The Ultimate Guide to Minecraft Server Types

Posted on November 28, 2022

Did you know that Minecraft has roughly 170 million active users per month on average? Minecraft is one of the biggest and most popular games ever, having held public attention for more than a decade. But what are some of the best Minecraft server types?

If you're new to the Minecraft community, finding Minecraft servers may feel overwhelming. There are dozens of types to choose from! If you're curious to learn about some of the most popular types, keep reading!

Creative Servers

One of the most common server types is "creative" servers. In Minecraft, the Creative mode allows players to focus on building instead of the usual survival mechanics.

In Creative mode, players don't have to worry about food or health. Monsters will spawn, but they usually won't be aggressive toward players. Players are also given the ability to fly, move quickly, and access an unlimited amount of any resource.

As the name suggests, this mode is meant to let players solely focus on building. With the additional features and removal of combat, there's nothing stopping players!

You should join a creative server if your goal is only to build something. You won't have much (or any) PvP, combat, or roleplay on these servers. Some servers are an exception to this.

Themed Creative Servers

A subtype of creative servers includes Minecraft servers with themes. These servers may encourage (or enforce) players to build towards a specific goal.

For example, some themed servers will focus on building a city. Others may have players work to build a castle or a road system. These themed servers help to encourage playing together and building a focused, themed world.

PvP (Player Versus Player) Servers

One key feature of many online games is Player versus Player content or PvP. These servers will pit players against each other in various ways.

One way is for a server to have no changes other than PvP enabled. In these servers, players are free to run up to others and attack them for any reason.

However, tread lightly! Many of these servers have rules against "griefing." In online games, griefing is behavior that purposefully targets or disrupts other players, often at no gain, similar to cyberbullying.

If a server has no rules against griefing, it's often a good idea to avoid players. Other games like Rust or Ark: Survival Evolved will often have PvP servers that have players raiding and griefing each other.


A common subtype of PvP servers is faction servers. These servers typically split players into groups called factions.

A faction might be a guild, a castle, a city, or any other reason to form together. These servers will usually encourage a faction to work together towards a common goal.

For a PvP server, factions will usually be at war with each other. They may attempt to take territory or resources from other factions. These servers are also often always active, allowing players to attack when they wish.

However, not all faction servers encourage wars. Many will encourage factions to work together or create alliances. These servers are also often paired as roleplay servers.


Prison servers may not sound fun on the surface, but they're one of the most popular custom Minecraft servers! Usually doubling as roleplay servers, Prison servers let players play as either a prisoner or a prison guard.

In these servers, PvP is typically enabled for a variety of reasons. Players will receive a variety of tasks, such as attempting to escape or thwarting a prisoner's plot. Guards typically work together, whereas prisoners often can work by themself or with others.


"Hardcore" PvP servers are servers where players focus heavily on PvP. In many cases, there's no scenario or attempt to play the game "normally." Instead, players will meet up specifically to fight.

Because of this goal, many hardcore servers are also in arenas or coliseums. These settings allow players to focus on fighting and the competitions that frequently take place.

However, there are several other types of hardcore servers. One may still have players focus on playing the game traditionally but only given one life. In these servers, if a player dies, they're forced to restart from scratch or even banned from the server!

You may find some servers that are set to hardcore without having PvP enabled. These servers run by the same rule - die and you're restarting or booted. In these high-stakes servers, many players work together to avoid death.

Roleplay Servers

Past the typical gameplay servers, you can often find roleplay Minecraft server hosting. These servers will often enforce players to take on a role, as the name implies.

Typically, these servers are in some form of scenario. The aforementioned prison roleplay servers are great examples of this. Others may include castles, businesses, or entire cities!

If you've played online games for long enough, you're likely familiar with these servers. Games like Grand Theft Auto V, World of Warcraft, and other massively multiplayer online games frequently feature them.

These servers are great for meeting new people and making friends. They heavily encourage players to socialize and interact with others.

However, many of them also have strict rules. For example, some servers may insist on not breaking "immersion" by constantly staying in character. Failure to do so can result in punishments.

Others may reinforce a social hierarchy. For example, a guard or police officer will have more authority in roleplay than a random civilian. Some find these situations uncomfortable, so be careful!

Roleplay Variations

There are plenty of variations on roleplay servers. Some may have themes, such as using real-world intellectual property. Minecraft players may take on the roles of existing characters in existing worlds on these servers.

Others may have a scenario, such as a prison or a castle attack. PvP servers can serve as roleplay servers as well.

Many roleplay servers are meant to be relaxing and will disable PvP. There are countless different forms and variations of Minecraft roleplay servers, so expect to research before you choose!

Vanilla Servers

Do all of these changes sound uninvited to you? If you want to play Minecraft in its purest form, vanilla servers are a great place to go.

In gaming terms, a vanilla server is one that hasn't been changed from its original form. For Minecraft, this means no mods and no scenarios.

Vanilla servers will typically drop players into a world and encourage them to play Minecraft however they wish. These servers could become PvP servers with a focus on building.

They can also serve as PvP servers with no mods or extra bits. Many vanilla servers are also roleplay servers, though this is less common as many roleplay servers require mods. Vanilla servers are usually plentiful, easy to jump into, and friendly.

Challenge Servers

Challenge servers are a broad and easily-accessible server type. These servers simply give players a challenge to overcome.

Depending on what type of server, a challenge server could challenge players to do anything. For example, a PvP server may challenge players to get a certain number of kills. They could also have players survive for a time period to score points.

A roleplay server may give players tasks towards their role. A prison guard may be tasked to stop a prison riot, or a baker could be given the task of baking a certain dish!

Challenge servers are varied and come in all sorts of types. If you like having a long-term goal, you should search for challenge servers!

Set Scenario Servers

The final popular type of server is the Set Scenario server. These servers also come in a variety of types and can have any premise.

Some servers may be in a doomsday scenario, such as swarming zombies or spreading fire. Others could challenge players to survive for as long as possible with a scarcity of food.

Each scenario will have differences and challenge players in a unique way. Search for local scenario servers to see what piques your interest!

Minecraft Server Types

These Minecraft server types are some of the countless types out there. If you're curious to find the best Minecraft gameplay experience you can, consider trying multiple servers to see what fits your playstyle. Cracked Minecraft servers can also offer a unique, modified experience you won't get otherwise.

For more information on Minecraft server hosting and gameplay, be sure to contact us to learn more! You can also browse our Minecraft server trials to see what would best fit your needs.

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