Updated: November 2019
If you’re looking for the best Minecraft Hosting Server in 2020 then you’ve found the right place. We compare the top companies for your Minecraft hosting game server needs, prices and information, including cheap and free options. We’ll show you the top server hosting companies that are cost effect and give you multiplayer functions.
Minecraft is one of the gaming industry’s most successful games ever. In 2009 the game changed the entire gaming community and has since grown into even more of a success. The game’s creator Markus Person never could have predicted how big of a deal the game would become.
Even in 2009, the graphics were really basic to begin with but it was the multiplayer options that made the game really special. Over 100 million copies were sold and there are still over 30 million online users worldwide. When you have online players, you need to be able to host the game for people to play and to build communities. To do this you need a server that’s configured specially for running Minecraft. In this review we will to show you 2 of the best servers that you can configure the game to your own settings.
A lot of gamers like the idea of hosting their own game, so they look for hosting servers. We understand what’s important in a server and we know what you need to look out for even if you are not sure. So we’ve gone through the best options on the market and picked our top 2 choices. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of options to choose from and their quality ranges from really high level right through to really poor. We’ve picked out the best for beginners and an option for those who know what they’re doing. We’ve saved you doing all the research and done the hard work for you!
Best Minecraft Server Host
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1. Apex Hosting: Best Minecraft hosting for beginners
Apex Hosting are proud of their purpose built Minecraft CMS. They built it from the ground up, with the specific goal of creating the ultimate content management system for managing a Minecraft Server community. It’s pretty awesome, as most purpose built systems tend to be. It’s highly sophisticated and has been built so you don’t need to be a NASA scientist to work with it. They’ve made it pretty customizable and they’re continuously adding and fine tuning it. It’s not perfect, but it’s a really good place to start especially if you’re a beginner.
Apex Hosting has a lot to offer, here are some of the features that are worthy of your attention. One of the reasons why Apex Hosting is one of our favorites is because all the features are integrated so you don’t need a lot of technical expertise.
For multiplayer Minecraft users, being able to vote for diamonds or rewards is a big deal. This wasn’t something that Apex was going to bother with, they had some 3rd party scripts but with such scripts, you need a little technical ability so it wasn’t for everyone. Users gave their thoughts on the subject, Apex listened and now they have the Votifier fully integrated with their purpose built Minecraft CMS. By all accounts, it’s also easy to setup and runs. Not only can you vote, you can see who has voted and there are a variety of options to rank voting and voters too.
You are going to need to be able to sync between your website and in-game server. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the good news is you could probably live a hundred years and not have to understand any more than the fact it’s needed and Apex does it for you. Sync and mimic access between your website and in-game server ranks, both ways!. Our plugin will do all the work for you. Get fine tuned control and sync abilities to everything between your website and server. Need to auto rank a user after they register on your site? This feature is amazing for managing your users and the link your server directly to your website. Setting it up was extremely easy and worked perfectly. Of course, if you have any issues with getting both of these plugins to work all you need to do is post on the Apex forums and you will get support quickly.
Bukkit Donation Plugin and Bukkit Donation Store
With Apex, you get your hands on the Bukkit donation and donation store at the really attractive price of FREE. Whether you come with the idea of monetizing your community or it’s just a perk, this particular plugin is going to become a good friend. The plugin speaks to the server when someone buys items or those items expire. It also does a load of virtual housekeeping like syncing access tags and powering your Minecraft relevant apps.
The plugin does a load of work for you, and it’s connected to a bunch of payment processors including PayPal 2Checkout and Onebip. Particularly neat are the features that allow you to set up limitations on some of the items so they expire, it means you have a chance for repeat sales. You can also set up coupons too.
It doesn’t take a technical genius to get the plugin setup and purring. I’ve had a search around the forums and there are very few problems raised but they look to have been solved pretty quickly. When you take into account that there are 20,000 admins, just having a handful of problems is good going and if you’re a technically limited, you should take heart from that.
You can’t have a Minecraft community or clan without a forum, a complete waste of opportunity and the good news is, you really don’t need to worry about it because APEX has got you covered. Their forum happens to be light years ahead of some of the others, it’s integrated with the server and in-game server, it’s part of the rank management and uses 3d models.
Scalability is not a problem. You can add up to 10 Minecraft servers to a website. You can sync your plugins with all of them and manage it all from one place. You can have simultaneous donation stores and rankings for each server. APEX are not being unique here, a lot of Minecraft server hosts will offer this kind of feature, but APEX’s integration make is so much easier to manage and make the whole thing really easy.
