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Best Minecraft server hosting: cheap & easy or DIY?

Minecraft server hosting

In this article, I’m going to cover the best Minecraft server hosting providers in the market as well as what to consider when choosing a host. 

I have been quite busy in the past few years. I have redesigned and remodeled my house. Built a roller coaster, a train, and a waterfall. Oh, I have also waged a war, swam in lava, killed creepers, protected villages, and destroyed villages. 

Right, before you call 911 on me or try to have me committed to a mental institution, I should probably mention something. I did all this in Minecraft. 

And Minecraft just doesn’t seem to lose popularity. In the game, you explore a block-like 3-dimensional world. And, you can create, change, and destroy this entire world. As many put it, it’s not unlike a virtual Lego. 

You can absolutely play Minecraft alone. But, really, its multiplayer mode is where most of the fun is at. Here, you can engage with other users. To enable a multiplayer game, you have 4 options: playing on a Local Area Network (LAN), Minecraft Realms, split-screen, or online server.

My personal favorite is the online server, as it allows me to build the entire environment from the ground up and to create my own community. But, for this, you’ll usually need to rent a server from a hosting company. 

But not all services are cut equal. 

That’s why I have purchased a plan from each of the providers that either offer Minecraft server hosting plans or can support the game. Then, after close observation, rigorous testing, and brutal elimination, I have shortlisted a few top picks. So, in this article, you’ll find a list of the best Minecraft server hosting providers out there. 

Minecraft-exclusive hosting: best providers

Apex, Shockbyte, and BisectHosting are all gaming and Minecraft-specific hosting services. They have more game-specific panels and tools and go against classic web hosting providers such as HostGator, Liquid Web, and DreamHost. But is it really worth it?

Minecraft-exclusive hosting has a bunch of perks such as gaming control panels, easier launch, and Minecraft-specific configurations. Also, customer support is more likely to help with game-related issues.

This enables even complete beginners to host private Minecraft servers.

At the same time, some cons are involved: often, a cheap shared hosting infrastructure is used resulting in constant lagging and poor reliability. Some providers are also limited when it comes to hosting expertise.

For smaller groups – up to 20 players, that’s completely fine. Meanwhile, high-end plans tend to get more expensive and the lack of reliability becomes more frustrating. Yet, if you need a cheap option to test the waters out, some of the best Minecraft server hosting providers include:

  • Apex – perhaps the most popular option with the prices starting at $4.49/mo. It supports both Minecraft Java and Bedrock editions. Additionally, DDoS protection and automated backups are included. It’s a pretty secure and reliable platform for small groups.
  • Shockbyte is among the cheapest options starting at $2.50/mo. It offers instant launch, 100% uptime agreement, and 24/7 customer support. By the way, all modpacks are available. Just keep in mind that the scalability is pretty limited, so it’s the best option for beginners.
  • BisectHosting specializes in Minecraft with prices starting at $2.99/mo. Budget packages include DDoS protection, Multicraft control panel, and instant setup. Premium packages add free modpacks installation and updates, daily backups, and more server locations. Again, scalability tends to be limited.

There’s definitely a lot of choices there, so testing out and seeing what suits your needs best is advised. After all, these all-in-one Minecraft services are easily launched and have free trials.

However, if you’re serious about Minecraft, DIY on classic hosting plans might be the best option.

Best Minecraft server hosting: ranked

  1. Hostinger – best modded Minecraft server hosting
  2. Liquid Web – best enterprise-grade hosting for Minecraft 
  3. ScalaHosting – affordable managed VPS for Minecraft
  4. HostGator – reliable Minecraft hosting with generous resources
  5. DreamHost – beginner-friendly scalable hosting for Minecraft

I picked the most reliable hosting providers overall. If you’d like to know the specifics when it comes to choosing one – jump to the end of this article.

1. Hostinger

Hostinger
Price$8.95/mo
FeaturesMinecraft VPS, control panel, mods and plugins, Multicraft
Uptime100%
Best forEasy and affordable modded Minecraft server hosting

An increasingly popular name in the hosting world, Hostinger offers remarkably cheap Minecraft server hosting. It’s also the only provider on this list that has a specific Minecraft server hosting option. Besides that, Hostinger features an intuitive control panel, excellent performance, a huge selection of server locations, and great support. 

Hostinger tops my list of best Minecraft server hosting providers for a few reasons. For starters, you won’t find all that many classic providers that offer plans specifically designed for Minecraft hosting. And, to think that Hostinger offers these plans at such affordable prices, too. 

