How to play on a Minecraft server
Join up with your friends!
Playing Minecraft in single-player is fun, but playing with other people is fun too! You can plan huge builds together, go on epic adventures, or collaborate to take down the game’s toughest bosses. In this article, we’ll show you how to play multiplayer on a server, in both Bedrock Edition and Java Edition.
There are several different kinds of servers that you can join. LAN (“Local Area Network”) servers allow you to play with others connected to the same network as you, while online servers allow you to play with anyone, anywhere in the world. We offer a service called Minecraft Realms that lets you quickly and easily set up your own online server that your friends can connect to.
To play multiplayer, you’ll need to be signed in with a Microsoft Account. Visit our guide to creating an account if you need help setting one up.
Table of Contents
- How to connect to a Bedrock Edition server
- How to host a Bedrock Edition server
- How to connect to a Java Edition server
- How to host a Java Edition LAN server
- How to stay safe on a server
How to connect to a Bedrock Edition server
To connect to a Bedrock Edition server, start Minecraft and hit “Play” in the main menu. This will take you to a screen with three tabs: “Worlds”, “Friends”, and “Servers”.
If you want to play with friends, then hit the “Friends” tab. This will take you to a screen where you can see Realms that you’re a member of and friends that are currently playing Minecraft. To add a friend, ask them for their gamertag and then hit the “Add Friend” button. Type it in, hit enter, it’ll search for the person, and then you can add them.
If one of your friends is subscribed to Minecraft Realms and you want to play with them, you can also use this screen to join their realm. Ask them for an invite code for the realm, then hit the “Join Realm” button, and then type in the code. This will add the realm to your friends list and you’ll be able to join at any time.
To join a public server, visit the “Servers” tab, where you’ll see a list of featured servers that are currently online. Check out the different servers on offer, and hit the “Join Server” button on your favorite. You’ll be shown a page with a few warnings about what you can expect when playing online – click “proceed” to move forward. After downloading any necessary resource packs, you’ll be able to connect and play.
If you’d like to join an online server that isn’t listed in featured servers, you’ll need the address of the server, which you get from the server administrator. It might look like the name of a website (e.g. “play.mojang.com”), or a string of numbers separated by dots (e.g. “192.168.0.1” – sometimes called an “IP address”).
Once you have the address, scroll to the bottom of the list in the servers tab and then hit “Add Server”. Type in the name, address, and port if you need to, and then either hit “Play” to connect directly, or “Save” to add it to your server list so that you can join it more quickly in the future.
How to host a Bedrock Edition server
Starting your own Bedrock Edition server to play with friends is simple. Start by creating a new world, or load up an existing world you want to play in. Once loaded, open the menu and hit the “Invite to Game” button on the right-hand side.
You’ll see a list of your friends and their gamertags, with those online listed at the top. Click the ones you want to play with and hit the “Send invites” button. If the friend you want to play with isn’t listed, then ask them for their gamertag and hit the “Add Friend” button. Type in their gamertag and you’ll be able to add it.
How to connect to a Java Edition server
Connecting to a server in Java Edition is easy. Load up Minecraft and click the “multiplayer” button in the main menu.
You’ll be taken to a page with a few warnings about what you can expect when playing online – click “proceed” to move forward.
You’ll arrive on a page that says “Scanning for games on your local network” – if there are any LAN servers running on your local network, they’ll appear here, and you’ll be able to join them.
If you want to join an online server, then first, get the address of the server from the server owner – it might look like the name of a website (e.g. “play.mojang.com”), or a string of numbers separated by dots (e.g. “192.168.0.1” – sometimes called an “IP address”).
Once you’ve got the address, you have two options. Either hit the “Direct Connection” button and type in the address of the server you want to connect to or hit “Add Server” which will ask for a server name and an address. If you choose the first option, you’ll connect straight away, while the second version will save the server to a list on the multiplayer page, making it quicker and easier to connect in the future. Select it from that list, then hit “Join Server” to join.
Note that the version of Minecraft that you’re playing needs to be the same version that the server is running. If you’re trying out snapshot or preview content, you’ll likely need to switch back to the most recent fully-released patch before you can join most servers.
How to host a Java Edition LAN server
Starting up your own Java Edition server on LAN couldn’t be easier. Either create a new world or load up the world you want to play in, and then open the menu and select “Open to LAN”.
You’ll be taken to a screen where you can select a game mode for the other players, choose whether you want to allow cheats (commands) on or off, and whether you want to pick a specific port to run the server on – you can ignore that if you don’t know. Once you’ve chosen your options, hit “Start LAN World” and then other people on your network will be able to join.
Creating your own online server is beyond the scope of this guide, as it requires changing your home network's configuration and is not recommended unless you know what you are doing. If you wish to purchase a small private server for friends, check out Minecraft Realms. If you still wish to set up your own private server, here are the instructions – you do so at your own risk, because we can’t offer support for home networks or privately made servers.
How to stay safe on a server
Minecraft’s amazing community is friendly, welcoming, and kind. It’s rare that you’ll encounter problems. But there are a few steps you can take to maximize your safety when playing with others. For more information on the theme of safety, check out our guide “How to stay safe online”.
Never share your personal details. That includes your real name, age, where you live, your password, your contact details, your favorite food, or any other information that a stranger wouldn’t normally know about you.
Only add your friends to your friends list. If you add someone as your friend, they’ll be able to join you whenever you’re playing - and will show up in your invite lists for Realms and online multiplayer. If you don’t know and trust them, don’t add them.
Mute rude people and spammers. If you mute someone, you’ll no longer see any of their messages in game chat or on servers. This is a quick and easy way to deal with someone who’s bothering you.
Block people you don’t want to play with again. Blocking someone means that they can’t contact you at all in Minecraft or through the Xbox Live network. You won’t see their messages in the chat, they can’t join your Realm (even with an invite), and you won’t see any Xbox Live messages or game invites from them.
Report disruptive behavior. Reporting someone sends a message to Minecraft and Xbox Live Enforcement with information about the issue. We take reports very seriously. All our players are expected to adhere to the Xbox Live Code of Conduct. When you report bad behavior you’re helping to create a positive and welcoming experience for all Minecraft players. We also recommend you read more player and server griefing issues in our FAQ.
Turn off multiplayer when you want to play solo. If you have Xbox Live multiplayer permission enabled, your local worlds have multiplayer turned on by default. That means your friends can easily join your world and play too. If you want to play solo, you can turn off multiplayer from the settings menu.
Be kind. The fastest way to get into trouble is to cause trouble yourself. Be friendly and nice to other people, and they’ll most likely be nice to you too.
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