Paper Chan’s Little Guide to Minecraft Server Optimization!


Introduction / Background

This guide is written in the style of a walkthrough designed to expand on the information provided from the official documentation and putting additional emphasis on the gameplay changes and potential side effects that comes with optimizations. It aims to provide a deeper understanding on the inner working of a Minecraft server instead of just handing out pre-determined values in which often does more harm than good. Hopefully this guide provides some useful insights to you!


Last updated: May 20th, 2022 for Paper Version 1.18.2 Build #341


Latest notable changes:

redstone-implementation is added and server owner can now decide to switch between vanilla/eigencraft/alternate-current in Paper.yml.

(Please let me know if you like this newly implemented section as it’s highly requested)


Table of Contents


Prerequisites

Tools and Software for Windows Users

NotePad++ Notepad but better.
WinSCP SFTP client for file transfer.
Replace Tab with Space in NotePad++: Setting > Preference > Language > Replace by Space
Force Binary Mode in WinSCP: Options > Preference > Transfer > Binary

Getting Started

First time hosting on Windows and the above instructions is overwhelming?
Check out Paper Chan’s Little Guide to self-host a Minecraft Server


Configurations & Optimizations

Before we start…

There are no singular value that will work for every server. You should read and understand each available config option and tweak the numbers accordingly to fit your own unique circumstances. The optimal config for your server will vary based on server hardware, average player count, and the type of game mode running. Any value shown below is served as an example, please test and experiment then come up with your own set of numbers.

As your world ages and players progress into late game, the workload on the server would gradually increase over time so server optimizing is not an one-off task but a continuous effort.

With Modern Minecraft version, running on default (Vanilla) setting requires decent hardware and it may not be feasible for some small to medium size servers where server resource is very limited. Aside from picking a reputable host and the right hardware, optimizing the configurations and making compromise to Vanilla gameplay becomes essential. Carefully read through the config options provided below and you will ensure a smooth operation!

Pre-generate Your Map

Generating new chunks consumes a considerable amount of resources and it is recommended to pre-generate your map if you are launching a new map/server.

If you do not plan to set a world border, it is still a good idea to pre-generate 5~10k from your spawn as it will help ease the launch day stress on your server. Not to mention, it will catch any potential uncaught bugs on generation ahead of the actual launch day.

  • Grab Chunky and ChunkyBorder by pop4959
    • Chunky is the simplest pre-gen plugin and combined with ChunkyBorder, you can customize the border shapes to your liking.
    • Please be reasonable when picking a border, the file size will grow exponentially the further you set the border and this may cause issues with storage and backup later on.

Picking the Optimal View Distance & Simulation Distance

simulation-distance determines how much environment is active (ticking) around the player.
view-distance determines how many chunks (terrain) are visible to player.

simulation-distance has a huge impact on the performance so having a lower value will help maintain the lag-free environment. The default value for Vanilla Minecraft is 10 and most of the farm designs on YouTube are made based off this value. Lower this value will impact those farms which we will go over later. Personally I wouldn’t go lower than 5 so the gameplay experience is somewhat pleasant; however, if you are doing Mini games or Skyblocks, you can go much lower.

view-distance provides further chunks terrain view and is not as performance heavy as simulation-distance but does occupies more RAM; increase the value incrementally to find your sweet spot on your server if you do decide to increase it.

  • Additionally, you can define individual value on a per world basis in spigot.yml to overwrite server.properties.
    (We will cover how to proper set this up in per-world config section later)

Keeping Entity Count Under Control

Entities are resource-intensive in Modern Minecraft version, even the top-of-the-line CPU in the current market would still be brought down to its knee if you do not keep the entity under control.

  • Ideally, you want to maintain your overall entity ticks to be below 30%
    (Assuming a reasonable amount of player activities is present and not just an empty server)
  • Timings is a great tool to find the source of lags and to compare the result of optimizations.

Be Aware of the Impacts of your Alteration

With each alteration come with compromise! Most of your players are just copying popular farm designs block by block without knowing how it actually works so it is important as a server owner to understand the impact of your alteration so you can explain to the player better. In the following walk through, I will attempt to explain the impact of each change and how to combat the compromise.


Understand Mob Spawn Mechanics

Below is a demonstration on how mob spawning works around a player. The graph and indicated value is made based on vanilla/paper default.

Graphic design by Niome#7667
inspired by Radiant#6666
View Distance: 10 (chunks)
Simulation Distance: 10 (chunks)
Mob Spawn Range: 8 (chunks)
Despawn range (soft): 32 (blocks)
Despawn Range (hard): 128 (blocks)
entity activation range: 32 (blocks)
- The brown cylinders indicates the mob spawn range
- The red sphere indicates the mob spawning zone (inbetween 24 - 128 blocks)
- The yellow sphere indicates the mob free zone as no mob will spawn that close to a player (24 blocks) 
- Any entity falls under 32 blocks ring (entity activation range) will be ticked at normal rate.
- Any entity resides in-between 32 - 128 blocks rings will be ticked at a reduced rate.
- Any entity falls outside of 128th block is instantly despawned.

Any alteration to the settings above requires you to adjust the farm’s overall size and its designated afk spot accordingly.

The 5 abovementioned config options are closely related to each other and it is crucial to ensure each value is setup correctly.

  • Simulation Distance determines the maximum possible size of a farm.
    • A farm cannot excess the radius of (Simulation Distance -1)x16 blocks.
    • Everything outside of simulation distance won’t tick so any farm bigger than this value wont be functional.
  • Mob Spawn Range determines the maximum size of collection platform of a farm.
    • Mob Spawn Range should be between (Simulation Distance -1) to 3 minimum.
      • If you are running the vanilla default simulation distance of 10, you can keep the mob spawn range at 8 or lower.
      • Mob can only spawn a minimum of 24 blocks away from players so setting mob spawn range below 3 is strongly discouraged unless your simulation distance is at 3 or lower.
    • Every mob farm has a designated mob collection platform, the size of the platform is determined solely by this value (in chunks)
  • Despawn Range (hard) or hard despawn-range is the furthest away a mob can exist without it instantly despawns.
    • The value of hard despawn-range determines the ideal afk spot of the farm.
      • This value is 128 (blocks) for vanilla default.
        (Most farm design would set the designated afk spot to be just slightly within this value)
      • Decrease this value below vanilla default means that the afk spots on mob farms would also need to be adjusted within the new hard despawn-range as the range limit applies both horizontally and vertically.
        (Additional important notes is located on later section…)
    • The hard despawn-range should always be equal to your (mob-spawn-range)x16 blocks and never lower.
      (This prevent the server from doing extra work of spawning a mob only to have it depsawns instantly because it falls outside of hard despawn range)
  • entity-activation-range should be the last option to alter as it has major behavioral impact on the gameplay.

When troubleshooting why a farm is not working, be sure to go through every configs mentioned above and make the necessary modification to the farm design accordingly. Do not copy and paste from YouTube tutorials block by block without ever taking these config into account.

Take a look at [Paper Chan’s Little Guide to fix your Nether farm] for a sample walkthrough on common troubleshooting steps.

  • All mentions of Simulation Distance in this section refers to the actual ticking distance.
  • Utilize /paper mobcaps and /paper playermobcaps for additional details on mob spawning around a player. It is especially useful for finding errors on the spawnproofing. For more details on this feature click me.

New in 1.18, why is my farm built in 1.17 slower now when nothing is changed?

Minecraft runs the spawn check between the lowest block and the highest block (Ranging from Y0 to Y265 in 1.17) to check and see if the block is eligible for a spawn attempt, it then has a 24% change to success to spawn at that particular Y position.

Farms are designed based on this rule and their ideal location is chosen accordingly.