So what exactly is in the package?

  • Hostinger’s Minecraft plans utilize specifically configured VPS servers that come with an instant setup. So, you can be up and running as soon as you have purchased a plan. 
  • Plus, Hostinger’s Minecraft hosting servers are located across 5 global locations: US, UK, Netherlands, Singapore, and Lithuania. This should ensure the lowest possible latency for your community. 
  • The servers come with 99.99% uptime SLA and off-site backups. This means that there’ll be minimal downtime, and you’ll be able to rewind the server to a previous version if that’s needed.
  • Additionally, Hostinger’s Minecraft server runs on the advanced version of Multicraft. With this powerful control panel, you can manage almost every aspect of your server with just a couple of clicks. This includes mod packs and plugins installation, password changes, and backups.
  • Of course, I must also touch on Hostinger’s customer support. The provider offers a variety of support options. This includes 24/7 live chat, email, and ticket. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide support via the phone. That said, Hostinger’s support is exemplary. Its agents are skilled and ready to help you with your problems. Besides that, there are scores of handy tutorials and knowledgebase articles available, too. 

The fact that Hostinger offers a separate Minecraft hosting service earns it a huge plus. At the same time, the service is not just good on paper – it’s nice to use as well.

Hostinger Minecraft hosting pricing

Hostinger offers 5 affordable Minecraft server hosting plans: Alex ($8.95/month), Villager ($12.95/month), Creeper ($15.95/month), Herobrine ($23.95/month), and Enderman ($29.95/month).

Hostinger Minecraft hosting prices

All of Hostinger’s Minecraft hosting plans include 99.99% uptime SLA, full root access, DDoS protection, partnership program, and automatic off-site backups.

  • Alex comes with 2GB of memory and 2 CPUs. According to Hostinger, it can accommodate up to 70 players. But, frankly, I think that’s a bit too optimistic. That said, it’s great for those new to Minecraft hosting.
  • Villager has 3GB of memory, 3 CPUs and is recommended for up to 100 players. 
  • Creeper offers 4GB of memory, 4 CPUs, and no limitation on the number of players. 
  • Herobrine brings 6GB of memory, 6 CPUs, and, again, no limit on players.
  • Enderman improves on Herobrine with 8GB of memory and 8 CPUs. Perfect for those who are taking Minecraft hosting more seriously. 

Bear in mind, though, that Hostinger’s cheapest pricing is only available if you sign up for 48 months. This is not as budget-friendly as you have to pay up-front, but the overall cost is among the cheapest.

If you find that Hostinger isn’t for you, there’s a 30-day money-back term for hosting plans. However, certain add-ons and payments via cryptocurrencies, tokens, or digital assets are non-refundable. 

Best Value

Ultimately, Hostinger is one of the cheapest Minecraft hosting providers around. Depending on how big you plan your community to be, all plans look really good.
Check Hostinger Pricing Now

Hostinger performance

To see the quality of Hostinger’s servers, I checked the server uptime. It’s the crucial metric for Minecraft hosting – if the server is down, you cannot play. Meanwhile, other performance metrics are mostly affected by the server location, which is not fair to compare as your players can be anywhere in the world.

And the provider did impress. Hostinger kept its server online 100% of the time. 

Hostinger VPS uptime and response time

Keep in mind that Hostinger has a 99.99% uptime guarantee on its Minecraft servers. This means that weekly, you can expect just 1 minute of downtime. 

More to add, Hostinger has Minecraft servers in the US, Europe, and Singapore. This means that you can choose the one that’s closest to your players – reduced latency means a smoother experience.

Shortly, Hostinger has exceptional performance for the price. Plus, flexibility in terms of data center location is very nice.

In all, Hostinger is the best Minecraft server hosting option if you’re looking for an affordable and scalable provider. The plans are specifically designed for Minecraft so even less experienced players could set up their own servers.

Pros

  • Service tailored for Minecraft
  • Servers in 3 continents
  • Affordable plans for big and small groups
  • 99.99% uptime guarantee

Cons

  • Support is not Minecraft-specific
  • Scalability is limited

2. Liquid Web

Liquid Web
Price$15/mo
FeaturesManaged VPS, control panel, tutorials, 100% SLA
Uptime100%
Best forPremium Minecraft servers for monetization

Liquid Web is another powerful entry on this list of the best Minecraft hosting providers. The host mainly specializes in providing enterprise-grade hosting services. But, while it doesn’t have a Minecraft-specific solution, its cloud-based VPS plans would do nicely for those looking for advanced Minecraft hosting.

