How to Make a Minecraft Server: Step-by-Step Guide

Minecraft has turned out to be a standout amongst the most-cherished and famous computer games on the planet, having sold millions of copies (over than 121m) worldwide.
Its insane popularity is that it goes past simply being a computer game. It also provides useful tools to learn coding skills and even an open platform which can be adjusted and extended by devs. In this article, we walk you through step-by-step, how to make a Minecraft server so you can give it a shot for yourself.

how to make a minecraft server

Why Build a Server

In the event that you’re new to the brilliant and creative universe of Minecraft, it’s always easiest to just buy the game and jump in. You can go even further, however, by using Minecraft Realms to make your own Minecraft world, which is seen as a softer alternative to creating your own server.

But for those of you ready to embrace the full Minecraft experience, then getting your very own Minecraft server up and running is the way to go and will enable you to create virtually any world you want.

How to Make a Minecraft Server

Brief Disclaimer

While you don’t need to be a web developer or IT pro to set up your own Minecraft server, understand that it does require some effort and a certain level of understanding on topics like the command line and configuration of your system, network, and router.

So basically, you need to be somewhat comfortable with the network and computer concepts that are fundamental to launching a server.

Install the latest version of Java

The first step is to get the latest version of Java installed on your machine. To check what version you currently have, open the Windows Control Panel. Search under programs to find Java and then click on where it says Update Now.

Now, you’ll need to open your command prompt and type in java -version. You should be able to quickly identify the version number from there. Once you know what type of Java you have, check their website to see whether or not you have the latest version. If your version is, in fact, outdated or if it’s not installed, you can download it from their website.

For Mac users, newer versions of MacOS already come with Java, but you can check your version by going to your System Preferences and clicking on Java. The Java Control Panel should appear and it will display your version in the Update tab.

Select a location for your Minecraft server files

Before downloading their server software, select where on your PC or Mac you would like to run the server from.

When running your server for the first time, it will create some standard config files, so it’s good to have them organized in one place. This can be your Documents folder, desktop, or wherever you’d like.

Download the Minecraft server software and start it

You can download the software on their website. You’ll notice it comes with a .jar file, which is Java. Make sure it is saved in the folder from the previous step.

Once it’s downloaded, double click on the .jar file to start the server. At this point, you’ll see that several configuration files are created which need to be modified just a bit before your server is ready.

Acknowledge the End User License Agreement (EULA) and accept. It will be a eula.txt file. Open this file in any text editor tool and find where it says eula=false. You’ll need to set this equal to true.

Make certain not to skip this small step, as you won’t be able to begin your Minecraft server.

Minecraft server

If you see a “Can’t save server properties” error, try running your Minecraft server as an admin. You can do this by right-clicking the .jar file and choosing the “Run as administrator” option.

For Mac users, download the software from the same link. Open the TextEdit program and set the format to plain text before typing in the following:

cd "$(dirname "$0")"
exec java -Xms1G -Xmx1G -jar {server file name} nogui

*Replace “server file name” with the genuine server file name.

Next, you’ll need to save this file as start.command in the same folder as your .jar file. Open up your terminal and allow permissions for this new start.command file so you can run it.

Type into your terminal chmod a+x with a space after it. Grab this file and drop it into the terminal window and press enter.

Allow for port forwarding on your router

If you only plan on hosting the server for players on your local network, you don’t need to worry about this step. If, on the other hand, you would like to make your server accessible by anyone in the world, you will need to enable port forwarding on your router.

Refer to your specific router’s documentation for precise instructions on how to configure port forwarding on your machine. For Minecraft, you will need to forward TCP port 25565.

It will also be necessary for you to enter your server’s local IP address as the Server IP or Output IP to enable port forwarding. You can find your server’s local IP by opening the command prompt or Mac terminal and typing in ipconfig.

Start your server!

This is the final step! To start up your Minecraft server, open the command prompt or Mac terminal and cd into where the Minecraft server file was installed. You can then start the server by typing in:

java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar {server file name} nogui.

Again, be sure to put the actual server file name here.

If you want to use your server’s user interface (UI), just leave out the nogui part.

For Mac users, you can start your Minecraft server by double-clicking on the start.command file from the previous step. A terminal window should then open, and you might see some error messages at first which is normal.

For both Windows and Mac users, you can check the accessibility of your server by entering your public IP address into the Minecraft Server Status Checker.

Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University, and currently reside in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new and fantastic people and events.

Leave a Comment

    • Grianna portrait Grianna
    • 2018 September 7th

    I cant download things on my computer

    • Nishit Sharma portrait Nishit Sharma
    • 2018 June 22nd

    When starting my server I put in the command java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar Minecraft server and it says Error: Unable to access jarfile Minecraft. (i want the gui) What do I do now?

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