minecraft-market-free-donation/) I no longer use BuyCraft for a few reasons. To get useful features, you have to pay $5 a month. Which is completely stupid. Why pay to get paid? It just doesn't make sense to me. I use MinecraftMarket because it can do everything possible through BuyCraft for FREE, and a little bit more. You can change the donation command as you please, set up a beatiful custom GUI for players to browse donation options, and easily set up a great donation store.

Step 3:

Now this is where many servers fail. They have a nice server, all set up properly with a great variety of plugins, but they never get their server known. And advertising isn't as easy as it looks. Do not go on youtube or some other social media website and spam comments of your minecraft ip/host address. That makes you look noobish. Don't go on other servers and spam your server address. That is just as bad, almost worse. You'll get nothing but a mute or a ban. The way to getting your server "out there" is a little complex, but in the end it will finish off server.

First of all, your going to want to post your server on every single minecraft server list out there. The more places it is at, the more chances people will see it. Some of the ones I use are:

http://www.planetminecraft.com (Obviously)

You're going to want to get Votifier, which I have already explained above. You can find your public key in the "rsa" folder in the plugin directory. You will feed this to the website when creating your post. Also, don't put in the port of your server. Make up a seperate, 4 digit port to run votifier on. You can define this in the config.yml and match it with your post.

Make a banner that really catches players eyes. Consider making it a .gif which can flip through multiple pictures. I've seen some half decent animations created in just a .gif for a server banner, consisting of players fighting and the server address flashing and what not. It certainly grabs your attention, which is exactly what we want.

If you lack in graphic design skills, find a friend who knows how to make it look good. If you really can't find anything, there are many graphic design businesses out there. They may cost a bit, but they can really make your banner look great. Make your description on server lists look good too. Make it look nice, and add some pictures and a deep well thought description.

Now a days, another important part of your server is the server-icon.png and your MOTD. This may not sound that important, but it truely is. The more welcoming your server shows up in the lists, the more likely that one players will scroll down and see it stick out from the others. They will click the join button and check out your server! The epic plugin PlayerUniqueMOTDPings allows you to use variables that will show the player's username. This plugin can be found here: http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/perplayermotd/

Here are some examples of MOTD/Server Icons:


The last step and one of the more important ones is the selection of staff members. Trust me, you don't need to have a team of 30+ people for a small server, its not necessary. You also don't need rank after rank of positions for your power hungry staff members. Select playeres you can trust very much, and maybe have a little chat with them somewhere else before selecting someone. Basically, you're hiring people to maintain your server while you're gone and keeping it safe. Offer people the chance to "apply" for staff on your website following a format and browse through the most viewed ones, or the ones the majority of the players agree would fit the job. You'll find the people who will get the job done. There are always new players looking for a new server to dedicate their time too!

Now just try to be as active as you can on your server. Add more plugins depending on what your players say and how they act. Build your own community, and design it how you please. Another big role in getting your server popular is bumping your PlanetMinecaft post daily. This will bring it back up to the top of the "recently updated" list for a few minutes. Do it every 24 hours to maintain a new flow of players. Welcome them, interact with them. Heck, you can even play with them at times. Eventually you will see your server grow over the months. I promise you it will become popular if you follow these rules. Just never give up, keep on working your guts out and it will be alright. You never know, your server might be the next big hit!

-Thanks for reading. If this helped at all please consider giving it a diamond and leaving a comment below!

PS: Please stop advertising your server in the comments. If you spent the time to read this article in its entirety, you would understand why spamming is bad for your server's reputation. Thanks!

Update #6 : 03/07/2017 10:08:21 pm3/07/17

Minor changes again, can't believe I still come back here every year and find more errors.

Big Update! : 12/14/2015 7:05:01 pm12/14/15

  • Completely reformatted the text, making it much easier to read.
  • Added lots of new information on more up to date topics.
  • Fixed a few grammatical errors that I couldn't stand!

Update #4 : 07/01/2015 10:08:51 am7/01/15

Added more information about plugins and changed some font sizes.

Update #3 : 03/15/2015 4:19:25 pm3/15/15

New front picture and fixed a few errors.

Update #2 : 03/06/2014 4:56:51 pm3/06/14

Added in more information/tips!

Update #1 : 03/04/2014 6:07:21 pm3/04/14

Fixed a few errors.

