How To Make a Minecraft Server

By Patrick Fassler •  Updated: 12/01/23 •  11 min read

Disclaimer: This is not a 24 hour server. If you're looking to start a 24/7 Minecraft 1.20+ server, be sure to check out our server affiliate SimpleGameHosting by going to For a few bucks a month, you can get a 24/7 DDOS-Protected server to play Minecraft with all of your friends and anyone else. 

If you want to play Minecraft with your friends, you will need a Minecraft server. Once you learn how to make a Minecraft server, you will have complete control of your gameplay experience. You will be able to allow anyone you want to play on your server as well as do things like add mods or plugins to your Minecraft server. Truly, our goal is to make this the most complete guide for starting a Minecraft server on the internet.

What this Minecraft server guide will cover:

Choosing Your Server Software

There are three main types of Minecraft servers that you can – Vanilla, Paper, and Forge. Depending on the server software you choose, you will be able to do different things with your server. Let’s take a look at them more in-depth.


A vanilla Minecraft server is a server that has no mods, plugins, or any other features outside of default Minecraft. This also means that you will only have access to vanilla features and updates. You can’t add anything into a vanilla Minecraft server outside of what Mojang has added to the game.

A vanilla server is best for those who don’t plan to customize the server and want a more traditional survival or creative experience.


If you want to add plugins to your Minecraft server, you will need to use the PurPur Minecraft server software. With PurPur, you can install plugins such as World Edit, EssentialsX, and more. Truthfully, the options are endless.

Another benefit of a PurPur server is its performance. PurPur has tons of optimizations that make your Minecraft server more stable and perform better.

As far as who should start a PurPur server, there are two main categories. If you want plugins, you have to use PurPur. On the other hand, if your vanilla server is lagging, changing your server software to PurPur can increase performance and reduce lag even if you never add any plugins.


Forge is a type of modded Minecraft server that will allow you to play Minecraft Forge mods with your friends. In order to play Forge mods, you will need every mod that is installed on the server, installed locally as well.

There are thousands of amazing Forge mods out there, and pretty much every single one of them can be played with your friends on a Forge modded server.

Tons of Minecraft modpacks also use Forge. However, if you are starting modpack server, it is best to use the modpack's server files if they have them instead of creating a Forge server and adding all the mods from the modpack to it.


Fabric is another Minecraft mod loader similar to Forge. You will also need all of the Fabric mods on the server as well as installed locally on the computer of everyone who join the server.

Fabric doesn't have as many mods as Forge, but more and more mods are supporting the Fabric mod loader every day.

As far as Minecraft modding goes though, Fabric is generally a bit more performant and has less lag than Forge mods. That isn't always the case though.

How to Make a Minecraft Server

To get started, we are going to be creating a vanilla Minecraft server. Truthfully, this is where most people should start their journey into Minecraft servers. Plus, it is super easy to convert a vanilla Minecraft server into a PurPur server in the future.

Step 1: Download the Minecraft Server File

The first step of making a Minecraft server is downloading the server file to your computer. You can find the vanilla server files on the official Minecraft website.

On the download page, click the ‘minecraft_server.jar’ link to start downloading the server file.

Depending on your browser, you may need to keep or save the server.jar file.

Step 2: Create Your Server’s Directory

We now need to create a directory for your vanilla Minecraft server’s files to live in. This is actually very simple.

Just right-click on your desktop, select ‘New’, and then ‘Folder’. You can name this new folder whatever you want, but I would recommend something along the lines of ‘Minecraft Server’ so you can identify it late.

Lastly, drag and drop the server.jar file you downloaded into this new folder/directory you created.

Step 3: Generating The EULA

With your server’s directory created, we can run it for the first time. By doing this, we will generate the server’s EULA.txt file.

To run your server for the first time, all you need to do is double-click the server.jar file. When you do this, some files, including the EULA.txt file will generate.


Note: If double-clicking the server.jar file doesn’t generate any files or opens in a program, you need to download Java and run the Jarfix. Doing so will allow you to run your Minecraft server moving forward.


Lastly, we need to agree to the Minecraft EULA for your server. To do this, open up the EULA.txt file in notepad. Then, assuming you agree with the linked EULA, change EULA=false to EULA=true. Save the EULA.txt file, and close out of notepad.

Step 4: Creating Your Minecraft Server

Finally, we can actually create your Minecraft server. This is super easy after agreeing to the EULA.

Just double-click on the server.jar file. When you do, a GUI will open with your server’s console, performance information, and player list.

You will have a text box that you can use to run commands on your server such as OPing yourself.

At this point, you can join the server as long as you are joining it with a Minecraft client running on the same computer the server is hosted on.

