So you’re thinking of running your own Minecraft server? You have most probably played on a public server in the past and experienced what is achievable. Minecraft really opens up and becomes something amazing when you chuck in the element of other real human players.
There are of course some downsides and risks involved in creating your own Minecraft server. Inviting real people into your private game can be a recipe for disaster but if you prepare for the worst you should be on the safe side.
When you have your own private Minecraft server you have total control over everything.
What you (and the other people you make admin) says, goes. You can set your own rules, manage who can join and decide which mods will be running.
Vanilla Minecraft is pretty much dead nowadays so your visiting players almost expect you to be running at least a few plugins.
You should definitely be running at least these mods though, for security and player management:
- Vault – an important plugin that provides a lot of admin functions for keeping track of other plugins and the economy on your server
- bPermissions – manages your admins rights on the server with various levels available
- EssentialsX – provides a lot of server management tools that should have really been included as standard with Minecraft
- WorldEdit – if you have ever tried making mass changes to the landscape in Minecraft you know well enough that it can take serious time! This plugin simplifies this process
The best Minecraft servers have a theme or have a portal system that takes you to themed areas. Try to think of something for your server to be based around, ideas like:
- A battle royal server where players must fight and survive to live the longest amount of time
- An industrial server with complex factory and economy systems in place
- A server where each player gets a plot and must create a building that collectively comes together as a cityscape
- A film themed server, like a Harry Potter server or Dr. Who server. Be careful about copyright issues though!
Some game server owners make money from the game, through a variety of methods such as:
Selling In-Game Items
Using platforms such as Enjin and Tebex you can sell in-game items to the inhabitants of your server. All you have to do is create the items or get a graphics designer to create them for you then list them on your shop. While your visitors are playing you can then advertise the shop using the in-game chat funneling them through to make you money. You can only sell skinned in-game items, they can’t be any better than the traditional items that come with Minecraft, so a better pickaxe that costs money is not allowed.
Ask For Donations
This is a simple one, simply advertise your PayPal email address and ask people to help fund your server. Visitors who enjoy themselves will be worried that you will stop paying for the server and hope that a simple donation will keep the fun going.
Advertise Other Servers In Yours
This is a bit more complex but if you can find premium servers (servers that make a lot of money per visitor/player) that are willing to pay to steal players away from you it can help pay the bills. The downside to this is that your player count will drop.
Monetize Your Discord
If you have a Discord server with a decent sized audience then you can make easy free income from it. DiscordAdvertiser acts as the middleman between you and advertiser who are willing to pay to send messages to your chat room.
Charge For Access
You are allowed to charge access to your Minecraft as long as the price is the same for all players (rules set by Microsoft, the owners of Minecraft).
The Price Has Come Down Over The Years
As competition has grown fierce over the years, Minecraft server hosting companies have had to drop their prices. This is great news for the players of MC and is most evident when you compare the prices on sites like CompareGameHosting.
The process of buying a Minecraft server has also been simplified. Most of the providers found on CompareGameHosting now only need basic details from you to get you set up. You can even give them the plugin framework you typically play on (Spiggot or Bukkit for example) and they will set that up for you on installation and optimize for speed.
Managing a Minecraft server is now also dead easy. Most providers use specialized control panels like Multicraft that have everything you need to set up and maintain your server. You just sign into a web-based control panel and follow the on-screen advice to change admins, maps, plugins or any other aspect of your Minecraft server.