My status on Facebook the other day announced that I was setting up a new Minecraft server for my kids. I’m no longer amazed at how many kids are playing Minecraft but I was taken back by all the responses of folks either being impressed because they thought I was some kind of tech whiz.
It’s so amazingly easy that I’m almost embarrassed to post about it! You need only the finest bit of tech expertise to do it and from the time I signed up to when the server was running was less than 5 minutes. No joke.
First, you want to find a Minecraft server host. Your web host (if you have one) may do it but it’s truly best if you find one that deals with Minecraft as one of their offerings. We had a bad experience with our first host. My brother-in-law bought a year of server space for Minecraft and the host shut down only a few months into our subscription. He took rest of the money and ran. I highly recommend finding a host that works with a ton of clients and one that comes recommended.
You don’t have to use the one I do but the host I use is Exodus Hosting (full disclosure: that is an affiliate link so if you sign up, thanks cuz it kicks back a a couple of pennies into my monthly account). I adore them. They have awesome service, no downtime and are totally affordable.
I previously had a year with them for $5/month and I’m now doing an $8/month a plan because we have a little more going on with kids and functionality on our server. If you are a first time Minecraft server host, you can do the cheapest plan because it’s easy to upgrade.
Their service is wonderful if you need it but here’s the best part – you can sign up and within minutes you’ll get an email that has your login info and server info. From my host, it’s a simple and short email with the server name and IP address and I would imagine it’s the same from most professional Minecraft server providers.
From there, you take the info and plug it into Minecraft.
Launch Minecraft and select “Multiplayer”
Then you want to click on “add server” on the bottom right
Next you’ll get this window. You can typically name the server whatever you want, it’s the Server Address that matters. That’s the IP address that your Minecraft host has emailed you.
Hit Done and you’re in! It’s truly that simple!
You can get more technical with using whatever interface or web-based Minecraft panel your host may provide that allows you to add plugins and things, or not. The bells and whistles can come but for now, you just set up a Minecraft server! Way to go!
The best part? That info your server emailed you, you can now share with your kid’s friends. With that login information, they can join at any time and play along with your kids no matter where in the world they are. (My son used to play with his friend in Singapore on our server! It was a neat way to stay in touch!)
I like having a server for my kids because I can control who’s on the server and I can invite only my kids other friends, as opposed to my kids playing on random servers online where you have no idea who they are playing with. My 10 year old has about 8 other kids we all know in one way or another who play with him at random times and they are all 2nd-6th grade and trusted people.
Shout in in the comments with questions and good luck!