Hosting a Minecraft server can be a fun, educational, exciting, and even profitable endeavor. First things first, unless you plan to actually install a giant server in your basement and have somebody sitting next to it 24/7, then you’ll want to rent that Minecraft server from a professional, which frees you up to actually manage it and play the game and do all that fun stuff.
This isn’t a guide about how to setup a Minecraft server or how to monetize it, we’re strictly looking at the best Minecraft server hosting options to help you choose where to take that first step.
When Minecraft was released, approaching a decade ago, it really took the gaming world by storm. May 17, 2009 is when the original version of Minecraft was officially released, and since then it has come out on numerous platforms, even mobile phones can play a version of Minecraft. One of the reasons it’s so popular is because of the addictive grind of the game-play, the immense creativity, and that it appeals both to the younger generation and to older gamers as well.
If you were the kid who had a suitcase full of Lego as a kid and loved to spend all your free time building things of your own, you’re the type of person who falls in love with Minecraft. Parents love to see their kids being creative rather than just running and gunning in a first-person shooter, and since Minecraft is styled in an almost primitive way, with big pixels and no super high-def textures to process, it can run on just about any computer, making it incredibly accessible. You can build all sorts of maps and some have even gone as far as building Gyms and simulating bodybuilding events!
There were over 100 million copies of Minecraft sold, and all of those people are looking for great servers to play on. As the person hosting a server, you have certain responsibilities, but at the end of the day it’s all about making the best experience for your players, and if you can do that – you’ll have people lining up.
Hosting your own server can be a blast. Whether you’re experienced with hosting a Minecraft server, or just getting started, we’ve put many options through the test and gathered up the very best ones for beginners or for people who have been around the ‘block‘ a few times.
Different Minecraft server hosting companies will cater to different people, so we’ve chosen the top 5. If the top pick doesn’t seem like a great option for your specific needs, don’t worry – all of the options on this list are great, very well-reviewed by many other users, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Having said that, we’re going to help you make the best choice right now.
What To Look For In a Minecraft Host
Before you start choosing a specific host, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re looking for. How can you find something if you don’t know what it is you’re trying to find? So, with that in mind, here’s a quick guide that’ll help you understand what your needs are when choosing which Minecraft host to go with.
First things first, what are you going to be using the server for? Is it just for you and a couple buddies to play on, without having to worry about someone having their home PC turned on all the time when you self-host?
If that’s the case, you can probably get away with a pretty simply server for anywhere from a single dollar per month, to a few bucks. If you plan on adding modpacks and such, you’ll be looking at servers in the $3+ price range in most cases, as they’ll have enough ram to support the addons. Anything cheaper than that probabally won’t be able to handle a whole lot of additional plugins running at any given time.
If you plan on having 10, 20 or 30 different users online at a time (referred to as user slots), you’ll definitely want to pick up something more powerful than a $1 Minecraft server. Any more than that, and it might be time to start considering either a high-end or a dedicated Minecraft server, especially if you’ve got some money and donations coming in from your players.
It’s poor form to take in money from the server and not re-invest at least some of it towards better hardware and a better experience. At the bottom of this page, we’ll include some helpful tips for running a successful Minecraft server.
We’ll start with a quick rundown of our top choices in case you’re in a hurry to get started right away. If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation and look at the features of each of these Minecraft server hosts, we’ll include that below as well.
We’re going to cover all of the most important aspects about each option, along with what sets them apart from the pack, and who they cater to. After reading the following breakdowns, if you’re still not sure which one to go with, the full descriptions lower down on this page will make it crystal clear.
Top 5 Minecraft Server Hosting Companies in 2018:
Here’s our list of the Best Minecraft Server Hosting companies on the Market and below them you’ll find a quick description on their pros and cons, as well as some pricing information too.
Remember: Any one of these hosts is a great pick, so find the one that has what you want and fits in your budget, even if it’s ranked #4 or #5. We aren’t including any sub-par hosts on this list, there are all excellent choices.
1. GameServers.com – Most Popular Host
GameServers is a leader when it comes to servers for a variety of different games. For Minecraft in particular, that remains true. They offer servers for as little as $1 per month, but also have options to scale up if your server starts getting a lot more popular. It’s easy to configure, comes with McMyAdmin, one-click installs for plugins, and lots more.