  • Large perimeter – Making a large perimeter around your farm eliminates all other possible spawn locations but the designated spot on the farm platform. (This can be seen in SciCraft server and in most farm tutorials that use void flat-world for demonstration)
  • Enderman farm at Y0 – Enderman farm is advised to be built at Y0 as it is most effective location.
  • Nether Farm above Netherroof – Nether Farm is usually built high above Netherroof as it is generally a pain to make large perimeter due to the amount of lava present and by going higher into the Netherroof, you move your depsawn sphere high up in the sky to eliminate all possibility of a mob spawning anywhere outside of your farm platform.

With that being said, your farm may be less effective now in 1.18 due to the world height change. Instead of checking eligible spawn attempt from Y0 to Y265, it’s now checking from Y-64 to Y320 to find lowest & highest block to run spawn attempts. Your farm from 1.17 located on Y0 now has 64 more additional blocks below it which slows down the mob spawning.

How to mitigate the issues…

  • Rebuild your farm at the lowest point of the world which is now Y-64.
    (This is the most ideal solution but also the most painful).
  • Dig out an even larger perimeter & empty out everything below the farm from Y-64 to Y0 (air block only).
  • Mob spawn attempts are made on all loaded chunks with defined spawn-limits in bukkit.yml (or paper.yml).
    Accept & understand that mob spawning is inherently flawed in multiplayer server.
    A detailed explanation is provided on per-player-mob-spawns section.

Additionally, in 1.18, the required light level for mob to spawn has been changed to 0 as well.

TL;DR The most effective farm location is at the lowest possible Y level with only air block above. Due to the world height change in 1.18, your farm is no longer on the most ideal location.


server.properties

Essential configurations for server.properties

view-distance=10

This sets the view distance (terrain only) of the server unless stated otherwise in spigot.yml

simulation-distance=10

This sets the simulation distance (ticking) of the server unless stated otherwise in spigot.yml

Refers to Picking the Optimal Simulation & View Distance for more info

Picking a suitable combination of view-distance & simulation-distance is extremely important

  • If you decide to lower your view-distance & simulation-distance,…
    Please refer to How Mob Spawn Works to ensure all other configs are adjusted accordingly.
    • simulation-distance should always be equal or lower than view-distance.
      (If simulation distance is set higher than view distance, only area up to view distance will be applied)
    • It is strongly discouraged to reduce these value lower than 5. (Minimum is 2 after build #203)
  • If you wish to provide further terrain view to players, please note that each additional increase after 10, the total amount of loaded chunks around a player will increase exponentially
    • The formula to calculate the total chunk loaded by a single player is [(View Distance +2)x2+1]^2
      • For view-distance=10 (vanilla default), a singular player will load 625 chunks.
      • For view-distance=5, a singular player will load 225 chunks.
      • For view-distance=15, a singular player will load 1225 chunks.
    • Although view-distance uses significant less resources compare to simulation-distance, please still be mindful on its performance impact especially on large server where every bit of resource saving helps.
  • Additionally, you are given the ability to overwrite/specify view distance & simulation distance for each world in spigot.yml. We will go over this on per-world config section later.
    • For example, you can opt for a higher view-distance in the_end dimension which would make navigating through the void with Elytra a much more pleasant experience for your players.

allow-flight=true

This prevent the players from getting kicked by the server for “flying” while riding a horse or climbing on scaffolding. Having this option as true doesn’t mean everyone can fly, it just means that players would not get kicked if the server think they are flying.


bukkit.yml

Essential configurations for bukkit.yml

spawn-limits:
  monsters: 70
  animals: 10
  water-animals: 5
  water-ambient: 20
  water-underground-creature: 5
  ambient: 15

This section determines the mob cap in your server. Lower the value on monster has the most direct impact on server performance as entity is one of the most resource intensive task the server has to tackle.

Changing spawn-limits requires you to look over other related config.
Refer to Understand Mob Spawn section for more details.

To help maintain the Perceived mob density consistent with vanilla default, please also alter the mob-spawn-range in spigot.yml accordingly to achieve this illusion.

Below is the actual calculation on how the number is calculated. Keep it in mind that this assumes ideal spawning conditions aka all blocks are spawnable blocks on surface level where the emptiness of sky roughly cancels out the solid undergrounds.

A table of preset value is also included below for your convenience.

For example, if I want to set my monster cap to 45 and also keeping the mob density roughly the same as before, I would solve the math equation below

(Default mob Cap) : (Default Spawn Area) = (New Mob Cap) : (New Spawn Area)

where the constants are as followed,
 
Default Mob Spawn Range = 8 chunks
Minimum distance where a mob can spawn = 24 blocks away from a player

Default Spawn Area = [ (Mob Spawn Range x2 x16) +1]^2 - ( 24 x2 +1 )^2 = (8x2x16+1)^2 - 49^2 = 66049 - 2401 = 63648

70:63648 = 45:b ; where b = New Spawn Area (in blocks)

63648 x 45 = 70b

b= 40916

Let a = New Mob Spawn Range, where b = [ (a x16 x2) +1]^2 - (24 x2 +1)^2, and b = 40916

(32a +1)^2 - 2401 = 40916

(32a +1)^2 = 43317

32a +1 = 208

32a = 207

a = 6.46


I will then set mob-spawn-range to 6 (or 7) in Spigot.yml

Here is a cheat sheet with prefilled suggestions for those who are too lazy to workout the math or failed high school algebra, please read carefully and apply the config accordingly.

Overall Entity Count (%)
(against vanilla)
Suggested
spawn-limit (monster)
in bukkit.yml
Suggested
mob-spawn-range
in spigot.yml
Actual Calculated
Number
100% (vanilla)70 (default)8 (default)8 (default)
90%637 or 87.60
80%5677.18
70%496 or 76.74
60%4266.26
50%355 or 65.75
40%2855.18
30%214 or 54.55
20%1443.81
10%732.89
3%2Please upgrade your server hardwareMy Samsung smart fridge in the kitchen can handle more entities

The suggested number above is for the purpose of keeping the mob density consistent with vanilla, feel free to make up your own number that works for your server. Please do go over understand mob spawn section to validate other configs again as needed.

  • Please note that the required light level for monster to spawn has been changed to 0 in 1.18.
    It is increasingly common to run into a situation where the available spawnable area for monster is extremely small; as a result, they appear to be more concentrated on a dark spot especially around the edge of your lighted base or underground in a closed cave.
    Adapt to this change accordingly and lower the number as you see fit for your server!
  • Analyze your timing report during the busiest time where the most players are online.
    • Overall entity should be less than 30% of your tick and if you are seeing double digit spent on mob spawning, it means that your entity cap is too high, reduce accordingly.
      (Ideally, you want to get your mob density as close to vanilla as possible while maintains below 50 mspt on average during the peak hour. Continue to lower the value until you can achieve this if you are not able to maintain it with the preset valve above)
  • As long as mobs are instantly killed, without accounting mob gathering time, the yield of the farm should be roughly the same as vanilla Minecraft given the farm design is adjusted accordingly.
  • Please note that currently in 1.18, Iron Golem, Guardian are not limited by this config. A plugin is required to properly limit them.

Every mob in game falls under 1 of the 7 categories below aside from the two above mentioned Iron Golems and Guardians.

  • monster category is consisted of blaze, cave spider, creeper, drowned, elder guardian, ender dragon, enderman, endermite, evoker, ghast, giant, guardian, hoglin, husk, illusioner, magma cube, phantom, piglin, piglin brute, pillager, ravanger, shulker, silverfish, skeleton, slime, spider, stray, vex, vindicator, witch, wither, wither skeleton, zoglin, zombie, zombie villager, zombified piglin.
  • animals or creature category is consisted of bee, cat, chicken, cow, donkey, fox, goat, horse, llama, mule, mooshroom, ocelot, panda, parrot, pig, polar bear, rabbit, sheep, skeleton horse, strider, trader llama, turtle, wandering trader, wolf, zombie horse.
  • ambient category is consisted of bat. Bat is useless.
  • water-animals or water_creature category is consisted of squid and dolphins.
  • water-ambient category is consisted of cod, pufferfish, salmon, tropical fish.
  • water-underground-creature or underground_water_creature category is consisted of Glow Squid.
  • axolotl category (located in paper.yml only) is consisted of Axolotl.

