The Best Minecraft Server Hosting
With over 200 million copies sold, Minecraft is one of the world’s most popular video games. One of the keys to its popularity is the game’s multiplayer mode, which allows dozens of players to populate the same game world so they can build amazing creations or tackle the game’s obstacles together. If you’re just looking to get involved in multiplayer Minecraft, there are hundreds of dedicated servers to choose from.
But what if you want to host your own Minecraft server?
Hosting a Minecraft server gives you control over who you play with. It also lessens security risks because you’re less likely to expose your IP address to malicious third parties when playing on your own server.
This article looks at some of the best Minecraft server hosting options, along with their pros and cons, so you can make the choice that’s right for how you want to play the game.
Best Minecraft Server Hosting
Before choosing a server hosting option, you need to ensure that any provider you consider can offer the bare minimum required to be an effective server. Any plan needs to provide a minimum of 1GB of RAM and a 1 CPU core. It’s recommended that the plan should have at least 2GB of RAM and a 2 CPU core to create an optimal experience. Having SSD-based storage also helps, though it’s not essential.
The following are some of the best server hosting choices that meet or exceed these base requirements.
Host No. 1 – Hostinger
Though Hostinger markets itself as a web hosting solution, it also offers a service dedicated to Minecraft. This service includes several plans that range in price from $6.95 to $77.99 per month. Each plan is designed to accommodate various system specifications, with the more expensive plans typically being for high-spec PCs that will act as servers that can invite several dozen players.
The plans all offer mod support, DDoS protection, and automatic backups as standard, in addition to giving the server host full root access. Each also guarantees 99.99% uptime, meaning you can feel confident you’ll be able to play without unnecessary interruptions.
Hostinger works by helping you set up a Virtual Private Server (VPS). This simulates the experience of running a dedicated server even though you’re actually sharing the physical server with other users. The platform gives you a control panel through which you can easily install plug-ins and mods. Plus, Hostinger’s support team is available to answer any questions you may have.
The main drawback of Hostinger is its limited availability. The service only operates Minecraft servers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Singapore, and the Netherlands. As such, players outside these five countries may have to search for a different option.
- Very easy to set up
- Excellent customer support
- Creates a VPS to enable simple server management
- Relatively expensive monthly fees
- Only available in five countries
Host No. 2 – Shockbyte
With its 13 plans running the price gamut between $2.50 and $40 per month, Shockbyte offers one of the most cost-effective ways to build a dedicated Minecraft server. You can also customize your requirements by creating a dedicated plan. Shockbyte offers DDoS protection, meaning you don’t have to worry about malicious parties trying to shut your server down by making huge numbers of requests to it.
Shockbyte also makes the bold claim that it can offer 100% server uptime. Assuming this is true, it means nothing will interrupt your Minecraft experience. The service creates a subdomain from your dedicated server, which makes it easy for you to point other players in its direction. The company offers 24/7 customer support, allowing you to resolve any issues you have fairly quickly.
It’s not all good news though.
Shockbyte’s customer support may be available at all hours of the day. However, the support provided isn’t particularly reliable, which may make it difficult for you to get answers to your questions. The provider also offers a fairly limited money-back program, meaning it’ll likely be tough to get a refund if you’re not happy with the experience.
Still, Shockbyte is one of the few Minecraft server hosting providers that is dedicated solely to gaming. It provides slick multiplayer experiences in every version of Minecraft, from vanilla through to Forge and Sponge.
- Inexpensive and customizable hosting plans
- 100% server uptime guarantee
- Dedicated video game server hosting
- Inconsistent customer service
- Difficult refund process
Host No. 3 – MCProHosting
One of the biggest brands in the Minecraft server hosting community, MCProHosting offers plans for Minecraft: Bedrock and Minecraft: Java Edition. The plans range in price from $7 to $100 per month, with the most expensive plans providing unlimited player slots that allow you to create massively populated servers.
MCProHosting stands out because it offers 22 server locations across six continents. This makes its services open to players in Africa, South America, and Australia, which are continents that are often underserved when it comes to Minecraft server options. MCProHosting also allows wary users to try before they buy thanks to the seven-day trials it provides for six of its hosting plans.
Beyond that, McProHosting offers protection against DDoS attacks. Each plan comes with unlimited storage space, allowing your Minecraft world to grow as large as you want it to be. The service is fast, simple to use, and offers dedicated 24/7 customer support.
The main drawback of MCProHosting is its cost. Though it offers one of the best dedicated server services around, it also falls into the higher end of the price spectrum. If you’re in North America or Europe and don’t intend to play with gamers from other continents, you may find that a locationally-limited provider can offer a more cost-effective service.