The McMyAdmin control panel includes a ton of essential stuff. With these servers, you’ve got instant access to all the key plugins too, here’s a list: Tekkit, ChestShop, CommandBook, iConomy, Essentials, GodPowers, Factions, McMMO, WorldGuard, WorldEdit, and many others. In addition, you can even upload your own plugins, too. They pride themselves on offering a very low ping experience for their players, which is always good. Tens of thousands of Minecraft server administrators use McMyAdmin, it’s the gold standard, so if you’ve ever hosted a server with a different company, it should all feel pretty familiar (Unless they were using their own custom solution, of course.)
Specs and Price:
Their most entry-level server costs a were $1, is suitable for 1-6 players, and comes with 384 megs of ram. If you plan on using various plugins and modpacks, they aren’t typically recommended for servers with less than 512MB ram. A 512MB server from GameServers will run you $3.99, supports up to 8 players, and opens up the doors a bit more in terms of what you can do.
We think they have a strong team of dedicated support staff who know and understand the unique needs of a variety of games. On the other hand, sometimes there’s a benefit to using a company that strictly hosts servers for just one particular game so you’re getting help from specialists, but in the case of GameServers this company is so large that there’s no shortage of staff members that should be able to help you out with any snags or snares you may run into with your server. It’s not uncommon for plugins to experience issues, so having a strong support team is super helpful.
- Very affordable
- Only takes a couple of minutes to get your server running
- Daily backups and a ton of extra features and plugins available
- A custom control panel for managing your Minecraft server
- Very low pings and servers located around the world
- One of the industry leaders with tons of experience across countless games
- Their money-back guarantee is only 5 days
- There’s really not much else to complain about here, they’re doing a great job
If you rent a Minecraft server from them, they will include a 50% discount off of a voice server, as well. It’s a good idea to host a voice server, and there are a few to choose from, such as TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, and Mumble. You can look into each one to see which will be the best fit, but they’re all pretty good, with TeamSpeak being the most popular. The 50% off discount comes in really handy, otherwise the voice server costs can become significant once you have a few dozen people on board.
These guys have been at it since the beginning, and are passionate about all things Minecraft. There are a lot of reasons to love them, for instance they typically allocate more resources per user, giving your players a better overall experience.
Their servers are fast, easy to use, and their support has always got your back. If you’re looking for a budget Minecraft host, this isn’t the best option – you’ll likely pay a little extra here, but when your server gets busy, you’ll be glad you did because your users won’t experience the typical slowdown you might get from lower-tier hardware.
Now let’s take a closer look at some of the features you’ll find here. They offer a variety of fun mods that are quick to get running, like the entertaining Pixelmon mod that turns Minecraft into a Pokemon hybrid, basically. You’ll also get Spigot, FTB, Technic Hosting, and a variety of other things that will all start to make sense very soon if this is all new to you.
Specs and Price:
They offer three distinct plans, starting at $29.95 per month and going up to just under $50 per month. Their servers, from cheapest to most expensive, are called Diamond, Iron, and Redstone. Diamond recommends a maximum of 50 players, whereas Redstone will take you all the way to 100.
These are recommendations, and will vary a lot based on what additional plugins you’re running at any given moment.
We spoke earlier about the advantage of specialists when it comes to support, and that’s exactly what you’re getting here. Minecraft servers are their bread and butter, so when it comes to just about any issue you might encounter, chances are they’ve already encountered it before and probably fixed it a dozen times before lunch.
Experience means a lot if you ever run into a mod issue, or something along those lines, that has your server not working correctly. Your reputation is on the line when you experience technical difficulties, and we’re confidant you can trust this company to come through for you.
- Super high quality hardware
- Extremely fast, even when a lot of players are online
- They’re dedicated and passionate about Minecraft
- They’ve been around since the game went live
- They have an exceptional reputation
- Their servers come with everything you need, and a lot of extras
- They’re on the pricier side, so if you are running this server as a business to make some extra cash on the side, you’ll want something super high quality like this. If it’s more of a hobby for you and a couple friends, you can probably get away with something cheaper and less powerful.
- They may be sold out of servers when you check. If that’s the case, we suggest getting in touch with them to see what the wait is currently looking like.
The most common MineCraftServerHost discounts you’ll find are for paying quarterly instead of monthly, you can save about $5 per month if you pay a few months at a time, so that’s $15 per invoice, and $60 per year, so it adds up and it’s worth it if you plan on keeping the server for more than a month or two.
Also, you’ll occasionally find their Iron and Redstone servers at a discounted rate. We’re about to dig into their specs and the prices for each server. It’s going to seem kind of steep at first, but when it comes to hosting, you get what you pay for.
For a premium experience, you’re going to need to dish out some extra funds. They’re often sold out, so even thought they’re the most experience company we’re looking at, they’re worth the price if “good enough” simply isn’t good enough, and you won’t settle for anything less than perfect.