The powerful features of Liquid Web make it one of the best options if you want to make a business out of your Minecraft server. At the same time, it’s not a service that you’ll launch in a couple of clicks, so it’s best reserved for advance use. 

So, what are the plans offering?

  • Your game will be hosted on powerful VPS servers with SSD drives and 100% network SLA. What this means is that Liquid Web takes full responsibility for the server’s availability – there should be no interruptions, or you’ll be compensated.
  • DDoS protection and firewall are built-in, so there’s no need to worry about security issues.
  • Customer support is 24/7 via live chat, phone, and email. It’s guaranteed that agents will respond to you in 59 seconds via live chat and phone. 59 minutes response time is reserved for ticket submissions. This is pretty exceptional, meaning that instant help is guaranteed and not just a courtesy. Just bear in mind that the provider doesn’t specialize in Minecraft. Hence, its agents might not be able to provide the Minecraft-specific help that you need, such as mod packs and plugins installation. 
  • You’ll find a guide on how to set up a Minecraft server on Liquid Web in the knowledge base too.

To put it briefly, Liquid Web is for those that take Minecraft seriously – you’ll be in total control of the server with some help from the provider. It’s an advanced solution for scaling and even monetizing your gameplay.

Liquid Web Minecraft hosting pricing

Liquid Web has 4 configurable VPS hosting options with a big introductory discount. The plans start at $15/mo and can be scaled as needed.

Liquid Web managed VPS pricing

Each plan includes 10TB of bandwidth, server security (monitoring, DDoS protection, firewall), SSD drives, and InterWorx control panel. Servers can be easily scaled:

  • $15/mo will get you a 2GB RAM server with 2 CPUs.
  • $25/mo provides 4GB RAM and 4 CPUs server.
  • $35/mo gets you 8GB RAM and 8 CPUs hardware.
  • $95/mo will get you 16GB RAM and 8 CPUs server.

Additionally, you can get 100GB backup storage, extra security, and professional email for $5-$20/mo depending on the plan.

Keep in mind that introductory prices are just for the first term. Also, Liquid Web doesn’t have an official refund policy. It’s the courtesy of billing team to refund (or not) for the unused time of the service.

Best Value

You’ll get the best value by choosing a plan that suits your needs with a 2-year subscription. This way, you get the introductory discount for the longest possible term.
Check Liquid Web Pricing Now

Liquid Web performance

Liquid Web has a 100% uptime guarantee that’s backed by a written Service-Level Agreement. That’s the strongest safeguard for your server’s reliability – if the provider cannot keep the server up, you get compensated.

The provider delivered what it promised. During the monitoring period, there were 0 outages. In other words – a perfect 100% uptime. 

Liquid Web uptime and response time

Keep in mind that Liquid Web will have a couple of minutes of downtime yearly – servers require maintenance/reboots occasionally. However, it surely is among the most reliable options you can get.

Another thing is, you can choose a server from the US and Europe locations. So think about where your players are located to improve latency and gaming experience for them.

Performance matters considered, Liquid Web is definitely the best option. That’s thanks to the guaranteed uptime.

All in all, if you’re looking to monetize your Minecraft server and offer it to hundreds or even thousands of users – Liquid Web is the right choice.

Pros

  • High server reliability
  • Servers in the US and Europe
  • Pre-launched servers with custom configurations
  • Fast and professional customer support

Cons

  • Premium-level prices
  • Service is not Minecraft-specific

3. ScalaHosting

ScalaHosting
Price$9.95/mo
FeaturesManaged VPS, control panel, backups, server security
Uptime100%
Best forAffordable VPS for custom Minecraft hosting

ScalaHosting is not the best-known option on the list, but it sure has powerful plans for Minecraft hosting. The provider offers affordable managed VPS that can easily support small and medium Minecraft communities.

While ScalaHosting does not offer Minecraft-specific hosting, it does support it. Plus, hosted on managed servers, it’s not difficult to set up. Still, the affordable VPS options are best reserved for those who are willing to do some configurations on their own.

This is what you get included in the plans:

  • Full powerful VPS server management – the server will be launched for you with chosen software configurations. This makes it really easy to get started. Plus, the technical side can be left to the provider.
  • Strong server security – ScalaHosting has a custom solution that protects from bots, DDoS, and other vulnerabilities. 
  • Control panel is included – you don’t have to configure everything just through a command-line interface as ScalaHosting includes a custom control panel called SPanel. It’s very functional; just keep in mind that you’ll need to install Minecraft-specific modules on your own. 

