How To Make A ‘Minecraft’ Server: Your Complete Gaming Guide


How To Make A ‘Minecraft’ Server: Your Complete Gaming Guide

When setting up a Minecraft server, you can essentially create your own version of the game with unique rules and an exclusive community of your choosing.

Once you’re in control of one of these private networks, you’ll be able to manage things like the time of day in-game, map layout, and who can play with you.

Some popular examples of this include the “Autcraft” server, which is designed to be a safe place for children with autism, and the “Build the Earth” server, an ongoing project committed to building a 1:1 scale model of our planet at stake. Then there is the infamous 2b2t “anarchy server”, which allows cheating and hardly any restrictions.

There are countless possibilities in terms of what you can do once you’ve created your own server, but getting to that stage in the first place can be quite arduous. It’s not as simple as finding a dedicated option in the main menu, and you’ll have to do some work instead.

If you’re willing to jump through the necessary hoops, this guide will walk you through what you need to do.

How to make a ‘Minecraft’ server

If you just want the short version of how to create a Minecraft Server, these are the general lines.

  1. Check that your PC meets the system requirements
  2. Make sure you have the latest version of Java
  3. Download server software from the official minecraft website and save it somewhere on your desktop
  4. Create a Windows batch file to start the server. Use the following command format for this: “java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M – [insert server name] nogui”
  5. Start the Windows batch file
  6. Accept the End User License Agreement (EULA)
  7. Double click the Windows batch file you created earlier, open Minecraft and head over to the multiplayer tab. From there, click on “Direct Connection” and type “localhost” in the search bar.

For a more detailed breakdown of each of these steps, continue reading below.

Step 1 – Check the system requirements

It’s all very well to download server software and create batch files, but if your PC isn’t up to the task, your efforts will be totally wasted.

It is entirely possible to host a server and play on it using the exact same machine, but it will need to be powerful enough. This means you’ll want to use a desktop computer (rather than a laptop, for example) that meets the system requirements set out in the official minecraft website. In particular, it is important that you have enough RAM, GPU, and disk space.

It probably goes without saying, but you should have Minecraft installed too.

Step 2 – Get the latest version of Java

Before you start downloading the server software, there is one last preparation you will need to do.

That is, you must make sure that you have the latest version of Java installed on your PC, since this is the programming language that Minecraft applications.

To do this, open the control panel application on your PC, navigate to “Programs and Features” and look for the Java icon. Once you have found it, select the update tab and click “Update Now”.

If you can’t find Java at all in the control panel, you’ll need to download it from scratch here.

Step 3: Download the Java edition Minecraft server software

Minecraft: Java Edition server download page
From this page, you can download the latest version of the Minecraft: Java Edition server file. This file is reliable as it comes directly from Mojang Studios.
Mojang Studios

With the first two steps done, you can now start setting up your Minecraft server.

To get started, you will need to download the appropriate software. There are multiple sources for this online but for the sake of cyber security we recommend getting it directly from Mojang Studios themselves in the Minecraft website.

Click the link you see on that page to download the “server.jar” file. There is a good chance that your web browser is trying to alert you to the suspicious file. For example, in Google Chrome it will say “This type of file can harm your computer”.

This is not a cause for alarm as it is only because your browser cannot verify this unusual download. Please be assured that you obtained the file from a reliable source (the Minecraft website) so it is perfectly legitimate.

Click “Save” (or the equivalent in your browser) and then make sure the file is stored somewhere it can be easily accessed. You don’t want it to be left loose in your downloads folder, as the rest of the process will be complicated.

Minecraft server file warning
If you see a warning like this in your browser, simply click “Save” or the equivalent.

Step 4: Create a Windows batch file

This is where things start to get a little more complicated.

You will need to create a Windows batch file to start your Minecraft server and make it work in the best possible way.

To do this, go to the folder where you stored the “server.jar” file and then create a new text document. The latter will eventually become your Windows batch file, but don’t worry about that just yet.

Name the new text document something easily recognizable, like “run.txt” or “server_start.txt” and then open it.

In this text document, you will need to copy and paste the following command:

java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar server.jar nogui

If you’re interested in what each of those bits means, we’ve broken it down in a glossary below. Otherwise, if you’re itching to move on, simply save the text document and continue to Step 5.

  • Java: This just means you are using a Java server.
  • Xms1024M-Xmx1024M: This is the number of megabytes of RAM that you want to allocate to the server. You can modify this number if you want
  • Jar: The server file you downloaded is a jar file
  • Server.jar: This is the name of the server file you downloaded earlier. It is important to make sure this bit is correct, otherwise the command will not work. So just check that your server file is named the same.
  • Nogui: This disables the Minecraft graphical user interface (GUI), which means you can only interact with the server from your terminal.
Minecraft server command
The image shows exactly what your text document needs to say.

Step 5: Start the Windows batch file

Once you’ve set up that text document, you’ll need to convert it to a Windows batch file.

The easiest way to do this is to find the text document in your folder, right click on it and select “rename”.

From there, change the “.txt”. extension to “.bat”. For example, if it was originally called “server_start.txt”, you now want it to be called “server_start.bat”.

You might get a warning that the file might be unusable if you make this change, but don’t worry about it.

When you double click on this newly created Windows batch file, it will try to run your server. However, it won’t work out of the box, as you still need to agree to the End User License Agreement (EULA).

Minecraft Server Windows Batch File
You will need to change your text file to a Windows batch file. If you can’t see the “.bat” extension, make sure you have the “File name extensions” box checked (as seen at the top of the image).

Step 6: Accept the EULA

Your server will not continually start until you have accepted the EULA (which can be read in its entirety here).

You should notice that once you opened your Windows batch file, a few other files were generated in the associated folder. One of them is the EULA agreement.

Open this text document, and then look to the bottom right. Here, there is a section that says “eula=false”. To accept the EULA, you must edit it to say “eula=true”.

Save your changes, and then double-click the Windows batch file again. This time your server should start successfully.

Minecraft Server EULA
To accept the End User License Agreement (EULA), change the “false” at the end of the text document to “true.” Make sure to save your changes afterwards.

Step 7: Join the server

With your Minecraft server now up and running, you should be able to join it. As a host, you’ll need to do this in a slightly different way.

Open Minecraft on your PC and select the “Multiplayer” tab. From there, click the “Direct Connect” button at the bottom of the screen, and then type “localhost” in the server address search bar. Finally, click “join server” and then you will be in the game.

If you want your friends to be able to join the server, you will need to turn on port forwarding. More detailed instructions on how to do that side of things can be found here.

Minecraft is out now for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and even Nintendo Switch.

minecraft key art
The image shows promotional art for “Minecraft”.
Mojang Studios