If you’re one of more than 126 million players of Minecraft, the world-building sandbox game, and want to host large multiplayer games online, you might need a personal server. Using a Minecraft server host is essentially like using a web host — you pay a monthly fee to use a vendor’s servers, which can get you better performance, security and freedom to use modpacks for unique multiplayer experiences. But with so many options on the market, you may want some help choosing which is best for you.
Of course, there’s always Minecraft Realms, Mojang’s official server subscription service (available for both Java and Bedrock editions). But maybe you want more back-end control over your server — or modpacks and maps that aren’t available in Realms. In that case, you may want a third-party server host that can provide you and your friends the necessary bandwidth and control over your Minecraft world seed’s configuration and settings.
Here we take a look at some of the best third-party Minecraft server hosting vendors available, including Hostinger, Shockbyte and GGServers. We focused on services that offer 24/7 support and a variety of plan options.
Read more: The best web hosting for 2021
How we chose the best third-party Minecraft server hosts
It’s important to note that we didn’t explicitly “test” the Minecraft hosting provider options on this list. Instead, we compiled a competitive overview based on a variety of factors, including third-party ratings and features offered by each hosting company. We’ve also weighted the rankings of these businesses by the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot. With that data in hand, we split them into two tiers:
Best Minecraft hosting providers (top tier): These Minecraft host vendors all have a rating of A or higher from the nonprofit Better Business Bureau (except in cases when the companies are based outside of North America and not included in the BBB ranking system) and a rating of 4.0 or higher out of 5 from TrustPilot, a Danish consumer review site. All of the TrustPilot rankings are based on at least 1,000 user reviews. All of the vendors listed in our top picks also say they offer 24/7 support and modpack support.
Other Minecraft hosting options to consider (second tier): All of these Minecraft host vendors have TrustPilot ratings of 4.0 or above; however, those ratings are based on fewer than 1,000 user reviews. One — Nodecraft — has a D+ rating from the BBB. The others have either As or higher, or no BBB page due to their location.
Important caveats: The Better Business Bureau is not affiliated with any government agency and does not rate companies outside of North America. To be BBB Accredited, companies pay a fee to the organization. TrustPilot, meanwhile, also offers a paid tier that provides companies more interaction with their user ratings. It also removed 2.2 million fake reviews in 2020.
A note on pricing: We’ve made every effort to verify that the prices listed here were accurate at the time of last publication. However, prices in this category are subject to frequent fluctuations and are also consistently subject to special offers and limited deals. Furthermore, many of the prices listed here reflect the monthly rates if you prepay for 12 months of service — or are limited-time introductory prices. Please check the vendors in question to verify pricing at any given time.
Best Minecraft server hosting services
One of our top web hosting provider picks, Hostinger offers five different Minecraft server hosting plans. All of its plans include mod support, full root access, DDoS protection, free MySQL, automatic off-site backups and 99.99% uptime. The differences in pricing are due to different RAM and vCPU hardware options, starting at 2 GB RAM and 2 vCPU Hardware for $9 a month and rising to 8 GB RAM and 8 vCPU Hardware for $30 a month.
Hostinger is based in Lithuania, so it does not have a BBB page (that organization only focuses on US-based businesses). However, it does have a TrustPilot rating of 4.4 out of 5 with more than 2,000 reviews.
MCProHosting offers nine Minecraft server hosting plans, ranging from $8 a month for 1 GB RAM and 25 player slots to $100 a month for 32 GB RAM and unlimited slots. Every plan includes unlimited storage space, worldwide server locations and DDoS protection. You’ll also find six plan options for server hosting for Minecraft: Bedrock edition, running from $1.49 a month for 10 slots to $15 a month for unlimited slots.
A big benefit of MCProHosting: You can try out six of its Java and Bedrock plans free for seven days.
MCProHosting has an A- rating from the BBB, and a TrustPilot rating of 4.8 out of 5 with more than 5,000 reviews.
Shockbyte is a game server provider, offering 12 different Minecraft server hosting plan options, along with the ability to design a custom plan. Options range from $2.50 a month for 1 GB RAM and 20 slots (the number of spaces on a game server available to players) to $40 a month for 16 GB RAM and unlimited slots. All plans include 100% uptime, DDoS protection, instant setup and a free subdomain name.
