Since its release nine years ago, Minecraft remains one of the most popular and beloved games globally. And with over 126 million active users from across the globe, there seems to be no stopping to Minecraft’s phenomenon.
There are several ways you can play Minecraft with friends, but the most versatile by far is on a Minecraft server that is hosted online. Therefore, chances are, you’re one of those players looking to take their Minecraft experience to the next level by hosting it on a cheap, fast, and reliable server with your favorite mods. Among all the Minecraft servers hosting options, the free and paid options below top our list.
If you want to learn how to start a Minecraft server, be sure to check out this video below.
But whether you’re new to Minecraft server hosting or want to switch to a better one, we’ve compiled the best Minecraft server hosting providers for you to choose from.
Before we get started, let’s look at how resource-demanding Minecraft actually can be.
Minimum Minecraft Server Hosting Requirements
As you might be already aware, hosting games is often challenging since they are typically more resource-hungry than typical web applications. Thankfully, Minecraft isn’t exactly a huge resource hog so you can easily host the game on web servers that meet some pretty basic specifications.
That being said, we’re talking here about the basic setups of Minecraft – pure Vanilla as it’s called. For such installations and an average player group of up 10 users, you can get by with the bare minimum in the VPS hosting space.
Let’s look at the exact requirements for plain Vanilla Minecraft hosting in numbers:
- 1GB RAM
- 1 CPU Core
- 2GB RAM
- 2 CPU Core
Storage space requirements are pretty negligible in context to what’s usually offered by hosting providers, so we’ve skipped it altogether. Just make that storage is SSD-based.
However, if you’re more serious about Minecraft then you’ll be likely looking at hosting setups that will allow you to enjoy the game in player groups of 50 and above. You might also like to consider other possibilities such as the use of custom mods, which will increase the requirements even further.
In such cases, we’d recommend a VPS hosting plan like the Minecraft Villager Plan offered by Hostinger, which includes 3GB of RAM but clocking in at $12.95/mo. As you can see, the more players you want to host, the higher your potential monthly cost gets.
What are the Best Minecraft Server Hosting Providers for 2023?
The demand for Minecraft hosting has increased over the years as the game’s popularity continues to flourish. But instead of featuring all of them in this post, we’ve handpicked the top-performing ones to make your decision much easier.
Here are our top choices for the best Minecraft server hosting this year:
Shockbyte has earned its reputation as one of the most trustworthy, and being the cheapest Minecraft server hosting platform . Since 2013, the company has been offering various plans with an array of RAM sizes per server to fit anyone’s budget.
Shockbyte offers a whopping 13 plans, including a custom plan to customers ranging from 1 (20+ slots) to 16GB RAM (180+ slots). The company has some of the lowest price rates in the market, with just $2.50/month for its cheapest plan and $40/month for the premium ‘Titan’. All plans come with a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with server performance.
- Instant activatiion of servers upon subscription.
- Guarantees 100% uptime as covered by it’s SLA for uninterrupted gaming.
- Free subdomain helps attract more people to join your game.
- Provides 24/7 support on standby to help with problems and issues.
- Guarantees DDoS protection according to its SLA.
- Limited money-back guarantee program.
- Frequent reports regarding hidden additional fees and pricing concerns
Hostinger is one of the leading web hosting providers, so it comes as no surprise that it also offers arguably one of the best Minecraft server hosting providers around.
With top-of-the-line features at affordable prices, Hostinger offers the perfect packages for people who want to get the best of Minecraft hosting plan without an advanced server and network setup knowledge.
All plans offer all features above, along with at least 2GB RAM and 2 vCPU Hardware. Prices range from $6.95 to $77.99 a month, with the highest plan (Wolf Plan) offering 16GB RAM and 8 vCPU. Finally, each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
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- Free domain and lifetime SSL
- DDoS protection
- Excellent onboarding experience
- Uses a Multicraft panel to help set up servers.
- Comes with extensive selection of preinstalled mods.
- Protects servers from DDoS attacks through its advanced automated hardware protection.
- Offers enterprise-level data backup to quickly restore lost or damaged data
- Global server network ensures low latency for players regardless of location
- Flexible selection of pricing options
- Great affordability for multiple years up-front
- Great for dedicated IP addresses
- Competitive Pricing
- Offers multiple server locations
- Limited uptime percentage
- No phone support
- Daily backups, SSH, SSH access are only available on higher plans.
- No dedicated hosting
- Doesn’t provide phone support
- Can be expensive if one does not opt for a long-term plan
- Performance can be quite inconsistent
- Limited disk space
- Limited customer service
3. Apex Hosting
With a 4.7 rating on Trustpilot across hundreds of reviewers, Apex Hosting is one of the most well-reputed Minecraft server hosting platforms around. You can’t go wrong setting up your server with the company, as proven by the 200,000 high-performing servers they’ve hosted through the years.
