Best Minecraft server hosting in 2024

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Best Minecraft server hosting providers: Hostinger, ScalaHosting, Apex Hosting, Shockbyte and BisectHosting logo on a desktop with the Minecraft game background
(Image credit: Future)

The best Minecraft server hosting will give you the best multiplayer experience in Minecraft. There are many different ways you can have your own gaming server. Such as configuring one of the best VPS hosting plans or even one of the best dedicated servers but... it can be time consuming and who wants to be setting up a server when you could be playing.

That's why the best Minecraft hosting gives you low latency for your players, zero packet loss, the security features you need to keep everything safe and secure, plus more time to enjoy  your game. That's why all the hosts recommended on this page all have plans specifically dedicated to Minecraft. 

Some providers are completely transparent with what you get, while others will only tell you the recommended maximum number of player slots the plan can support, so you’ll want to pay close attention to things like the amount of RAM and vCPU cores, bandwidth and storage to make sure you have enough resources to run your server properly.

If you're looking for a game server host in general you can check out our best game server host guide.


Reader offer: Get up to 60% on VPS hosting with Hostinger

Reader offer: Get up to 60% on VPS hosting with Hostinger

Enjoy a host of benefits with Hostinger's plans - dedicated IP shields from DDoS attacks, automated backups for easy restores, ensuring uninterrupted gaming regardless of your configuration. Level up your gaming journey with Hostinger today.

Preferred partner (What does this mean?) 

To help you pick the very best Minecraft server hosting right now, we tested the top providers for speed, DDoS protection, mod support, security, reliability and uptime guarantee. Read on to find all the information you need about the best Minecraft hosting or jump to our best for your budget section if you prefer looking at tables.

Top 3 Best Minecraft server hosting deals in 2024

Shockbyte Shockbyte

1. Best for beginners: Shockbyte
Shockbyte is offering TechRadar readers an exclusive offer of 26% off the first month on all Minecraft server hosting plans. If all you need is 8 player slots, Shockbyte’s Dirt plan offers that plus DDoS protection and unlimited bandwidth and disk space.  

2. Best for elite gamers: ScalaHosting

2. Best for elite gamers: ScalaHosting
You can rent a pre-built Minecraft server or you can set it up yourself on ScalaHosting's VPS hosting solution. ScalaHosting offers significantly faster load times, unlimited bandwidth, and a robust cybersecurity solution.

Hostinger

3. Best bang for buck: Hostinger
With Hostinger game panel, you can launch your dedicated Minecraft VPS server in just five minutes. Buy a 4-year VPS Alex plan for $6.99 per month that includes 4GB RAM, 1 vCPU, and a dedicated IP.

Best Minecraft server hosting services 2024 in full

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Best Minecraft host for beginners

(Image credit: Shockbyte)
Minecraft hosting made easy from a specialist game server provider

Specifications

DDoS protection: Yes
MySQL Databases: Yes
RAM: Up to 16GB
vCPU: Up to 6

Reasons to buy

+
Specialist game server provider
+
100% uptime guarantee
+
Powerful high-end plans

Reasons to avoid

-
Customer support needs some improvement
-
Money-back guarantee only lasts 24 days

Shockbyte offers specialized servers and support for many popular games, such as Minecraft, Ark: Survival Evolved, Rust, and Palworld. The service immediately caught our attention due to its wide range of plans. While many providers give you three or four options to choose from, Shockbyte offers no less than 13 different options with varying specifications. The plans start at only $2.50 per month for a server with 1GB RAM plan recommended for 8 player slots, to a monster 32GB product that can handle 640 slots for a reasonable $80 a month.

We like to see providers offer a strong set of features across every plan, and Shockbyte doesn't disappoint. Even the cheapest plans come with DDoS protection, unlimited bandwidth and NVMe storage, automated instant setup, a free subdomain, a 100% network uptime guarantee and 24/7 support. 