    Some categories have two different name listed due to paper using the proper names in the paper.yml while bukkit.yml still uses the old names.

    Each entity will show up individually on the timings report, you can make necessary adjustments accordingly based on their categories above

ticks-per:
  animal-spawns: 400
  monster-spawns: 1
  water-spawns: 1
  water-ambient-spawns: 1
  water-underground-creature-spawns: 1
  ambient-spawns: 1
  autosave: 6000

This section determines the frequency of each category of entities make an attempt to spawn (value in ticks).

Minecraft will always attempt to spawn entities until it hits the spawn-limits on previous section. Altering the number here should be your secondary choice due to the fact that the mob cap will almost always be reached. All you are doing is just delaying the impending doom, please establish a proper entity cap on the spawn-limits mentioned previously first.

  • Calculating and validating mobspawn costs resources and it is always a better idea to reduce the overall entity cap on spawn-limits first then increase ticks-per config here as a secondary buffer. Please utilize /paper mobcaps and /paper playermobcaps to monitor and ensure the mob cap is always being reached. If your mobcap cannot be reached in a timely matter, it’s probably a sign that your spawn-limits is either too high and/or your mob-spawn-range is too short.
    • If you notice a higher than usual amount of ticks spending on Mob spawning on your timings report, your spawn-limits may be too high, reduce your mob cap on the section above so mob cap can be reached.
    • For Skyblock / Oneblock gamemode, this is especially crucial as the server tend to have difficulty reaching the mob cap due to the limited spawnable area (which means the server is constantly making attempts to spawn more mobs). Please adjust the configs accordingly to address this issue.
  • This option is a direct nerf to all mob farms yield rate so picking an ideal number here is very important as it is a fine balance when it comes to optimizing and balancing gameplay experience.

spigot.yml

Essential configurations for spigot.yml

view-distance: default
simulation-distance: default

This serves as overwrite to the identical config in the server.properties

  • Input a value here will overwrite the value inside server.properties
  • The value default instruct the server to use the value from server.properties
  • The value can be set per-world if additional category is created.

mob-spawn-range: 8

As mentioned above on bukkit.yml section, this value can be altered to kept the perceived mob density the same.

  • This value should always be set to a maximum of (Simulation Distance - 1) with a minimum of 3 as any entity fall outside of the simulation distance and the bordering chunk wont be ticked. (see note below)
    • If you are running with the vanilla default simulation-distance of 10, you can adjust the number between 8~3 without following the above rule.
      (Adjust lower if you did lower the bukkit.yml mob cap)
    • If your mob-spawn-range is higher than the simulation-distance for example, the perceived mob density would be lower due to the fact that monster would attempt to spawn outside of your simulation-distance. It is crucial to have the correct valve.
    • For example, if you have a simulation-distance of 6, your mob spawn range can be set between 3~5.
    • Technically, 3 is not the minimum value but due to the fact that no mobs will spawn within 24 blocks around the player, it makes zero sense to go below 3 as it drastically reduce the spawnable area and mob cap may not be reached in extreme case.
  • Refer to How Mob Spawn Works section to read full details.

nerf-spawner-mobs: false

This setting removes the AI from mobs spawn from the spawner in game, if your server allows the player to relocate the spawners, setting this option to true can reduce the lag.

  • Please toggle spawner-nerfed-mobs-should-jump to true in paper.yml if you do decide to enable this. It will allow mob to jump so certain farms will remind functional.
  • Please read the Things to Avoid section for why Silktouch spawner is not a great idea.

max-entity-collisions: 8

The value is the maximum amount of entities should be included in collision lookup. The server will stop processing any additional entity collision after this threshold.

  • Lower this value will help with performance as the animal AI goes haywire trying to path-find away from each other in a small confined space.
  • Do not set the value lower than 3 as it will have game-breaking effects on things that rely on collisions in order to work properly.
  • This is not to be confused with gamerule maxEntityCramming.
    • The cramming gamerule set the maximum amount of entities that can be crammed together before they start taking suffocation damage.
    • To lower this value, use /gamerule maxEntityCramming [number] (default is 24)
    • This gamerule has a direct impact on one block animal farm as the maximum number of animals that can be held inside a block space is determined by this value.

entity-tracking-range:
  players: 48
  animals: 48
  monsters: 48
  misc: 32
  other: 64

This determines how far away in blocks that an entity shell be tracked and sent to the client in order for player to see them.

  • Paper provides these options for you to decide how far away an entity should be tracked (display to client) instead of tracking everything up to bordering chunk (simulation-distance -1). This is an optimized solution to combat expensive entities.
    • You can find related performance merit in your timings report listed under Chunk provider tick.
      • tracker stage 1 is tracking entities.
      • tracker stage 2 is broadcast entity tracking changes.
        (If Chunk provider tick is taking a significant amount of resource, you should first try to reduce amount of total entity, then lower simulation distance, and if all else failed, reduce tracking range as last option)
  • For small scale survival server or server with overpowered hardware, you may increase these valve on the categories above to enhance the gameplay experience for your player with an implied performance tradeoff.
    • player is consisted of players.
    • monster is consisted of monster, raider, and flying monster.
    • animal is consisted of villager, water-animal, and animal.
    • misc is consisted of itemframe, painting, sign, dropped item, experience orb.
    • other is consisted of everything not listed above (I.E. armor stand).
  • The value is in blocks and should always be set to a maximum of (simulation-distance -1)x16 and no lower than 1.
    (BONUS fact: setting the value to 0, all entities will be hidden; setting the value to -1, all entities will essentially becomes ninja! PLEASE DONT DO THIS)
  • If you do decide to make change to this section (excludes players), please also match the value on the corresponding entity-activation-range category below.
  • If you are experiencing invisible Ghast Ambush, it may be a symptom of your entity-tracking-range for monster is set too low.
    • Additionally, check client side setting Options > Video Settings > Entity Distance and make sure it is set high enough to show the Ghast.

entity-activation-range:
  animals: 32
  monsters: 32
  raiders: 48
  misc: 16
  water: 16
  villagers: 32
  flying-monsters: 32
  villagers-work-immunity-after: 100
  villagers-work-immunity-for: 20
  villagers-active-for-panic: true
  tick-inactive-villagers: true
  wake-up-inactive:
    animals-max-per-tick: 4
    animals-every: 1200
    animals-for: 100
    monsters-max-per-tick: 8
    monsters-every: 400
    monsters-for: 100
    villagers-max-per-tick: 4
    villagers-every: 600
    villagers-for: 100
    flying-monsters-max-per-tick: 8
    flying-monsters-every: 200
    flying-monsters-for: 100

entity-activation-range determines how far away (in blocks) an entity should be activated.

Any entity fall outside of this zone will be ticked at a reduced frequency.

  • Those value should always be set to a maximum of (simulation-distance – 1)x16 and no lower than 16 if you are running extremely low simulation-distance/view-distance on your server.
  • Alter activation range will impact all aspect of gameplay so tread carefully.
    • A value of -1 will disable this behavior and restore the behavior to vanilla; however, this is a huge performance hit to your server. Do so at your own risk and only when obsoletely necessary.
  • If you make change to the entity-tracking-range on pervious section, please also increase the corresponding category on entity-activation-range as well so the player do not actually see frozen entities.
  • Reducing entity activation range is last resort
    • You should lower the overall entity count & simulation-distance/view-distance first. Only alter this config if all other measures are proven insufficient to improve performance.
  • tick-inactive-villager could be changed to false if you do not wish to tick all villagers that are loaded but outside of activation range. (In other word, only villagers that are within the activation range will be active.
    • However, doing so many reduce the yield of Iron Golem farms if a player is not in the close proximity.
    • The villager trade cooldown timer will not go down if no player is close by.
  • If you are experiencing inconstancies with Minecart transfer rates while not on a rail, please change the misc to -1 to remedy the issue. EAR may imposes a negative effect and breaks redstone contraption in this use case.