The company offers seven tiered plans ranging from 2-10 GB RAM. Each plan offers a lower price for the first month and increases to its regular price thereafter. You can also pay quarterly for each plan to receive a 10% discount. On top of that, there is an option to get the Proxy to hide your IP address for added protection. It also offers a range of pricing options, making it a cheap Minecraft server hosting option.
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- Provides access to experienced service admins via 24/7 live chat support.
- Enables change server version files in a few clicks.
- Provides low latency on Java or Bedrock across their servers around the world.
- Allows users to create a site for your servier using its free subdomain.
- Supports all types of Minecraft maps, mini-games, mods, and plugins.
- Apex Hosting claims “unlimited player slots” but actually limits players.
- Cheaper alternatives with similar features are available.
GameTeam is a relative newcomer to Minecraft hosting space and aims to provide users with an industry-leading gaming experience at quite an affordable cost with plans starting at just $2.50/month. It supports all the good stuff such as Minecraft Java & Bedrock Edition and 1-click installs for modpacks & plugins in addition to providing players with an unlimited number of slots per server. While obviously, the entry-level server will start lagging with a large number of players, it’s still a nice touch.
GamTeam’s pricing is fairly straightforward. The cheapest plan comes with 1.0 GB RAM at $4/month. Higher tier plans offer additional RAM with the most expensive plan providing us with 32 GB RAM at $128.00/month. The company offers also additional support with modpack installation and plugin setup for an additional one-time charge of $15.00. In any case, whatever plan you choose under this platform will offer good Minecraft hosting that you can rely on.
- Offers 12 server locations to choose from to minimize lags during gameplay.
- Commits to 99.99% uptime independent of server location
- SSDs used in servers provide a fast gaming experience with low I/O times
- Full FTP access to manage all files and plugins with an FTP client of your choice
- Daily backups that remain available for 7 days
- Customer service doesn’t reply promptly
- Entry-level servers tend to slow down with multiple players
5. Sparked Host
We recognize Sparked Host as one of the easiest, most affordable and quite powerful online Minecraft server hosting options. After you buy a hosting service with them, which starts as low as $1.50 a month, your server is automatically set up for you. From there, you can immediately start playing via your Minecraft client or continue to set up the server to your liking with additional modpacks or plugins. No matter what you choose, it is our experience that their trained support team is always right there to help.
So, why do we include Sparked Host in our list? Well, they are probably one of the best bang for your buck! Their servers use industry-leading hardware which means your Minecraft community, whether it is just starting out or already has a large player base, will run flawlessly on their platform. Just make sure you choose the right plan to fit your needs. Furthermore, they have amazing resources and documentation for aspiring server administrators like yourself to get up and running in no time.
Hey, it’s fair. You might still have some reservations: starting a Minecraft server is a big task. There is no need to believe us to tell you how good Sparked Host is, though. At the time we’re writing this review, they are rated 4.7 / 5 stars on Trustpilot which puts them in the similar customer satisfaction range as the big names like MCProHosting and Apex Hosting at just a fraction of the price. Not only that, but Sparked Host guarantees “99.99% network” uptime or you will be compensated by either time back on their service or money back. Not convinced? Go check out their website for more information or keep reading.
|RAM||Up to 12GB on the top-tier plan|
Offering different game servers such as Hytale and Ark, ScalaCube is aware of users’ demands across its servers. That’s why ScalaCube’s Minecraft server hosting gives you flexibility on how you want to launch your game and better tools to monitor the people logged into your server.
|Players||Up to 70 players|
|RAM||768 MB – 4.5GB|
Scalacube offers its lowest plan with 768 MB RAM, 3.4 GHz CPU, and slots for 10 players at $2.5/month. The most expensive has 32 GB RAM, 8×3.4 GHz CPU, and 600 player slots at $96/month. Each plan allows you to create an unlimited number of game servers.
- Offers a custom control panel for full control.
- Lets you install over a thousand unique modpacks with just a single click.
- Supports unlimited number of servers with unlimited slots from its powerful VPS servers.
- Offers a 50% discount on the succeeding server you purchase after your first.
- No access to customer service during weekends
- Doesn’t provide SLA networking
- Doesn’t provide refunds
7. GG Servers
GG Servers has provided people with reliable and fast game servers at affordable prices since 2013. On top of that, the company is focused on giving its customers true 24/7 support with an actual human for all their server needs.
|Players||12 – 144 players|
|RAM||1 GB – 32 GB|
GG Servers offer Standard and Premium packages for all its plans. Standard uses DDR4 2133 MHz 3.2-4 GHz, and SOFT RAID 1 (400 MB/s r/w). MySQL Database and unlimited slots are available as add-ons at +$2/month each.
Premium not only has MySQL and unlimited slots included in the plan but it offers better specs – DDR4 2400 MHz, 4.4-5 GHz, and NVMe (2500+ M/Bs r/w).
