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Why you shouldn't use Minecraft Realms! The sneaky truth.


The Money-grab Machine

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Level 39 : Artisan Architect
Having used Realms for two months, I can confidently say that it was a poor experience. I am writing this in hopes that aspiring server owners don't make the same mistakes I did. I'll cut to the chase right away.

There are several elements to Realms that are not necessarily presented upfront. In fact, Mojang completely neglected to tell ANYBODY about one of the main features of Realms: Uninviting your friends.

At the get-go, I had invited a healthy list of twelve different friends to play on our world. During the first month not all of them got around to playing on the server. When I went to invite a new friend about three weeks into playing Realms, I noticed my whitelist had dropped from 12/20 to 9/20.

THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Basically, Realms decided, arbitrarily and without my permission, to literally axe people who hadn’t played. Later on, after re-inviting those friends that had been axed, I realized that the timeline was even shorter than three weeks. I can’t give an exact number, but it was more along the lines of two weeks.

The reason for this is simple:

When no one is logged on to your Realms Server, it gets shut down. This is done in order to save Mojang money. The less people are whitelisted, the less people can play and therefore ‘turn on’ your Realm.

This is also the reason you can only invite 20 people to actually play. This might not seem like a big deal, but I can almost promise that you will NOT have all 10 slots full at any time, and if you do those occasions will be extremely rare.

This is also the reason Realms will kick you off after a few minutes of inactivity. You can’t step away from your game to let crops grow or ores smelt. Another important point is that the Realm will shut down entirely when no one is playing, and takes a long period of time to boot back up when a player joins an empty realm.

Mojang is attempting to make sure your Realm has as little uptime as possible.

My Current Server –
Cost: $5.00/month
Slot Limit: 12
Whitelist Limit: No Limit
Auto-kick: No Auto-kick
Server Startup: Instant

Realms Server –
Cost: $13.00/month
Slot Limit: 10
Whitelist Limit: 20
Auto-kick: ~10 Minutes
Server Startup: 10-30 Seconds

Realms has been designed to make server hosting ‘easier’. I won’t deny that the user interface is nifty, and it feels nice. But ultimately I became frustrated with all the little things that Realms did in order to pinch pennies. On my new server there I zero downtime, so I can join instantly. With Realms I had to wait for the server to boot up if nobody was on yet. I also might add that I experience less lag on the $5.00 server than on realms.

These all seem like minor inconveniences. And really, I wouldn’t have minded if Realms hadn’t cost me nearly three times more than my current server. And as I’ve shown you, the server I’ve moved to is already significantly better.

Anyone using realms is being ripped off as we speak. They cut corners and charge three times as much as a similar server. For $15.00/month I could have 30 slots with my current host. That’s only two bucks more expensive than Realms!

Yes, Realms is marginally easier, but you're paying for a fancy GUI for a server you cannot mod. Take a little time and learn how to run a real server, and your wallet will thank me. I'm willing to bet your players will, too

EDIT 5-31-16: I wrote this blog quite a while ago, and have not used realms since, I can't be confident that all the information presented is still accurate. Fixed some spelling, changed some phrasing.

As some as my readers pointed out you can get a free minecraft server. Just google it.

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  • rohi
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • October 4, 2017, 4:36 am
Parent here, doing research on Realms, unfortunately, this post is the number one result on a variety of unrelated queries about Minecraft and Realms.

For future readers: the issue described appears to have been resolved in 2016. See post below "n the time since the original post, the price has been dropped, the service has gotten regular updates, and the whitelist cap is irrelevantly large"

The rest of this discussion is either off-topic, or simply insults being thrown by what I presume are kids.

I joined this site just to reply to future people from wasting time like I did reading this post

Planet Minecraft and/or the Original poster: Since the original complaint has been resolved, the responsible thing to do would be to either delete this, or mark it "Resolved" in the heading and title tag so that Google readers will not waste time on this irrelevant content.

