New players will often struggle with setting up their own Minecraft server and will just use the built in “world generation” that will create a server using their computer.
This is great for new players and offers an easy way for players to jump into the game as soon as they have purchased it.
However many players quickly outgrow this system and decide they would like to expand.
The 3 Main Minecraft Server Hosting Options
There are three options players can explore including Minecraft Realms, shared hosting and a dedicated server.
Minecraft Realms is the official Minecraft server provider that gives players the option to own their own server for a small monthly fee. The current monthly price for a realm server is $7.99 per month.
This $11 per month will give you a server that can host up to 11 players at one time.
Realms is a great option for newer players and is considered a little easier than using a shared or dedicated server however it can be very limited.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using a Realm Server:
- Very easy for new users to understand.
- Hosted by the official Minecraft server providers.
- Easy to use control panel.
- Great for casual players.
- Good for small worlds.
- Can only host up to 11 players at one time.
- You have to pay extra for official Minecraft mods.
- Realms Plus charges you for extra content.
- Limited access to the control panel and config files.
- Very limited for players wanting to run a large server.
- Can’t use unofficial mods.
If you’re new and you want to avoid the more complicated side of server hosting than Minecraft Realms is a great option for you.
You can quickly set up a world and play with up to 11 friends which is ideal for casual gamer’s. However If you looking to create a larger more in depth world with free community mods and the ability to adjust the settings and files, you will need to consider renting a shared hosting package from a third party hosting company.
Shared Third Party Hosting
Shared hosting is the option that 80% of Minecraft players tend to choose as it offers a lot more freedom than realms does and is a lot cheaper than using a dedicated server.
Shared Minecraft server hosting will allow you to set up your server and have full access to the inner workings of your server via Multicraft or a custom control panel. From here you are able to add mods, set player roles, change the config and settings.
Having more control over the server allows you to create a world for you and your players that is more tailored to your preferred experience.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using shared server hosting:
- Basic hosting is very cheap and even larger servers can be a lot cheaper than dedicated servers.
- You can choose the amount of RAM you want to pay for.
- All Minecraft mods can be added to the shared server.
- You will get support from the hosting provider 24/7.
- Most hosts have guides that will teach you how to use your server.
- Servers are set up and live within 10 minutes.
- Not much technical knowledge is required.
- You will need to learn some basic control panel skills.
- Can only run one world per monthly payment.
Overall, shared hosting has a lot more advantages than disadvantages as it gives you a lot of freedom to do what you want with your server.
It’s recommended that players looking to create a server between 10 – 200 players use a shared server as this is the cheapest option.
Third party providers start Minecraft server hosting packages from just $5 per month and you can find the cheapest most reliable shared hosts on my homepage article.
Dedicated Server Hosting
If you’re looking to get the most out of your Minecraft server and want to run a world for 100 – 500 + players a dedicated server is a great choice.
A dedicated server will allow you to start your service from scratch on a completely blank server. This means you will have to upload all of the Minecraft server files and manage all of the technical aspects of server hosting.
If you have server knowledge or have been using shared hosting in the past this is the next step.
A dedicated server is not beginner friendly at all so it’s really not advised that new players rent this service.
It’s extremely expensive in comparison to shared hosting and you will not receive any support from the provider in terms of server set up.
Here are the main advantages and disadvantage of owning a dedicated server:
- Full access to the server (Nothing is off limits).
- Can easily upgrade your core server and it’s resources.
- Host huge amounts of players on a world
- Run multiple worlds on one server at the same time.
- Add mods.
- Customise every detail of your world.
- Very expensive compared to the other 2 options.
- Requires a lot of technical server knowledge.
- Not Beginner Friendly.
- Limited Support for Minecraft.
- Will need to set everything up yourself.
A dedicated server has many advantages for advanced players but will be a very steep learning curve for new players that have never used a server before.
If you’re a new player looking for a server I would suggest avoiding a dedicated server as I know first hand how difficult it is to set one up. Stick to shared hosting instead.
In conclusion there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to each option but here is a quick summary to help you finalize your choice:
Beginners – If you’re completely new to server hosting make your life easy by choosing Minecraft Realms or shared hosting. Both options are low cost and are relatively easy to manage.
Intermediate – If you have some server hosting knowledge or have been playing Minecraft for a while then a shared host is definitely the best choice. It’s great for small communities that want to add a few mods and customize the settings. You will also have access to support from knowledgeable server staff.
Advanced – If you have a lot of experience with server hosting and have already used a shared host the next step is to rent a dedicated server. It will cost more but the added features make up for the price in the long run. Dedicated servers are great for huge communities and professional players.