Set up a minecraft server for children

My son started playing Minecraft last year. Some of his friends too. So that they don’t have to play alone anymore, I have set up a Minecraft server for them. How this works and what I have learned.

In den FAQ geht es erst mal um Grundsatzliches und Erfahrungen, die ich in den letzten zwei Monaten mit vier Jungs (und einem Teilzeit-Minecraft-Madchen) gemacht habe. I try to describe everything as understandable as possible, so that even parents who have little or no experience with computer games can familiarize themselves with the topic. Many of the questions, have asked me other parents also so already in reality.

First of all to all Minecraft experts: I’ve only been involved with the game myself for a few months and have been reading up on it bit by bit, so I’m far from being a professional. On Mods and alternative versions like Bukkit I do not go in. If I am talking nonsense or if you have any remarks or improvements, please post them in the comments!

What is Minecraft at all?

Minecraft is a so called OpenWorld Game, d.h. you run through a world that is infinitely large. (it used to be not quite infinite, here’s a nice article about one who made a trip to the end of Minecraft). The player is controlled from the first-person perspective (as known from first-person shooters). The graphics is kept in the rough block look and consists of meadows, forests, mountains, lakes and deserts, which are populated by people, animals and a few other creatures, which are sometimes not quite so well-meaning. As a player you collect items and mine resources. With the collected raw materials, you can then make more items (craften) or build buildings. there is a day/night rhythm and the weather also changes every now and then.

There are two different game modes (actually there are a few more, but I’ll focus on the most important ones here):

Creative mode
Here, the player has all the raw materials and items available from the start and can start building right away. There are monsters running around, but they don’t attack and the player (almost) can’t take any damage, so he can’t die. The creative mode is always the first thing media educators mention at media parents’ evenings, because it reassures worried parents.

Survival mode (Survival)
Here the player is almost naked at the beginning and must first gather raw materials to build a first shelter. Because when night falls the monsters come out and then it gets dicey. A house with a lockable door or at least a shoveled cave is mandatory. In this mode the player takes damage from monster attacks, falls from great heights and other environmental influences.

Both game modes you can in turn either alone on the computer or on a Minecraft servers with multiple players play.

What Minecraft versions are there?

For smartphones and tablets there is Minecraft PE (Pocket Edition). For desktops, there’s classic Minecraft, which runs on PCs, Mac and Linux. There are also some versions for individual game consoles.

Also, there are unofficial modified Minecraft versions, such as.B. Bukkit. The unmodified Minecraft edition is sometimes referred to in tutorials and Youtube videos as the "Vanilla" denotes.

Important is: These versions are not compatible with each other, d.h. you can’t play with a Minecraft PE on a server that was created for the desktop Minecraft edition.

In practice, it then came down to the classic "Vanilla" variant, because a laptop/desktop computer was available in all participating households.

From what age can you play Minecraft?

The USK release is from 6 years. The children should already have some experience with mouse and keyboard. My daughter (7) is already doing quite well in the world, the boys are already in the 3. Class and all 9 years old. Regardless of the technical skills, it is also important how mature the children are. How high is their frustration level? What are your fears? How good is your sense of direction? In the beginning most of the players were afraid when it was night or monsters were on the way. If you die and lose all the collected items it can be very frustrating.

How to make it easier for the children to get started?

Most importantly: Be there! Don’t let the children play alone for the time being, answer their questions, address their fears (s.o.) and even play along on a second computer.

Before the first multiplayer game, the children should first play a few rounds in the local creative mode. If it works with the control already quite well, it can go on the server.

Our group quickly got bored with the creative mode on the server, but at the same time they were quite stressed and frustrated by the deadly monsters. That’s why I set the survival mode, but set the difficulty to "peaceful" (how to do that exactly, you can read here), so no monsters will attack. So for the time being, the kids can concentrate on collecting and Craften concentrate and explore the area.

When exploring the children will get lost again and again at the beginning. In order to intervene in such a predicament, the server admin can use command line commands to perform various actions, such as.B. teleport a player to another place or even create a certain item and put it into the inventory.