Comments : 63

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1 - 50 of 63

  • Hetrogames
  • Level 1
  • New Crafter
  • January 11, 2018, 3:43 am
Wow this helped so much
And does anybody have any name ideas for a space themed factions server
Im lost
  • Hetrogames
  • Level 1
  • New Crafter
  • January 11, 2018, 3:43 am
And a diamond for you
  • Timashy
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • December 11, 2017, 5:29 am
Very, helpful, thank you! ^.^
  • GamerDonut
  • Level 11
  • Journeyman Explorer
  • August 13, 2017, 12:23 pm
I'm kind of confused on how to do the plugins, I'm trying to get a server on server pro, can someone mail me to help? I'm not really sure how to do this... Thanks!
  • Dyartical
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • September 4, 2017, 9:51 pm
Don't use server pro. I wont mind you using it.

BUT if you are planning to make your server big i wont recommand
  • BrayBall25
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • February 1, 2017, 2:17 pm
Hey I was wondering if u could/would find the time too get in a skype call w/ me and teach me more in depth of how to do this? I would really appreciate it!
  • Govindas
  • Level 11
  • Journeyman Mage
  • September 11, 2016, 1:49 am
Just saying, this guide is outdated. Now voting for rewards is against the EULA.
Yes this is over 2 years old, but no one follows the EULA now-a-days do they?
  • Govindas
  • Level 11
  • Journeyman Mage
  • October 24, 2016, 12:01 am
My server follows EULA.
Don't you need a business Paypal and permit to accept money on buycraft?
How Else would you get the money? You need Paypal, But not business.
  • SascoWolf
  • Level 2
  • Apprentice Warrior
  • April 24, 2016, 9:15 am
What will I use for faction commands? Like claiming land?
I believe it is /f claim or /f auto claim to claim as you walk. It's been a long time since I've used it though so things may have changed. Just use /f list and look through the commands to see which one claims.
  • MeLikeMc
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • April 1, 2016, 1:08 pm
Thanks for this information! My server just got more popular! :D
I'm glad to hear!
Do you think you could help me with my server? If interested comment back and I'll give you my email. Thank You.
  • Splazez
  • Level 33
  • Artisan Toast
  • March 8, 2016, 2:17 am
I Reccomend auctionhouse as auction plugin. much better
  • Scottie_XDP
  • Level 1
  • New Network
  • December 20, 2015, 4:16 am
Wonderful tutorial! I'll make sure to follow it for my server! :D
  • SackboyRocks
  • Level 43
  • Master Goblin
  • December 20, 2015, 7:35 pm
Thanks, and good luck!
  • SackboyRocks
  • Level 43
  • Master Goblin
  • December 14, 2015, 6:58 am
Due to the incredible popularity this post is getting, I'll be updating it with more tips and making it cleaner and easier to read. Thanks!

- SackboyRocks
  • DivideMC
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • November 18, 2015, 1:54 am
If you know how to use SSH and the linux command line and are happy creating your server 100% like that, I recommend the VPS host ovh.co.uk They are very cheap (about £12 for 8gb of ram per month) but the vps setup takes a few hours so beware! I recommend going with ubuntu server 15.04 for the OS. Just use ssh [email protected]<ip> to access your server, put in the password and set up your server there.
  • JonahA
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • September 21, 2015, 12:59 pm
I agree with your Post BUT Making donations not OP will not do any good I have never in my life donated to "Support a server" I have donated to become OP and the server really needs it!!!
  • SackboyRocks
  • Level 43
  • Master Goblin
  • September 27, 2015, 12:44 pm
I don't mean don't make them good at all, give your donators good perks but don't make them so overpowered to the point where no one else can even have a chance. That will only work negatively against you and new players leave without enjoying the server and it will die down.
  • zabitsu12
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • August 30, 2015, 6:18 pm
I reccommend ShockByte to anytone wanting to get a server professionaly hosted. Plans start at $2.50 a GB of RAM per months, and comes with 1gb DDoS protections and other useful features. Way cheaper and more reliable than GGServers. Give it a shot.
  • SackboyRocks
  • Level 43
  • Master Goblin
  • September 13, 2015, 1:10 pm
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check it out.
I found a ton of blogs about faction servers and this is the best one <3 love it
  • SackboyRocks
  • Level 43
  • Master Goblin
  • September 13, 2015, 1:09 pm
Thank you very much Luke!
This is  Greate Blog

i followed everything and when i open my minecraft launcher it crashes pls help :(

if you can make a video on it that really helps!  cause i want to make my own server pls make a video on it pls pls pls 