Shockbyte has an established reputation for the best Minecraft server hosting and it's easy to see why. The service offers up-to-date support for the Java and Bedrock editions of Minecraft and allows you to install all of the various server versions and types (Spigot, CraftBukkit, Forge, Sponge, BungeeCord, Fabric, Vanilla, and more).

This all translates to a slick multiplayer gaming experience for users of all levels. Should your needs change in future, Shockbyte allows you to update your service at any time, and can even customize a plan to ensure all your requirements are met.

Read our Shockbyte review

Best value Minecraft server

How to Start a Minecraft Server (in 5 minutes) - YouTube How to Start a Minecraft Server (in 5 minutes) - YouTube
Watch On
A top choice Minecraft server host

Specifications

DDoS protection: Yes
MySQL Databases: Yes
RAM: Up to 8GB
vCPU: Up to 8

Reasons to buy

+
Instant setup
+
Great support
+
Easy server management

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn’t offer dedicated hosting
-
VPS plans not customizable

Hostinger is well known as one of the best web hosting services out there, but it doesn't just have the standard shared hosting and VPS offerings: there are some very capable and low cost game server plans making them also a great host for the best Minecraft server hosting too. You might not find the plans on their main page but they do exist.

We love Hostinger's mix of power and ease of use. There are all kinds of Minecraft Java Editions and server types available (Java 8, 11, 15, 16; Official, CraftBukkit, Spigot, Paper, Purpur, Forge and many more), and the well-designed Game Panel means you can have your server set up and ready-to-go within minutes of your purchase.

Whatever game configuration you use, Hostinger's plans deliver a lot of under-the-hood benefits. We were happy to see all plans come with a dedicated IP, DDoS Protection, and automated backups to make it easy to restore your setup if anything goes wrong.

But there's also plenty of fine-tuned control if you need it. Most server types provide installers for mods and plugins, but with full control over the server, we had no problem manually installing mods from File Manager.

The Game Panel 1 plan can be purchased for as little as $5.99 per month on an annual plan and provides you with 1 vCPU core, 4GB RAM,100GB of NVMe storage, and you can choose from one of Hostinger's data centers based in the US, Lithuania or the Netherlands to host your server. If you need a server with a bit more of a kick, you can choose from 3 additional plans with increasingly more powerful hardware, maxing out with the Game Panel 8 plan that offers 8 vCPU cores, 32GB RAM, and 400GB of NVMe storage.

Best for simple setup & server management

Screenshot of ScalaHosting's Minecraft server hosting homepage

(Image credit: ScalaHosting)
Look no further for those top-end plans

Specifications

DDoS protection: No
MySQL Databases: Yes
RAM: Up to 32GB
vCPU: Up to 8

Reasons to buy

+
Huge product range
+
Limitless scalability
+
Highly configurable VPS plans

Reasons to avoid

-
Average sharing hosting speeds during testing
-
Minimal content on the support site

Cheap Minecraft servers are often limited due to low end hardware that can handle a basic Minecraft server, but not much else

ScalaHosting's hosting plans do things differently. They're not stripped back or underpowered in any way: they're full-strength VPS packages that deliver everything you need for the best Minecraft server hosting but can be used for other tasks too.

A VPS plan allows you to have all the Minecraft goodies you'd ever want, which includes support for all server types and mod packs, automated installation and backups, 'Region Fixer' integration to automatically repair your world, and more.

We were impressed to see that you can also use your VPS to host a website for your server (or any other purpose), create email accounts, and generally use it for all-purpose web hosting.

You can even combine the two approaches to create multiple hosting accounts on a single VPS and give each one their own Minecraft server. ScalaHosting suggests you could use that feature to make money by effectively reselling Minecraft servers to friends or family.

We think ScalaHosting's system specs are excellent, with even the starter plan offering 2 vCPU cores, 4GB RAM, 50GB of NVMe storage, unlimited bandwidth, a dedicated IP, 1Gbps connection and more.

The catch? All this power comes at a high price, at least compared to the budget competition, with the plans starting at $29.95 a month. That's enough to rule out the service for many people, but if you need this level of power and configurability, we think ScalaHosting is a must for your shortlist.