In the beginning, a few of the players also found the approaching night or dreary rainy weather too scary. Also here the admin can intervene with a few commands and introduce the time or let the sun shine again.

I explain my most important commands in more detail here.

What does it cost?

The download is initially free of charge. But after that you need to register with the manufacturer Mojang and get a license for 23,95 € buy. With one account you can always only on one device play, d.h. if you want to play on two computers at the same time, you need another account.

What are the technical requirements?

For the classic version a reasonably up-to-date computer is enough. On a 2009 MacBook Pro the game runs without problems, but on an even older 2006 MacBook not anymore. For the controls I recommend a mouse and keyboard, a GamePad or similar is not necessary.

How do the players communicate?

A point not to be underestimated when children play together for the first time (and they are not sitting opposite each other) is the communication.

In Minecraft itself there is a Text chat function. For my third graders, however, it is still too complicated, so we have first a Handsfree phone switch made. With four players, however, this is no longer possible, which is why it is now switched to Skype boils down to. There are videoconferences with four participants very well possible.

It is advisable to run Skype on an external device (tablet, smartphone). On the game computer, the screen is usually completely taken over by Minecraft, which is why the Skype window is no longer visible.

Skype is great because it’s free and performs well, but Skype is also usability hell. It looks different on every platform and the contact search is a disaster. If z.B. one of the involved parties has the name "Peter Muller" and you search for him on Skype, then you are guaranteed not to find the right person. You need your own Skype name and unfortunately many don’t know it. If you have Skype z.B. linked to a Microsoft account, the username may be something cryptic like "live:pj_com_0815". You first have to find this in your own profile. From my own experience, I can only advise that the parents involved first get together on Skype and conduct a small test conference. If you do this only at the first real game date it is guaranteed to go wrong.

If the conference is running, you have to be prepared for the children shouting into the microphone at an unbelievable volume. Mostly sentences like "OLD, WHERE ARE YOU?. ". This kind of communication also needs to be learned.

Can you get addicted to it?

The question was asked by a father, because he heard about someone who only hung around the computer to create items, which he then sold on the internet for real(!) sold money. After a short inquiry it turned out that he probably confused Minecraft with World of Warcraft.

As far as I know, there is no market for crafted items in Minecraft. Would be pointless, since you can have everything in creative mode anyway.

In addition, there is also no game goal in the classic sense, it is not so important to expand the character gradually with better values and if you have not played for a month, it goes on afterwards exactly where you stopped. D.h. classic game mechanics, which might reinforce an addiction, are missing here, resp. are not so much in focus.

Computer game addiction exists, but before it gets that far, a lot has to happen.

Isn’t that glorifying violence?

Among all computer games, Minecraft still has the best reputation, even among concerned parents, in my experience. At a media parents’ evening at our elementary school a year ago, it was highlighted as recommendable, because it was so great creative. So a kind of virtual LEGO. That’s true on the one hand of course.

On the other hand there is the survival mode, where you also have to shoot a zombie with an arrow sometimes. And from my observation, the kids are having a lot of fun (me too). At the beginning they also try to hit each other on the head with the sword.

The depiction of violence is very pixelated and abstract, there is no blood and the main goal of the game is not to kill Enderman or witches. So violence is not glorified.

What else?

It’s interesting to watch the third graders getting more and more comfortable in the multiplayer world, communicating with each other and agreeing on who will do what task.

Minecraft is also one of the big themes outside of the weekly multiplayer session. In the playground, plans are made about what to do next, tips are exchanged, and that’s what surprised me the most: Books are devoured. There is a lot of accompanying literature where the different crafting recipes are explained in detail. My son doesn’t really like to read, but in the last few weeks he has worked through several Minecraft books and now knows an incredible number of crafting recipes by heart.