On the simplistic side, ScalaHosting still earns my recommendation as one of the best Minecraft server hosts. It’s affordable, uncomplicated, and overall a good entry point for hosting your Minecraft.

ScalaHosting Minecraft hosting prices

It’s best to use ScalaHosting managed VPS plans for Minecraft server hosting. Affordably, they start at $9.95/mo and can be scaled to $800+/mo if needed.

ScalaHosting managed VPS hosting price and options

Each plan comes with the basics: SPanel control panel, server security package, unmetered bandwidth, and even a free domain if you’d like to create a website to advertise your server.

However, plans can be easily scaled depending on what resources you need.

  • The cheapest $9.95/mo plan gets you 2GB RAM and 1 CPU. That’s a server for playing with a group of friends.
  • The most expensive option (with minimal storage) can be scaled to 128GB RAM and 24 CPUs for $415.95/mo. That’s the option for serious gameplay – thousands of users can play on this server, which is ideal for monetization.

Honestly, these are very good prices for the hardware that you get. Plus, you get a 30-day money-back term to test out the platform and see if it’s enough for your needs.

Best Value

Choose a plan that suits your needs. 1GB RAM should be good for around 24 players. Just keep in mind that the longer billing period will postpone a higher renewal.
Check ScalaHosting Pricing Now

ScalaHosting performance

ScalaHosting doesn’t have impressive guarantees. But as far as my experience goes, it under-promises and over-delivers.

During the monitoring period, ScalaHosting stayed up at all times. That’s 0 outages and a 100% uptime result.

Scala Hosting uptime and response time

At the same time, ScalaHosting has a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which translates to 10 minutes of weekly downtime. That’s the industry standard which is… A bit too low for my liking.

Now, let’s discuss the server locations. 

ScalaHosting has its private data centers in the US and Europe. However, you can ask them to set up a server from DigitalOcean or AWS, which both have servers all across the world. So if you need the most flexible server location choice, Scala Hosting is your guy.

So what can we tell about Scala’s performance? It’s good in practice. In theory, ScalaHosting underpromises.

Altogether, ScalaHosting is an affordable managed VPS option for Minecraft hosting. It’s a reliable and very flexible provider.

Pros

  • Affordable scaling options
  • Flexible server choice
  • Strong server security

Cons

  • Not Minecraft-specific service
  • Requires tech know-how

4. HostGator

HostGator
Price$19.95/mo
FeaturesVPS and dedicated hosting, server management, control panel, DDoS protection
Uptime100%
Best forPowerful dedicated servers for Minecraft communities

HostGator is a familiar name in web hosting. Although it doesn’t have a Minecraft-specific solution, its VPS and dedicated hosting plans are powerful enough to handle the game. Besides that, there are some very attractive features offered, too. Plus, you can easily scale up to meet the demand of your Minecraft server. 

The provider mainly recommends using its dedicated servers for gaming needs. At the same time, for communities of up to 20-30 players, VPS will do just fine.

No matter what you choose, the features are good:

  • You get full control over your server – root access and custom software configurations are included with both VPS and dedicated hosting.
  • Strong security – weekly backups, server monitoring, IP-based firewall, and centralized DDoS protection are included.
  • Apart from that, HostGator has a handy guide on running a Minecraft server on either its VPS or dedicated server. The guide does a pretty good job of explaining the basics of Minecraft, such as memory usage and CPU usage. It also has a chart showing the level of server recommended based on the number of players you want to host. 

HostGator does have a warning that excessive resource usage on VPS might get you banned, although that’s a rare case for smaller player groups. At the same time, keep in mind the resource usage as you go. 

HostGator Minecraft hosting pricing

Both HostGator’s VPS and dedicated plans are among the cheapest in the industry: VPS starts at $19.95/mo with a control panel, while dedicated servers start at $89.98/mo.

All VPS plans include security features, 2 dedicated IP addresses, and SSD drives.

HostGator VPS hosting prices
  • The cheapest plan is $19.95/mo with 2GB RAM and 2 CPUs. 
  • The most expensive plan is $39.95/mo with 8GB RAM and 4 CPUs.

Dedicated hosting is more generous. All plans will get you 3 dedicated IPs, cPanel, and server security.

HostGator dedicated hosting prices
  • The cheapest plan for $89.98/mo includes a 4 CPU/8 thread server with 8GB RAM. 
  • The most expensive plan for $139.99/mo comes with an 8 CPU/16 thread server with 30GB RAM.