Best new Minecraft host on the block

Inmotion hosting logo

(Image credit: Inmotion)

InMotion Hosting

Best new hosts on the block

Specifications

DDoS protection: No
MySQL Databases: Yes
RAM: Up to 32GB
vCPU: Up to 8

Reasons to buy

+
Reputable host
+
Easily add resources
+
Helpful guides

Reasons to avoid

-
Only US servers

InMotion Hosting are not new to the hosting world, but they are new when it comes to hosting Minecraft worlds. Don't let that put you off though because they've got 20+ years of hosting experience and the help pages for Minecraft are detailed enough that you’d think they’ve always had the best Minecraft server hosting plans.

Minecraft hosting from InMotion Hosting has everything you need for a custom Minecraft server. You can run any server version, and whatever plugins like, and or Modpacks you’d like. While increased flexibility is always welcome, it can often be a double-edged blade. On one side, you have more control over the experiences that players can have on your server, but on the other it can be harder to understand the hardware requirements needed to run what you want. 

InMotion Hosting makes choosing a plan easy by providing a RAM recommendation guide right at the top of their list of options. The guide acts as a cheat sheet that gives you the baseline recommendations for each Modpack. If you find that you don’t have enough resources for your server to perform properly, you can add more resources to your plan at a later date, and there are some FAQs on the page to help you make a decision. 

InMotion Hosting uses premium hardware within their servers, including NVMe SSD storage and Intel Xeon CPUs, to give you the best possible performance for your Minecraft server. In addition, the servers are deployed in data centers positioned at internet exchange points (IXPs) and are supported by Tier 1 internet service providers. This provides super-fast connections and the lowest latency possible.

Best Minecraft server hosting on a budget

(Image credit: ScalaCube)
An affordable choice if you're working to a budget

Specifications

DDoS protection: Yes
MySQL Databases: Yes
RAM: Up to 16GB
vCPU: Up to 16

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive value for money
+
Easy to use
+
Plenty of server locations

Reasons to avoid

-
Free plan is limited to 1 player slot
-
Support tools limited to online ticket service

ScalaCube offers ultra-affordable and reliable server hosting for Minecraft, with the price starting at $2 for the first month and $4 per month thereafter. This configuration supports up to 10 players and is a bit underpowered with just 768MB RAM. Still, it doesn't seem fair to complain at this price, and if nothing else, it's a low-cost way to explore the Minecraft management basics and see just what you can do.

One-click installation for any modpack you might use is supported, and you can use custom forge servers to create your own Minecraft launcher. This is advantageous since with just a few clicks you can configure your server settings.

We gave ScalaCube high marks for its intuitive and user-friendly interface, its stability, excellent support team and lag-free service. ScalaCube also offers BungeeCord and modpack support, full file access, a free MySQL database, a backup system, a website/forum, and more.

Slots for Minecraft servers are unlimited, but the various plans have a recommendation for the number of players each configuration can support. You can choose to exceed this recommendation, but you may find that your server’s performance suffers as a result. There’s a good selection of server locations across the US and UK, Europe, Asia and Australia for you to choose from, and ScalaCube offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

When it comes to choosing your Minecraft game server, ScalaCube offers a wide variety of options including Forge, Snapshot, ATLauncher, FTB, Void’s Wrath, Cauldron, Bukkit, PaperMC, Spigot and many more.

Read our ScalaCube review

Best lag-free Minecraft server hosting

(Image credit: Apex Hosting)
Great for lag-free servers with high quality support

Specifications

DDoS protection: Yes
MySQL Databases: Yes
RAM: Up to 16GB
vCPU: Up to 16

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of server choices
+
High level of control
+
Automated backups

Reasons to avoid

-
“Unlimited player slots” are actually limited
-
There are cheaper options on the market

Does the convenience of installing and playing your modpack of choice with just one click sound tempting? Apex Hosting has made that possible, and from plugins to mods, to even mini-games and maps, this provider makes hosting a Minecraft server an easy task. 

