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

To create a Minecraft server, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Install the latest version of Java
  2. Select a location for your Minecraft server files
  3. Download the Minecraft server software and start it
  4. Allow for port forwarding on your router
  5. Start your 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.

If you're not - there's a way you can make a Minecraft server, too. There are plenty of great Minecraft hosting providers - such as MelonCube, which will help you set everything up with no coding experience. But we'll talk about that later.

For now, let's have a look at how can you make a Minecraft server - for free, from the comfort of your own home.

1. 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 If your version is, in fact, outdated or if it’s not installed, you can download it from their website.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.

2. 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.

3. 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:

#!/bin/bash
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, drop it into the terminal window, and press enter.

4. 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

5. 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.

And that's it!

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 own server up and running is the way to go and will enable you to create virtually any world you want.

Installing any mods you want, playing by any rules you want, and controlling every aspect of gameplay is something that can only be reached by doing things yourself. This is why it is important to know how to make a Minecraft server!

Making your own server vs. buying Minecraft hosting

But of course,  as I mentioned previously, making a Minecraft server doesn't have to be so complicated. In the steps mentioned above, there are two main problems which may be putting some of you off from starting.

That's difficult technical process and the fact your server will be down whenever your computer is.

A difficult technical process is obvious - without having at least some knowledge in command lines and processes in the terminal, you may get lost very quickly. If all you want is play Minecraft with your friends, that's just too much!

Another issue is that whenever your computer is off, people won't be able to login to your server. After all, your computer and your router are what keeps this server going. So you have to keep then on 24/7 in order for things to work. That is simply not possible!

Eventually, your server will have to stop working.

how to make a minescraft server

This is why in many cases, Minecraft hosting is a great option. Instead of making everything on your computer, you can trust professionals with worldwide servers to keep your Minecraft project going.

Setting everything up will be much easier, you'll have a team of experts to help you, and the server will work even if your computer isn't on. And all of that is really inexpensive - for example, in VAHosting, plans start at just $1 a month.

best minecraft hosting vahosting

Conclusion

Well, by now, you should have your preferred idea of how you want to make your Minecraft server. You can do this right here, right now - by simply doing some work on your computer. But if that doesn't interest you, you may always use the help of Minecraft hosting. This way, you'll get an increased ease of use and accessibility, but have to pay a little bit.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Hope this guide on how to make Minecraft server has been helpful. What is your preferred way of making one? Let me know in the comments below.

Paul joined the Hosting.Review team right from the start as a content writer and marketer. He was the person responsible for establishing a trademark for in-depth web hosting evaluation and superb review articles. Before joining Hosting.Review, Paul was working on various projects as a freelancer. Paul spends his free time reading fantasy books and graphic novels.
Leave a Comment

  1. KidePlace.com picture KidePlace.com
    2019 September 5th
    Reply

    This tutorial will show you how to install Minecraft server on Windows 10 and will also allow you to connect to the server if you re playing Minecraft on Windows 10.

  2. Gaiaalexf picture Gaiaalexf
    2019 September 3rd
    Reply

    What if I want a portable server on a thumbdrive? the ip address would change.

  3. Christian picture Christian
    2019 August 12th
    Reply

    How do I join my own server? Also, how could my friends join? Do I give them my public ip address or the ip i put in server properties?

  4. PT picture PT
    2019 August 11th
    Reply

    Im having trouble on the last step. What doing mean name of server file? Also do i just copy and paste the code u wanted me to write and just put in the server name file? And where do i type this code? And how do i get my server ip?

  5. Volff picture Volff
    2019 June 14th
    Reply

    What if I want to run it on a defriend port?

  6. Dawson Joseph picture Dawson Joseph
    2019 June 9th
    Reply

    In the last step what do you mean cd into?

    1. Mike B picture Mike B
      2019 June 11th
      Reply

      CD in command prompt means change directory. Generally, when you are opening a Command prompt window, it will put it in C:/Users/{Username of person on computer} so, i have my minecraft server folder on my desktop, so i type the commands:
      cd Desktop
      cd Minecraft Server

      From there. I run java -Xmx4096M -Xms4096M -jar {server file name} nogui

      Hope this helps everyone with this issue!

      ~Mike

  7. Ben picture Ben
    2019 June 4th
    Reply

    On a Mac, once that java jar process is running and the server is up, how can I send commands to that server process from another bash script?

  8. flip picture flip
    2019 June 2nd
    Reply

    hmmm nicely done it really good

  9. Goofy picture Goofy
    2019 April 1st
    Reply

    Do the java string, command prompt just says Unable to access jarfile.
    The name of the server is just server.jar
    I did cd to change the command prompt’s directory so it’s in the right place.

  10. Dylan picture Dylan
    2019 February 10th
    Reply

    i am trying to start a server but i already created a world and i am trying to use the world that i have because im already a good bit into it. is there any way that i can use the world instead of creating a new one?

    1. Jake picture Jake
      2019 March 19th
      Reply

      Yes, there will be a world file in the server folder just replace that one with your world. Or in the config folder it will ask for what world name, and you can place your world folder and change the world name in the config to match.

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