HostGator VPS plans are pretty standard, while dedicated hosting is pretty cheap. So if you want a full server for yourself – it’s among the best deals.

Additionally, you can cancel the plans in 45 days to get a full refund – a lengthier than the usual trial period.

Best Value

For around 47 players, HostGator recommends the cheapest, Value, dedicated server. And I have to agree – it's a good option for the price.
Check HostGator Pricing Now

HostGator performance

HostGator, similarly to ScalaHosting, doesn’t have high promises. But it does deliver results that are on par with other providers on this list.

The provider scored 100% uptime even though it only has a 99.9% standard guarantee.

HostGator VPS server response time and uptime

So the guarantee tells us that some downtime is to be expected. At the same time, results show that if there’s any downtime, it won’t be a regular thing. When it comes to gaming, it’s better to have one bigger outage than the annoying 1-minute micro downtimes that ruin the experience.

One last thing about the performance is that you don’t get to choose the server location. All HostGator’s data centers are in the US, so it’s best for North America-based gaming communities.

If you’re looking for a powerful dedicated server to host Minecraft, HostGator is the one for you. You can have a whole server to yourself quite affordably. 

Pros

  • Good value dedicated server plans
  • Knowledge base tutorials for Minecraft
  • Control panel included

Cons

  • VPS is not recommended for Minecraft
  • Servers in the US only

5. DreamHost

DreamHost
Price$10/mo
FeaturesCloud computing, control panel, dedicated and VPS plans
Uptime100%
Best forConfigurable Minecraft servers for monetization

DreamHost is well-known for its WordPress and shared hosting plans. But, the provider also has great solutions for Minecraft server hosting: VPS and dedicated server hosting. In any case, both are fully managed and come with great tools/functionalities to enhance your Minecraft hosting experience.

DreamHost mostly recommends the dedicated servers for Minecraft, but smaller groups can make use of VPS as well. At the same time, it’s best if you take advantage of DreamCompute, which is a Cloud computing platform created by DreamHost. This allows you easy remote access to your server instance and easy scalability.

So, what makes DreamHost special?

  • For starters, DreamHost’s fully-managed VPS and dedicated plans use DreamHost’s custom control panel. The panel is easy to use and powerful. So, rather than spending a huge amount of trying to navigate your server, you can focus your attention on killing creepers instead.
  • At the same time, DreamHost’s dedicated servers are powered by DreamCompute. This is the provider’s cloud computing platform. It’s a graphic Cloud-based server management interface. Here, you’ll find various tools and functionalities you need to run your Minecraft server and to enhance the hosting experience.
  • Additionally, DreamHost has a 100% uptime guarantee and includes security features such as DDoS protection, monitoring, and firewalls.
  • Last but not least, DreamHost has tutorials on how to set up Minecraft on its platform in the knowledge base.

As you might have guessed by now, DreamHost is also not a Minecraft-specific hosting service. At the same time, it provides powerful servers that will allow you to scale your game to the next level as well as monetize.

DreamHost Minecraft hosting pricing

For Minecraft hosting, you can choose DreamHost’s affordable VPS that start at $10/mo or more premium dedicated servers that start at $149/mo.

VPS plans come with managed security and performance, control panel, and unmetered bandwidth.

DreamHost VPS pricing
  • The cheapest plan is $10/mo with 1GB RAM – that’s only good for personal use.
  • The most expensive VPS is $80/mo with 8GB RAM. It’s a good option for bigger groups.

Dedicated plans all include enhanced security, a control panel, and full root access. 

DreamHost dedicated hosting prices
  • The cheapest plan is $149/mo with 4 CPUs and 4GB RAM.
  • You can scale to 12 CPUs server with 64GB RAM for $379/mo. 

I can honestly agree with DreamHost’s recommendation to use dedicated servers for gaming. Especially the more powerful ones. The prices for high-end dedicated plans are pretty good in comparison to cheaper ones or high-end VPS.

Best Value

DreamHost offers the best value for those who need powerful dedicated servers to invite hundreds or even thousands of Minecraft players. It’s a powerful option to monetize.
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DreamHost performance

DreamHost has a very good 100% uptime guarantee on all of its services. That’s exactly what it delivers.

Monitored for a couple of weeks, DreamHost was up 100% of the time.

DreamHost VPS uptime and response time

At the same time, you should take the DreamHost uptime guarantee with a grain of salt. It does usually deliver exceptional results, but if some downtime occurs, it might be difficult to get compensation.