Additional advantages for this provider include well distributed servers, and we were impressed to see no less than 16 hosting locations spread out around the globe. These include the US, Canada, Brazil, the UK, Turkey, Germany, France, Israel, Japan, Singapore, and Australia, ensuring you can find a location that provides a low-latency gaming experience for the maximum possible number of players.

One of the main reasons Apex is preferred by a lot of Minecraft enthusiasts is likely due to giving you full server control, along with world class support, fast connections, and tons of server version options. Apex Hosting’s automated backups are another attractive feature in terms of safety for your files too.

The lag-free servers of Apex Hosting have helped the provider make quite a name for itself. It also helps that these servers are fully protected and provide a simple and easy-to-navigate control panel for users, along with quality help and the likes of video tutorials for novices (as well as 24/7 customer support if you get stuck with anything).

Read our Apex Hosting review

Best Minecraft server hosting service for add-ons

MCProHosting Artistic Logo

(Image credit: MCProHosting)
A top pick if you want more service add-ons

Specifications

DDoS Protection: Yes
MySQL Databases: Yes
RAM: Up to 16GB
vCPU: 16

Reasons to buy

+
22 server locations across six continents
+
No upload limits
+
99.9% uptime
+
Very powerful servers

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier than other providers
-
Add-ons can become quite expensive

MCProHosting has been in the hosting business since 2011. The company has 22 server locations spread out across 6 continents and can offer real-time DDoS mitigation thanks to a partnership with Cloudflare Spectrum. Standard DDoS protection provides reactive mitigation with up to 30Gbps of mitigation bandwidth; however, you can pay an additional $6.99 per month on top of your hosting plan to add additional protection that includes multiple traffic routes to reduce latency by up to 17%, and over 192Tbps of mitigation bandwidth.

In our tests, the service performed very well, and what really got our attention is the time machine feature that enables automatic backups for the server every hour, and each backup is stored for 72 hours. In addition, we could download each of the automatic backups from the control panel as desired.

MCProHosting also offers server management services should you need assistance or prefer not to manage your Minecraft server yourself. The Express plan offers 20 mod and 25 plugin setups for $7.99 per month, while the Premium plan offers 50 mod and 35 plugin setups and unlimited slots for players. There's also Ultimate and Extreme packages that give you 100 or 150 mods, 45 or 60 plugin setups, unlimited slots for players and discord support. As a bonus, the Extreme plan also offers an extra GB of RAM for your server.

We found the dashboard to be clear and relatively easy to use, with all the features in tabs on the left-hand side granting easy access to add-ons and the features included in the package we chose.

Minecraft server hosting from MCProHosting also offers 24/7 customer support via a ticketed live chat feature on their website, guarantees 99.9% server uptime, and its secure payment system runs on a secure SSL-encrypted connection. 

Read our full MCProHosting review

Best flexible Minecraft server hosting

(Image credit: BisectHosting)
Flexible options to fit your needs

Specifications

DDoS protection: Yes
MySQL Databases: Yes
RAM: Up to 48GB
vCPU: Up to 16

Reasons to buy

+
Flexible options
+
Solid wallet-friendly plans
+
DDoS protection

Reasons to avoid

-
No dedicated IP with “Budget” packages
-
No telephone support

Minecraft server hosting from BisectHosting has always been about ease of use and low-cost. It helps that the founders have direct experience with owning servers, both in the present and in the past. As such, no matter the size of your multiplayer community, big or small, unlimited player slots means Bisect has your back.

BisectHosting's flexible Minecraft server hosting is impressive, with budget and premium packages offering between 1GB and 48GB of RAM (starting at $7.99 per month for premium and $2.99 for budget plans). BisectHosting provides easy setup, unlimited slots as mentioned (in premium packages), a free MySQL database, free subdomains, modpack updates and more, making this provider an attractive choice. 

Budget and premium packages allow you to pick various features tailored to your exact needs, and 24/7 support will ensure you can access help whenever you require.