So far we’ve looked at a low-cost option, and a premium option, and now we’re going to be featuring a company called BeastNode, and they offer both premium Minecraft servers along with budget options, too. Not only are they versatile, they have some excellent hardware running on a gigabit up-link, and it only takes a few seconds to get your server setup. Their support is 24/7 so you won’t miss a beat if you run into any issues and need help.
In addition to Premium Minecraft Servers and Budget Minecraft Servers, the folks at Beastnode also offer SSD Cloud VPS servers. They are based in Irvine, California. They have all of the standards that you’d expect from a host, and they also offer custom packages if you need a larger amount of resources.
They’re using the latest Intel Xeon CPUs, and have a focus on making things affordable for everyone, whether you need a higher-end box or just something simple to get you started. They’ll grow with you as your server grows.
Specs and Price:
Let’s compare a couple of their budget servers along side their premium servers. Please note that they recommend at least 4GB of ram if you plan on hosting modpacks on your basic server, and 2gb+ on their premium servers.
|Budget 1||$2.99||1GB||Up to 15|
|Budget 2||$11.99||4GB||Up to 60|
|Premium 1||$3.00||256MB||Up to 3|
|Premium 2||$20||2GB RAM||Up to 40|
|Premium 3||$60||6 GB||Up to 105|
You’ll notice that with the budget options you get considerably more hardware and users for the price, but that’s not the full story. You get a higher priority of tech support with the premium servers, unlimited disk space (Whereas there are limits on the budget servers), a free subdomain, and a few other perks, besides better hardware.
So, the easiest rule of thumb to decide whether you should grab the premium or if the value servers are good enough is how hard you’re going to be pushing the hardware, how many users you’ll have, and if you plan on raising money through the server. If so, pony up for the premium.
Their support is available to help you around the clock, however there are different tiers of support. The basic servers come with basic support, whereas the premium servers come with full tech support.
- State of the art hardware, SSD drives, the latest Intel processors, and premium bandwidth at reasonable prices
- Around the clock support staff to help you out
- It’s nice that they clearly show you which are their ‘budget’ options and which are their PREMIUM servers
- They allow for an unlimited amount of player slots
- They support all the popular plugins, and have unlimited bandwidth available
- They only have 3 locations around the world (Chicago, Arizona, and The Netherlands) which, in the grand scheme of things, gives them decent coverage but is considerably less than some of the other companies we’ve looked it. This isn’t going to make-or-break your experience, so they still come highly recommended none the less.
If you’re willing to prepay for multiple months, you’ll save more and more money depending on how long you’re willing to commit too. For example, a plan that is regularly $5 per month will only be $4.25 per month if you sign up for a year at a time. BeastNode also offers discounts for people who pay for 3 and 6 months at a time.
4. MelonCube Hosting
Meloncube aims for 100% uptime on their enterprise-tier hardware. They add in a lot of extra perks for free that would other end up adding up if you had to pay for each of them, things like unlimited slots for players, databases, and 30 days of Buycraft Ultimate, along with 45 days of Enjin and 30 days of Minestrents Lite.
These trials allow you to test out these different platforms that can make managing a server and a community, and making money from it, so much easier – from there, you can decide which ones you want to keep.
MelonCube is a great place to rent a Minecraft server from for a variety of reasons. Their features include quality hardware with SSD drives and great up-times, state of the art hardware, and all of the basic things you’d expect along with a lot more.
Their billing system is simple and fair, without any long contracts, and an easy automated system to cancel anytime, upgrade your server, downgrade your server, and so on. They don’t want to tie you up, if you aren’t benefiting from their service, you can easily move on.
There are a lot of extras that they don’t charge extra for, too, like unlimited user slots, full FTP access and custom jars with one-click installs. You can start small and easily scale up your server, too. They also offer dedicated IP addresses and backups for additional fees, For example, backups are anywhere from around $12 – $48 per year, but some hosts offer them for free. A dedicated IP address is $30 extra per year, too.
Specs and Price:
The following table compares an assortment of their different servers and price points. All of their plans including an unlimited amount of users and storage, which is something you’ll often have to pay more for from other providers. Their servers are all named after different types of monsters. Also please note they offer higher-end packages, too, into the hundreds of dollars, for very busy servers.
|MelonCube Server Specs||Price (Varies by server location)||Ram||Player Slots||Storage|
|Skeletin||$1.50 - $2.00||512MB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Jockey||$15.00 - $20.00||5 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Witch||$18.00 - $24.00||6GB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Dragon||$30.00 - $40.00||10GB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
It’s worth pointing out that in the hosting world, “unlimited” is a buzzword that gets used a lot, but obviously there’s no such thing as unlimited. If you’re using excessive amounts of resources, chances are its only a matter of time until you’re asked to either upgrade, or
In addition to a dedicated support team at their helpdesk, MelonCube has troubleshooting guides to help you fix common issues yourself, guides covering all the stuff you’ll need to know, and more.