Without going into a lot of detail, there are simply too many conditions to bother getting compensation for a couple of minutes of downtime.

But don’t let this discourage you – DreamHost is a reliable provider.

Also, it’s best suited for the US players – that’s where the servers are located. You don’t get to choose the location.

So in terms of performance, DreamHost is strong. Just don’t set too high of an expectation to get a big compensation.

All in all, if you want a modern provider with all the latest Cloud computing tools – DreamHost is for you. It’s not a Minecraft-only option, yet contemporary tools make it easy to have your own server.

Pros

  • DreamCompute Cloud platform
  • Easy scalability and configuration
  • Strong server security

Cons

  • Not Minecraft-specific service
  • VPS plans are limited

Best Minecraft server hosting: final recommendations

Everyone is trying to cash in on Minecraft hosting as it is a huge market right now. But I’m sticking to classic hosts that know how servers work. 

So, consider the resources, tools, and features you need before deciding on the best Minecraft server hosting provider for you. Here are the strengths to recap: 

  • Hostinger offers cheap, fast, and excellent Minecraft hosting plans with Minecraft control panel as well as mods and plugins installation
  • Liquid Web delivers powerful VPS plans with great customer support and performance for Minecraft hosting.  
  • ScalaHosting is an affordable way to get managed VPS hosting that is easy to scale for DYI Minecraft hosting.
  • HostGator provides good value dedicated plans capable of supporting larger Minecraft communities. VPS is available too.
  • DreamHost enhances Minecraft hosting with Cloud computing technology and powerful VPS and dedicated plans.

5 things to consider when choosing Minecraft server hosting

There are tons of options for Minecraft server hosting. Some are great, but many are not worth your time or are simply unsuitable. So, to get to the suitable ones, you need to consider a few factors first. This includes minimal server requirements, server specifications, ease of use, modpacks and plugins, and monetization.

Let’s start with the minimum server requirements.

Minimal Minecraft server requirements

Minecraft is not a huge resource eater as a game, helping us keep the costs low. However, when it comes to multiplayer and modded servers – minimal requirements should be considered nonetheless.

Here, the 3 most important resources you need to keep an eye on are: CPU, memory, and storage. It’s important that you get the minimum requirements right, as they can either make or break the success of your server. This is because these 3 resources pretty much control every aspect of performance for your Minecraft server hosting. 

Now, realistically, you can get by with pretty modest specifications when it comes to Minecraft server hosting. This is, of course, for its basic unmodified server — or, as it’s more commonly referred to, Vanilla server. 

In fact, most VPS hosting plans should be able to effortlessly handle the minimum requirements for a vanilla Minecraft server with about 10 players. The minimum resources you need are:

  • 1 CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • SSD storage

If you’re looking to take things to the next level, then you’ll, of course, need more resources. 

RAM plays a major role here. To make it generous, consider that 1GB of RAM is okay for every 20-27 players. As for plugins, 1GB of RAM is also needed for every 3 plugins. Don’t forget the CPU for a smooth gaming experience too.

So for the best modded server hosting experience and around 50 to 100 players, you would need:

  • 4 CPUs
  • 24GB RAM
  • SSD storage.

As you can see, storage is not a crucial factor here, as long as it is based on SSD drives. 

And overall, Minecraft server hosting really only requires relatively basic minimum requirements. But, you do have to ensure that the provider of your choice meets these vital requirements for a smooth gaming experience. 

Now, let’s check out what you need to consider when it comes to resources and infrastructure. 

Minecraft server specifications

As a game, Minecraft is pretty lightweight yet more demanding than your regular app. So, to ensure that your server runs as it should, you need to consider the suitability of the resources/infrastructure that the provider offers for your needs specifically. This includes latency, processor, RAM, storage, mod and plugin updates, as well as installation and setup. 

Latency

Server location plays a major role in the server performance; the closer it is to your players, the smoother everything runs. And all this boils down to the latency. 

No matter how technologically advanced we are, data needs to travel from one set of hardware (the server) to another (gamer’s computer). The longer the distance, the bigger the latency.

So, a closer server will shave off some precious milliseconds when it comes to travel time. 

Conversely, a server that is located far away from the players will likely lead to high latency (lag). There’s simply no escaping the law of physics. 

Processor

This is the brain of your Minecraft server. Here, the 2 most important things to take into account are the number of cores and clock speed. Ultimately, your aim is to reduce lagging and stuttering to improve speed. 

