How to Set Up a Minecraft Server At Home

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If you’ve got kids who love Minecraft, you're not alone. Since its release in 2011, the game has sold around 180 million copies and boasts a whopping 112 million active monthly players!

While the game is fun to play solo, eventually, your kids will want to play with their friends. This requires a server where multiple players can log in to the same game and interact with each other. You can rent space from online servers, which is ultimately far easier and more stable, but you may wish to set up your own server at home. This sounds difficult, but if you have a basic understanding of computers and computer software, it is doable.

Please note that while you can set up a server on both Windows and Mac, this guide pertains to Windows only.

Have The Right Hardware

If you’re going to have multiple players connecting to your computer, you’ll need the following minimum recommended specs:

  • 2.8Ghz+ CPU
  • 6+ GB RAM
  • Automatic backups
  • Broadband internet connection correctly configured to allow multiple player connections

Install Java

Now that you’ve got the proper hardware, you’ll need the latest version of Java. You can download it from here. Once downloaded, click the installation program and follow the onscreen instructions to install it.

Select A Location To Install Your Server

On your computer, designate a folder in which to install your server files. This could be something like C:\Documents\MyServer. During your server's initial launch, it will create several standard configuration files in this folder, so make a note of its location.

Download Minecraft’s Java Edition Server and Launch It

You can download the game’s server software from their website. This is the Java version, which is why we installed Java earlier. Place the downloaded server software into the MyServer folder created in the previous step.

Once you’ve stashed the server software into the MyServer folder, double click on the .jar file to launch it. As it executes, you’ll see the standard configuration files mentioned above appear.

Quick Tip: If you receive an error while launching the .jar file, try right-clicking on it and choosing “Run As Administrator.”

The server software comes with a EULA (End User License Agreement). You’ll need to read through and accept this agreement before you can run the software. Look for the file EULA.txt and open it in Notepad. Where it says “eula=false”, set it to “eula=true.” Be sure to complete this step, or you won’t be able to proceed.

Set Up Port Forwarding On Your Router

If your new server is only for players on your local network, you can skip this step. If you want players outside your local network to be able to login to your server, you need to enable port forwarding on your router.

It may be helpful to refer to your router's manual for precise instructions on port forwarding, but to begin, you'll need to find your computer's IPv4 address. You can do this by running "ipconfig" inside a Windows CMD prompt like this:

C:\Users\YourName ipconfig

Hit enter, and your computer will display its IPv4 address along with other information. Once you have the address, enter it in your router's port forwarding section.

On your router’s configuration screen find Port Forwarding then look for boxes labeled “Server Name” (can be whatever you like), “Local IP” and “Local Port” Enter your IPv4 address into the “Local IP” box and type the number 25565 into the local port box, and click apply.

Launch Your Server

You’re almost there! To launch your server, open a command prompt and cd (change directory) to the folder where you installed it. To go to the MyServer folder created above you would type:

C:\Users\YourName>cd Documents\MyServer

Once you are in the MyServer directory, you start your server by typing:

java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar {Your Server File Name} nogui.

That’s it! Your new server should launch, and your kids will love being able to play the world's best selling video game with their friends!

  • Updated April 29, 2020