Since Minecraft has no real game goal (save the princess or so) one of the main tasks is also to set this game goal for themselves. In the beginning, the group spent the whole week thinking down to the last detail about what they wanted to do on the next date. And then it was Monday and after five minutes everyone ran away again in all directions and did something completely different. Only now, after a few weeks, they slowly find each other and have managed to build a common treehouse village from where they want to start further expeditions (that has meanwhile partly burned down again, but that’s another story). So they slowly learn to organize themselves and set a goal from an infinite number of possibilities. Many adults still can’t do it at the age of 30.

How to set up my own Minecraft server?

I explain this in detail here, here and here.

Where to find further information?

The most important place for all questions is the German Minecraft-WIKI. There you can find really everything. Apart from that, there is, as already mentioned, a lot of accompanying literature that can be used to get familiar with the game. My son has so far the books from the Egmond Schneider Verlag and Minecraft made easy read.

33 Comments on" Setting up a Minecraft server for kids"

Super contribution! And pretty much mirrors my experience with kids and parents on the subject of Minecraft. We’re past that phase now, but I enjoyed it and played some hours by myself. The kids loved it when I played along and were proud as hell when they explained to me what new things they had crafted. If you know the game, then you can appreciate that, which in turn the kids give you credit for. I know, our time is precious and we should rather all together in the fresh air! Minecraft can also enrich forest walks, if you think with the kids about where you would most likely look for coal on a hillside. I just say.

Hi I read your post with pleasure may I ask you for a favor where can I get all the comprehensive information so that I don’t have to sit in front of the iPad again and not be able to play minecraft with my eight year old son.
I am unfortunately generation ping pong computer games table with knob and I just do not manage to access this matter. Just consistently prefer to be in the woods or out in the fresh air I will take your enthusiasm to heart if you help me find the right quotes ……minecraft for stupid…… to find….really very special thanks for your help

Hello Bernd,
A good start are youtube tutorials in any case. There are also movies for newbies that explain everything well.
Or a beginner book, like this one. And for very specific problems, read directly in the Minecraft WIKI.

Minecraft is a little diamond among computer games. We had a server running at the ITSec chair for a very long time and met regularly to "crafte". Very nice that you make it possible for your children to dive into this wonderful world. There is hardly a more creative game on the market.

By the way, I would recommend teamspeak as a Skype alternative. This is usually used in these circles and can also be easily operated by yourself.

Other wonderful games of this caliber: Kerbal Space Program and Star Drew Valley. By the way, the former is even played by the astrophysicists of the ESA here at the Munich South Observatory. No, this is not a joke&

Thanks a lot Chris.

Teamspeak I had first also considered, but I did not want the other parents to expect another new software. Everybody had a Skype account. Teamspeak can set up the kids then in 2 years independently.

Kerbal Space Program and Star Drew Valley I’ll definitely have a look at.

Hello Heiko,
I am not a parent now but an active player myself. I think for many parents it would be easier to create a server through an external hoster. I use Mine-hoster for example.en. (1GB RAM – 1 Euro/month) There you entered the commands via a console and can manage all files in the server folder via FTP file access. I would also recommend to run the server as a spigot server. There are a lot of useful and easy to configure plugins, which improve the gameplay a lot. For example, a driving manager that makes the chat clearer or setting a home point to which you can always return by command. Or the possibility to sit on steps.

Kind regards, Snow

Hi Snow. Thank you for the hints. I will have a look at the hoster. Spigot was already on my mind anyway. I will also test.

Hi Snow. Apparently you know your way around Spigot servers. Do you also know well with bungeecord? I have looked at bought a server and wanted to set it up, but it irfendwie not like in a tutorial that I have looked at.
the error: The server is in online mode
I have, however, as in the tutorial the bungeecord server set to true and the spigot on false
Would be glad about an answer (sry that I write two years after your comment)
Mfg Sebastian

I don’t really know anything about Minecraft. I am a dad myself and my son wants to play together with his friend in the local LAN with their Samsung tablets (Galaxy Tab). I have installed the minecraft server according to these instructions (also under MACOS) and it runs so far. What I am currently failing at is that when Minecraft is started on the tablet, I already have no choice to select multiplayer. My son has Minecraft installed in version 1.14.30. There are only the three buttons "Play" Settings" Marketplace"
When I click on play, there is the tab server. There I have entered my local server with IP and the corresponding PORT. However it does not find this "Server is being searched"
Is it possible for the Android version of Minecraft to connect to the Minecraft server installed on the MAC??