HostHavoc comes highly recommended in the Minecraft community, with over 730 reviewers rating the company at an average of 4.7 stars out of 5.0 on Trustpilot. With top-notch servers across mainly the US and Europe as well as one center in Australia, the company aims to provide premium service without any compromises.
HostHavoc plans do not provide any budget options budget as the company believes in speed and reliability and caters to those who are willing to pay a bit extra for high-quality Minecraft hosting. The cheapest plan has 1-4 recommended players with 1GB RAM while the most expensive option with 16GB RAM allows expanding your multiplayer game up to 250+ players. Each plan comes with unlimited storage and all earlier mentioned features such as backups, mods, and more.
- Uses SSDs to run its game servers for faster performance and quicker loading.
- 24/7 node monitoring to ensure ample server distribution
- Works with all available modpacks (Vanilla, ATLauncher, FTB, Technic etc.)
- Provides full FTP access as well as a web-based file manager for those who prefer to self-manage
- Guarantees real person support 24/7 with 15min average response time
- Doesn’t provide partial refunds
- Numerous reported issues on server startups.
BisectHosting comes highly recommended in the Minecraft community, with over 730 reviewers rating the company at an average of 4.7 stars out of 5.0. With top-notch servers in different parts of the globe, the company aims to provide premium service at an affordable budget.
BisectHosting plans are divided into two: premium and budget. Budget packages can enjoy instant setup, Multicraft Control Panel, 24/7 support, and free subdomains, among others.
Premium packages benefit from the same features as the Budget packages. However, they also get free unlimited slots, more servers from different locations, free dedicated IP, and more!
Nodecraft is another game hosting company that offers top-notch hardware for its server located worldwide for fast gaming. But what separates the company from the rest is it uses NodePanel 2, a next-gen game hosting control panel built by Nodecraft so that you can manage your servers better.
The price for all plans ranges from $9.98/month to $39.98/month. They possess the same feature and even host unlimited Minecraft player slots. The difference lies in the hardware – the higher the plan, the better the specs are.
Best Free Minecraft Server Hosting Options for 2023:
1. Server.pro (Freemium)
Best Minecraft Free Server Hosting
If you’ve ever typed: “Minecraft server hosting free” on your browser, don’t be surprised if Server.pro comes up as one of the top options. Server.pro is a Swedish game hosting company offering free and paid plans. On top of it being easy to use, the platform serves as a low-risk, high-reward game hosting that allows people to host Minecraft servers without breaking the bank.
Among the best Minecraft server hosting providers here, Server.pro is the only one with a free plan. But aside from having 1 GB RAM, it also serves ads and doesn’t include daily backups, multi-admin capabilities, and instant setup, among others.
The Premium ($5-10/month) and Pro ($20-40/month) plans are ad-free and offer everything that the Free plan doesn’t. The only difference between the two is the Pro plan offers a dedicated IP and a MySQL server with root access.
- Data centers across eight countries guarantees almost lag-less gaming
- Offers daily backups
- Allows users to create custom hostname for server
- Create your custom hostname for your server.
- Provides reliable DDoS protection
- Customer service doesn’t address specific issues and simply sends cut and pasted answers to queries
- Frequent reports of servers randomly closing down
2. Aternos (Free)
Best Completely Free Minecraft Hosting
While there are definitely a lot free MC servers, Aternos operates on the premise that as long as Minecraft is free, they will be providing their services for free as well–from the RAM to the plugins that they offer. They’re one of the few portals that gives Minecraft fans free server hosting to run their own networks.
Since they started operating in 2013, Aternos has been a well known hosting Minecraft server option that now has close to 13 million users and 400,000 gamers.
Because it’s free, Aternos Hosting caps players that users can add at 20. They also impose a limit on modpacks and plugins. The amount of RAM available is capped at 1.7 GB.
All things considered, Aternos is nothing fancy, but it’s perfect for small groups who want to hangout on a shared network.
What to Look for in Best Minecraft Server Hosting?
Now that you have the best Minecraft hosting companies to choose from above, you must know how to pick the right one that suits your needs. Similarly to typical web hosting, there are some key factors you should consider in order to make an informed decision.
Let’s look at some of the most important ones:
#1. The right server location
The servers must be near the location where players are from to avoid lag. There’s nothing you can do when you’re hosting players from all over the world. But if you are hosting players in a specific region or country, make sure that the company has servers closest to your area.
#2. Good connection parameters
To provide players with seamless, uninterrupted gaming, the servers must have high latency and good uptime. To ensure this, choose a Minecraft hosting provider with more than sufficient processor and RAM. Also, high-performance servers can accommodate more players without the game lagging.