With multiple server locations across the globe, you’ve got plenty of good options to help make sure latency is kept to a minimum. Servers are strategically placed around the US (in California, Florida, Texas, Oregon and New York), as well as in the UK, France, Poland, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore and Canada. It’s also worth noting that you are provided with DDoS protection to keep your server safe from DDoS attacks at no additional cost. 

Read our BisectHosting review

Best Minecraft hosting if you play other games

Website dashboard screenshot of Nodecraft Minecraft hosting homepage

(Image credit: Nodecraft)
Ideal if you play a wide library of games

Specifications

DDoS Protection: Yes
MySQL Databases: Yes
RAM: Up to 8GB
vCPU: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Servers all around the globe
+
Unlimited player slots
+
Ability to switch to game servers

Reasons to avoid

-
High end plan not that powerful as some of the others
-
Short money back guarantee time (7-days)

Founded in 2012, Nodecraft is a US-based company that offers server hosting services for various games, including Minecraft. Nodecraft has servers in 12 countries spread out across 5 continents.

All plans, even the beginner plan, offer unlimited player slots, and setting the server up is quick and hassle-free experience using Nodecraft's instant setup feature. If you play any other games, or plan to, Nodecraft provide a very interesting feature called save&swap that lets you switch to a different game server while simultaneously saving your progress on the current one you’re playing.

As for Minecraft plans, Nodecraft has four offerings, with the cheapest starting at $9.98 per month. This will get you 2GB RAM, 10GB SSD storage, 20GB cloud backup, and 5 save&swap servers. All four plans have DDoS protection, a free subdomain, and a dedicated IP.

All in all, we think Nodecraft is a good choice for Minecraft and gaming enthusiasts, and their servers are powerful enough for players to have a lag-free experience. If you’d like to try before you but, Nodecraft offer a free trial that doesn’t require a credit card.

Read our full Nodecraft review

Best plans up to $30

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ProviderPlanRAMvCPUBandwidthDiskspaceSlotsCost
ShockbyteZeus12UnspecifiedUnlimitedUnlimited200+$30.00
Apex6GB RAM6UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified$29.99
ScalaCubeMinecraft 6GUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified$26.00
MCProHostingWitch4UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified70$22.99
BisectHostingPremium Plan 6GB6UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified$29.94
Row 6 - Cell 0 Row 6 - Cell 1 Row 6 - Cell 2 Row 6 - Cell 3 Row 6 - Cell 4 Row 6 - Cell 5 Row 6 - Cell 6 Row 6 - Cell 7

Best for easy server management

GG Servers Minecraft hosting website homepage screenshot

(Image credit: GG Servers)
Make it easy on yourself

Specifications

DDoS Protection: Yes
MySQL Databases: Yes
RAM: Up to 32GB
vCPU: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Plan variety
+
Easy server management
+
Powerful CPU

Reasons to avoid

-
Have to pay extra for MySQL and additional locations
-
Unlimited databases are only in premium plans

GG Servers is a Canadian hosting provider that specializes in game servers. They operate servers in 9 locations around the globe, spread out across Canada, the US, the UK, Finland, Germany, France, Singapore, and Australia.

GG Servers gives you the option to choose between standard and premium servers, with premium servers having faster RAM and CPUs, as well as access to all locations. Standard plans unfortunately don’t come with a MySQL database or unlimited player slots, so you’ll have to pay extra if you’d like either of these, however both are included with premium plans.

The Minecraft hosting plans have a lot of variety, ranging from 1GB to 32 GB RAM. The beginner 1GB RAM plan, called Stone, is priced at $3 per month ($6 per month if you go premium) and has 12 player slots, while the high-end Beacon plan is priced at $96 per month ($192 per month for premium). This gets you 32GB RAM and the ability to choose your own player slots.

All servers come with 480 Gbps DDoS protection, in addition to having the option to instantly activate them, in a matter of seconds. You’ll be managing the server, including the chat & server logs, using the company’s own Multicraft control panel, which is easy to get a hang of even if you’re a beginner.