Would be nice if someone could help me.
Many thanks already
VG Peter

Hello Peter,
The Java version (also your server) is, as far as I know, not compatible with the iOS/Android versions. You can test if the Java-Minecraft-Client finds the server on the Mac. This should work.

yes that works. Thanks for your quick reply.

On the pocket edition you have to Play> select server and install another server software.

But there you can also mark each other as a friend to play with each other without server. It must only one in the world and the other must play him under> Join friends. Server for bedrock is available for free on, if you select "Bedrock" it fits to the Minecraft Pocket Edition. However, you always have to restart the if you are not online for more than 6min.

Hello all
in the current situation my son wants to play Minecraft with his friend remotely and on his own server. In the process I came across the instructions, which is very detailed. Thanks for all the work that was put into it. Unfortunately I do not have MACOS. I’m more at home on Windows. With Putty it went quite well. Only unfortunately the login from the client to the server does not work. Also with Ping I can’t reach my AWS server. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks for the support. Greetings Matthias

I can help your kids on their server I am a pro

Now I am not a parent but an active player and also have a lot of experience with Minecraft as well as my own server but it is not about me here. i just want to tell you how you can make playing easier for one thing if you play survival (which is actually the point of minecraft) then you can use the command: /gamerule keepInventory true to change it so that when you die in survival your stuff keeps ALL of it so really all of it. I know this very well from experience that it is frustrating when you have a certain progress to lose your good stuff (diamond, etc) just because of a creeper or similar. to kill his teammates see some lute as natural but do not make them too much to kill each other because that can be in the later game foren and I’m talking from my own experience with people who do the PKing (that means Player Killer) as a regular just because they perceive others as bad or they just enjoy destroying the fun of others so the command is a start since you can’t just steal other peoples stuff on peaceful i wouldn’t recommend on peaceful because it just gets boring too fast and there is actually one goal in minecraft (which actually doesn’t give you much of an advantage) unless you play on public servers this goal is to kill the Ender Dragon which gives you the Dragon Egg which is unique on lower minecraft versons ( 1.8, 1.7.10,1.9) public servers or modpacks are with great minecraft experience actually the only where you can really still have fun because in the long run the player always wants recognition is the best idea to play on servers but beware on servers are teeming with pker or grefer (grefer are people who try to steal and destroy everything what others have to become better themselves) modpacks on the other hand are more for single or in small groups playing people because it accommodates things that are not available in vinalle such as dungens additional items or bosses so the adventure heart can be properly reawakened the disadvantage is that you in fallen mods your previous experience is partly useless because there are mods that contain their own systems such as magic or skills . but I’m getting bored of writing so here’s something to finish with: Minecraft is not violent, can be addictive under certain eiflussen but rather not, violent it is even more so if you play it alone with friends, spending money in minecraft is possible on publik servers but not necessary and I advise against it,killing players is also not always right and should be avoided because it is even more frustrating than being killed by a mob, creative mode is also known as cheat mode because it is actually no fun to have everything and offers no challenge and only for creative to spend money to play it is absolutely unnecessary then you can just get a free torch minecraft, there is then something called texture packs which are extremely simple to download and the minecraft fun increase,

now a message to the parents direct
for all those who think that minecraft is brutal, addictive or something like that, no it is not, it may be that the control is a bit more complex but this game is very beginner friendly and can even be played by adults (my parents are Grundabgeneigt against all kinds of games and therefore I play mostly only with friends or alone& well it does not matter) but that’s it from me probably I will not find this page anyway since I stumbled on it by accident
oh so i have avoided advertising about my server but if it is asked in the comments anyway i probably won’t be able to answer but still don’t judge minecraft by its appearance you will only understand it when you have played it with a friend so bb and bye

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