What do you think makes a good game?
Good graphics? Storyline? Music?
Is it about strategy? Or how much action a game can give?
Forget all the answers you have. All of you are right. And all of you are wrong too.
You see, there is no one single answer. But one thing for sure is that graphics alone, storyline alone or the rest of the answers you can come up with don’t make a great game.
So what makes a great game?
Gameplay. It’s as Simple as that.
Minecraft is that kind of game. It has great gameplay — a very addicting one at that. In terms of graphics, it uses 8-bit block style graphics so it won’t compete with games like Call of Duty. But who cares about the graphics when you can do anything you want in the game?
Minecraft is the game that allows you to shape the world. Literally. Into anything you want. Essentially, it is a game in which you can turn all the pixel blocks into whatever you want.
While it may sound like a crafting game (which it is), Minecraft isn’t all about mindlessly building things (although that’s where the fun is!). There is combat action with zombies. Darkness can bring real terror, too.
One good thing about Minecraft is that you can set up your own server. With it, you can create a world in which you can to play with your friends or strangers. You can always connect to the public Minecraft server, but why do that when you can set up one on your own?
Building a Minecraft Server
A great Minecraft server is built from a VPS server (for performance) but has its own specialized stack. If you also enjoy being the geek, you can go that way. It is possible to start with a generic VPS host that gives you root access and then install and configure the server components yourself. You can start with a VPS host, such as one that we recommended, and build your own.
The good news, though, is that a few hosting companies are also into the gaming market. They sell preconfigured Minecraft server packages. They’ve taken care of all the grunt work for you. Essentially, they offer a zero-click Minecraft server install. The Minecraft server is ready for use as soon as the VPS is provisioned.
A Minecraft server involves the following major components:
- Java: Java must be installed in order to run the Minecraft server
- Minecraft Server: You need to install the Minecraft server.
- Minecraft control panel: – Most Minecraft hosts bundle the server with the McMyAdmin control panel.
- Bukkit: Enhance the server with a lot of new features and options.
The recommended Minecraft server providers offer similar packages but differ in hardware capacity, server environment, service, and cost. A base Minecraft server that supports up to 8-10 players costs roughly $10/mo. It depends on the particulars of how much RAM is allocated, the speed of the CPU, and other factors. For a managed VPS, this is a good price.
You should expect a Linux VPS server, at least 512MB RAM for 10 players (preferably 768MB to 1GB), SSD storage, and unmetered bandwidth. Some hosts offer cheaper servers that would be adequate for 5 players or less. It’s a good idea to insist on the 1 GB RAM if you are pushing the limit of 10 players.
A preconfigured Minecraft server may also include more plug-ins and options than what is on this list.
The Best 5
- Fluidservers : A VPS hosting provider that has an extensive lineup of plans for the gaming community,
- Provisionhost : A gaming specialist that has a special lineup of Minecraft server plans,
- MinecraftServerHost.net: A high-end gaming specialist that offers nothing but Minecraft hosting,
- Dotblock : A VPS provider that offers a plan for Minecraft server at a good price,
- Beastnode : A VPS company that emphasizes their line of Minecraft Server plans.
Read more about them after the break!
Winner – Fluidservers.net – from $10/mo
Fluidservers is a VPS hosting provider that also has an extensive lineup of plans for of the gaming community. They have been in business since 2000 and have a full line of budget shared, premium VPS, and dedicated servers. They have up-to-date server hardware, SSD storage, and a fully-redundant network. They boast 99.99% uptime.
But they also have much more than token support for the gamer. Minecraft is not the only game that they support! They have an extensive lineup of plans for Minecraft, Insurgency2, Counter Strike, Left 4 Dead Crysis 2, Far Cry, Just Cause, Battlefield 2142, and Call of Duty. Of interest here is their line of Minecraft server plans.
Fluidservers’s Minecraft-specific plans range in price from $10/mo to $108/mo. As with the others, a $10/mo plan serves about 10 gamers; their most costly plan serves about 120. Here are their plans that serve up to 30 gamers.
Higher capacity plans that support up to 70 players cost up to $77/mo.
2. – Provisionhost.com – from $12.95/mo
Provisionhost is a full-featured Shared, VPS, and Dedicated hosting provider. They also have a special lineup of deluxe Minecraft server plans. They specialize in the medium to high capacity portion of the market; their cheapest plan is $12.95 and it easily serves the needs of 10 gamers. Those who do not need this capacity can save money by buying a lower capacity/lower cost plan from someone else.
