Minecraft is probably the most competitive title within the game server community due to the sheer volume of its players.
This can make it very difficult for a new player to choose a provider when they have so many options to choose from and don’t know what they should be considering when making their choice.
The Main Things To Look For
What hosting company features should you consider?
In order to help you out and make your choice much easier I have highlighted my key features to consider when choosing a Minecraft server hosting provider.
Is server support included in the initial price or will you have to pay extra per month or per support item?
If you’re new to server hosting many Minecraft hosts will offer you additional support in which they will add plugins and prioritise your experience. This often means that they will offer you a very low starting package price but will add a lot more money to it as you choose to upgrade your service. It’s a shame that hosts will choose to use this underhanded tactic to sell you a server but it happens a lot.
In my opinion support should be included with package prices so you’re not surprised by hidden costs in future.
An excellent host should included the following:
- 24/7 Support – 365 days a year.
- Live chat or quick response email.
- Mod and Plugin support included in initial price.
- Backup and server migration options.
- Friendly and Knowledgeable staff.
- A quick response to support tickets.
These are the six minimum requirements I always look for when choosing and staying with a provider. If they are unable to offer all six of these requirements I would choose to avoid them and find another host who can promise to provide these services at a high standard.
If you’re looking for the cheapest guaranteed server that includes all of the six points above check out the homepage where I have listed the most reliable and cheapest hosting companies I have used and reviewed.
Money back guarantee
With over 100 million monthly Minecraft players it’s no surprise that there are hundreds of hosting companies all offering the same service.
So what happens if the provider you choose doesn’t meet your expectations? Luckily around 85% of Minecraft server hosts offer a no-fuss money back guarantee within the first 24 hours and some even offer an extended refund of up to 7 days or more.
It’s always best to check the company’s website or talk to the support staff to find out what refund they would be willing to offer and how long you have to make a claim.
A $5 or $10 server may not seem like a lot of money to lose but if a host isn’t giving you a top quality service than you are well within your rights to demand your money back and spend it on a better service.
To date I have seen and reviewed over a hundred Minecraft providers and have witnessed the rise and fall of many hosting companies over the last 10 years.
As Minecraft is such a huge game with so many players it’s no wonder there are loads of both good and bad server providers, but how does a new play figure out which one to choose? Well this is where customer reviews play a huge part in choosing the right server for you.
Before making a purchase it’s always worth checking multiple feedback sources. Sites like TrustPilot and Google Reviews are a good place to check how a company performs but there are also community forums and threads that are often a lot more honest.
There are hundreds of Minecraft forums and websites that have “server hosting” threads that allow companies to post their adverts and players to rate their service. I would always take into consideration the player that is posting the review.
Is the account new or do they have some presence on the website. New accounts can often be hosts posting positive feedback about themselves so keep this in mind when reading overly positive reviews by a new account that was started a few days ago.
Minecraft servers can be hosted all over the world and you can easily find a server location that best meets your requirements.
If you want to get the best performance from your Minecraft server then it’s advised that you choose a location that is closest to you and your friends. For example if a group of friends live in New York but they have one friend who will be connecting to the server from Miami they could either choose a location that is split between the players or choose to host the server nearest to the larger group.
Hosting your server nearer the large group will give the larger number of people on the server better connectivity where the player in Miami may suffer slightly due to the distance. However choosing centrally can equally split the distance between all players.
As long as you choose a location that is within your country and the players that connect to your server are in the same country you shouldn’t really have any problems. The problems start to occur when you are hosting a server internationally.
When choosing your actual package you will need to be aware of how much RAM your server is allocated and the CPU and Hard Drive capacity.
In order to improve your understanding of the Minecraft server specifications I have highlighted the key areas below.
RAM is the most important part of Minecraft when it comes to player allocation. The more ram you have the more players you can host on a server.
Typically most starting packaged will offer between 500MB and 1GB of ram. This will allow up to 10 players to join your server without having any noticeable issues.
A starter package can cost as little as $5 and is the perfect way to start a casual game of Minecraft however you will not be able to add any mods to a server of this size because of the ram cap.
If you would like to rent a modded server it’s usually sensible to rent a server with at least 2 – 4GB of RAM. Mods require a lot of RAM to run so the more you want to apply to the server the more ram you will need to rent.
Try to figure out how many players you want to host on your server and how many mods you want to add before ordering your service. For example a 4GB server would be great for 2 mods and 15 players. You always need to leave a little ram space as a buffer, don’t overclock it for the best results.
Minecraft demands a lot of RAM power from both the client and server in order to run a smooth game for all participants. So also make sure you have a computer that is able to cope with the settings you have set it at. If you are struggling to run the game try adjusting the settings.
Look for a company that offers higher clock speeds. Threading is very important as it will have a huge impact on your server as it starts to get bigger in size.
You will usually be given a standard amount of CPU allocation and be given the option to upgrade. If you’re new to server hosting don’t worry too much about the CPU.
Hard Drive (HDD)
If you want to run a server with a large number of players you will need to choose a host that offers SSD hard drives. Typically all hosts offer this as standard but some will use the older HDD drives which offer less speed and performance.
You can often choose to upgrade your hard drive allocation at the payment window. If you want to run a competitive server or have a massive 100 + server it’s worth considering a hard drive upgrade.
Some Minecraft hosting companies will allow you to remove player caps for an extra cost. Some companies add caps to the server to stop players from over filling and slowing down their allocated server. Though, if you are running a vanilla game you can often put more players on a server than you’re allocated.
In conclusion you should consider all of the following points I have mentioned before making your next Minecraft server purchase:
- Choose a location that best suits your players
- Check company reviews and test their services if you can.
- Consider how much RAM you will need before renting your server. The more RAM you have the more mods and players your server can host.
- Does the company offer support for mods and general help.
- Check community forums for other players feedback
- Do they offer daily backups, server migration and refunds on all their packages?
If this article has helped you identify the key features you should be considering when choosing a Minecraft server hosting company why not check out my homepages article. I have listed the best but cheapest server providers based on this article in order to make your choice as easy as possible and save you money.