A processor with multiple cores will help you to achieve that. This is because multiple cores allow for the CPU to do more in the same amount of time. Essentially, dividing the work into multiple units. For example, if the first core is busy then, the instructions can be executed by the other cores. So, more cores generally equal a faster and more efficient server. 

Besides that, keep an eye out for a faster clock speed, too. A higher clock speed (more GHz) means more instructions can be executed each second. Hence, a higher clock speed usually means a faster and smoother server. 

RAM

The main resource that Minecraft will hog is RAM – it’s used to run the game. Everything from the number of players you can accommodate to the world size depends largely on the amount of RAM. So, more RAM means that you can do more with your server.

Some benchmarks to consider are these:

  • 1GB RAM is needed for every 20-27 players. 
  • 1GB RAM is needed for every 3 apps/mods.
  • A control panel also runs on RAM (from 512MB to 1GB), so consider that when calculating your needs.

Now, it’s rather difficult to have more RAM if you opt for shared hosting. The reason for this is that shared hosting requires you to share RAM with multiple accounts. And that’s not exactly ideal for Minecraft hosting.

Cloud, VPS, and dedicated servers are the best options here because they offer dedicated RAM. But, of course, exactly how much you get will depend on each provider and also the plan you go with. 

Storage

The question when it comes to storage is whether to opt for a standard hard drive or SSD. For Minecraft server hosting, you can certainly make do with a standard hard drive. But only if you absolutely have to.

Otherwise, I will tell you this: an SSD is significantly more preferable. Its high internal transfer rate makes it faster than the standard hard drive. This will greatly improve performance, and you’ll enjoy a noticeably faster server.

Also, consider if the whole hardware infrastructure is based on SSD or just the physical storage that you get.

Mod and plugin updates

Minecraft-specific hosting comes with many conveniences, including automatic updates for mods and plugins. 

If you’re a beginner, that’s the best route – less tech know-how is needed, and fewer issues will arise. At the same time, you lose some control over the game as your chosen provider might not support all mods or plugins you want.

For die-hard Minecraft fans, full control might be a better route. Having root access to the server as well as the traditional control panel will allow you to implement everything that you want. Including mods that you’ve created.

Minecraft installation and setup

If you’re a beginner, setting up a server may be difficult and intimidating. Not to mention time-consuming. This is where you want to turn to your provider. 

While there’s no one-click installation for Minecraft servers, some providers do offer instant setup. Here, the server is ready to go either minutes or even seconds after purchase. Take advantage of this handy feature, as it will save you plenty of time and migraines. 

Overall, just like all web hosting, it’s vital to confirm the server specifications. This is to ensure that the providers can meet your demand before you commit to them. 

But these resources and infrastructure will only be a headache if they are difficult to utilize. So, what do you need to consider when it comes to the ease of use of a provider? 

Ease of use

Another vital factor to consider when choosing a Minecraft server hosting is the ease of use. This covers multiple aspects, including control panel and customer support

Let’s start with the control panel. For starters, check if your plan includes a control panel. 

A control panel allows you to easily upload and edit various files. And, if it does come with a control panel, make sure the panel is easy, intuitive, and powerful. For the most part, providers usually either offer a custom panel or opt for a familiar name. 

Multicraft control panel for Minecraft server hosting

An example of a familiar control panel in Minecraft hosting is, of course, Multicraft. A powerful and easy-to-use Minecraft-only control panel, Multicraft is one of the more popular ones. It boasts Hostinger and Apex Hosting as its clients. 

Then there’s the matter of support. 

As with all hosting, you should look for a provider that offers reliable customer support. You want the support to be accessible, skilled, and efficient.

Minecraft-focused hosting providers will have knowledge about the game and its specifications. Sometimes this means that the provider will handle the installation and setup for you or, at least, assist you with it. Other times it may mean help with mod packs and plugins. This might be helpful for beginners.

However, what is more important, is the quality of server management. The host should be available 24/7 to help you out in case a problem arises. An exceptional example is Liquid Web, which has a guaranteed response time of 59 seconds if you give them a call or drop a line via live chat.

Liquid Web guaranteed customer support

If you’re one for flying solo and prefer to read up on topics instead, then you’ll need a provider with a rich knowledge base and content. That said, most, if not all, providers do offer articles on troubleshooting, guide, tips, and more. Some may even have videos and online classes. 

All in all, a host can ensure ease of use in many different ways. And, it’s important to choose a provider that prioritizes it as this can greatly enhance your Minecraft hosting experience.  