thanks :)
  • djmatto7
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Pokemon
  • March 6, 2015, 5:59 am
Great blog,  have to say, but I would like to know how to set it up as even with mcore never works. Well I havent tried in ages but everytime in /plugins it doesnt even show Faction in red, its just not there, and /f doesnt work. But anyways, this shows you how to get it good, so diamond for you.
That's strange. I believe the mcore version needs to be matched up with the factions version, so if you are doing the newest factions, you need to newest mcore. I've had this problem before on my test server.
  • electron128
  • Level 23
  • Expert Unicorn
  • February 9, 2015, 5:21 pm
This is a very detailed guide, I hope to get a factions server set up someday :D
Oh btw, could a server with a capacity of just 20-25 people be ran from a home PC? I have quite a bit of ram (8 GB). But my internet isn't the best, but I'm confident that will change eventually.
The reason I say 20-25 people is because I don't think I could handle a large server + hosting costs.
Anyways, thanks for the guide and have a nice day <3
Yes, I think you could manage it, but you'll hog up the bandwidth in your household. No one else would be able to do anything while its on. Quite a while ago, I hosted a server from my PC and it worked alright, but I'd keep the max at 25 players.
  • iPl4yMC
  • Level 1
  • New Explorer
  • January 19, 2015, 5:37 pm
Good blog! Good for the beginning server owners, and useful to some that have already owned servers. Diamond to da blog
  • oolliiee123
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Warrior
  • August 10, 2014, 3:00 am
This is fantastic, deserves a diamond truly and a favourite!
  • tatermctot
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • April 30, 2014, 12:13 pm
You are awesome! You helped my server alot! Diamond for you!
Thanks. You are just as awesome :)
  • tatermctot
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • April 27, 2014, 10:36 am
i have one problem. when i try to find group manager in the hosthorde plugin selection "BukGet" thing, i cannot find it. any way else to get it? please respond soon. thank you!
http://wiki.ess3.net/wiki/Downloads <-- It should say "Download Group Manager" on the list somewhere. Then just put it in your plugins folder and /reload.
This is really helpful. Thanks so much! Diamond all the way
Thank you :)
No problem at all! really detailed blog, well worth reading, even for server experts (not me, im ok but not brilliant) it could have some worthwhile tips
Awesome. Subscribed to you :P
way ahead of you ;) lol, same here
Worldedit and Worldguard, are not needed at all. Honestly, Worldedit makes builds 100% worse than building it by hand.
You don't NEED worldedit, but trust me it helps for building the basic shape of a build, especially larger builds, and there are some things you can do with worldedit that make things look better! or more accurate certainly
If you use worldedit properly without making it look "noobish" it can really get the job done. I honestly mainly use it for just //copy, //paste, and //rotate when copying huge structures. Building things by hand takes a long time. And worldguard is needed to claim the land around spawn, protect it from griefers.
They are not needed to make a successful Faction server though...
WorldGuard and WorldEdit are pretty much essential plugins for any server, whether its factions, survival, or honestly anything else.
GGServers are awful, and when on a hosthorde server, you're sharing bandwidth with 21 other clients (minimum)
You'll be sharing bandwidth with other clients no matter which host you use unless you pay for a dedicated server; which most people can't honestly afford.   So don't hate on any host for a common thing.
But you're sharing with more people, so you're not garunteed good bandwidth, for those who want more information about this, go to spigot, if not, meh.
you know, hating on clients, servers, anything is really easy. YOU try setting up a host thats better. or YOU try setting up an awesome server, its easy to nitpick through others work, try giving them advice and helping people out rather than hating
I'm not hating, and I have setup an awesome server that people came in their hundreds, and I have set up a host that is better, there is no need to moan, it wasn't intended as hate, it's constructive criticism.
I have never tried GGServers, I just put that out there because they are cheap. And why is that a problem with hosthorde, I still get a great lag free server. All my players have no problem connecting.
I agree, they're cheap, and have been sued for fraud so many times...
Wow. :P
clearlag is also bad. It uses 4.3 MB to clear about .8 MB worth of stuff
PEX is more lightweight and breaks less than GroupManager
PermissionsEX is a good permissions plugin, but is a little more advanced than GroupManager. Since this is steered towards new players to server hosting, I wanted to show them GroupManager. For the breaking part, I have no clue what your talking about. I have been using GroupManager for over a year and it has never broke/crashed? Its a very reliable plugin.
if you make a perms error in PEX, it is a lot less likely to screw up the entire permissions system
I have messed up a permission every once in awhile in GroupManager. In-game it pretty much disables every command. But I get it fixed quite quickly, not really an issue. Actually, I'd rather it warn me that something is wrong in the config like that by crashing, than not doing anything.
When you screw something up in PEX, it normally just not allow you to use the permission. There are also commands for PES that allow you to set perms ingame
Ok, I see what you mean. You can set permissions for GroupManager in-game too. /mangaddp to add permissions to a group. /mangdelp to delete permissions from a group. /manuaddp to add a permission to a user. /manudelp to delete a permission from a user. When your done editing in-game just /mansave and your done.

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