They are headquartered in Toronto and have an additional datacenter in Dallas.
Each of their plans gives you 25 GB of SSD storage and unlimited bandwidth. Here are the first five plans in their price sheet.
The offer fully managed VPS Minecraft server hosting, but they also give you root access and they specialize in medium to large size groups of gamers. Their lowest price Minecraft server plan is $12.95 and features 1GB RAM. This easily supports 10 gamers and they have progressively higher priced plans that go up to 8GB RAM at a cost of $80.95.
In addition to that, they have an even higher capability line of servers that starts at 8GB, 100 slots at $129.95. It goes up to 16.4 GB at $249.95 (250 slots!). That is one huge game!
3. – MinecraftServerHost.net – from $24.95/mo
MinecraftServerHost is a high-end Minecraft server specialist. Unlike other hosts listed here, their home page features nothing but Minecraft hosting! They not only offer “vanilla” Minecraft server hosting but also Pixelmon, Craftbukkit, Feed the Beast, and Technic packages. All types of packages are priced the same and they cater to the high-end of the market.
Since they are a specialist provider, their lineup of hardware is right up to date. They use only very fast Xeon E5 CPUs (3.5 GHz or above), SSD storage, and an optimized VPS server stack. They strive to have the lowest latency network in the Minecraft hosting business.
Their plans come with their own custom Minecraft panel, called mPanel. With mPanel, you have a graphical user interface for comprehensive monitoring. Use mPanel for starting, stopping, and monitoring the server, installing or updating mod packs, uploading and editing files, and backing up worlds.
They have been hosting Minecraft servers since its Alpha release in 2010. This makes it is one of the longest serving and most established minecraft hosting companies.
They have Minecraft servers in Dallas, New York, Ashburn, and Los Angeles.
Their price sheet tells you at a glance that they are committed to serving the high end of the market. You can see that they are generous about allocating the finest grade of hardware.
4. – Dotblock.com – From $9.95/month
Dotblock is a full-featured Cloud VPS provider. They have a Minecraft Serve plan that they sell at a good price. They have four datacenters that are located in New York, Chicago, San Jose, and Amsterdam.
The DotBlock Minecraft Stack includes everything you need to run the Minecraft server. This consists of Java, the Minecraft server, and a licensed copy of McMyAdmin, the most popular control panel for Minecraft.
With a preinstalled Minecraft stack, you can be online and playing on your own turnkey Minecraft VPS within minutes.
They have graded plans just a general-purpose VPS host. Of interest to gamers is their lowest priced plan which gives you 1GB memory, 5GB storage, and unlimited bandwidth for $9.95. This plan will meet the needs of 8-10 gamers.
If this is not adequate for your group of gamers, their next step up is $39.95. It has double the CPU speed, 40GB of storage, and double the RAM. Clearly, the higher priced plans are only for large groups of gamers.
5. – Beastnode.com – from $4.49/mo
As its name and logo suggests, Beastnode is heavily into gaming. In fact, their home page features their line of Minecraft server plans alongside their regular VPS plan! Their no-click installer features the Multicraft panel. Their Minecraft plan uses only SSD storage and DDoS protection.
Beastnode has six datacenters located in Chicago, New York, Seattle, Orlando, Phoenix, and Amsterdam.
Their starting Minecraft plan is only $4.49/mo but it has only 256MB RAM. Their range of economy plans is intended for groups of fewer than 10 gamers. If that fits you, you can get by for less than the $10/mo that other providers charge. Note that their $10/mo plan gives you less RAM than you can get elsewhere. Its striking that Dotblock’s plans emphasize the other end of the gamer market than providers ike MincraftServerHost and ProvisionHost.
If you need to support more than 10 gamers, they have more expensive plans available. In fact, you can request a special “Beast” plan of any capacity that you specify!
Minecraft is a kick ass game and we applaud you for starting a Minecraft server. Let your creative juices flow and kick ass with it. Our 5 best Minecraft server host emphasize different segments of the market. Almost all have a plan that is designed for an average size group of gamers. Some emphasize bargain prices for fewer users but less than the top-of-the-line hardware. Others, like MinecraftServerHost, are strictly premium service. If you want to find other companies or choose a generic VPS host and install a Minecraft server yourself, then use hosting services comparison tool to find them and evaluate them yourself.