Advantages of Running Your Own Minecraft Server
When presented with the opportunity to run your virtual server, you might question just exactly what you would do with such a service. To answer that, I turn to a common pastime for many — video games!
Servers play an integral part in digital gaming, especially when it comes to online play. Many of these games connect to a central server which fosters communication among remote players, enabling game-playing across long distances. One of the most popular online games that can take full advantage of your running a virtualized server is Minecraft.
Minecraft is all about building a world full of creativity — for exploration and even for survival. Sharing that world with others is a staple of the game, and you can use your virtualized server to accomplish that.
Playing Minecraft out of the box limits the extent of your play. However, if you create a Minecraft world on your server, you can then play from it — without any limitations — and invite all your friends to play with you.
Your Game, Your Rules
Because you run the server, you run the game. You get to choose the rules of the world and design it to your heart’s content. This is a place where you are the sole administrator. Assign — or deny — roles to others, control spawn rates, physics, landscapes, everything! Running Minecraft from your server makes the world-building experience all yours, and lets other players share in your creation.
You can view many of the available in-game administration commands available here: http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Commands
Grow Your Community
As you build your Minecraft world, you’re likely to get friends, fans, and curious, anonymous players partaking in your adventure. From your server, you can build a personal community, or you can serve pre-established communities and help them grow. You can create a new world, share footage of it online, and invite in new friends, which will grow your player base.
You’re welcome to be content with a small and welcoming server, and it becomes a personal place for you and your friends. Or, become the next big Minecraft server that gets covered by gaming and tech news outlets. There are many large servers and groups out there that can generate a lot of content on sites like YouTube and Twitch, all starting with just a simple server.
Coincidently, did you know that WesterosCraft not only runs on Linode but was created in part by a Linode employee?
Install Any Mods
When you’re running Minecraft on your server, you control what mods to run. With a plethora of mods available, you can set up a full environment where you can test and implement them as you see fit.
These modifications will change the way the game was originally programmed, and allow your server to run with new features not originally implemented. Mods you use may alter the appearance of certain gameplay elements, provide a better administration interface, create new objects, and more.
The more you get into the modding community, you could soon see yourself writing your custom modifications for the game as well!
Server Administration for Kids
All ages enjoy Minecraft. It can act as a legitimate gateway to teaching children how to be a server administrator. The game teaches kids basic Linux administration, server setup and those commands needed to customize a Minecraft server.
With a virtual, personal server running Minecraft, parents can monitor their children’s server activity, restrict whom they play with and make sure they’re playing in a safe, multiplayer environment.
Starting your server is like running your personal Linux computer. With Linode, you can spin up a server in seconds, deploy any distribution you wish, and then start following a guide to setup a Minecraft server.
We have several Minecraft guides available, including how to customize a server with Spigot, or how to run a server for mobile Minecraft, called PocketMine:
For your initial Minecraft server, I recommend starting with the first guide, Minecraft on Debian and Ubuntu. Once you get comfortable with its instruction and create your incipient world, branch out and explore what other fun is possible when you’re running your game server.