Thanks for your time.
  • Gloomipede
  • Level 1
  • New Explorer
  • October 23, 2017, 6:02 am
Or you could host a server for free like I do.
Hosts and Realms are BOTH a waste of money.
  • Goffiiis
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • April 22, 2017, 10:06 am
What host do you use? I'm planning on creating a server for me and my friends. We have a realm but i don't like when i can't change anything, well almost anything. Like WorldEdit, i can't manage to get WorldEdit installed. It's probably possible but it's harder than if i would have a server on like Fragnet or something.
I agree the realm's are a waste of money and being uninvited is worse that being banned from a server.
  • obliviaxel
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • September 24, 2016, 3:46 am
I agree! One bad thing is when me and my friends were playing for a couple months, they released 1.9. We were mad about it not letting us play on 1.8, but we decided to still play it. Apparently, when it changed to 1.9, all of our worlds got corrupted, so we lost them. It wasn't a good experience, so we decided to cancel it and get a server. I used another computer in my house that wasn't new, but it could still run it. We used that for our server, and the only time it lags, is when we try to World Edit big things. And, it's free!
  • vykard
  • Level 1
  • New Explorer
  • September 20, 2016, 7:15 am
i have a server and it dosent cost any money
  • Goffiiis
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • April 22, 2017, 10:03 am
Do you host it on your own computer?
  • vykard
  • Level 1
  • New Explorer
  • April 30, 2017, 6:52 pm
yes. and holy crap it took you that long to respond
  • Marc_IRL
  • Level 22
  • Expert Button Pusher
  • August 16, 2016, 4:56 am
This post still appears pretty high in search results for some stuff, and still gets comments, so I thought I'd reply. Posts like this help us see where weak points are, and what we can do to improve.

In the time since the original post, the price has been dropped, the service has gotten regular updates, and the whitelist cap is irrelevantly large. If people have issues with Realms, please feel free to reach out to the team on Twitter. If you don't let us see it, we can't fix it.
  • TQuin
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Engineer
  • September 1, 2016, 6:24 pm
Says the guy who continues to ignore the extremely high profile and long standing LAN host skin issue, nevermind the fact that the music doesn't even play during your credits scroll 90% of the time. Can't even stick the landing. The author is correct. Even with the changes, Realms offers a poor value for the asking price.
Marc is the Realms Content Manager. He's not personally responsible for resolving bugs in the base game. And the people who are, the Minecraft
Java version development team, are only 4 people. They get to what they can, and the net trend now is that they resolve more bug reports per day on average than there are bug reports created.

The Mojangstas are connected to the Minecraft community. They're communicating with us constantly on Reddit, and through Twitter and other means. They listen to us, and often directly reply to us. They have a lot of good will, and clearly love the games they help to create. And they have a history of being very responsive to to community ideas and feedback. A huge number of features that are now in the vanilla game originally started a mods made by members of the community, for example.

From Marc's comment, it sounds like all of fadohacolu's concerns about Realms have now been addressed, with the exceptions of players being kicked after periods of inactivity, and how afordable Realms is compared to other Minecraft server hosts.

Regarding the kicking issue: If the community makes it clear that being able to be inactive on Realms servers for longer without being kicked is important to us, then I'm sure that that will change.

Regarding the cost issue: It might be reasonable to complain about the price of Realms servers if Mojang had a monopoly on Minecraft server hosting, but they don't. They allow other server hosts to compete with them. From what I understand, the impact of Realms being introduced actually resulted in a significant drop in the average price of Minecraft server hosting because other Minecraft server hosting services felt that they needed to drop their prices to compete. So overall, Realms seems to have had a healthy and positive effect on the Minecraft community. It may cost more than most other similarly-sized Minecraft servers, but many people are clearly willing to pay that extra amount for its convenience, stability, support and features.
  • TQuin
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Engineer
  • October 5, 2016, 3:50 pm
Whatever, fanboy. TLDR. He works for them, he's part of the problem. Further, he wouldn't fight your fight. They don't care about you.
Dude, we're talking about Marc Watson, the guy who prior to going to work for Mojang, was the volunteer organizer of an annual charity event to help terminally-ill children have a better quality of life.

Clearly there are many companies that are willing to be destructive to society and/or inhumane toward individuals in pursuit of profit - to some degree that's inherently incentivized in any capitalist economic system. But I think that you're overgeneralizing that phenomenon to this company. I don't think that there's any good reason to think that Mojang is anything less than what it seems to be: a company characterized by the goodness and integrity of the small group of people who make it up.
  • TQuin
  • Level 69
  • High Grandmaster Engineer
  • October 11, 2016, 6:14 pm
Sincerely, I'm overgeneralizing because I can. Mojang is Microsoft and when an organization grows that large and cumbersome, no one person's charitable intentions mean anything. It becomes a colossus, cumbersome and terrible, steered by nothing but a lust for money. The day they sold to Microsoft, it was the end of the line for whatever good thing you thought this organization was going to represent.