APEX are not being unique here, a lot of Minecraft server hosts will offer this kind of feature, but APEX’s integration make is so much easier to manage and make the whole thing really easy.
You can get started for as little as $3.99 a month! From there, they have many other packages available with more slots and features. The advanced package includes access to the Mumble server to set up Teamspeak. You also get some more file storage and mobile forums. It’s around $10 which is not a major investment, especially for what you get.
The Ultimate package is just a ‘Supersize me’ package. You get much more Mumble server access, more automation, more DDoS protection and the likes. If your community builds into the thousands and you start running multiple game servers from the site, this is for you. It’s around $30 so hardly going to break the bank.
There’s plenty of technology out there that means you don’t need to be able to write code to create attractive websites, and it’s good to see that APEX has implemented some of that technology with their own builder. They also have a bunch of themes that are editable using a builder that’s really easy to get the hang of. It means you can be creative and make the theme your own without needing to write any code.
On the other hand, if you do like to create websites and you have the skills to write your own code, it also allows that too so it’s pretty flexible.
Apex does just do everything you need, and more. It does it such a way that it makes it easy to use and intuitive for even those with limited technical know-how. You can be a Minecraft fan and set your own community up without needing to worry about the technicalities too much.The forums are the best around and fully integrated, especially if you get the paid version where you have the mobile friendly forum version. All packages have plugins for donation stores and votfiers so you can increase engagement and monetize your community. Apex offer a really cool product and service. They lead the way in Minecraft server hosting and should be your first choice.
- Speed 5/5
- UpTime 5/5
- Location choice 5/5
- Customization and Mod Packs 5/5
- Customer Support 5/5
They have free subdomains such as YourServerName.ApexMC.com
2. Game Servers (gameservers.com)
Whereas APEX really specialized in creating a CMS and hosting service specifically for Minecraft, Gameservers is an all-round player in the game server hosting industry. They can help you with everything from Call Of Duty to Rust. And of course Minecraft. Some of the top clans online today use GameServers.
We like the scalability and love the range it offers. It’s not bespoke to Minecraft but it has a lot of the same features, some are simple 1 click installs, whilst others are 3rd party and require a little bit of work, but by no means are they overly complicated and off-putting. Plus Gameservers has good support. It boasts of being 24/7 and I’ve not found anything to doubt that. I’ve also found that answers to questions have been received in 4-5 hours, which is pretty reasonable.
Similar to APEX, most users are going to want to monetize their site with donation stores features. Although they’re not integrated into the CMS, they’re really easy to integrate and there are a load to choose from. The sky’s the limit really which means you have the flexibility to create your website and in-game experience to be exactly as you want it.
Just a handful of some of the more popular plugins includes: Tekkit, ChestShop, CommandBook, iConomy, Essentials, GodPowers, Factions, McMMO, WorldGuard, WorldEdit, and more! You even have the ability to upload your own custom plugins!
Tip: you can try out the server for 5 days and get a money back if you’re not happy with it.
A major element of Minecraft is in-game chatter or TeamSpeak. For many, it’s the reason they end up playing multiplayer games. You have to love Gameservers because they give you 3 choices: Teamspeak, Ventrilo, Mumble. You can pick your preferred platform and have a server in place specifically to manage that, and pick a server that’s geographically close by.
Gameserver really have their finger on the pulse when with in-game speak not just because they have 3 options available, fully integrated and easy to setup, but they also offer FREE switching between the different servers. You can change at any time and get the same geographical coverage.
There’s so much that’s good about GameServers, so many functions and options so you can create the community you really want. Here are some of the highlights.
They’ve been knocking around the game server hosting industry for 6 years now. They can boast 400,000 customers which is no insignificant number. They are well trusted by game developers, to the point that they are often in communication with game studios including Infinity Ward (Call of Duty Modern Warfare), Treyarch (Call of Duty Black Ops), Tripwire Interactive (Killing Floor), Epic Studios (Unreal series).
Gameservers have taken the decision to staff their customer service with around the clock support. Things generally run well, but they understand how important it is to keep game servers live and online so they have a team that’s always available to fix or irons out any problems as quickly as possible, which is one of the reasons game studios look to work directly with them for the multiplayer functionality.
