How to Protect Your Minecraft Server
Minecraft servers are a wonderful gateway into all the many ways you can play the game. But keeping your Minecraft Server secured is massively important.
Here's our guide on how to protect your Minecraft server, where we'll cover many different commands that can help you along, from Vanilla settings to plugins, and break down why they're important.
Before starting with the plugins, let's start with the stuff we’ve seen before beginning with the vanilla settings, and the server.properties file.
Whitelisting is a way to block members you don't want joining your Minecraft server, by only allowing players in who are on your list.
This has only two options, true or false.
Enabling whitelisting (whitelist = true) will generate a whitelist.json file. But you can simply add or remove players by using /whitelist [add/remove] [player].
You can also turn the whitelist on or off by using the command /whitelist [on/off].
Player vs. Player, aka pvp, enables players to hit each other on your server. If your server doesn’t depend on it, you're able to turn it off entirely, or toggle it on/off in certain situations.
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We'll go over each situation below.
Teams are an important way for servers to control pvp for players that want it on their servers.
You can create a team with /scoreboard teams add [team name].
You can add players to the team with /scoreboard teams join [team name] [player].
And you can disable friendly fire with /scoreboard teams option [team name] friendlyfire false. If you want to re-enable friendly fire again, replace false with true here.
While this is no perfect solution to controlling pvp on your Minecraft server, it’s what Vanilla affords us. Thankfully plugins can help a lot here.
Spawn protection sets a radius to stop building and mining around spawn.
To change this, go to the server.properties file where you will find spawn-protection=0.
If you’re playing a custom map, or don’t want players to do that for one reason or another, then consider enabling this option and customizing the radius to your preferences.
Remember that this option doesn’t protect the spawn area from mobs, like creeper explosions for example. We’ll address how to prevent this as well further down.
Game rules are considered as world options, you can change your game’s rules by doing
_/gamerule [rule] [value]_. We’ll be talking about every rule that can help you protect your server in this section, so buckle up!
You know when you light up one wood to do a cool camping fire, and then suddenly or your village is on fire? Yeah… me too. This game rule disables that.
You can use this when you want to do an extremely cool camping fire, or for a more useful usage, you can disable this if you give a flint and steel for your players, whether it was for PvP or something else.
Lifehack: if you want to go all Daenerys Targaryen on your players but you don’t want them to get hurt, you can disable the game rule fireDamage instead, it also takes either true or false values
_/gamerule doFireTick [true/false]_
Remember the creeper we talked about before? Well, now it’s nothing! You can easily disable their “oh look at me I’m a creeper” explosions by disabling mobGriefing
This won’t only disable creeper explosions, but also mobs that pick up your items from the ground, without even considering the 5 seconds rule!
You can enable or disable this by _/gamerule mobGriefing [true/false]_
Yes, you can disable it from the command line too _/gamerule pvp [true/false]_
This disables TNT explosions, useful if your friend loves to “test the server capabilities”
_/gamerule tntExplodes [true/false]_
Next we’ll move on to the plugins side of protecting your Minecraft server, which means access to tons of unique options beyond those in the vanilla settings.
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There are many plugins available that can enhance your Minecraft experience. These are our recommendations.
Offline Servers - AuthMe
If your server runs in offline mode, we recommend installing the AuthMe plugin, or any similar alternative.
AuthMe requires users to register with a password before playing on a server, with an email recovery option as well! This protects your players from identity theft, and enables you to restrict access based on your servers needs.
You can download the AuthMe plugin here.
World Guard is a great plugin for public servers that allows you to create different zones in your world. With these you can set different gamerules for each region, restrict members from entering or leaving a specific zone and more!
The plugin needs to be installed with another plugin, WorldEdit. to function, but after downloading them both, you will no longer have to worry about your “perfectly hidden” storage room!
You can download the WorldEdit plugin here.
You can download the World Guard plugin here.
Tired of your neighbors going through your chests? It’s about time you fixed that.
Modern LWC is a great plugin that lets users protect their own chests, with the ability to give permissions to their friends too.
You can download the Modern LWC plugin here.
Anti-Xray is quite self explanatory, preventing the very common cheat of using software to have Xray vision in Minecraft, letting players see beneath the surface to find valuable materials and hidden bases.
You can download the Anti-Xray plugin here.
For public servers, we recommend using anti-cheat plugins, preferably a well-designed premium one, to protect your server against cheaters.
After a bit of research, we landed on Spartan AntiCheat to be our example for this, since it has been recommended by a lot of developers and server owners. But it is certainly not the only option available, and there are free options as well as paid premium ones.
For free options, a popular choice is NoCheatPlus. You can download NoCheatPlus here.
While your mileage may vary, premium anti-cheat programs typically have better protection against popular threats like KillAura and NoKnockback. For this reason we recommend going the extra mile if fully preventing cheating is important to you.
For paid premium options, our recommendation is Spartan AntiCheat. You can download Spartan AntiCheat here.
There you have it folks. That’s our guide on protecting your Minecraft server through vanilla settings as well as plugins.
While each server is different, these options are great ways to ensure your server is secure and offers the gameplay experience you’re looking for.
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But of course, there will always be new threats, and new security options around the corner.
With this in mind, feel free to ask any questions or share your thoughts in the comments below!