Can People in Different States Play "Minecraft" Together?

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Minecraft enables players not only to build and create, but also to share their creations with their friends. The easiest way to enjoy multiplayer Minecraft is through local area networks, but if your friends live in another state you'll need a server. Setting up a Minecraft server is free, but requires some patience, configuration and careful attention to prevent accidentally creating a weakness in your computer's security.

Preparation

  • Download and install the latest version of Java. A link is included below in Resources.

  • Download and install the Minecraft client. A link is included below in Resources.

  • Download and install the Minecraft Server app. A link is included below in Resources.

  • Launch the Minecraft Server app and allow it a few minutes to create the necessary configuration files on your computer.

  • Type "stop" without quotes once the app says "Done" and press "Enter." Then close the program.

Port Forwarding

  • Access your router's admin page and locate the Port Forwarding page or option.

  • Select the option to create a new or custom service, and name the service something simple like "Minecraft" when prompted.

  • Set the service type as "TCP."

  • Enter the following number for both internal and external ports: 25565.

  • Press "Win-X" to open the Power User menu and select "Command Prompt."

  • Enter the following command:

    ipconfig /all

    Press the "Enter" key.

  • Scroll through the list of information given, and locate "IPv4 Address" in the Wireless LAN section. Make a note of the series of numbers given, they should adhere to the following pattern:

    123.456.789.012

    Ignore any parenthesis or letters, only the number is required.

  • Enter the number in the "Output IP" or "Server IP" field on the router admin page -- this will tell the router where the service points..

  • Save and apply the service and close the admin control page.

Server Setup

  • Open the following Minecraft text files in a non-formatted text editor like Notepad:

    white-list.txt, Ops.txt and/or admin.txt

    The files will be located in the same folder that your Server app created during setup.

  • Locate the following text and replace "Username" with your Minecraft username:

    server ops, 1 username per line

    Username

  • Add the Minecraft usernames of anyone else you want with operator or admin privileges on the server to the list on separate lines. For example:

    server ops, 1 username per line

    Username
    FriendsUsername
    OtherFriendsUsername

  • Open the file "server.properties.txt" in the same text editor and configure the server as desired. This step is only recommended for advanced users -- default settings will be fine for beginners.

Hosting

  • Open your preferred Web browser and navigate to WhatsMyIP. A link is included below in Resources.

  • Make a note of the IP address provided. This address differs from the one noted in the Port Forwarding section, which was the internal IP needed for service setup. This is your computer's external IP, which you will need to distribute to your friends in order for them to access the server.

  • Launch the Minecraft Server app.

Connecting to the Server

  • Launch Minecraft.

  • Click "Multiplayer."

  • Click "Add Server."

  • Enter the IP address for the host computer. If you're playing on the same local area network, enter the internal IP for the host computer. If you're playing the game from computer outside of the local network, enter the external IP. If you are playing from the host computer, enter "localhost" without quotes as the IP.

  • Click "Join Server."

Tips & Warnings

  • Different routers will have different steps for port forwarding. For specific instructions for your equipment, consult your owner's guide or visit PortForward. A link is available in Resources.
  • If you're uncertain about your ability to set up a Minecraft server, you can also join your friends on a public server. The Resources section contains a list of available pubic servers for you and your friends to use.
  • Unless you have at least 6GB of RAM memory or better, dedicate the host computer to only running the server and access the server from a separate computer. Running both the server and the game client alone is a substantial drain on system resources, let alone running any other services in the background.
  • Setting up a Minecraft server requires some basic knowledge of networking, your system, network and router configurations and isn't recommended for beginners. If you feel you can't set up the server safely, have a knowledgeable friend set up one to visit or use a public server.

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