    (click to enlarge)

work immunity and wake up inactive are implemented by Paper with the goal to bring more life to the world by allowing certain entity to “wake up” and do some work for a set amount of time. It allows villager to restock, find work etc…

To elaborate a bit more, we will use this snippet of wake-up-inactive as an example to help you get a better understanding of the mechanic.

wake-up-inactive:
  animals-max-per-tick: 4
  animals-every: 1200
  animals-for: 100

The above setting translates into the following behaviors…

For every 1200 game tick, there is a chance of up to 4 randomly selected loaded animal to wakes up for 100 ticks where they are able to do stuffs and be immune from the freezing effect of being too far away from players.


merge-radius:
  item: 2.5
  exp: 3.0

Paper merges dropped items and exp orbs more aggressively to reduce the performance impact of having a large amount of dropped items on the ground.

  • The Value is in blocks, adjust accordingly to your need.
  • A value of -1 disables it. Do note that this is a degradation to performance.
  • Alternatively, you can adjust experience-merge-max-value in paper.yml if you still wish to merge the exp orb but with a set amount of maximum value.
  • If you wish to restore Ender Dragon exp rain when defeated or just love seeing a bunch of exp orb coming toward you when you sit afk on your farm, you can disable this option with the implied performance tradeoffs.
  • If you are having issue with experience orb not flowing toward the player as they merge and bulk-up together, either enforce a max merge value as mentioned above or disable it to remedy the issue.

paper.yml

Essential configurations for paper.yml

despawn-ranges:
  monster:
    soft: 32
    hard: 128
  creature:
    soft: 32
    hard: 128
  ambient:
    soft: 32
    hard: 128
  axolotls:
    soft: 32
    hard: 128
  underground_water_creature:
    soft: 32
    hard: 128
  water_creature:
    soft: 32
    hard: 128
  water_ambient:
    soft: 32
    hard: 64
  misc:
    soft: 32
    hard: 128

This Value decide how far a way an mob should have a chance to despawn (soft) or instantly despawn (hard).

It is divided into 8 categories to provide finer control options over all types of entity despawning.

  • Please refer to previous section for bukkit.yml on mob-limits to see what each entity falls under what category.
  • If you kept your simulation-distance as default, lowing the hard value will increase the Perceived mob density with a cost of extra depsawn/spawn action on the server. (see note below)

If your simulation-distance is set lower 10…
(Ignore the next section if you are running the default simulation-distance of 10)

  • The value of hard despawn-range should be (simulation-distance -1)x16 blocks.
    • This ensures all entities have a chance to despawn before hitting the bordering chunk thus preserving natural mob density.
      • Altering this config will impact the default afk spot on farms as the range limit is enforced both horizontally and vertically. Adjust farm design accordingly.
    • If you do choice to run the default value of 128 to keep the ideal afk spot persistence against vanilla while running a lower simulation-distance and/or mob-spawn-range, you will experience odd mob density, extremely uneven mob spawning, and/or excessive amount of mobs over spawn-limits.
      • To help virtualize the side effect of keeping the hard despawn-range higher than ticking view-distance, please read the following scenario…

        A player named BumbleTree is just chilling in his Minecraft base. He has made a simple mob grinder by his bed because he enjoys sleeping with the sound of zombie growling so he usually keeps a few dozen of them alive inside the grinder until he needs the experience.

        On a Saturday night, BumbleTree decides to visit his Minecraft girlfriend Naomi so he leaves his base by foot. As he moves away from his base, all the zombies inside his grinder is unloaded with the chunk. While he is away, a player named Jerry happens to travel by his base and decided to steal some wheats from the chest. Jerry also noticed something weird! It’s night time but there is hardly any mob spawning around him!?

        This is because the mobcap is already reached with the zombies still inside the grinder. The zombies were never given a chance to properly desapwn so when a new player visit the area and loaded the chunk, no new mob will spawn due to the fact that mobcap is already saturated thus creates an illusion that no mob is actually spawning. This is why it is crucial to ensure the hard despawn-range is inline with the suggested value above. It ensure all mobs are being despawned and redistributed properly.

        Now that you understand the role of hard despawn-range. Choose your own poison and choose wisely!
  • The hard despawn-range should also always be equal to your mob-spawn-range in spigot.yml and never lower.
  • Please review Understand MobSpawn section thoughtfully to validate related configs.

per-player-mob-spawns: true

Paper would attempt to spawn mobs more evenly across all players online.

  • Ensure this option is set to true. This is beneficial to majority of servers.
  • When enabled, the global mob cap will scale based on the number of player online.
    To access detailed breakdown of mobcaps, use following commends…
    • /paper mobcaps for global mobcaps and total spawnable chunks
    • /paper playermobcaps for player mobcaps
      (This is especially useful to troubleshoot mobfarms, if you are standing on your afk spot and nothing is spawning inside the farm while the mobcape is already full, it means that you have failed spawn-proofing)
  • Spawnable chunks are based on the number of loaded chunks and the spawn-limits as defined in bukkit.yml (or paper.yml). Please make necessary adjustment when necessary especially if you do not have it enabled prior.
    Vanilla mob spawning is not only complicated but also inherently flawed in multiplayer server without per-player-mob-spawns.
    • For example, we have two players in the Nether dimension – Player A is AFKing high up on a Nether ceiling Piglin farm while player B is just chilling on Nether Waste biome.
    • Even though the spawn attempts are made around all loaded chunks around both players; majority of the successful mob-spawn attempts will end up around the player with the most favorable spawning conditions. In this case, player B will be getting most of the mobs while player A gets a little simply because there are more spawnable chunks around player B. Refer to earlier how mob spawn work section for more details.
  • The server will fallback to Mojang’s per-player mobspawn implementation if this option is set to false.

prevent-moving-into-unloaded-chunks: true

Please toggle this option to true.

This prevents players from moving into an unloaded chunk which would otherwise cause a sync-chunk load.

  • When a player moves into an unloaded chunk, the server would make the task of loading the chunk the upmost priority thus tanking the TPS.

redstone-implementation: vanilla

Paper provides options to specify redstone implementation server uses

  • The available options are vanilla, eigencraft, and alternate-current with vanilla being the default.
  • The alternative implementations may be more efficient but with possible behavioral changes. Please use with cautions!
  • Read more on the official PaperMC Documentation.

enable-treasure-maps: true
treasure-maps-return-already-discovered: false

This prevents server from stalling looking up treasures when a player use a map
However, Mojang has since marked the issue as resolved as of 1.18, it should be considered safe now to utilize treasure map.

  • See the Mojang issue tracker here. MC-236740.
  • If you would like to be extra safe, you can flip one of the above the argument to true/false, it will disable the functionality of treasure map thus prevent any possible issue related to them.

fix-climbing-bypassing-cramming-rule: true

Toggle fix-climbing-bypassing-cramming-rule to true.

This fix the issue where climbing mob bypass the cramming rules.
Leave it false if you have farm that utilizes this behavior (very unlikely).


keep-spawn-loaded: true
keep-spawn-loaded-range: 10

If your world spawn isnt frequently used, you can toggle this option to false

The world spawn will not be loaded thus saving resources.

  • This option can be defined per-world and is a good resource saving measure if you have added additional worlds that are not heavily utilized.
  • The range value is in chunks, and the formula for total chunks to be loaded is [((keep-spawn-loaded-range+1)x2)+1]^2 = total spawn chunk loaded.
    • With keep-spawn-loaded-range at 10, [(10+1)x2+1]^2=529, you would constantly have 529 chunks loaded.

entity-per-chunk-save-limit:
  experience_orb: 50
  snowball: 20
  ender_pearl: 20
  arrow: 20
  fireball: 10
  small_fireball: 10
  dragon_fireball: 5
  egg: 20
  area_effect_cloud: 10
  llama_spit: 5
  shulker_bullet: 8
  spectral_arrow: 5
  potion: 5
  experience_bottle: 5
  trident: 10
  wither_skull: 10

This determines the maximum amount of each specified entity is saved in a chunk.

