There's plenty to complain about when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond its more serious effects, it has also just managed to hamstring day to day life.
If you're into gaming, it has all but erased the ability to play with anyone side by side besides those in your immediate household. If you're following expert recommendations (and you should be), it just isn't worth it.
Luckily if you want some tips on how to play Minecraft with friends, you have way more options than just LAN. So today we'll break down exactly how to play with your pals, no matter how far they may be!
Probably the most complicated option available, it's possible to host your own Minecraft server. Just understand that if you're not tech-savvy, you have a lot of reading and video tutorials ahead of you.
The process is a bit too complicated to detail out here fully, but we'll at least go over the basics.
First, you'll want to download the proper server software. (Mojang provides this for free on their site.) Then you can run it to get the basics going.
However, that isn't enough to have a server running. You'll also need to properly forward your ports. Minecraft uses internal and external port 25565.
If you're unfamiliar with any of these processes, you need to review what you're doing thoroughly. Port forwarding requires you to go into some relatively essential parts of your network and mess around. This is definitely a measure once, cut twice, situation.
If you want to play with plugin and mods, it gets even more complex. You have a lot to learn if you want to go down that rabbit hole, but it can admittedly be worth it. It really depends on how much time you want to invest.
Assuming you set it up correctly, this option allows you total control over a server. The downside is that it can be resource-intensive. The server will start to lag and potentially crash if your computer is pushed too hard.
Possibly the easiest of the options available, you can always just play Minecraft with friends on a server somebody else controls.
There are plenty of cool options available if you take this route. Not only that, you generally have to put in the server address and get playing. No complex setup needed!
Servers other people make come in all shapes and sizes. Pretty much all big ones also have at least some plugins; there will at least be measures to stop cheaters.
The downside of this option is the lack of control. You can only search and hope you find a server that fits your style.
Parents should also be careful with encouraging their kids to go down this route. Once publically accessible servers get involved, all bets are off.
Servers may have cussing and other strangeness that can surprise the uninitiated. It's also possible to suddenly lose one's progress if an admin decides to shutdown the server or there a griefer figures out a way to ruin one's work.
If you can put up with the occasional nonsense, this option is undoubtedly the simplest for people who want to jump in and play Minecraft.
As you may already know, we at AleForge are among the companies that can offer yet another option. By setting up big server banks and hiring expert staff, we can actually host servers for you!
Hosting services like ours are a great middle-ground between self-hosting and accessing public servers.
On the one hand, there is almost none of the complicated setup that comes with hosting your own server. All you need to do is figure out if you're running Bedrock or Java edition. Beyond that, you pay us to do all the heavy lifting for you.
On the other hand, the server is largely yours to control. We've even made it easy to set up most modpacks! We have data backups too, so progress is easily saved and you can be protected against any file corruption.
Maybe the single biggest advantage of this option is the hardware running the servers. Our machines are far better than most home machines and are designed specifically for running servers. We're set up to handle a server being seriously pushed to its limits!
You'll notice monthly pricing scales well too. If you only want to play with a few friends on occasion, you probably will only need Creeper tier or even less. No need to pay for the power you won't use!
On the other end of the spectrum, we have options for folks who want to play with dozens of other players with our Enderman and Dragon tiers. If you're looking to have a server that you'd need a huge, beefy machine to run, we've got you covered.
We hope these tips on how to play Minecraft with friends were useful. In these stressful times, it can be a big relief to interact with friends in a digital space.
Regardless of the choice you make, we hope you have fun. If you're thinking about hosting but aren't quite sure, we'd love for you to contact us. Our email and live chat information are both also available at the top of this page.
As a final tidbit of note, we don't just host Minecraft servers! We can host some of the most popular games around, and we're only expanding our selection. If you're looking to host another game, check to see if we can help!