Minecraft is once again exploding in popularity. Thanks to Twitch streamers and YouTube creators boosting gaming trends, the platform welcomed over 17 million active players in 2022 alone.

Some of us are now looking to take our love of the game to another level. If you want to play online with friends or gain greater control over mods and plugins, the next step is to set up your own Minecraft server. The good news is that it’s quick and probably easier than you think! Here’s how to do it…

What is a Minecraft server?

A Minecraft server is a player-owned or business-owned multiplayer gaming experience within Minecraft. On a Minecraft server, you can check out community creations, play minigames (like battle royale!), compete and collaborate with friends, or just hang out!

As a sandbox game, Minecraft is all about interacting with the in-game world and creating your own enjoyment, so it makes sense to tailor this experience to your own preferences as much as possible. This is why some more creative players choose to host and manage their own server, where they can invite friends or customise to their heart’s content.

Creating a private gaming server on Minecraft will require a bit of effort (which we’ll outline below), but it will allow you to avoid the downsides of online multiplayer gaming and put your gameplay preferences first. You’ll be able to choose who can access your server and modify the settings and gameplay mechanics to create the perfect game for you and your friends.

How to create a Minecraft server on a Windows VPS

Want to save yourself some cash in the long run? We suggest setting up a virtual private server for Minecraft.

Just follow the steps below to create your own on a Windows VPS:

1. Choose the right VPS package

The first thing you need to do is choose the right VPS hosting package. We’ve already discussed the benefits of VPS hosting, so now all you have to do is find a plan from a reputable web hosting provider that meets all of your needs.

Some key features to look out for include greater storage capacity, over 99% uptime, unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 support and the ability to upgrade your plan when needed. This will help you keep your server running smoothly no matter what.

2. Install Java

Minecraft runs on Java, which means you’ll need to install it to set up your Minecraft server. First, you should check for Java on your computer. If you don’t currently have it, you need to visit the Java download site and click the ‘Download Java’ button. Then, hit the green ‘I Agree to the Terms and Want to Continue’ button and click on the file in the download bar.

3. Download the Minecraft server

Now you need to download the Minecraft: Java Edition server. You can find this on the Minecraft website.

Create a new folder on your server system and run the downloaded JAR file. You’ll then see an end user licence agreement (EULA). Open the eula.txt text file and replace ‘eula=false’ with “eula=true” to accept the EULA.

Finally, click on the JAR file again to create your Minecraft server.

4. Check or assign the port

Minecraft provides the TCP-Port 25565 port by default. If you’d like to change this, follow the steps below:

  • Open the server.properties file with your favourite text editor.
  • Modify the default port numbers following ‘server-port=’.
  • If you’re on a server, you’ll need to open the port on your firewall instead.
  • Once done, your server should now be accessible online.

5. Join the server

Launch Minecraft and click ‘Play Multiplayer’. Click the ‘Add Server’ button and assign the server a name and address.

Now all that’s left to do is click ‘Done’ and enjoy! You now have your very own Minecraft server.

The process above is similar for setting up a a Minecraft server on a cloud server or dedicated server.

How to create a Minecraft server on a Linux VPS

If you have a Linux VPS, the server setup process will look a little different. Let’s go through it below:

Step 1: Install additional components

Connect to your VPS via remote desktop connection or by setting up an SSH connection using PuTTy.

Once you’ve connected, the first step is to install the additional components needed to run a Minecraft server via the terminal.

First, update the package index of the package manager APT:

sudo apt update

Next, install the minimal OpenJDK Java runtime environment, which is required to run the Minecraft server application (Java)

sudo apt install openjdk-17-jre-headless

Once that’s complete, use the command sudo java - version to check that the installation was successful.

Step 2: Enable Minecraft’s server port

Now that the basic components for your Linux Minecraft server have been installed, it’s time to enable TCP port 25565. The server application will use this port to communicate with clients by default, so setting up a rule in your server’s firewall is essential. Enter the following command:

sudo ufw allow 25565

Step 3: Download the Minecraft server application (Java)

Visit the official Minecraft website to find the latest version of the Minecraft: Java Edition Server to download. You should see a file named ‘minecraft_server..jar’. Control-click this link and then select ‘Copy Link Address’ from the menu. Once the link is copied to your clipboard, you can use the wget command to download it on your server.



Step 4: Create a new folder

While you’re installing the Minecraft server, it’s important to keep your files in order so you can reach them easily. This is why you should create a new folder for your JAR file and move it there.

Use the mkdir command to create a new directory for all of your server files:

mkdir –p /Minecraft

You can then use the ‘change directory’ command cd to navigate to this folder:

cd /Minecraft

Step 5: Running the server application for the first time

At this point, the server will stop if you close your console. To keep your players happy, you’ll want to be able to run the server at all times, even when you’ve disconnected from the session.

To solve this, you need to install Screen. Screen allows you to create a console instance that can be detached from your console and later reattached, meaning that processes can keep running in the background.

Screen can be installed with the following commands:

yum –y install screen

screen -S "Minecraft server"

You’re ready to run the Minecraft server application for the first time. Begin by launching the window manager installed earlier on with the command screen.