Shockbyte is based in Australia, so it does not have a BBB page. However, it does have a TrustPilot rating of 4.4 out of 5 with more than 3,000 reviews.
GGServers offers eight different Minecraft server hosting plans, each of which come with the option for standard or premium (which doubles the price).
Standard plans offer DDR4 2133 MHz RAM, 3.2-4 GHz CPU, and 400 MB/s r/w SSD. It also costs an extra $2 a month to add on a MySQL database, or unlimited slots. You don’t get access to all nine server locations, either. Premium plans offer DDR4 2400 MHz RAM, 4.4-5 GHz CPU, 2500+ MB/s r/w SSD, and include the MySQL database, unlimited slots and all nine server locations worldwide. Both plan types include a free subdomain, DDoS protection and instant activation. Standard plans range from $3 a month for 1024 MB RAM and 12 player slots standard (or $6 a month premium) to $36 a month for 12288 MB RAM standard (or $72 a month premium).
GGServers is based in Canada and does not have a BBB page. However, it does have a TrustPilot rating of 4.5 out of 5 with more than 2,000 reviews.
There are also nine paid plan options ranging from $2.50 a month for 768 MB RAM, 3.4 GHz CPU, 10 GB SSD storage, 10 player slots and unlimited servers to $96 a month for 32 GB RAM, 8×3.4 GHz CPU, 320 GB SSD storage, 600 player slots and unlimited servers. You’ll also find Minecraft Bedrock Edition server hosting options, ranging from $5 a month for 30 players to $96 a month for 300 players. All Minecraft and Minecraft Pocket Edition plans include multiple servers, backup, DDoS support, and free web hosting, domain and MySQL.
ScalaCube is based in Estonia and does not have a BBB page. However, it does have a TrustPilot rating of 4.2 out of 5 with more than 1,000 reviews.
Other unofficial Minecraft hosting options to consider
The following Minecraft server hosts have slightly lower or fewer TrustPilot and/or BBB ratings than the ones above.
Another of our top web hosting site picks, Hostwinds also offers Minecraft server hosting starting at $5 a month. It has an A rating from the BBB and is BBB Accredited, and its TrustPilot rating is 4.0 out of 5, though it has fewer than 500 reviews.
BisectHosting offers 20 different plans, each with an option for a budget or premium package. Budget packages start at $3 a month for 1,024 MB RAM, unlimited NVMe SSD and up to 12 slots, and go up to $95.68 a month for 32,768 MB RAM and 150 slots. Premium plans range from $8 a month to $159.68 a month, with the same amounts of RAM as their budget counterparts but with more locations, and free daily backups, modpack updates, sponge installation, dedicated IP address and unlimited slots. BisectHosting has a C+ rating from the BBB. However, it also has a TrustPilot rating of 4.6 out of 5 with more than 2,000 reviews.
Apex Hosting offers Minecraft Java and Bedrock Edition servers starting at $4.49 a month. It also includes a seven-day money-back guarantee. Apex Hosting has an A+ rating from the BBB, and its TrustPilot Rating is 4.6 out of 5, though it has fewer than 500 reviews.
Nodecraft also offers Minecraft Java and Bedrock Edition server hosting, starting at $6.49 a month. Nodecraft has a D+ rating from the BBB but a 4.2 out of 5 TrustPilot rating, though it has fewer than 1,000 reviews.
Sparked Host offers game and cloud hosting, with 13 different Minecraft server hosting plan options, starting at $1.50 a month. Though it’s based in the US, Sparked Host does not appear to have a BBB page. It does have a TrustPilot rating of 4.6 out of 5, but with fewer than 1,000 reviews.
PebbleHost is home to both Minecraft and other gaming and dedicated servers. It offers budget, premium or extreme plans depending on your needs, starting at $4 a month. PebbleHost is based in the UK and does not have a BBB page, but it has a TrustPilot rating of 4.3 out of 5, though with fewer than 1,000 reviews.
RAMShard offers nine Minecraft server hosting plans, starting at $3 a month. It has an A+ BBB rating and is BBB accredited, and has a TrustPilot rating of 4.7 out of 5, though with fewer than 1,000 reviews.
CNET’s Dawnthea Price Lisco contributed to this report.