Getting Players on Your Minecraft Server in 2022: The Definitive Guide
If you are struggling to get players to join your Minecraft Server, then this is the ultimate guide for you!
Throughout this blog, we'll share all the best tips and tricks, and even some secret (sneaky) ways to boost your player base.
Not only will you see some important points that you should already be using.
But you are going to see new strategies, only on this blog, that are guaranteed to boost your player count!
Without the correct set-up, there's no hope of your server attracting players in the first place.
Therefor, you need to make sure you have everything in order before you open up to the public. Make sure your server has each of the following:
• Install Purpur or PaperMC
Players hate lag! If you want to keep users on your server, you need to provide a stable environment for people to play on.
Paper and Purpur both offer extremely optimized server performance over the default game. This means your players get to enjoy a lag-free experience, and you and your admins don't need to work as hard to keep the server up and running.
The developers also make sure to quickly patch any dupes or glitches, meaning you don't have to worry about sneaky players ruining the economy of your server!
Best of all, both Paper and Purpur are highly customizable, meaning you can tweak and tune the settings to fit perfectly with your server.
Here is an up-to-date list of all the recommended settings to configure for the most optimized server. You don't have to strictly follow the list, just use it as a guide.
• Install and Set-Up Votifier
Votifier is a Minecraft plugin that hooks into voting websites, notifying your server when a player has voted for you on one of these sites!
But why does that matter?
Well, the more votes you receive on these sites, the more people see your server. So, if you reward players for voting for you on these sites, they get their reward, and you get more publicity.
It's a win-win situation!
• Install and Set-Up GeyserMC
GeyserMC is another extremely useful Minecraft Plugin for Java servers.
It allows users from the Bedrock Edition of the game to find and connect to your server, opening up a wide range of new players to join your Minecraft Server!
More than 50% of all Minecraft players play on Bedrock Edition.
Without GeyserMC, these players will not be able to join. This makes it a necessity for anyone trying to grow their Minecraft server!
• Use a Domain Over an IP
Look at the two images below:
Which one looks more professional?
If you want players to notice your server more you need to use a domain. It looks better, is easier to remember for players, and gives you a way to brand your server.
If you don't want to fork over some money every year to get a fancy domain, then you're in luck! There are plenty of free subdomain tools out there that you can use.
Shockbyte has a really simple, easy to use tool that can setup your subdomain instantly! And if you don't feel like using them, just type "free subdomain creator" into Google, plenty of results come up.
• Get a Discord Server
A Discord server is essential in order to provide a sense of community within your Minecraft server. It allows your players to chat to each other anytime, even when they aren't playing the game.
Ensure that your Discord server is properly setup, and that players can easily join from within the game.
This will cause new users to stick around more as even when there isn't many people playing on your server, they can still chat and get involved with the community!
Advertising Your Server
You can't get any players on your server if they are unable to find it!
Lucky for you, there are many sites out there designed specifically to advertise servers just like yours! Below we have compiled a list of various websites you can use, and how many players you'll expect from it:
• Advertising on a Minecraft Server List
Daily Joins: 0-20
One of the easiest ways to promote your server is to add it to a Minecraft Server List. Thousands of players browse these websites, looking for a server to join.
Many of these sites also have a dedicated "New Minecraft Servers" section, showing the latest servers added to their site. This is perfect as if you are just starting out, as your server can instantly gain some publicity and possibly players joining.
Here are the top performing Minecraft Server List websites to add your server to if you are just starting out:
Many of the other websites like the ones listed above have too much competition and you won't likely see any meaningful impact.
To maximize the chances of a new player joining ensure you have:
- A Catchy Title (including the gamemode; eg: "Survival", "Prison", or the version; eg: "1.19")
- A long description explaining what your server offers
- A flashy banner to catch players attention, you can get an eye-catching free one from Creavite
• Posting Your Server on r/mcservers
Daily Joins: 0-5
r/mcservers is a subreddit similar to the server list sites out there. It has 138K subscribers (at the time of writing) and hundreds of servers are added daily.
The quality of players you get from r/mcservers tend to be much better. You won't find 9 year old kids screaming "give me admin" joining your game, which can be a relief.
However, the number of players that will join is extremely low, and for this reason, unless you really want to do everything, we don't recommend you post your server here.
Unfortunately it just isn't worth the time.
• Join the Minecraft Forums
Daily Joins: 0-5
The Minecraft Forums is another place you can go to advertise your server. You can create a forum post about your Java or Bedrock server here, similar to r/mcservers and server list websites.
But don't stop there!
Be active in the community. Start discussions, answer people's questions and get known amongst the player-base.
Best of all, the forums allows you to place your "signature" on every post and comment you do. We highly recommend you add your server to your signature, as seen below:
As you can see, the more you post in the forums, the more publicity your server can get.
This requires a lot of effort though, and for most servers, it is just too time consuming to see results.
There are other popular Minecraft Forums as well, we've listed other sites you should add your server to:
• Get Your Current Players to Bring Their Friends
Daily Joins: 0-10
Minecraft servers are boring when there is no one else online.
Once you have done all the steps outlined above, and you are getting some players joining, get them to tell their friends about it.
Players are much more likely to stick around if they are with other people. By bringing in friends, your current users will be content, and the newer players will be satisfied as they have someone to play with.
Asking your players to bring in others can have a powerful compounding effect, with friends inviting their friends, who invite their friends and so on...
You could gain a large active community if done right, who will stick around and keep playing on your server! Just ask and see what happens.
Promoting Your Minecraft Server
Wanting to go to the extreme and get your server in the eyes of millions of players?
Here are some ways you can promote your server and get up to thousands of new players joining daily! (Warning: This can get expensive!!!)
• Buying a Sponsored Slot on Minecraft Server List Sites
Daily Joins: 100-1,000
If your server is completely set-up, and you have advertised it on every corner of the internet, the most bang-for-your-buck option is to pay for a sponsored slot on a Minecraft Server Listing site.
Here's what you can expect from purchasing a sponsored slot:
- Up to thousands of new players joining your server every day
- Extremely active community during the sponsored duration
- High cost of purchase (Up to thousands of $$$ to buy)
- Players may leave once your slot has expired, give them a reason to stick around
It is almost essential to have an online store set-up where players can donate, as these slots can cost thousands of dollars. That's no exaggeration, the image below shows the top slot for servers-minecraft.net:
For $34,000, you need to get a store to bring in revenue.
Most sites have an auction where servers bid for each slot at the beginning of the month, then have their server shown at the top of the site's homepage for the rest of the month.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if a sponsored slot is worth it, it may be a bit of a gamble, but you could end up bringing in more players (and therefor) more money for your server.
• Google Ads
Daily Joins: 50-1,000
If money is an issue for you, skip this one. If not, read along.
Google Ads can be a great supplement to continually bring in new players for your server. You can advertise on all corners of the internet, and, depending on how well you are monetized, you can make money from your server.
Here is a great Google Ads tutorial if you don't know where to start. You can follow along and create your ad right now!
Be careful though, and set a reasonable budget, as costs can quickly start rising.
Luckily, Google Ads are pretty flexible, so you could start with just a couple dollars a day, or, once you are comfortable, scale up to hundreds.