- Support for multiple users to manage the server, you can have numerous accounts that can access the control panel
- Their pricing starts at just $1.50 per month for their most basic server, which comes with 512mb ram and unlimited player slots and SSD storage
- They offer servers all the way up to 10GB ram for only $30
- A con we’ve already discussed with some other hosts too, they offer 4 server locations which isn’t terrible or anything, but it’s nice to have more choices. On the plus side, they have really quick connections so you won’t notice any glaring delays.
The longer you sign up for, the more of a discount you’ll get. For example, a $4/mo server will cost $44.40 annually, which saves you $3.60 per year, so it’s not a massive discount or anything, and makes it hard to really make an argument to buy the whole year when you can just pay a month at a time and even if you end up deciding to cancel just 1 month early, say after using it for 11 months, you’ve still saved money by going to month to month.
5. Apex Hosting
Apex is the final host we’re featuring today. They have a familiar setup, very low latency, and the ability to install modpacks in just a click or two, which is handy for people who are newer to running Minecraft servers, or just don’t want to spend time mucking around when things could be done much more easily.
They have free subdomains at YourServer.ApexMC.co. It only takes a matter of seconds to get your server setup so you can get playing ASAP.
Their ultra-low latency servers will keep your game running smooth. They offer a custom control panel so it might look a bit different than what you’re used to, but it’s been designed to make Minecraft server management a breeze. Setup takes a matter of seconds, DDoS protection is included, they have support staff around the clock to help you, dozens of software versions to choose from when setting up your server, and plans to fit any budget, even if you have hundreds of players online at a time.
They support so many different packs and versions, here it is in their own words: “We support all Modpacks and Game versions of Minecraft and are the official host of the Technic Platform. Whether you want to play FTB, ATL, Voidswrath, Technic, Bukkit, Spigot, Vanilla, a Snapshot, MCPE or more we have what you need. You can also easily change server version at any time.”
Specs and Price:
Here’s a look at their server packages, based on USD and monthly plans. You can also pay an additional $5 per month for premium support which allows the support to do more for you – we’ll cover that in a second. Also, for $4 per month, you can get a dedicated IP address, which is quite a bit more expensive than MelonCube, who charge just under $30 for it.
It’s not uncommon that you’d have to pay more for a higher tier of support, however some hosts seem to bake that into their prices, whereas others keep it as an option just for the people who want/need it. In the case of Apex Hosting, they offer premium support for an additional $5 per month with allows them to upload new plugins, worlds, and mods for you, rather than you having to do it yourself. It’s up to you to decide whether this is worth an extra $60 per year or not.
- Automatic backups
- A customized Multicraft panel for managing and controlling your servers easily
- Around-the-clock customer support who can help you with any issues you encounter
- DDoS protection in case a competitor’s server wants to try to take you down
- Install all sorts of mods with just a click or two
- They’ll install any server version or modpack that you want, even if it’s not listed by default
- They limit the slots on their servers, for example their cheapest server for $1.99 is limited to 10 slots. If you need 100 or more, you’re looking at $13.99+ per month. Compared to some companies that offer unlimited slots, the plus side of having it limited is that it’s more likely that everyone will have a great connection with no lag – so these limits aren’t even necessarily bad things.
Apex Hosting Discounts:
They offer 50% off your first payment, so here’s a host where it’s really worthwhile to pay annually in advance, since you’ll save half the price. Their most basic server, for the first year, will cost you $22.50 instead of $44.99, and it’s the same all the way up to their Bedrock 6GB server for 200 players, where you’ll literally save hundreds of dollars in your first year.
So, there you have it. Hopefully this guide has helped guide you in the right direction, and most importantly saved you from a bad experience with a subpar provider, because no matter what your budget is and how much you can spend each month, from a dollar or two all the way into the hundreds, you deserve the best Minecraft server hosting for your hard-earned dollars, and the people who trust you to host them on your server deserve a great playing experience, too.
With any one of these hosts, everyone wins – but if your Looking for the Top Host for your Money and have fairly affordable Rates, we highly Suggest going with GamingServers.com. They have Extensive knowledge and tons of other gamers use their high-end hardware for hosting games their.