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What Are the Different Types of "Minecraft" Servers?

John D. Williams enjoys handicrafts including making canes and walking sticks and playing "Minecraft."

Learn about the different types of servers that exist for many different "Minecraft" playing styles.

Learn about the different types of servers that exist for many different "Minecraft" playing styles.

How to Find the Right Minecraft Server

Before you join a new server you've found it’s worth understanding what the differences are between all of the new Minecraft servers on offer. Finding a server that suits your playing style and ambitions can greatly enhance your gaming experience.

This guide covers the PC version only, and although similarities exist between the Pocket Edition and the XBOX versions I have only focused on the computer version for the moment. You will find, though, that new Minecraft servers traditionally follow the types of servers listed below.

What Are the Different Types of Servers?


These Minecraft servers are basically invitation only. Once you have been given the IP address you can log in, although many private servers have a password that is changed every 24 hours to prevent log-in information being passed to third parties.

Survival or PvE (Player Versus Environment)

This type of sever is perhaps the closest to the original (offline) version of Minecraft. Indeed the only difference between this and the single player version of the game is that this type of server will also be populated by other players. A typical survival server will not have a PvP (player-versus-Player) area and griefing (attacking other players and their creations) will be discouraged. After all it is about surviving the world of Minecraft and all its horrors!


A creative server is a real showcase for allowing you to build your Minecraft designs without hindrance from other players or hostile mobs. The creative mode often gives players unlimited blocks and the server area is often devoid of hills, mountains, river biomes. The emphasis here is to create!


On a typical role-play Minecraft server players are encourages to act within their specified roles. For example a blacksmith would only be tasked with crafting blacksmith items. He or she wouldn’t all of a sudden decide to start growing carrots in Minecraft as a farming alternative. This would be the farmer role-play tasks.

The "Minecraft" logo.

The "Minecraft" logo.

PvP (Player Versus Player)

Here Minecraft Players are actively encouraged to fight against each other. You’ll need good PvP survival skills as the usual spawn areas are sometimes targeted by camping players. However it is great fun especially if you’re able to get away from the spawn area and tool up. Usually no griefing or stealing is allowed, and some new Minecraft servers offer diamond equipment to new players so you can jump straight into the PvP action! The best Minecraft servers that offer PvP also deny players griefing or stealing from other players. Stealing would occur when you die and drop all of your items.

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Hardcore PvP

As the name suggests this is hardcore server mode. These servers are essentially identical to standard PvP except, and this is the important bit - griefing and stealing are allowed. This type of participation really tests a player’s ability to not only fight but to protect them-self from total equipment loss. Hardcore PvP really is a tough server to play on, and one I find too annoying for me to enjoy.

Minecraft Prison Servers

This type of additional server is fairly new to Minecraft. It basically offers the player a way to rank up. The key to gaining a rank up is to earn money. Think of it as a giant work pool set within the game of Minecraft and you’ll be on the right track. New Minecraft servers that use the prison server type can offer a player freedom if they gain enough ranking points. This is defined by the server types and notes on the server websites. The prison mode is usually considered a no grief, stealing, or PvP environment.

Minecraft Faction Servers

These group servers provide a huge range of entertainment. Basically opposing Factions (teams) are at war with each other. Only by uniting the members as a team do factions have the highest chance of success. Of course on this server type stealing and griefing as much as possible is allowed and actively encouraged. Raiding an opposing factions town and grabbing as many items and resources as possible really is great fun. For a raid to succeed great planning and communication is required.


This type of Minecraft Server creates challenges for players that need to be overcome. This can be something as simple as building a base deep underwater or completing a really hard parkour course. The challenges are defined by the server administrators and can be a real test for any Minecraft player. Stick Tower is a parkour map, where you must use your skills to climb up a 250 blocks high tower and collect all 11 sticks along the way.

Minecraft Economy Servers

A well thought out economic environment makes a Minecraft economy server a real challenge. The various forms of economy found on the best Minecraft servers include a tradable currency, shops, and a market place that buy and sell players surplus crafted items. Typical expect to see plots of land that can be purchased and built upon. These plots are usually found within the Towns or Market areas of the economy server.

City Server Types

These servers are a combination of Creative and Economy. Protected land offers the creative Minecrafter a place to build with full protection of their hard-work. The economy side allows for the accumulation of the desired blocks to complete their Minecraft masterpiece! A good place to trade also means that crafted items can be sold or traded for a desired block or building material.

The Hunger Games Server Types

The Hunger Games Minecraft server is based on the hit Hollywood film with Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. The Hunger Games uses the same format to create its server style of play. All players on this server will fight to the death; however the fighting area is a large format map with players spread over the area. The players must then hunt or be hunted until only one remains. As you can expect with all on-line games servers have started using “In-Game purchases” to enable players to have pre-designed kits that offer an advantage over other combatants.

Family-Friendly Servers

These servers are great for the younger Minecraft players as many are whitelist only which means all players are known to the server admins. Not only does this help ensure your child is safer than random servers, it also means they will most likely have Anti-Grief tools in place. Griefing is basically destroying somebody's buildings and/or stealing their crafted items or collected items.

What Is a Whitelist Server?

A whitelist server means that before a player can join a Minecraft server he or she needs to officially apply for access through the server’s website forum. This requires handing over some details like your real name, date-of-birth and email address. You’ll then have to wait a few hours or days until you are granted access to join the server. As mentioned this is handy as all players are known to the server admins and any issues in the Minecraft game can be dealt with by talking to the individual. For example no griefing or destroying a players building would be allowed, and this makes it a great place for kids who want to play Minecraft.

Non-Whitelist Servers

This means anyone can join pretty much instantly by just adding the Minecraft server IP into their client. The downside to this is that a young kid’s hard work can easily be destroyed by some cyber-bully or griefer. In fact random players are more likely to cause or hurt another player as there’s no sense of gaming community that forms an integral part of Minecraft.

Anti-Griefing Servers

Many servers will state clearly their policy on this issue so it’s worth taking your time to read the contents and rules of the server. Automatic anti-griefing plug-ins work on the server side, so often you don’t need to do anything. When you join a server you’ll often be in a built up town area and here you can read ALL of the server rules, if you haven’t done so from the website.

Which server is right for you?

Which server is right for you?

"Minecraft" Server Poll

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