Both Java and Bedrock Editions are supported. The company also offers 24/7 support, and you can ask for a refund, but only within 24 hours.

Read our full GG Servers review

Best specialized Minecraft hosting

A screenshot of Minecraft Hosting Pro's website homepage

(Image credit: Minecraft Hosting Pro)
Specialized Minecraft

Specifications

DDoS Protection: Yes
MySQL Databases: Yes
RAM: Up to 20GB
vCPU: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Free server
+
Powerful hardware
+
Unlimited player slots and unmetered storage

Reasons to avoid

-
No servers in Asia
-
No clear option to change the pricing from euros to other currencies 

As the name suggests, Minecraft Hosting Pro is a specialized Minecraft server provider offering hosting services only for Minecraft, so you can expect some nice features. The host doesn’t have as many server locations as some of the other providers but the 6 locations on offer, 4 in the US, 1 in Europe, and 1 Australia, should provide most with enough options.

All servers have DDoS protection, automatic backups, unmetered storage, a 100 MB MySQL database, and instant setup to get you up and running in a few seconds. In addition, all servers have a 99.9% availability and you get a free domain and subdomain.

The offering starts at $9 per month, $7.20 per month if you choose the yearly payment. This will get you 3GB RAM, unlimited player slots, and 2 CPU cores powered by a Ryzen 9 3900X. If you find that more power is needed, you can upgrade to 6 CPU cores for an additional $7.50. You can also pay extra for automated tasks, custom domains, and advanced backups. In addition, the provider has a free server as well, which you can use for 10 days, giving you the option to test the service out.

Minecraft Hosting Pro servers are low-latency with dedicated 24/7 support via tickets. Their own server hosting control panel is intuitive and user-friendly so even if you’re a newbie you shouldn’t have much trouble figuring things out.

Read our full Minecraft Hosting Pro review

Best plans for your budget

Best plans up to $10

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ProviderPlanRAMvCPUBandwidthDiskspaceSlotsCost
ShockbyteIron 4UnspecifiedUnlimitedUnlimited40$10.00
Apex2GB RAM2UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified$9.99
BisectHostingBudget Plan 3GB3UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified$8.97
NodecraftKeelo4UnspecifiedUnspecified20GB + 40 CloudUnspecified$9.99

Best plans up to $20

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ProviderPlanRAMvCPUBandwidthDiskspaceSlotsCost
ShockbyteEmerald8UnspecifiedUnlimitedUnlimited80$20.00
Apex4GB RAM4UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified$19.99
ScalaCubeMinecraft 3G3UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified$20.00
HostingerVPS Creeper824TB80GB NVMeUnspecified$19.99
BisectHostingBudget Plan 6GB6UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified$17.94
NodecraftOmega8UnspecifiedUnspecified40GB + 80 CloudUnspecified$19.99

Best plans over $30

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ProviderPlanRAMvCPUBandwidthDiskspaceSlotsCost
ScalahostingSlime825TB160GBUnspecified$89.95
Apex8GB RAM8UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified$39.99
ScalaCubeMinecraft 16G16UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified96$300
HostingerVPS Enderman1648TB120GB NVMeUnspecified$39.99
MCProHostingEnter Dragon32UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified$.99.99
BisectHostingPremium Plan 20GB20UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified$99.80

Best Minecraft server hosting: FAQs

What is a Minecraft server?

If you’ve ever played Minecraft, you’ll know that the multiplayer mode makes it a more worthwhile and enjoyable game, enriching the experience considerably. After all, one of the many skills that Minecraft can help you develop is teamwork. 

A Minecraft server is basically a private network that anyone can create, making it possible for other people to join if they wish to play in multiplayer. Owners can control who can join the server via IP or username whitelisting and password protection. You can also configure additional settings and run commands that adjust the rules, PVP mode, player limits, and many more. 

While you can run a Minecraft server on your own hardware, Purchasing Minecraft server hosting is an excellent alternative that can provide a hassle-free way to set up a server exactly as you’d like.