One thing you’ll find everywhere on the GameServers site is their list of 36 servers worldwide. That’s because it’s a big deal. A critical part of a gaming online is removing lag. You want everyone to be playing in real time, as much as possible. Having the right server location helps with that.The closer a server is to the user, the quicker the website loads, the quicker the game loads and the closer to ‘real time’ you’re going to be, and the better the gaming experience.
What Gameservers offers that really makes a difference is that they have 36 server locations which offer superb infrastructure, but what really makes GameServers special is you get to switch between server locations for FREE. Your choice is not set in stone, and you’re not going to be punished for changing your mind. You can change the location of data center up to 4 times a month, per server.
Share payments via ClanPay
Some hosted communities are free and the host monetizes the site with in-game donations and a store. Others want to create a community that shares the cost. That’s one of the options that GameServers is able to offer. The clans is able to share the server payment. You will get your own page to make payments from clan members with by major credit cards or via Paypal. It’s just one the examples of GameServers looking to make your life easier.
GameServers offer a scalable pricing model that starts out at a few Dollars (or Euros) a month. It scales up as your users increase, which is a great model if you’re looking to share the costs as a clan. If you have a massive community it’s going to get a bit steep so you need to bear that in mind.
Similarly, with a server for in-game communication such as Mumble or TeamSpeak 3, you’re looking at a sliding price depending on how many slots you need. Starting at 3-4 Euros per month for 10 slots, to 50 Euros for 250. Check latest pricing here.
GameServers is a very different option to Apex. You get far more flexibility and scope with GameServers because it’s not a service that focuses on Minecraft but offers game server hosting for the most popular multiplayer games available today.You get access to hundreds of plugins, many are one click installs, to make life easier if you’ve limited technical experience this is a big plus.
Unlike APEX it’s not integrated nor does it have a web builder, or integrated forum, but you get a great platform that offers a lot more freedom. In other words, it really depends on what you need from your host server. Apex is by far the best for someone who really has a limited amount of technical knowledge, it’s all integrated for you. But if you have a vision, and you want more flexibility to create that vision this should be your choice.
Their server network is pretty impressive. Servers in 36 locations across the planet. You get to pick a server location and change it time and time again as your needs change. That’s for Free, which is a nice to have the option. Similarly with hosting servers for in-game communication platforms including TeamSpeak 3, Ventrilo and Mumble.you get 3 options. Again what really shows that GameServers listen to the gaming community and understand what’s important is that they allow switching from one to the other for FREE. Pricing is affordable and scalable so you can start at a really cost and get more functionality as your community grows. It also allows “Clan Share” which means you can share the cost of the hosting server as a community with everyone having access to the server’s payment gateway.
Our goal when making this list of our recommendations for servers is to cherry pick the best regarding categories. When it comes to someone looking for a hosting who has some experience of hosting or websites, or they have a very clear picture in their mind and want the freedom to create that vision then this is should be your go-to server host. If you’re a little ‘greener’ and want something that’s easier to set up, from a beginners perspective, APEX is your best option.
Their entry-level server costs only $1 and is suitable for 1-6 players. It comes with 384 megs of ram. But if you plan on using various plugins and modpacks then we recommend that you go for a server with less 512MB ram or more. A 512MB server from GameServers will cost you $3.99 and supports up to 8 players. This opens up the possibilities a bit more in terms of what you can create.
Which Minecraft Host Server is right for you?
It’s hard to pick just one server option because the requirements need to vary so much. This is why we’ve had to choose our top 2. APEX does do lot and is set up to provide a great service. But the performance of GameServers are perfect for those who really know what they’re doing and want a whole bunch of advanced features.
GameServers Minecraft Review
If you’re not new to hosting and you want a lot more flexibility and freedom then you should probably be looking at GameServers. They have a lot of plugins and options to explore, you have a lot more scope. They’re packaged are scalable too, so your costs increase as your usage does. For those who know what they’re doing and what they specifically want, this is where you should be heading. Plus, they have a 5 day money back guarantee when you signup.
APEX Minecraft review
The first question you need to answer yourself is: How’s your technical knowledge? If it’s limited, if this is your first venture into hosting anything in the gaming world then you could head over to APEX, to see what they can offer. They have a custom built CMS for Minecraft with integrated plugins and TeamSpeak 3. They help you monetize the community. They have a web builder to help you build the site and a superb integrated forum that’s integrated with the in-game server.