What is a Minecraft Server – A Full Guide

 What is a Minecraft Server – A Full Guide

Your son or daughter comes home from school and asks “Can we get Minecraft…Please?”  All the other kids are playing.

The first thing that might come to mind is What is a Minecraft Server?  If you’re on this site you have quickly realized that you must have been living in a hole to never have heard of Minecraft before.  Let me explain Minecraft to you in terms parents will want to know.

What is Minecraft?

Minecraft is a video game about breaking and placing blocks.  You build and dig for items in a 3D world.  Minecraft gives players an empty “world” that allows them to create whatever they want.  Depending on the settings, this can be more or less challenging.   Most parents’ first thoughts when they see the game is “What’s all the fuss about… the graphics are terrible!”  The original version of Minecraft does come with simple block graphics but these can be changed with texture packs — but we’re getting way ahead here.

What Devices Can You Play Minecraft On?

Minecraft can be played on the computer (the most popular way), game consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation, and Handheld devices using the pocket edition (IOS, and Andriod)

How much does Minecraft Cost?

Minecraft has free and paid-for versions. The paid-for version has more features and is very reasonably priced. If your child gets into the game you will most likely land up buying the game. You should purchase Minecraft from the official Minecraft store. The PC version of the game cost $27.00 as of this post date.

Quick Start Guide  Use the stars for the recommended setting

Primary Game Modes




The player will have access to an infinite amount of almost all blocks and items available and can destroy them instantly. Players are invulnerable and do not have health, armor, or hunger, and can fly.

In this mode, players have to gather all their materials to build, craft, and gain experience points. There is a health, hunger, and armor bar, an inventory, and, when underwater, an oxygen bar.

Very similar to Survival Mode.  Players can interact with objects such as levers and buttons and can interact with mobs.

Player Mode

Single Player


 The game is played standalone, meaning you are the only player and you are playing only on your own computer/system.  There are no connections to other people or systems.

To play in multi-player mode you must first connect to a “Minecraft server”.  Many people can play and interact in the same world.  This also creates the opportunity to talk to other players via a chat feature.

Difficulty Level


Easy / Normal/ Hard

There is nothing to harm your character.  You do not get hungry (and therefore don’t have to find food).  It is very difficult to die.

All other difficulty levels except peaceful have “bad guys” that can harm you.  As you increase the difficulty level you increase the number of bad guys and your character will have to find food more quickly, damage done is increased, etc.

Chat Settings

Chat Off

Web Links Off

Chat On

Turning Chat off prevents users from communicating in multiplayer mode.  If you are on a server and you can’t verify all the players, it’s best to turn to chat off.  (See how to turn to chat off here)

If chat is enabled, players can send web links to any website via chat.  With this disabled web, links are turned off. (See Screen Shot)

Chat allows users to talk to each other while connected to the same multiplayer game.

How do you play?

I’ve linked to several great “get started” videos that you’ll want to watch. –  How to play videos

What is a Minecraft Server?

A Minecraft server is a system that runs the Minecraft software and allows other people to play together. Anyone can set up a server (even your kid – but I don’t recommend it to start)  The risk of playing in multiplayer mode on a Minecraft server is that users can interact with each other via chat features.  They can even send links to sites outside of the game that if clicked will open a browser and send them there, just like it would in an email or web browser.  For this reason, I recommend turning the chat feature off.  Some servers do have filtering software that masks or prevents bad words from being said, but kids and young adults will find a way around this if they want.  This is why I recommend that you carefully pick your server only after you are familiar with the game.

What is a Minecraft LAN Party?

A LAN party is where friends get together (for a sleepover, etc) and play Minecraft together on the same network (i.e., all connected to your home network).  This requires friends to bring their computers and connect them to your network. There are a few simple steps to take to set up a LAN server.

What is a Mod?

A Mod is a way to modify Minecraft by adding content.  These changes can give the game a very different look and feel.  Mods are very popular with Minecraft Kids however, finding, downloading, and installing Mods is risky.  You run the risk of downloading a virus if you are not very careful.  With that said there are many legitimate Mods on the Internet.  Most are found on various Minecraft-related websites and to download them you are redirected to a free hosting site where you are told to “Download the file”   Many of these sites, while legitimate can have confusing links and you can land up downloading something else to your computer.  I recommend that 1) your kids are not using the computer as an administrator and 2) Do research to determine the validity of the MOD.

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