  • It is especially critical to enforce them plus the additional additions listed above if you are running an extremely low simulation-distance.
  • The limit is essentials as it prevent the server from stalling when attempting to load a chunk that contains a large amount of those entities.
    (Sometimes projectiles are being fired into unloaded chunk intentionally by player to crash a server or unintentionally by sheer luck. Both of which can be avoided with these limits set in place)

Special thanks for Puremin0rez for the entry correction. Love you <3 08/21/21


alt-item-despawn-rate:
  enabled: true
  items:
    cobblestone: 600
    cobbled_deepslate: 600
    netherrack: 600
    rotten_flesh: 900
    ender_pearl: 900
    leather: 900
    bone: 1200
    bone_meal: 1200
    cactus: 900
    egg: 900
    feather: 900
    gunpowder: 1200
    arrow: 900
    blaze_rod: 1200
    cod: 1200
    salmon: 1200
    string: 1200
    ink_sac: 900
    slime_ball: 1200
    phantom_membrane: 900

Enable this option will allow you to despawn commonly dropped items/junk items faster

cactus is added on the list in an effort to reduce the impact of the common cactus farm in which many cactus would be left on the surface until they despawn due to the farm design
egg is also listed here in an effort to prevent zombie from picking them up thus preventing them from desapwning. It is a common issue in survival servers where players may be afk for an extensive period of time and results in groups of zombie all holding commonly dropped items around the player bases.
  • The value is in ticks which means a value of 20 equals to 1 second server time.
  • Additional items can be added to the list above and you should find your own reasonable value that suit your needs as every server has their own unique circumstances.
    • To acquire official Mojang item ID, simply use hotkey F3+H in game and view them.
    • For example, if a farm utilize minecart in a closed loop to pick up drops, you want to ensure the value isn’t set too low so the minecart is able to pickup items before they despawn.
  • Additionally, there is a similar config item-despawn-rate that controls all dropped-item despawn timer in spigot.yml; however, that is a very intrusive change that breaks the 5 minute de-spawn time promise that most Minecraft players are familiar with, hence why it is omitted here.
    The goal of optimizing the server is to make the game more enjoyable for your players not to make them suffer!

    Special thanks to NoahvdAa for the additions!

tick-rates:
  sensor:
    villager:
      secondarypoisensor: 40
  behavior:
    villager:
      validatenearbypoi: -1

Set the sensor tick rate of an entity (In this case Villager)

  • A higher value will reduce the resource usage of the entity with some cost to their behaviors.
  • A value of -1 means that it will apply Vanilla default.
  • This config works for all type of entities, consult timings for entity names and manually create an entry for them as desired.
  • If your server is experiencing villager related performance issue, first try to play around this config before moving onto a plugin solution.
    • For example you can adjust secondarypoisensor to 240 and validatenearbypoi to 120 to save resources. The negative behavioral change is likely not noticeable.

grass-spread-tick-rate: 1

Increase this number makes dirt turning into grass slower.

  • Increase this value by too much will result in many ugly dirt patches if you have a lot of animals around.

optimize-explosions: false

Setting this to true would reduce the impact of calculating a large amount of explosions.

  • The actual real world scenario that would benefit from this is minimum; however, if your friends love to blow things up with an unholy amount of TNTs, this setting may be right for you.
  • In case you do really love to blow things up and noticed that your TNT detonation does not behave like vanilla, increase the max-tnt-per-tick threshold located in spigot.yml to remedy the issue.
    • Please do note that the threshold is there to safeguard your server and increase the valve would increase the risk of your server crashing in the event of large amount of TNT detonation.

armor-stands-tick: true

This decides if armor stand should be ticked.

  • Setting this to false will…
    • completely remove any armor stand related lag machines.
    • It will break plugins that utilize armor stands.
    • It will break farms such as automatic ice maker.

chunk-loading:
  min-load-radius: 2
  max-concurrent-sends: 2
  autoconfig-send-distance: true
  target-player-chunk-send-rate: 100.0
  global-max-chunk-send-rate: -1.0
  enable-frustum-priority: false
  global-max-chunk-load-rate: -1.0
  player-max-concurrent-loads: 20.0
  global-max-concurrent-loads: 500.0

The default value listed above should work for majority of the server.

  • If you are troubleshooting chunk loading issue, please consult #paper-help channel first for advice, do not alter the value without fully understand what they do. Do not follow any random guide for recommended value, there are a lot of misinformation out there!
  • If you’ve just migrated from Tuinity to Paper, please run the server with the default config first before altering any setting. Certain config options from the old Tuinity.yml is no longer working and/or work differently on Paper.
  • For server with large concurrent player count, if chunk loading is noticeably slower during the peak hours, try increasing max-concurrent-sends and global-max-concurrent-loads gradually to remedy the issue.
    • If you have anti-xray enabled on engine mode 2, it may contribute to chunk loading issues.
    • If you have protocallib or anything that may hold up the netty threads, it may also stall the chunk loading.

Additional Options and Quality of Life Config

These additional config are offered by Paper and is strongly recommended as they enhance the overall player experience.

lootables:
  auto-replenish: true
  restrict-player-reloot: true
  reset-seed-on-fill: true
  max-refills: -1
  refresh-min: 12h
  refresh-max: 2d

Toggle this to true if you plan to run a long-term survival server.

It replenish the chest once looted and would bring some life back to your old worlds.

  • The lootables refill feature only works with the original world-generated chest.
    • Let your player know to not break them.
  • restrict-player-reloot will stop the same player from camping and looting the chest multiple times.
    • Scenario 1: If a player loot a chest once and come back later, there will not be new loots.
    • Scenario 2: If player A loot a chest and then player B comes by later, the chest will be refilled and lootable for player A again.
  • reset-seed-on-fill will shuffle loot table seeds on each refill so the items inside the chest will always be different.
  • max-refill sets the maximum refills, a value of -1 will make it unlimited.
  • refresh-min/max defines the amount of time passed before the chest is refilled.
    • This does not require the chunk to be loaded.
  • The unit of measurement here are m for minutes, h for hours, d for days. m is NOT for months!!
  • The chest will refill regardless of the remaining items inside unless its full.
    • Scenario 1: If player A opened the chest (generated the loot) and leave the loot inside, player B that comes by later will get a set of newly generated loot plus whatever that was left by player A previously.
    • Scenario 2: if player A opened the chest and fill it up with diorite, player B who that comes by later will get nothing new (but diorite) because the chest is already full thus no new loots will be generated.

generate-random-seeds-for-all: true

Toggle this option to true will make seed cracker tool has harder time to determine your world seeds.

It is a very useful feature if you aim to migrate the unfair advantages player may have if they manage to figure out your world seed.

  • Please note that this config covers features only, for generated structures, please manually alter the seed in spigot.yml
  • All structure seeds excluding Mineshafts are available in spigot.yml.
  • Do note that this does not affect chunks that are already generated once. If you want to take full advantage of this feature, it will work the best on a brand new world.

To enable this feature properly, please follow the steps below

  1. Start the server in order for the paper.yml file to be generated then stop the server.
  2. Open up paper.yml and set generate-random-seeds-for-all to true.
  3. Open up spigot.yml and manually input the structure seeds to your liking.
  4. Start the server then you are good to go!
  5. BONUS: if you want to define individual feature-seeds, you can go back to paper.yml and set them manually.
  6. Remember to delete the world after for spawn region to be generated properly
    (or alternatively, set keep-spawn-loaded to false after step 3.)
  • To manually define world seed, add level-seed=[seed number] line onto server.properties or edit your level.dat with NBT Editor then perform the steps above.
  • Here is a list of all available options for generate-random-seeds-for-all, click here.
  • Please note that this may not prevent seed-cracker from brutal forcing your world seed; however, this option does render the advantage of knowing the world seed useless, as locations of all features and structures will not line up with the world seed. However, the only real way to completely prevent seed-cracking is have custom world generation.