What's the minimum requirement for a Minecraft server?

The minimum recommended RAM for running a Minecraft server used to be 2 GB. However, with the addition of new biomes, monsters and npcs, and other features along the way, this has increased to 4 GB or more for a server with a moderate number of players. 

This is especially true for newer versions of Minecraft, such as 1.16 and later, which have added even more content and features with larger-scale moves like the Nether update, Caves and Cliffs update, The Wild update, and more. 

For larger servers with many players and a large world, the recommended RAM can exceed 8 GB, depending on the size and complexity of the server. Beyond this, modded Minecraft servers typically require even more RAM than vanilla servers. 

As mods can entirely redesign the game or introduce massive features, which can significantly increase the memory usage of the server, you may need to keep this in mind when selecting a solution for your Minecraft server hosting needs. Modded Minecraft servers often require at least 8 GB or more of RAM, with some reaching 16 GB and beyond.

This ever increasing memory requirement is made more complicated by Minecraft’s optimization issues related to multi-threaded performance, though this has improved over time by mod and plugin developers.

How will things change with Minecraft 1.20?

The next major update in line, as it stands, seems a bit bare-bones in comparison to the last handful of major game updates. This means it will have less of an impact on the server hosting economy, at least in its current form. Should the update introduce more new gameplay features like Archaeology, technical requirements minimum and beyond will continue to grow, and it will be more important than ever to choose a server hosting service that’s capable of standing up to this process. 

Why is running my own Minecraft server risky?

If your servers are not set up correctly you could have malicious actors imitate other people you game with causing you to possibly share information with hackers that could lead to bigger problems.

If you're really going independent and running a server from your home then that brings a whole new level of risk because opening up your home network to dangers of the web obviously poses serious risks.

If you really know what you're doing and it wont take you a long time to set up your own server correctly then there is no problem with it. If you don't want the risk and want to spend more time gaming then it's better to find a game server host.

Minecraft gaming image of a cow and pig in a digital field with a house behind

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft server hosting pros and cons

You can think of a Minecraft server as your personal space in the game where you control things such as who gets to play with you. While you can set one up using your PC, it requires quite a bit of knowledge around technology and networking. 

Lacking those skills, setting up a server would be a nightmare, in more ways than one, starting from the fact that you’ll leave yourself very vulnerable and susceptible to breaches and hacker attacks.

Security isn’t the only issue, your bandwidth would suffer too, to what extent would depend on your internet connection you have where you live.

Those are the reasons why many people don’t want to bother with installing and maintaining a Minecraft server. Instead, they pick a hosting company to do the work.

This kind of game server hosting is much like hosting a website. In web hosting, a third-party manages the website’s file storage including images, videos and the like. The web host rents out the server hardware on which the website is run – and without that hardware, the site obviously wouldn’t exist. 

Game server hosting is pretty much identical, and as with web hosting, renting out a server will necessitate a monthly payment. At this point, you’re probably wondering, does the cost justify this kind of service?

Let’s look at some pros and cons of running your own Minecraft server via a hosting company, starting with the advantages:

Tighter security and privacy. As you may have heard a couple of hundred times, joining public IPs (third-party Minecraft servers) may increase the risk of your data being pilfered somehow. Running the server yourself can have obvious benefits in terms of keeping security in check.

Install one modpack after another, because why not? Switching is made easier, and with tons of modpacks made available in your private Minecraft server, who’s to stop you from making your experience as optimized as you want?

The potential to generate income. Okay, so this might be a long shot, but if you can set the slim odds aside and believe that it is a possibility after all, this might be a good reason to start investing in a Minecraft server. As a rule of thumb, keeping the server afloat with merely the (expected) donations is not advisable – aim higher, if you can. Successful Minecraft servers are able to start generating profit, but always remember that’s usually after tedious – not to mention nerve-racking – efforts to gain visibility. 