- Global coverage
- Free trials on several of its packages
- Unlimited storage space on all plans
- One of the most expensive dedicated server solutions
Host No. 4 – Server.pro
Server.pro is among the best Minecraft server hosting options for those who want a budget-friendly experience. Though the provider offers several paid plans, its main draw is its free plan. This plan comes with some drawbacks, as it only offers 1GB of RAM and shows ads as you play. It also doesn’t come with daily backups, instant setup, or multi-admin functionality. Still, the free plan can give you a taste of what it’s like to host a dedicated Minecraft server, making it a solid base to gain experience from before moving on to paid options.
Beyond its free tier, Server.pro offers Premium and Pro categories, which range in price from $5 to $40 per month. Both tiers offer lag-free play thanks to Server.pro maintaining data centers in eight different countries. You also get daily backups, a customized hostname, and a seamless file manager if you upgrade to a paid plan. The only real differences between the Pro and Premium tiers are that you gain a MySQL server offering root access and a dedicated IP address with the Pro tier.
Unfortunately, Server.pro may be one of the least reliable services on this list. There are several reports of some of its servers randomly shutting down with little to no communication provided to players. The company’s customer service is also substandard, with most of the answers it provides being cut-and-paste comments that don’t take the specific nature of queries into account.
Still, the option to host a free server is appealing enough for Server.pro to be a serious consideration for anybody new to setting up a dedicated server.
- Free tier makes it accessible to everyone
- Paid tiers provide backups and easy file management
- A large number of data centers ensure lag-free play
- Occasional server shutdowns
- Poor customer service
Host No. 5 – Apex Hosting
If you’re looking for full server control, Apex Hosting is one of your best choices. Offering dedicated servers for the Bedrock and Java versions of Minecraft, Apex stands out when it comes to plug-in and mod support. It offers easy installation of both, with most being installable in a single click. Apex Hosting’s servers even allow you to upload custom maps and mini-games to your server.
Latency shouldn’t be an issue for most players either. Apex Hosting has servers in several European countries, as well as the United States, Canada, Brazil, Israel, China, and Australia. Such a wide variety of locations keeps latency to a minimum while offering hosting options to players from all over the world.
Combine these two core features with a simple control panel, speedy connections, and some of the best customer service among dedicated hosting providers and you get a solid choice.
Still, Apex isn’t the perfect solution. Despite giving you enormous flexibility in server control, Apex does not offer a dedicated IP. It also lacks some of the features of other high-end server providers, such as access to VPS. Strangely, despite Apex being available in several countries, it does not offer multiple languages.
Apex Hosting Pros
- Impressive levels of server control
- Superb customer service
- Low latency thanks to servers around the world
Apex Hosting Cons
- You don’t get a dedicated IP when you sign up
- No VPS access
- Only available in English
Host No. 6 – Aternos
Aternos operates under the simple idea that it will continue to offer free Minecraft servers for as long as the game is available for free. Seeing as there are no places to get rid of the free versions of Minecraft, it looks like Aternos will stay free forever.
That alone is a massive plus for this provider. Aternos offers an easy route into server hosting for people with low budgets or those who want to experience what it’s like to host a server before they commit to a paid plan.
Naturally, Aternos’ free offering comes with some limitations. Server hosts can only welcome a maximum of 20 players into their games, and they have their RAM capped to 1.7GB. You also don’t have much freedom when it comes to plug-ins, though there are a few that Aternos allows server hosts to install. Each of the mods Aternos allows is also available for free.
These limitations do not extend to the worlds you create on an Aternos server. You get full access to the Minecraft customization suite, meaning you can change anything you want about the game to play it exactly as you want. As such, Aternos gives players a simple, hassle-free, and very wallet-friendly entry into Minecraft server hosting.
- Completely free forever
- It’s easy to customize and upload worlds
- Compatible with several free mods and plug-ins
- RAM is capped at 1.7GB with no option to increase
- You can only welcome a maximum of 20 players
- Not compatible with all plug-ins and mods
Are You Ready to Create a Dedicated Minecraft Server?
Creating your own Minecraft server comes with a host of benefits compared to jumping into somebody else’s server. Chief among these is that you get complete control over the game. That means you can install the mods and plug-ins that you want without making concessions to other players.
Hosting your own server also allows you to build a community of players you enjoy spending time with. That makes it a great idea for groups of friends who want to play Minecraft together without dealing with the logistics of traveling between servers to try and get on the same one.
Operating your own Minecraft server also opens up some avenues for monetization. In some cases, you have the freedom to create in-game ads, set up online stores, or simply stream your gameplay on Twitch or YouTube to generate revenue. With your own server, you get the freedom to experience Minecraft as you want to play it.
With that in mind, we want to hear your thoughts about hosting a Minecraft server. What’s made you curious about your server hosting options? What would you do if you had control of your own Minecraft server? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.