Minecraft multiplayer would not be the success that it is without its range of amazing plugins, which modify certain aspects of the game. There are thousands of plugins available for free on the internet, which are very useful and, in some cases, necessary to run your server effectively.
There are plugins for almost everything you could possibly think of. Want to build things quicker? There’s a plugin for that. Want to create a player ranking system? There’s a plugin for that. Want to monetize your server? There’s a plugin for that, too. It can be hard to decide which plugins to include, so here is a list of ones you must (or really should) have, if you want to build a successful server.
Some of the most useful plugins for Minecraft server owners
WorldEdit by sk89q is possibly the most popular plugin there is, with over 17 million downloads and almost all servers using it to some degree. WorldEdit is a powerful, yet simple-to-use tool which enables you to edit large amounts of blocks with relative ease. There are over 100 functions that can be used to modify the world around you, and you can edit thousands of blocks at a time. Cutting, copying, pasting, rotating, removing, and adding large numbers of blocks using the //wand tool are just some of the things you can do with this plugin.
WorldGuard – again by sk89q – is a plugin which protects your Minecraft server’s world. Through the creation of regions, you are able to define an area where you can control who can do what. For example, you could build a spawn area where new players will start when they join your server for the first time. And you could and set the spawn region’s rules so that nobody can place and destroy blocks and monsters cannot spawn there. WorldGuard has some great features and is a must for any public server.
Some players just want to crash your party and mess things up. CoreProtect was created by Intelli to stop them. CoreProtect is a data logging anti-griefing tool, which can be used to restore and roll back damage caused by malicious players.
The plugin logs all instances of blocks being placed and broken, or damage being caused by other means (fire, explosion, liquid and lava flow, etc) and can be used to quickly and seamlessly restore creations to their prior state. Using MySQL storage, it can do all of this without draining your server’s resources, which is great!
LaggRemover by drew6017 is a utility plugin which keeps servers running more smoothly by unloading empty chunks of the map and removing unnecessary entities (like monsters that are not near players, or blocks that haven’t been collected from the ground).
This is by no means a game-changing plugin, but it is very useful to have if your server has quite a few players; the more players you have, the more entities and chunks there are to slow your server down.
Vault is not a plugin in the sense that it adds new features to the game, but it is a plugin that manages how other plugins interact with each other. If you’ve got a lot of plugins running on your server, you are going to need Vault – or something similar – to do this, and many plugins directly rely on Vault to even work at all.
Vault enables other plugins to hook onto it and manages their interactions and manages other server systems such as the chat or economy.
EssentialsX by drtshock is quite aptly named because it is a plugin packed with lots of useful server commands and functions for miscellaneous server functionality. That includes moderator tools (banning and kicking players), spawning tools, player kits, teleporting tools, warps, mob spawning, colored signs and more. No matter what type of server you run, you will need this!
WorldBorder is another utility-type plugin which limits the size of your world by placing an invisible and impassable border around it. Its size depends on the radius you set, and this is a very useful plugin for smaller servers that only have a few players. Given that the Minecraft world is unlimited, you do not want a 30-player server to be spread out across a 100,000 x 100,000 map!
NoCheatPlus is – you guessed it – an anti-cheat plugin, which can detect hacked clients for things such as flying, speed hacking and a variety of other cheats.
Manually detecting and figuring out whether a player is cheating can be difficult. This plugin removes a lot of the legwork involved in keeping hackers out of your server by preventing you from using their cheating tools and warning you of suspicious behaviors.