Having full control. Not that you have to be a control freak to enjoy this advantage, but running a Minecraft server allows you to stay in control – configuring restrictions, permissions, giving commands, setting up rules and so forth. You become the master of your own Minecraft destiny, as it were.

All that said, there are also some disadvantages as follows:

The inevitable hosting issues. Managing a Minecraft server isn’t all keeping order and making rules. Hosting problems are one of the main reasons Minecraft servers do not last – it might seem a relatively straightforward route on the face of it, but it can certainly have challenging aspects. Think having to switch hosting provider multiple times until you find the one you’re most comfortable with, all whilst dealing with a range of specific issues for each individual hosting company just to keep your server afloat.

Shelling out more cash. As we’ve already touched on, hosting itself obviously comes with a cost, and attempting to gain exposure to make your Minecraft server more popular will do, as well. The possibility must definitely be considered that you may be left considerably out-of-pocket by just maintaining the server in the longer run.

Say goodbye to playing? Dealing with hosting a Minecraft server (or indeed running one yourself at home) and the technical issues which might pop up, as well as potentially promoting the server, will all take time. Perhaps to the extent that you struggle to find the time to actually play Minecraft.

Minecraft gaming image of six people in a digital field with a house and trees behind

(Image credit: Minecraft)

How to choose the best Minecraft server hosting service for you

After you have decided to run your own Minecraft server via a host, the next move is to find the right hosting provider for you. Naturally, we’ve covered you on that part as we already picked the best hosting options right now (see above).

Before you pick a web hosting provider, make sure you learn all the knicks and knacks. Above, we highlighted all the key factors you should look out for before deciding on anything.

Hardware: This is of utmost importance and the primary thing to look out for when running online multiplayer games. While Minecraft isn’t a demanding game on its own, that can change when you add several players and various mods to it. Look at the CPU and RAM as those play a vital role in making sure the multiplayer experience remains optimized. It’s safe to say that the right hardware will either make a Minecraft server or break one.

Pricing: Of course, since you’re relying on third-party services to take care of hosting your Minecraft server, costs will also be a factor. Aside from the hardware, your hosting service will also be providing security, maintenance, plugins, features, the list goes on. The good news is that hosting companies offer several kinds of plans that cater to whatever your needs may be. 

Easy configuration: Let’s face it, you don’t want to waste time and get frustrated by a convoluted setup process, so providers that offer an easy and swift setup are obviously attractive. That said, it’s one thing to be novice-friendly, but also make sure that the hosting company gives you full control over your server so you can make any necessary changes in terms of settings and so forth.

Support: There’s always a chance that things will go awry, even with the best hosting companies, and so it’s safe to assume that you will need customer support at some point. Whether you find yourself unable to change an important setting, or you need help to defend against or respond to something truly nasty like a DDoS attack, it can be crucial to have customer support which responds quickly. Any downtime could put off your precious players, after all.

Maintenance: Furthermore, in general terms it’s absolutely vital for the server to always be up, otherwise players will leave, take their game elsewhere, and you’ll lose money. This is a scenario you obviously want to avoid at all costs. Some of the things you might want to look for include FTP access for when you’re switching between mods and a web-based control panel.

How we test the best Minecraft server hosting

Our tests and evaluation take into account various aspects such as server locations, ease of installation, server performance and speeds, before exploring the robustness of each offering in terms of their security and stability. 

We also reviewed customer support availability and response times, and listed any discounts or money-back periods offered. Our team of experts sign up to each Minecraft server hosting service by creating a connection to the server, installing the Minecraft server, sharing port, and joining the server.

James Capell
B2B Editor, Web Hosting

James is a tech journalist deeply interested in interconnectivity and digital infrastructure. After graduating with a degree in English language & journalism he worked editing technical documentation for tech giants including Alibaba Cloud, Tencent, and Bytedance. James stays up to date with the latest web and internet trends by attending datacenter summits, WordPress conferences, and mingling with software and web developers. At TechRadar Pro, James is responsible for ensuring web hosting pages are as relevant and as helpful to readers as possible and also looking for the best deals and coupon codes for web hosting.