How to make a Minecraft server for your friends

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • Servers are the backbone of every single Minecraft world ever built. With that in mind, let's see how you can build your own Minecraft server that your friends can join.
  • You can create servers for both Minecraft: Java and Minecraft: Bedrock editions. While the steps are somewhat different, the end result is pretty much the same in both scenarios.
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Create Minecraft server

We can all agree that Minecraft is an amazing game. It has come a long way since its initial release, and updates don’t cease spawning. So what’s the thing that makes Minecraft so great, even after so many years?

It might be that after a while, you get accustomed to thinking in squares. But no. Perhaps the fact that a rather simplistic survival game has evolved to the point where you can build fully-functional computers in it? Maybe.

Minecraft’s servers are all community-based

But the real reason why Minecraft thrived and still keeps at it is the community. As you probably know, Minecraft never had any official servers, everything was run by its community.

So there was no place where everything was readily available to you. You had to soldier on through tears and frustration to build the perfect world for you and your friends.

However, all of this couldn’t be possible without servers, the backbone of every single Minecraft world ever built. With that in mind, let’s see how you can build your own Minecraft server that your friends can join.

Since most of the servers are community-made, it would be a wise idea to protect your online privacy using a VPN. You can find a list of our best 5 VPNs for Minecraft on Windows and Mac.

How to make a Minecraft: Java Edition server

1. Check that the latest version of Java is installed

First of all, you have to download and install Java. If you already did, you need to make sure that the latest version is installed on the PC you’ll use to host the server. Here’s what you can do to perform a Java version check:

  • In your Control Panel, click Java (32 or 64-bit), go to the Update tab , and click Update Now (check the screenshot).Update Java now
  • Visit the Java Version checker tool and let it check the version for you. Note that this doesn’t work on Chrome and Firefox.Check Java version online
  • Launch the Command Prompt, type java -version, and hit Enter on your keyboard. Compare the version to the official website.Check Java version with CMD

2. Download the Minecraft server files

You can find the Minecraft server files on the official website’s Download section. It’s possible to retrieve older versions, as well, but not from the official website. If you want the latest developments, we recommend you always use the latest version from the official site.

Note that the server is a JAR file that won’t work unless you have Java on your system.

It’s worth mentioning that the JAR file will create various configuration files in the location you launch it. So, before you launch the server, make sure it’s in an appropriate location on your PC.

The best practice would be creating a dedicated folder wherever you feel like, moving the JAR file there, and launching it.

3. Launch the server

After you set everything up, just launch the server by double-clicking the JAR file. This should start a process that writes some configuration files and quits almost immediately.

First, and foremost, we have to agree to the EULA. Therefore, locate the eula.txt file in the server‘s folder and open it in a text editor. Edit the eula=false part inside the document to eula=true, save it and close it. Note that doing so means you accept the EULA.Minecraft game view

Note: in order to avoid any complications, make sure you always launch the Minecraft server as an Administrator.

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How to make a Minecraft: Bedrock server on Windows 10

As you probably know, Minecraft has a Windows 10 version, which isn’t compatible with Java version servers and the other way around. So you can only connect to servers that are designed for your current edition.

Creating a Minecraft: Bedrock server is easier than making its Java counterpart since there’s no Java dependency. All you have to do is download the server files from the official website, unpack the archive and run the executable.Launch Minecraft Bedrock server

However, note that the same thing will happen as with the Java server. A lot of configuration files will be created in the location of the executable, so make sure it’s someplace you’re comfortable with.

You can configure the server before you launch it by editing the file. However, if you want to learn more about it, there’s an extremely helpful How-To HTML guide in the archive.

Thus, you might want to check it out if you want to operate and customize the server effortlessly.

Can’t make a Minecraft public server?

There are some cases where making a Minecraft public server is simply not doable. The reasons may vary from having a restrictive ISP to double NAT configurations that make port forwarding difficult, if not downright impossible.

In those cases, you can either play with your friends by connecting to an existing public server, or creating a LAN one. You can use Radmin VPN with Minecraft so that the game will detect you and your friends as part of the same physical network.

Once the VPN connection is established, you can host/join LAN Minecraft servers without any issues.

FAQ: Learn more about Minecraft servers

  • How to make a Minecraft server?

It depends on what edition you want to build the server for, the Java or the Bedrock one. The former requires you to have the latest version of Java installed on your PC, while the latter has a more user-friendly approach.

  • How to run a Minecraft server?

After you extract the server files, accept the EULA, and configure your server properly, you can run it by launching the JAR or EXE file, depending on the edition. Make sure to run it as an administrator to avoid any complications.

  • How to download older versions of Minecraft server?

You can’t download older versions of the Minecraft server from the official website. We’ve included some instructions about where you can find older server versions, but we recommend you to stick with the latest ones.