Once the feature is enabled, you will find all feature-seeds listed in your paper.yml under world, world_nether, and world_the_end, if you have any other per-world specific configs, be sure to add them under the corresponding categories. Details on per-world config can be found here.


log-player-ip-addresses: true

Paper provides an option to toggle player IP address logging.
For those who wants to protect player privacy, you can toggle this option to false.

  • This is especially useful in times where log files need to be shared with a third party auditor, maintainer, or developer for general troubleshooting.

book-size:
  page-max: 2560
  total-multiplier: 0.98

Paper provides the options to adjust the overall size of a book. This is an useful feature to prevent bookban either on purpose or by accident (unlikely).


monster-spawn-max-light-level: -1

Paper provides an optional config to adjust the required light level for mob to spawn.

  • A value of -1 follows vanilla default.
    • In 1.18, mobs can only spawn at light level 0.
    • In 1.17 or older, mob can spawn at light level up to 7.
  • The value can be any integer from 0 to 15.

Per-world Spawn Limit and Other Per-world Config

Paper allows you to enforce a custom mob cap per world such as inside Nether, The End, or other custom worlds, you can create a new section under world-settings.

Additionally, all config options under world-settings category in both paper.yml and spigot.yml can be defined individually as per-world Configs.
Please check out the formatting example below.

world-settings:
  default:
    spawn-limits:
      monster: 70
      creature: 10
      ambient: 15
      axolotls: 5
      underground_water_creature: 5
      water_creature: 5 
      water_ambient: 20
  world_nether:
    spawn-limits:
      monster: 80
      creature: -1
      ambient: -1
      axolotls: -1
      underground_water_creature: -1
      water_creature: -1
      water_ambient: -1
  resource_world:
    spawn-limits:
      monster: 5
      creature: 30
      ambient: -1
      axolotls: 10
      underground_water_creature: -1
      water_creature: -1
      water_ambient: -1
    keep-spawn-loaded: false
 
# This section serves as an example to help you virtualize the structure.
# Other config options are omitted here.

In the above example, by having a lower monster value in resource_world and have keep-spawn-loaded: false You just made the resource world a bit safer for miners and also reduce the overhead on the server by not keeping the spawn chunk loaded because it is not actively being used.

With several clever uses of per-world config like this and the overwrite example mentioned earlier, you will be able to save some resources on the server while keeping an optimal gameplay experience for your players.

  • Paper uses proper category name here as opposed to old bukkit names for the categories.
    • creature is the same as animals in bukkit.yml
    • water_creature is the same as water-animals in bukkit.yml
  • default are options that apply to every world unless stated otherwise in the world categories.
    • world is overworld
    • world_nether is Nether dimension
    • world_the_end is End dimension
    • Additionally, if you have other custom worlds, it can also be added under world-settings.
  • A value of -1 means it will follow the value as defined by default. (in case of spawn-limits, by mob-cap in bukkit.yml)
  • YML file uses 2 spaces for indentations. Do not use tab key.
  • Make sure the indentation is correct in a tree-like structures. (two spaces for each step of indentation)
  • A proper yml editor will help ensure formatting isn’t borked.
  • The console will puke up an error on startup if a mistake is made. Correct them accordingly.

Paper’s own buit-in Anti-Xray

Paper has built in Anti-xray feature and if you do choice to enable it, please follow the below post carefully.

Recommended Paper Anti-Xray Settings by stonar96

Below is an example on how to enable Anti-Xray in Nether and other worlds.

world-settings:
# Past this directly before Default:
  world_nether:
    anti-xray:
      max-chunk-section-index: 7
      max-block-height: 128
      hidden-blocks:
      # See note about air above.
      - ancient_debris
      - bone_block
      - glowstone
      - magma_block
      - nether_bricks
      - nether_gold_ore
      - nether_quartz_ore
      - polished_blackstone_bricks
      replacement-blocks:
      - basalt
      - blackstone
      - gravel
      - netherrack
      - soul_sand
      - soul_soil
  # world_the_end: needs to be changed if your world is named differently.
  world_the_end:
    anti-xray:
      enabled: false

  # Paste this directly before default:
  default:
  # Other configs is omitted here. 
  # This is done to showcase how the indention should look like
  • Please double check to make sure the indention is correct, world_nether and default world should have the same amount of indention (2 spaces away from world-settings)
  • Be sure to stop and start the server again for the new config to apply. Do not use /reload
  • If you absolutely cannot figure out how to add this, here is a paper.yml file with default setting for you to download.
    (Normally, I would be strongly against downloading random file off internet but here it is…)
    • Replace the existing paper.yml and change any necessary config if you’ve altered anything previously.
  • Please note that engine mode 2 works fine on majority of servers; however, on server with high concurrent player counts (100+), usage of engine mode 2 may sometimes saturated the network pipelines as more data is being sent to players. Please consult your network admin if you think this is happening and address the issue accordingly.

Addendum

There are many things I left out and is not without a reason. Those other settings often introduce too much gameplay compromises or with minimum performance improvement on majority of small-to-medium size server. For a full list of available configs, you can check out PaperDocs.

Modern Minecraft is resource demanding and there is only so much you can optimize until you gotta ask yourself, is this still worth the effort?

There is only so much you can take out of a car to make it go faster until you are left with nothing but a steering wheel and a bare chassis, the same applies to optimizing your server.

If tweaking the above-mentioned configs is not enough to help maintain a stable TPS (18~20) on your server, I will strongly suggest looking into a direct hardware upgrade as this will be the most direct way to see any further performance improvement. See Hosting Options below for more information. 

At the time of writing, even with the latest hardware available, 60-80 players with close to vanilla default configs or 100 player with huge game player compromise is the hard ceiling. At that point, impose a reasonable max player limit on the server and start thinking about network expansions (multi-servers) and congratulation on your achievement! 


Timings Tool

Paper comes with a built-in tool to help troubleshoot the performance issues

  • Type /timings report in game or on console (without /) to generate a report.
  • To generate a meaningful timing report, you should…
    • Avoid generating timing report right after server startup as the data will be skewed.
    • Allow the timings data to be recorded for a longer duration
      (The minimum is 10 minutes but the longer the better)
    • The ideal time to generate a report is during the peak player activities or right when the server is lagging.

Giant Red Number does not always mean your server is lagging.

  • Timings page has Lag view and All view tabs. A few Red lagging tick out of a few thousand ticks overall is very much acceptable.
  • If you have difficulties locating server performance issues, please generate a timings report among side with a Spark report and head to Paper Discord for additional support.

