How to Create a Minecraft Server on a VPS

If you’re thinking of setting up (or upgrading to) a VPS for Minecraft, you’ve come to the right place. If not, keep reading and you might change your mind.

Since its inception over a decade ago, Minecraft has become one of the world’s best-selling games of all time and a cultural phenomenon attracting over 132 million ambitious players each month. With its simple, colorful Lego-like visual style and sandbox survival game design, it’s no surprise that Minecraft has become an international icon of creativity.

However, there would be no Minecraft without its engaged communities online and in the real world, who are constantly creating new mods and transforming the game into something new and engaging. These days, Minecraft comes in many shapes and sizes including PC, gaming consoles, virtual reality (VR), and smartphones, which provide players with great freedom in how to play the game.

While many Minecraft players are content with this freedom, others are wondering how to create a private virtual space to hang out with their closest friends. So, if you are one of them, consider using a virtual private server (VPS). Although you can also use a dedicated server, they come at a steep price and could blow your budget in a matter of months. Therefore, if you are not making money, stick with VPS.

Before we get to the actual steps of setting up a Minecraft server with a VPS, let’s learn a bit more about Minecraft servers, VPS, and why you would want to combine them.

What is a Minecraft Server?

Simply put, a Minecraft server is a game server created to host the online multiplayer lobbies of the game developed by Mojang Studios called (you guessed it) Minecraft. By using their own computers as Minecraft servers or using web hosting services (usually for higher performance) to set up a game server for their Minecraft world, players can shape the game in ways that weren’t previously allowed. For example, they can give or withhold specific roles from other players, choose how things appear, or reshape game physics to make it more realistic or downright surreal.

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(Image credit: Pixabay)

What is a VPS?

While VPS is most often used by individuals and small to medium sized businesses setting up their websites and building their online presence, this solution can also serve as a stable, secure and superb gaming server. It will provide its user with a completely isolated virtual environment based on a bare metal server. Since you won’t get dedicated server space with a VPS, it comes at a cheaper price.

However, it’s called “private” because you won’t be forced to share RAM, bandwidth, and other resources with other VPS accounts (as is the case with shared hosting), because this type server separates your files from all other users using the operating system (OS).

How to Set Up a Minecraft Server Using a VPS

Although you have the option of renting a pre-built Minecraft server, setting it up on a VPS will significantly reduce the cost and give you full control over it. So, if you are planning to set it up yourself, here are the crucial steps:

Best Minecraft server hosting providers: Hostinger, ScalaHosting, Apex Hosting, Shockbyte and BisectHosting logo on desktop with Minecraft game background

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1. Consider your needs and choose a suitable VPS solution

Needless to say, purchasing a VPS solution is the first step in setting up a Minecraft server on such a solution. When doing so, make sure you choose a solid VPS provider, but also consider the cost versus the number of players you want to host on your server. For example, if you don’t plan to host more than 20 players, a VPS solution that offers 1 GB of RAM and 20 GB of storage space should suffice.

2. Connect to the VPS via SSH

The next step can be a little tricky if you’re not particularly tech-savvy (or have friends who are), and that includes connecting to the VPS using Secure Shell (SSH). Since the most widely used SSH client is PuTTY (if you’re using Windows, macOS, or Linux, that is), you can start by downloading and running it on your system. Next, find a hostname (IP address), copy the IP address of your VPS (provided by your VPS service provider) and paste it into the “Hostname” field.

After that, you will also need to enter the username (also provided by your VPS provider) in the SSH terminal and enter the password to connect to the VPS. Now connect to your VPS via SSH, and once the link is established, you can configure your server as you wish.

3. Install JDK

While in SSH, install the Java Development Kit (JDK). Before creating a Minecraft server, you must ensure that you download the updated version of Java. Once the server is updated, enter an appropriate command in your console (eg on Ubuntu it’s “apt install openjdk-16-jdk”).

4. Download and install Minecraft on your VPS

The next step is to create a separate directory for all of your Minecraft content, including your Minecraft installation. You can do this by running another command on the SSH terminal (such as “mkdir -p /Minecraft”) and then browsing with another command (“cd /Minecraft”).

Once that’s done, it’s time to install Minecraft, so be sure to check the official Minecraft site for the latest updates.

5. Accept the EULA

Although it sounds like something out of Captain Obvious’s bag of advice, before running the Minecraft server app, you’ll need to agree to the terms and conditions of the EULA. Also, try to read what you agree to. This can also be done with a single command (“echo “eula=true” > eula.txt”).

6. Launch your Minecraft server

Once everything is set up, it’s time to launch your Minecraft server, and you can do that through a command like this “java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar server.jar nogui”. Also try to be patient while waiting for operations performed on the SSH command line to complete.

Benefits of setting up a Minecraft server using VPS

A VPS server not only offers good value for money, but is also considerably cost effective, given that it essentially offers the functionality of a dedicated server without the expensive part. Also, since you won’t be sharing your server with anyone, you’ll have full control over it, including root access.

When it comes to security, with VPS you can expect to get a full set of security features (including automated and manual data backup), which means all your data should be safe.

Since VPS is a highly scalable solution, you will be able to scale your resources up/down without a hitch. Also, with your Minecraft server hosted in the cloud, you can expect faster performance and lower latency.

At the same time, having your own Minecraft server means you’ll be the one making the decisions, choosing which mods to install, and building your community.

Minecraft

(Image credit: Microsoft/Mojang)

Take your Minecraft worlds to the next level

If you are thinking of setting up your VPS server for Minecraft, now is the perfect time to do so. VPS solutions offer powerful performance combined with long-term scalability, high customization, complete access and control, strong security and economical pricing. So it’s no surprise that it can do wonders for your Minecraft world as well.