Servers for Minecraft allow players to play online with others or through a local area network. The game has a single-player server. This is done to ensure that the single-player experience is consistent with multiplayer and to allow for bug fixes and other changes to the game. The Java Edition release version of the official server software is not available. Alpha is the current state of the Bedrock Edition server software.
There are many archetypes for Minecraft servers. Each one is unique in its gameplay features, rules and social structures. There are no two servers exactly alike, so the distinction between archetypes can be difficult to make. Special types of servers depend on map editors and Creative game modes to create custom maps. CraftBukkit server software provides additional features. Some servers have more PVP-oriented features, others include Survival, Creative, Adventure, and other modes, while some also offer a built in economy and minigames.
These are the main types of servers:
Many tools are available to players for hosting and managing servers. Servers must be run smoothly and efficiently.
For tutorials on using these programs, see Tutorials#Servers
Administrators and operators are responsible for managing servers. Administrators generally take responsibility for managing the server. The administrator may have control over the server, or it could be that the server runs from their computer. Administrators are usually assisted by operators to manage a server and prevent griefers and unruly players. Administrators and operators have access to many commands to ensure smooth operation of the server. Players can be assigned to operate or administrate a default server by using the command /op or editing the ops.json file in the server directory and then restarting it.
Access to minecraft.net is not required for local servers. Local servers can be used on a local network without an internet connection. They use minecraft.net to store player skins, and also as a database that contains a list of accounts. This prevents hackers and griefers using false names on such servers. Editing the server.properties textfile can change these and other settings.
If chunks have been changed, the server will save the level in "world" every 30 seconds.
Kick messages are messages displayed by operators when a player is kicked or has trouble connecting to the server.