Common Mistakes

  • Gigahertz Myth
    • When selecting CPUs for your Minecraft server, do not use the clock speed rating to compare two CPUs unless they are of same model and manufacture. Please refers to Gigahertz Myth for more info.
    • In short, select the latest cpu architecture and the highest single core thread rating model available.
  • Allocate more RAM =/= better performance
    • Server performance is largely depend on your CPU not RAM.
    • Majority of servers will be fine with 10GB allocated regardless of player/plugin counts.
    • The common saying of 1GB per players is outright incorrect.
    • With that being said, unused RAM is wasted RAM; however, anything more than 10GB would provide you with minimum benefits.
    • Any host who claims more RAM would increase your server performance (after 10th GB) is trying to upsell you for their own profit gains. Do not fall for this trap.
  • RAM usage is not an indication of performance issue. Unless you are experiencing OOM (Out-of-Memory) or memory leaks.
    • RAM usage reading gathered from panels/htop is very much meaningless on a properly setup JVM.
      Instead, monitor your GC intervals and durations. We will cover this on the Flag section below.
    • Set your Xmx flag properly if you would like the JVM to use a set amount of RAM
  • High memory usage =/= Memory leak
    • It may be a symptom of memory leak but is not necessary true in most cases.
    • Generate a heap report during the suspected period when you think the leak is occurring with /paper heap dump command then feed the report through Eclipse Memory Analyzer or other similar program to troubleshoot the issue. You can also seek help in Paper Discord.
  • TPS is not an accurate measurement of performance.
    • Instead you should pay attention to MSPT (milliseconds per tick). Minecraft runs on a fixed rate of 20 ticks per second so as long as your MSPT is lower than 50, you will maintain 20 TPS.
    • A server could show a 20 TPS average but with a high percentage of TPS lost, the player may still experience lag in this scenario.
  • The minimum recommended thread/core count for a Minecraft server is FOUR.
    • While it is true that Main game loop is all done on 1 thread, there are many tasks that can benefit from having multiple threads such as Netty, plugins, SQL database etc.
    • It is recommended to have at least 4 thread/core for most server. If you are shopping for a host, please take this into the consideration and select your plan accordingly.

JVM Flags (A Must Have)

  • Use optimized JVM flags for Minecraft applications. Please reference to Aikar’s JVM Tuning Guide for more information.
  • Grab the above-mentioned flags easily from starmc.sh by your lovely Bluely.
  • Ensure that Xms=Xmx. This allow the JVM to take full control of the allocate RAMs and is beneficial to performance.
    (I will personally fight any host that suggest otherwise. Setting xmx=xms hinders a host’s ability to stuff as many server into a physical machine and cuts into their profit margins. See Hosting Suggestion below for more info)
  • What about ZGC, or Shenandoah?
    • In regards to ZGC, Krusic has a fantastic blogpost if you’d like to dig deeper.
    • I do not know any competent analysis on Shenandoah for Minecraft applications on hand, if you do have some resource on this topic, please contact me so I can include it here.
    • ZGC, Shenandoah and other modern collectors alike are designed for highly threaded environments which does not apply to Minecraft Applications hence why they are generally not recommended. Anyone who claim otherwise should be taken with a huge grain of salt especially if they do not have any data backing up to their claims.
    • Server startup time and idle MSPT are not useful metrics nor are they an indication of better alternative GC performance. There are tons of questionable claims using them as benchmark data point. This is a sign of incompetence and you should not trust their claims.
  • Reserve enough of RAM. Regardless of how you are hosting your server, the OS and the JVM itself requires RAM to function. Please reserve enough of RAM and lower your Xmx as needed.

Backup and Recovery Best Practice

Shit happens and you wouldnt wanna be stuck in the bathroom with a shitty pants, would you? It’s important to have spare pair of undies with you! Make a backup today!

  • Have a backup and recovery plan in place is essential
    • Unexpected crash or improper shutdown could cause world corruption or data lost to your server. Keeping multiple copies of backups both on-site and off-site is not only crucial but an important aspect of running a long-lasting server.
    • Regularly test your backup copies. An un-tested backup = no backup.
    • When possible, backup on OS level (Avoid using Minecraft Plugin for backups)

On Linux-based operating system

The simplest way is to stop the server manually and create a tarball.

tar -czvf backup_date.tar.gz /[path]/

For example, if you would love to save the backup file to /HOME/USER/MCbackup you will list as such.

tar -czvf backup_date.tar.gz /HOME/USER/MCbackup

  • Be sure to regularly relocate the backup off-site. A backup in the same hard drive is called duplicate NOT a backup.

For more advanced user, you can setup rsnapshot with rsync to keep a record of all file change and automate the off-site backup process.

Additionally, you can setup Borg + Borgmatic with rsync.net or Backblaze

On Windows operating system

Right click on your Minecraft root folder > Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder
  • Offload the tarball / zip file onto an external sites in case your datacenter caught on fire.
  • You can in theory keep the server running with save-off during backup process. DO REMEMBER to turn it back on once the backup task is complete.

Quality of Life Plugins & Tools

Here is my personally curated list of plugins where it would be beneficial for every server to have.

Essential Plugins

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any individual or groups on the making of this list. This list is purely made with love with my personal experience with them <3

  • Luckperm
    • A must-have modern permission plugin that provides you with finer permission control without the risk of giving out the OP permission to your staff team.
  • Essentialsx Family
    • Essentialsx is a family of plugins that provide you with several essential features for your server.
      (Please read and install only the one you need not every single one of them)
  • Essentialsx-Discord
    • A lightweight bridge plugin that brings your MC drama from in-game chat to Discord.
    • Installation Guide
  • Chunky
    • World pre-generation plugin.
  • ChunkyBorder
    • Worldborder plugin with more feature than vanilla worldborder.
  • PureTickets
    • A mod/support ticket system to manage your server drama.
  • EntityDetection
    • A simple plugin to display entity location on the server.
    • A helpful tool to locate problematic entities and illegal villager orgy party.
  • Vanish no packet
    • Allow you to vanish with style. It’s free and open source!
  • Openinv
    • Allow you to open any player inventory even if they are not currently online.
  • MiniMOTD
    • Customize MOTD and server icons.
  • TabTPS
    • The originalâ„¢ TPS bar integration with pretty RGB color.
  • AnnouncerPlus
    • Powerful and fully customizable announcer plugin.
  • Wandering Trades
    • Add ability to customize Wandering Trader loot table.
  • AntiRaidFarm
    • A simple plugin to disable RaidFarm.
  • Maintenance
    • Enable/disable maintenance mode.
  • VanillaTweaks
    • Vanillatweaks datapack but is a plugin.
  • TreeAssist
    • The only tree faller / fast leaf decay plugin that dont take the server down with it.
  • WorldEdit
    • The classic world edit plugin.
  • WorldGuard
    • Anti-grief plugin.
  • Farm Control
    • The solution to overpopulated farms.
  • MobLimit
    • Similar to Farm Control mentioned above.
      (You will only need one or the other)
  • Insights
    • An anti-Redstone griefing and block limitor plugin.
    • An useful tool to locate potential lag machine.
  • Spark
    • A profiler plugin that provides you with more insights on the performance.
      (It is a perfect aid in addition to Timings to troubleshoot possible issues within your server)
  • BlueMap
    • A map plugin that provides 3D render of your server. (Warning, this plugin is very resource intensive)
    • You can check out IOE showcase here if you want to get an idea on what it looks like.
  • squaremap
    • A lightweight vanilla-themed 2D map with fast render speed and also highly optimized.
  • VivaVersion (also known as ViaVersion)
    • An useful plugin during each major Minecraft updates.
      You can config this plugin to allow players from newer version of Minecraft to join the server while you wait for the stable Paper version to be published.
  • Decent Holograms
    • A hologram plugin that does not put a hole in server performance.
  • AntiBookBan
    • A simple plugin to disallow non-ASCII characters in book thus preventing bookban exploits.
  • Prism
    • A grief management plugin that features rollback, restores, and block history.
  • CoreProtect
    • Similar to Prism, yet another grief management plugin.
      (You will only need one or the other)
  • LWCX
    • Light weight single block protection plugin.
  • OreAnnouncer
    • An alternative to anti-xray, this plugin notify you on block mined.
  • Vault
    • Abstraction Library.
  • Quantum Random Teleport
    • A modern random teleport plugin.
  • Random Teleport
    • Another random teleport plugin.
  • ChestShop
    • Simple chest shop plugin
  • Shop
    • Another simple chest shop plugin
      (You will only need one or the other)

A good plugin can bring in additional functionalities and improvements to your server; on the flip side, a poorly made plugin could single-handedly tank the performance or even cause permanent damage to your server. Please do your due diligence by looking into the history of the developer/organization behind the plugin prior to installation and properly test them before pushing them live to production.