Bear in mind, I don't think that's a bad thing. I think it was the right decision. But I also know they don't deserve the benefit of the doubt. It's a money making machine now. Fans do nothing but generate more revenue. You can feel a sense of loyalty, but the moment you need them in your corner you'll be sadly disappointed because there's no profit in it.
  • jtvjan
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • August 13, 2016, 2:53 pm
Mojang upped the limit to 200, you might want to update the article.
  • JammMusic
  • Level 23
  • Expert Toast
  • July 13, 2016, 4:20 pm
I'm starting to believe all the people who were saying that all this new EULA stuff is to promote Realms. They've found out that the EULA is going to eventually eliminate a good bit of servers, so more players might be likely to buy a Realm with their friends.

Think about it this way. What is a companies best interest? Their bottomline is their best interest. They believe that the EULA enforcements will increase the amount of money they make. It's not about the "community" or "player equality" or any of that crap. It all makes sense now.
I do agree. Realms is a little too expensive. Nowdays, there are free servers, and Realms cost too much :/
  • TCAtrevor
  • Level 1
  • New Crafter
  • August 30, 2016, 5:10 pm
Yeah but the free servers are complicated and have lots of lag (at least from my experience)
i agree
fuck u world
  • MrsWiccan
  • Level 8
  • Apprentice Artist
  • February 18, 2016, 12:19 pm
Nice ploy...I have had a realm up for months on end with no one invited but myself. OH AND I DIDN'T PLAY IT! Long as you set p a subscription and feed them the money, its not going to "get shut down"
I completely agree, I tried getting my free trial but it wouldn't load, So I tried clicking cancel and the "Free Trial" Icon wasn't there anymore, Anyways..... I read this and I thought I shouldn't buy it anymore. Thanks for the help! :DSincerely TheBunnyThieves
  • Mega_Boxer
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • January 18, 2016, 8:29 am
Dude, this whole article was a plug for MCProHosting, which sucks btw. Realms is actually good, just because you say you got screwed means nothing to me, I've had no such problems for the passed 6 months. Sorry, but this whol article is false.
Hey, I had Realm trials, and I agree. There are free servers now that you can own. I think you just don't like MCProHosting server :P
I'm using a free trial to test my map before I  give it to a friend so he can make a better server. Good to know I wasn't wrong in suspecting Realms to be inferior to an external server host.
  • jts3304
  • Level 1
  • New Network
  • November 28, 2015, 4:55 am
Did you ever think about the fact that your whitelist dropped because some people left the realm? Not because of inactivity or you kicked them off, but they left at the hand of themself.

Not saying it's true, but I never say any sort of sondieration that that is what happened. My realm had inactive people, but it didn't kick them off.
  • MajesticMaj
  • Level 4
  • Apprentice Mage
  • August 23, 2015, 6:13 am
What server do you use now?
  • fadohacolu
  • Level 39
  • Artisan Architect
  • November 19, 2015, 4:41 am
  • lolimiggi
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • January 23, 2015, 12:16 am
Im just new to hosting my own realm/server... had a drama with our realm not saving after a handful of us were on there for a few hours.

n00b question, but what are the details of the server you are hosting from? Thx.
  • ShyFoxGamer
  • Level 1
  • New Blacksmith
  • November 23, 2014, 1:32 am
i been using my realms for 3 months now and i still have all 20 players added. only thing is the price is a bit high
i like realms alot. i think it is useful for people who can't port forward. but there should be plugins in here
  • Cohenia
  • Level 1
  • New Network
  • September 15, 2014, 3:58 pm
actully it is now microsoft...