Speaking about enhancing the Minecraft experience, let’s have a look at modpacks and plugins. 

Custom gaming experience: modpacks and plugins

When you’re choosing a Minecraft hosting provider, you should also consider modpacks and plugins. They are essentially programs that enhance your Minecraft world. While often lumped together, there are significant differences between the two. And, ironically, they aren’t usually compatible. 

Mods, which run on Forge, change the game by adding new items or features. Meanwhile, mods that are grouped together to be installed as a bundle are known as modpacks. If your server has mods, the other players on your server have to have the same mods, too. Otherwise, the server will disconnect the other players. 

Plugins, on the other hand, run on CraftBukkit, Spigot, and Paper. They are used to change or enhance the existing server content. Unlike mods, plugins can only be installed on your server. What this means is that players don’t have to take any extra steps to connect to a server in order to run plugins. 

Sadly, mods and plugins are often at odds with each other. So, it’s highly unlikely that you can get the two to run simultaneously and smoothly. Nevertheless, you’ll still want a server that can manage both. Plus, you’ll also want a server that can easily switch one out for the other.  

On top of that, you may also want to consider what sort of features and tools that the providers offer in regards to mods and plugins. For example, certain providers allow their users to access one-click modpacks and plugins installers. Others may also offer free installation of modpacks and plugins. Then, there are also Minecraft hosting plans that come with things like plugin manager and one-click updates. 

All in all, it’s great that most providers recognize the importance of mods as well as plugins and offer various tools to facilitate and simplify them. Therefore, opt for a provider that offers the mods and plugins features that suit your needs.  

You know that Minecraft is fun — it’s a game, after all. But, can you make money hosting it? Well, let’s find out if you can monetize Minecraft and, if yes, how to go about it.

Monetization

Minecraft hosting can get pretty expensive pretty quickly. This is particularly so if you’re hosting a lot of players. So, you may want to consider recouping this cost by monetizing your server. Some ways you can generate revenue are by charging for access to your server, sponsorship, and in-game advertising. 

A few years ago, the only way you can make money off of Minecraft was to monetize Youtube videos featuring the game. But, in 2014, Mojang (Minecraft’s developer) released a set of strict rules for server owners/administrators if they wish to monetize the server. 

These rules are to ensure fairness amongst its players. So, anything that allows one player to have an advantage over another isn’t allowed. For a clearer picture, I have summarized and divided up some of what you can and cannot do in monetizing your Minecraft server. 

You can: 

  • Charge for access to your server. But, each player must be charged the same fee.
  • Ask for donations. However, these donations must not bring about preferential treatment.
  • Participate in sponsorship opportunities.
  • Provide in-game advertising.
  • Sell in-game cosmetic items that don’t affect gameplay. 
  • Sell ranks as long as any perks gained are cosmetic. 

You cannot: 

  • Sell in-game currency for real-life cash. 
  • Trade items that affect gameplay — including boosters and item generators.
  • Sell capes.
  • Accept donations that would provide a player more power, access, or features than other players.
  • Provide different levels of access.
  • Restrict gameplay elements to specific users. 

In brief, there’s no denying that the cost of Minecraft hosting can be rather high. You can, however, lighten the burden by monetizing your server through various methods.  

As a whole, choosing a Minecraft server hosting is significantly easier now that you know exactly what you’re looking for. Thus, seriously consider these factors before you commit to a provider.

Minecraft server hosting FAQs

How to buy a Minecraft server?

You can easily buy a Minecraft server by choosing a reliable provider that’s either Minecraft/gaming-oriented or a classic web host that allows hosting multiplayer games on its VPS and dedicated servers. Minimal requirements include 1GB RAM and 1CPU, but you better off doubling this for smoother performance.

How much does a Minecraft server cost?

The cost to host a Minecraft server depends largely on your requirements. The hosting can cost anything between less than $10.00 to thousands of dollars a month. 

Can I host a Minecraft server for free? 

Yes, you can host a Minecraft server for free. However, this is not recommended. This is because Minecraft server hosting often involves high costs associated with expensive plans, infrastructure, and maintenance. It would be far more logical to share this cost with other players. 

Do I need specific skills to host a Minecraft server?

No, you do not necessarily need specific skills to host a Minecraft server. But, it would help to have basic knowledge of hosting, server, and, of course, Minecraft itself.

Can I earn money by hosting a Minecraft server?

Yes, you can earn money by hosting a Minecraft server. There are many ways you can do so. This includes advertising, sponsorship opportunities, and charging for access.

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