Useful Tools

Moreover, there are client side mods that aim to improve vanilla gameplayer experience and is highly recommended for players who may want to have the best gameplay experiences possible.
However, it does not align with the topic of this blog post, instead, you can check it out here [Minecraft Client Optimization mods]


Things to Avoid

  • Avoid MobStacker plugin
    • Mobstacking is an inherently flawed idea. Spawning mob consumes server resources, with mobstacking enabled, the server would never reach mob cap and could potentially be stuck in the endless loop of spawning hell.
    • Combined with seemingly zero decently coded stacker plugins, stacking mob should be avoided at all cost.
  • Avoid lag removing or performance enhancing plugin.
    • Fix the root cause of the performance problem instead of masking it.
    • Plugins such as ClearLagg or EntityTrackerFixer (ETF) introduce gameplay inconsistencies, create unnecessary works for already existing tasks (such as clearing ground items, and untracking entities), and would sometimes cause permanent damages to your world (ETF would remove AI from entities causing them to have permanent brain damage even after the plugin is removed).
  • Do NOT allow your players to relocate spawners
    • Being able to silktouch spawner is often requested by players; however, it is not a great idea considering spawner is basically a built-in lag machine when enough of them are gathered together. For the sake of server performance, do not allow your player to relocate spawners.
  • Do NOT use datapack with repeat/recurrent functions
    • Datapack with repeating functions will impose a performance hit and should be avoided at all cost.
    • Find plugin replacement of the datapack features you wish to have.
  • Do NOT source your plugin from BlackSpigot, MCM, a random individual, or any other unknown sources
    • You wouldnt get your breakfast sausage from a random stranger on the backside of your local gas station, would you? Same thing applies to sourcing your plugins.
    • Obtain your plugins from reputable sites and practice your due diligence to audit the code base or the developer themselves.
    • To take it lightly, your server may take a huge performance hit due to a poorly coded plugin, or worse be invaded by griefers via built-in backdoors, even worse, your server itself may be taken over for other malicious activities.
  • Do NOT auto-update your paper.jar
    • Paper development cycle does not include a proper release/beta versioning scheme so occasionally a bad build may slip through the crack on to release.
    • Automation provides convenience but you should not blindly download the latest Paper jar for use in any production environment.
  • The Famous Minecraft List of Shames by the popular twitch streamer Kneny

Hosting Options

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any individual or groups on the making of this list. This list is purely made with love with my personal experience and community inputs

There are several available options when it comes to hosting a Minecraft servers. Please read and understand the limitations of each. Below is a list from the most powerful option to potatos.

  • Dedicated Server (Baremetal) – A whole dedicated machine all to yourself.
    • This is the most expensive option and also requires you to have basic Linux admin skills
    • Ideal for community with a large number (50+) of concurrent players.
  • Shared Host – A managed service where you are sharing resource with other Minecraft servers
    • You are welcome to ask in Paper Discord for recommendation from the community.
    • Ideal for medium size community (5~50 players) on select plans.
    • The two above mentioned hosts are widely suggested by many as they utilize Aikar’s Flag by default and allow your JVM instance to claim the RAM in its entirety. It is by no mean a guarantee for the performance but it serves as an indication that they are probably not overselling their machine.
  • Oracle Cloud Free Tier – Free and very fast cloud instance with a catch.
    • ARM based A1 instance may not be available for your region due to the recent popularity spike.
      However, it never hurts to try your luck.
    • Read this blog post carefully for more info
    • Ideal for small community or proof-of-concept testing servers.
    • If you do opt for this hosting option, please note that your instance will/may be disabled on 60th days from the beginning of the trial period. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BOOT VOLUME BACKUP READY and recreate the instance if it does get deleted.
  • VPS – Virtual Private Server
    • It may sounds like a good deal on paper but VPS is often not as great of value as the above mentioned Shared Host as the hardware tend to be dated and the whole VPS industry is more geared toward webhosting and other less CPU intensive workloads.
    • Ideal for… ugh your mileage varies. If you still prefer this option, find a host that specialized in high-end game server hosting instead of the general purpose one.
  • Budget Host – A cheaper alternative of shared host with much lower performance.
    • Similar to shared host above but is a lot cheaper. They turn a profit by staffing as many servers as physically possible into one physical machine (This is called overselling)
    • Those type of hosts often spend the most on advertising and have extensive teams on social media to promote their service. Huge discounts or coupons are often offered to drive sales.
    • They often prey on the uneducated users and here is a few easy ways to identify them in the wild.
      • If the CPU model is not clearly labeled on the plan.
      • If they are advertising plans based on maximum player count.
      • If they are upselling RAM as a performance booster.
      • If they offer unlimited storage.
      • If they have discount deal all year round.
      • If Xms=128M is present in your JVM flags
        (You can locate this info on the timings report)
    • Ideal for 5~20 players.
      • Due to common overselling practice, the server may perform poorly during the peak hours where the machine may struggle to handle the workload.
      • Your server may also suffer sudden performance drop due to no fault of your own but simply being located in an overcrowd environment where another Minecraft instance may be overloading the machine.
    • Please do your due diligence to avoid “Summer Host
      • The term “Summer Host” comes from the fresh/new hosting companies that appear during the summer school break where the demand for Minecraft server peaks. Majority of the summer host will disappear or become inactive once the demands declines, only to be resurrected next year with a brand new name.
  • Free Host
    • If you are not paying for the product you are the product
      • Through clever marketing, some hosting companies are able to offer free server with very limited resource to everyone.
      • They profit from the massive amount of userbase they hold and outsource the risk of starting a server to those who dare to pay them for premium plans.
    • Free host often impose heavy restrictions to their service such as JVM flags, yml configs, plugins, and offer no ability to transfer the file out. You are buying into their ecosystem and you are the product they are selling.
    • Ideal for people with no money.
  • Self-host – Hosting at home
    • If you could ignore the potential security implications of exposing your home IP to the public and the risk of being DDOS’d by your friends, this is a workable option. However, it is strongly discouraged.
    • If you still want to give it a try, check out Syscraft’s helpful Guide by Larry on how to start.
    • Ideal for (heavily dependent on your hardware)
  • Raspberry pi
    • A perfect solution for those who prefer pain and sufferings. In truth, A Raspberry Pi is just not powerful enough to run modern Minecraft version without making a tons of gameplay compromises.
    • Ideal for small community with less than 10 concurrent players online.

Domain and Service Record (SRV)

If you own a domain, you can set up a service record (SRV) to have a prettier and easier to remember server address.

Instead of having 192.168.1.1:25555 displayed as your server address, you can get minecraft.yourdomain.com

To do this, you will need an A record and an SRV record.

In this scenario www.yourdomain.com is your domain and you want to create mc.yourdomain.com as your server address instead of 192.168.1.1:25555

Step 1: Create an A record that pointed the hostname mc.yourdomain.com to your server’s public IP address

Step 2: Create a SRV record with hostname _minecraft._tcp.mc.yourdomain.com

There will be options to set up priority, weight, port, and target.

You will set them as 0, 0, 25555, mc.yourdomain.com accordingly

  • If you are running Minecraft on the default port (25565), only an A record is needed.
    (The above example is provided for server that is on a shared host or is running on non-default ports)
  • Please note that DNS change takes time to populate and the resulting link may not work right away. Be patient.
  • Some ISP DNS do not honor SRV record so your mileage may vary if you choose to run on non-standard 25565 port.

Closing Notes

Wow you made it this far, I hope you did not skip anything. The original idea of this guide is to make it as simple as possible for beginners who just step their foot onto the Minecraft server hosting. In the writing process, I tried to simplify things, please do let me know if something can be explained better or improved. I would love to keep this guide as accurate and as up-to-date as possible so if you do find any mistake, please let me know either at Island of EterNity or PaperMC Discord @EterNity#0001 or you can email me at [email protected]


Old Paper Chan optimization guide (deprecated)


Helpful Links

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