Then, confirm that you’d like to launch the manager by pressing the space bar. After this, you should be presented with the terminal interface you’re familiar with, ready to launch the Minecraft server. Use the following command:

sudo java -Xms1G -Xmx2G -jar server.jar nogui

The above command will launch Minecraft: Java Edition without a graphical user interface (nogui). To execute this command, 1GB of memory is granted as ‘start’ memory (Xms1G), with maximum memory usage set to 2GB (Xmx2G). Of course, you’re free to adjust these values should you see fit.

Step 6: Accept the End-User Licence Agreement (EULA)

Now, you can finally launch the JAR file. You’ll see several errors during this first launch, but don’t worry too much about this. To get everything working, you’ll need to accept the EULA.

After running the server for the first time, a file called eula.txt will be generated. Open this file and change eula=false to eula=true using a text editor to accept the EULA.

Step 7: Configure your server

Open the file with the text editor nano:

nano server.properties

Here you’ll be greeted with a simple standard configuration for your server, including options such as game difficulty level and the server port. You can adjust these settings to your liking.

For more information, check out the official Minecraft fandom wiki.

Step 8: Start your server again

Now that you’ve adjusted the settings and agreed to the EULA, it’s time to start your server again. We’re going to use the same command as last time:

sudo java -Xms1G -Xmx2G -jar server.jar nogui

This may take some time, after which you should see this message:

[Server thread/INFO]: Done (….s)! For help, type "help"

When you type the command help, you’ll see a list of possible server commands.

Step 9: Keep your server running

Once you have the Minecraft server up and running on Linux, you will of course want it to remain active when you disconnect remotely from the server.

Run the following command to display all active screen sessions:

screen -list

You will get a listing where you will also find the previously established connection of your Minecraft server including the prefixed session ID.

Now, to keep this session active even if you log off the server later, enter the following into the terminal — replacing the value XXXX with the individual ID of your screen session:

screen -r XXXX

Then, exit the screen session with the key combination [Ctrl] + [A] + [D].

Now, your server should stay up even if you log off!

Step 10: Invite your friends and play!

Your server should now be up and running. Follow the steps below to join your Minecraft world:

  1. Launch the Minecraft client (Java Edition)
  2. Select Multiplayer
  3. Click Direct Connection
  4. Enter the IP address of your Minecraft server
  5. Click Join Server
  6. Play Minecraft!

The process above is similar for setting up a a Minecraft server on a cloud server or dedicated server.

Minecraft server requirements (minimum specs)

The following server requirements are recommended to run a Minecraft server:



# of players

Minimum 1-2 cores
3.00 GHz
2GB 1-2
Recommended 2-4 cores
3.00 GHz
4GB 2-5
Best 4-6 cores
3.50 GHz
8GB 6+

These minimum specs can apply to both Linux and Windows servers, but Windows may need slightly more resources because it can be more system intensive.

Which server is best for Minecraft?

Ready to create a Minecraft server? It's time to select a server model. With a range of choices that cover dedicated servers, cloud servers, and virtual private servers (VPS), we've put together a few recommended models for you:



Cloud server

AMD dedicated server

Intel dedicated server

1-2 Fasthosts VPS 2 Fasthosts Cloud Server M
2-5 Fasthosts VPS 4 Fasthosts Cloud Server L
6+ Fasthosts VPS 8 Fasthosts Cloud Server XL Fasthosts Ryzen 5 Pro-HDD Fasthosts E3-1230-16-HDD

The benefits of setting up a Minecraft server

Creating your own server can be a lot of work, so what makes this worth it? Here are the main advantages of setting up your own Minecraft server:

1. Complete ownership

You make all the rules. You’re in complete control over who joins your world and can assign (or deny) user roles. You can even define the laws of your virtual kingdom – everything from physics to spawn rates.

2. Ultimate creativity

If you want to install mods for ultimate customisation, hosting a server is the way to go. In your dedicated gaming server, you can modify characters, creatures, tools, weapons, and more to enhance the experience.

3. Improved security

As the server admin, you’re in charge of who is and isn’t allowed in your world – no more randoms or unwanted behaviour. Plus, you can avoid the kind of DDoS attacks that take down popular servers by keeping yours updated and secure.

4. Potential monetisation

A private server is a fantastic option for gaming with close friends, but it can also be a side hustle opportunity.

Online games can often be a breeding ground for harassment and bullying, as anyone can access these public servers and hide behind their anonymity. As a result, many gamers would potentially pay a fee to access a private server with stricter rules and a better vetting process. People may also pay for private servers to access better gaming experiences, including highly detailed and visually appealing worlds and extra features such as mini games, mods and custom visual effects.

Minecraft Realms vs Minecraft servers

Minecraft Realms is a subscription service that allows you to create a world and play online with up to ten friends.

If you prefer to play with more people than that, or want full control over mods and plugins, consider renting a server. But it’s not the best choice for everyone – you need the right processing power, RAM, and security, not to mention a bit of technical knowledge!

Watch our Minecraft server tutorial

Our step-by-step guides above lay out the basic instructions on how to create your own Minecraft server on Linux or Windows. If you're after something a bit more in-depth, check out our video guide that takes you through the process for a Windows VPS in more detail:

Getting support for your Minecraft server

Need help setting up your server? Our expert support team is on hand 24/7 to help you get it up and running ASAP. Please note: we can only help with your server, not any issues directly related to Minecraft.