-Draco :(
Jesus Christ Mojang. And I thought the Microsoft deal was bad.
  • fadohacolu
  • Level 39
  • Artisan Architect
  • September 15, 2014, 4:06 am
That's pretty awful too. God only knows what's going to happen next.
  • David5886
  • Level 39
  • Artisan Modder
  • September 14, 2014, 9:05 am
Realms is still a work in progress, they are still working on Realms. It is not a money grabber, its there to help players set up a small server for your friends or family to play on. Yes it may be $13 a month, but there are people who would go with Mojang than another service, as they trust Mojang and unsure about any other hosting site.  Realms is not to be anything better, its something simple, vanilla, for players to use, it is not for everyone, for a regular player looking to play with a couple of friends, yes. I dont think it is a ripoff, people know that they are still working on it. If you look at the 1.8 changelog, they did change some realms things, like allow you to upload your own world, and they will still continue to add things and improve things, Realms is still new, wait about a year, and it should be worth the 13 dollars a month
  • fadohacolu
  • Level 39
  • Artisan Architect
  • September 14, 2014, 11:24 am
You've demonstrated how little you really know about Realms. World uploading was available BEFORE 1.8. It wasn't until this feature was available that I purchased Realms, which was nearly three months ago. At any rate did you even read my post? You have to present a solid argument. Realms IS a money machine because of the way it uninvites inactive players and limits you to 20 invites. These are not mistakes. These are not limitations that will be buffed out later on. These were put there on purpose. They were put there so there will be as much downtime on your Realms sever as possible.

 On the server I now rent it doesn’t even go down when no one is on. Realms isn’t “broken”. It’s been designed this way on purpose. I’ve been creating computer programs for nearly five years- believe me, this is the way it was meant to be.
  • Master1398
  • Level 45
  • Master Modder
  • September 14, 2014, 7:29 am
"Realms has been designed to make server hosting ‘easier’."
That's not true at all: Realms is designeed to make it easy to host a server for you and your friends (and family) and not to (try to) host a large server with a large community.
  • fadohacolu
  • Level 39
  • Artisan Architect
  • September 14, 2014, 9:05 am
Taken from the Realms website:

"It won’t require you to set up LAN networks, configure IPs, or mess about with ports. We’ve already done that for you. It’s the easiest way to host an infinitely big Minecraft world."

Realms MIGHT be more optimized for a small group of friends/family, but it still boasts that it makes hosting easier. If you want to have a server for your friends and family, simply buy one for $5/month and it will still be better. Realms intentions are irrelvant anyways- they still rip off the users.
  • jarfox
  • Level 26
  • Expert Spider Rider
  • September 14, 2014, 12:27 am
Illuminati confirmed.
  • jccreszMC
  • Level 25
  • Expert Nerd
  • September 13, 2014, 12:00 pm
I guess its better when you are capable of running 5-7 servers on your computer at once. I never fell for MC-R. My friend spudlab did, though :p
  • Headaxe
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • September 13, 2014, 8:40 am
It's not like Mojang is poor.
What would make sense is to give everyone who buys the game and already paid money to mojang a free realm.
Considering how much it is combined with the game itself, Realms is nearly adding an "ingame shop" to Minecraft.

I would love Realms if it was free but paying 13 bucks for it is nothing but scam.
What a crap product.
  • fadohacolu
  • Level 39
  • Artisan Architect
  • September 13, 2014, 8:57 am
Well, a free Realm per account would end up costing Mojang a LOT of money. I think everyone should get a free realm for a month, and then the monthly should cost like $5.

But you're absolutely right. At this point, it's a scam.
  • Headaxe
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • September 13, 2014, 9:39 am
They literally took down the Playstation Network with of all the PS4 Minecraft Players.
The production costs for Minecraft are uncomparable to Tripple A games.
The game had more sales than World of Warcraft.

At this point I would say that Mojang is literally swimming in Money.
  • fadohacolu
  • Level 39
  • Artisan Architect
  • September 13, 2014, 10:03 am
Whoa, I didn't hear about the Playstation Network.

Yes, you're right, Mojang is swamped in money. And Notch wants to sell Minecraft to Microsoft for 2 Billion now.
  • irritatedCat
  • Level 15
  • Journeyman Network
  • September 13, 2014, 8:06 am
Yeah, this is why I just made my own server on the Minecraft website.
  • fadohacolu
  • Level 39
  • Artisan Architect
  • September 13, 2014, 8:57 am
Smart man.
  • irritatedCat
  • Level 15
  • Journeyman Network
  • September 13, 2014, 9:02 am
:D I also forgot to diamond earlier.
  • fadohacolu
  • Level 39
  • Artisan Architect
  • September 13, 2014, 9:14 am
Hey, thanks!

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