If that is the case, you can use “localhost” as your IP to join the server. You are the only person who can join the server using this IP, but is a good way to test that everything is working properly.

Step 5: Port Forwarding Your Minecraft Server

In order for your friends to join, you will need to port forward. Luckily, we have an in-depth guide on port forwarding a Minecraft server that you can check out which will cover everything in-depth.

In short, you will need to forward port 25565 on the TCP and UDP protocol. 

25565 is the default port for Minecraft Java Edition servers. 

You must port forward if you want to play Minecraft with your friends on the server.

Step 6: Starting Your Server

Now that your port forward is complete, we can move to starting your server, this is done by just double-clicking the server.jar again to run it. This will start your server.

Step 7: How To Join Your Minecraft Server

In order to join your server, your friends will use your public IP address which can be found on our What’s My IP Address page.

Give this IP address to your friends, they will be able to use it to join your server just like any other Minecraft Java Edition server.

Note: If your friends can’t join your server, it may be due to an issue with the port forward or an antivirus or firewall blocking the connection. We have a guide on allowing Minecraft servers through your Windows Defender Firewall, which is worth using if your friends can’t join your server.

Step 8: Running & Maintaining Your Minecraft Server

Now that your server is running and your friends are online, you will need to maintain the server.

This isn’t generally too difficult, but you may need to redo your port forward occasionally as well as restart the server, change different settings, etc. over time.

Minecraft Server Commands You Should Know

All of these commands will work on all Minecraft server types. This ensures that no matter what kind of server you are running you will be able to manage it properly. If you want to see a list of all the commands you can run on your Minecraft server, check out the full list.

Note: When you see text in “<>”, this means it is an argument, and you will need to enter your own information here. For example, /ban <username> would be ran as /ban player1 if the player’s username was “player1”.

Server Management

  • /op <username>: OP a player on your server. This must be done from the console unless the player already running the command is OP’d. Being OP’d on a Minecraft server gives a player access to all commands. Only give this to people who will have full control over the server. 
  • /deop <username>: Remove OP from a player.
  • /gamemode <gamemode> <username>: Change the game of the specified user. Options are survival, creative, adventure, and spectator. 
  • /difficulty <difficulty>: Change the difficulty of your server. Settings can be peaceful, easy, normal, hard. 
  • /list: Get a list in chat of all the players connected to your server.
  • /tell <message>: Broadcasts a message to all the players on the chat. 
  • /stop: Can be ran in game or in the server’s console. This must be ran in order to stop your Minecraft server properly. Using the /stop command ensures everything is saved on your server.


By “whitelisting” your Minecraft server, you can control who can join it based on their username. 

  • /whitelist on: This turns the whitelist on for your server. 
  • /whitelist off: Run this to turn off your server’s whitelist. 
  • /whitelist add <username>: Add a player to your server’s whitelist. 
  • /whitelist remove <username>: Remove a player from your server’s whitelist.

Server Moderation

Minecraft has a ban system built in by default. I do recommend using a plugin to manage your ban system if you are running a PurPur server. 

  • /ban <username>: Ban a player from your server. 
  • /ban-ip <IP address>: Ban all players using an IP address from your server. 
  • /kick <username>: Kick a player from your Minecraft server. 
  • /pardon <username>: Unban a player from your server. 
  • /pardon <IP address>: Unban an IP address from your server.
  • /banlist: See a list of all the player and IP addresses that are banned from your server.
  • /clear <username>: Clear a player’s inventory. This is great for when a player has glitched items.

Player Management

These commands manipulate different things about the players on your server. 

  •  /xp add <amount of levels>L <username>: Add a certain amount of XP levels to a player. 
  •  /xp remove <amount of levels>L <username>: Remove XP level from the player specified.
  •  /kill <target/username>: Kill the specified entity on your server. This works on players and mobs. 
  • /tp <username> <coordinations>: Teleport a player to specific coordinates. 
  • /tp <username> <username>: Teleport the first specified player to the second.

Item Commands

Commands that allow you to add and change items on your server.

  • /enchant : Add an enchantment to the item currently selected in your hotbar.
  • /give : Give a player an item in the amount specified in the command.

Chat Commands

These commands involve players talking to each other in chat.

  • /msg : Send a chat message directly to another player. Only the specified player can see the message.
  • /me : Displays a message in chat in a different format than other messages. The format is as follows. The command “/me is going to mine diamonds” would display in chat as “Username is going to mine diamonds.”

Other Commands

  • /seed: Print the seed of your Minecraft server in chat. You can click to copy it.
  • /time set <day, night, noon, midnight>: Change the time of the day to the specified time. 
  • /weather <clear, rain, thunder>: Change the weather to the type specified.

Patrick Fassler

Keep Reading