#3. Easy or instant setup
The last thing you want to worry about is setting up the server yourself – you need technical knowledge to get the server up and running smoothly. Thankfully, there are hosting companies that take care of this, so you can go straight into hosting the games.
#4. Multiple players allowed at the same time
Minecraft is best played with as many players as possible. While there’s only a certain number of players a server can handle in a multiplayer mode, go with a server hosting that can accommodate at least 10 players simultaneously.
#5. Mods allowed and included
Minecraft mods can change the interface and offer additional tools that players can use while exploring the game. Since they are always an important part of improving the experience of playing Minecraft, make sure that the gameserver hosting provider has the best Minecraft mods installed or at least freely allows you to add the ones you like.
#6. Contract length
Some Minecraft hosting companies require you to pay for multiple months upfront. While you can save more money with a reliable Minecraft hosting company this way, it may require you to pay a lot upfront. If so, look for others that offer a monthly subscription payment to lighten the financial burden and improve your cashflow.
#7. Good level of security
The most common type of attack against Minecraft servers is DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service). This occurs when certain parties make multiple attempts to connect to your server, causing it to crash. With a reliable server, your hosting company will take care of the potential threats for you so that you can enjoy the game.
Minecraft Server Hosting: Frequently Asked Question
Still not sure which among the best Minecraft server hosting platforms to choose from? Or you’re probably new to the game itself?
Don’t worry – below are answers to the most common questions about the game and the process of setting up your server.
Q: Is Minecraft free?
The game is not free. The price depends on the device where you’re playing the game, but the desktop version of Minecraft costs $30. You can also make in-game purchases and get access to different game accessories (skins, worlds, textures).
Q: Is hosting a Minecraft server free?
Some hosting servers offer a free trial. Once the trial period ends, you need to pay up for the plan you tried out. You can change the plan that fits your budget during the trial, so you can pay without getting your servers cut. There’s also a number of cheap dedicated server options out there with hosting plans starting as low as $2.50/month.
Q: How much RAM do I need for the Minecraft server?
To accommodate a maximum of 10 players at the same time, you need at least 1 GB of RAM on your game server. The higher the GB RAM of your server, the more players you can welcome, the more enjoyable the game can become.
Q: Which is the best Minecraft server hosting service?
Hostinger provides the best overall experience of managing Minecraft servers for all levels. Shockbyte has built a reputation for reliability and performance on top of its guaranteed uptime and DDoS protection. Finally, Apex Hosting delivers arguably the best customer support thanks to its responsive 24/7 live chat.
Q: What is the best free Minecraft server host?
There are lots of free Minecraft server hosting services to choose from for setting up the game. However, we highly advise against signing up to free server hosts for several reasons, i.e., many ads, a low amount of services, limited support, etc. If you insist on using a free server host, set it up yourself using a VPS instead.
Q: How much does it cost to host a Minecraft server?
A server for 20 players can be as little as just $2.50/month. As you can see, you can easily go super cheap, but also you may decide to go for more expensive options depending on your requirements. In this case, the most expensive plan from one of our top picks, Hostinger, with 8GB RAM, 8 vCPU Hardware, and an unlimited number of players will cost you $29.95/month for a 4-year plan.
Best Minecraft Server Hosting – Summary
To make your choice a bit easier, we’ve compiled this quick comparison table, highlighting the key parameters of the top 5 hosts:
|Host||Price From||RAM||Max Players||Control Panel||Mods|
|Shockbyte||$2.50 / month||1GB||8+||Multicraft||✓|
|Apex Hosting||$7.49 / month||2GB||∞||Multicraft 2.0||✓|
|Hostinger||$8.95 / month||2GB||70||Multicraft||✓|
|GameTeam||$2.50 / month||1GB||∞||Multicraft||✓|
|ScalaCube||$2.50 / month||768MB||10||Dedicated||✓|
As you can see from the list above, each of the Minecraft server hosting providers is considered the best for various, oftentimes different reasons. Because of this, choosing the right one for your particular needs becomes very important.
In the meantime, the most balanced and consistent among all of the above Minecraft hosting options, in our opinion, is Hostinger. It’s a bit on the expensive side with a base plan starting at $8.95/month but their onboarding and interface are perfect for beginners who simply want to host games they can enjoy with their friends. This hosting provider also caters to more advanced users looking to build custom worlds and take advantage of numerous mods.
At the moment, Hostinger is running a promotion on all hosting plans with discounts reaching up to 90%, so it’s a great time to check out their Minecraft hosting offer!
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can’t go wrong with Shockbyte, and their cheapest plans are starting at just $2.50 / month. High uptime stats and various plans that you can potentially upgrade to will guarantee you a stress-free hosting experience.
Did you have any of experiences with any of the Minecraft hosts? What did we miss? Let us know in the comment section below.
Editor’s Note: This post has been recently revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
19 May 2022 – Updated pricing pages
19 May 2022 – Aternos review added