Getting Started with Multiplayer
Converting a singleplayer Minecraft world to a multiplayer world opens up many exciting possibilities. By making your world multiplayer, you can invite friends to explore, build, and adventure together in the Minecraft universe.
There are several benefits to playing Minecraft multiplayer versus singleplayer:
- More creativity and collaboration - Work together with friends to build bigger, more complex structures and contraptions.
- Specialization - Each player can take on different roles and jobs.
- Competition and games - Battle and compete in PvP arenas and minigames.
- Social interaction - Multiplayer facilitates interaction and relationships.
- Learn from others - See how other players build and gather gameplay tips.
Making an existing singleplayer world multiplayer is a straightforward process using LAN or by hosting your own server. With a few configuration steps, that solo save can become a vibrant online space to share with friends. Let's explore the various options for activating multiplayer in a singleplayer Minecraft world.
Making a LAN World in Java Edition
Playing multiplayer Minecraft with friends on a LAN (local area network) is a great way to enjoy the game together without needing an external server. LAN multiplayer allows players on the same local network to join each other's worlds.
To create a LAN world in Java Edition:
First, open up the world you want to play multiplayer in and press ESC to open the pause menu. Select "Open to LAN" and you'll see options for setting the gamemode and enabling cheats. Choose your settings and hit "Start LAN World".
This will open that world up for any friends on the same LAN to join. Have them go to their multiplayer menu and the LAN world should show up on the bottom of the list for them to connect to. They don't need to enter any IP address info as the game handles connecting automatically when on the same LAN.
Up to 8 players can connect to a LAN world as long as they are on the same local network. This makes it easy to quickly set up multiplayer with nearby friends without needing to deal with port forwarding or whitelisting.
Hosting a Small Server for Friends
If you want to play with friends outside of your local network, you'll need to set up a small Minecraft server on a computer or server hosting service. This will allow your friends to connect to your world from anywhere with an internet connection.
First, you'll need to download the Minecraft server software from https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/download/server. The Java server software allows you to customize your server settings and install mods and plugins. Once downloaded, run the .jar file to initialize the server.
Next, locate the world save files on your computer from the singleplayer world you want to open to friends. On Windows, these are typically located in %appdata%\.minecraft\saves. Copy the folder for the world save over to the server's 'world' folder.
To allow friends to connect externally, you'll need to configure your router to port forward. Forward port 25565 (the default Minecraft server port) to the local IP address of the computer running your server. You can then give your friends the server's public IP address so they can add it in their Minecraft client and connect.
Setting up a whitelist and giving your friends the server IP address will allow them to join your formerly singleplayer world together. Adjust server properties like difficulty, game modes, and max players as desired.
Uploading World to a Public Server
Once you have a singleplayer world that you want to open up for others to join, the next step is finding a server hosting provider and uploading your world. There are many options for paid Minecraft server hosting, with popular choices including Shockbyte, Apex Hosting, ScalaCube, and more.
The process for uploading a world will be similar across most providers. First, you'll need to sign up for a server plan and create your server. Then in the control panel, you can access the file manager to upload your singleplayer world files. For example, on Apex Hosting you can use the built-in FTP file access in the control panel to upload your world folder (source).
Once uploaded, you'll need to configure the server to use that new world folder instead of generating a fresh one. There is usually a setting in the control panel config to set the world folder path. On Shockbyte, this can be done through the Multicraft control panel (source).
Now when you start up the server, it will load your uploaded singleplayer world so others can join and explore. The world files will be hosted on the server provider's infrastructure so you don't have to run the server yourself.
Optimizing Multiplayer Performance
When playing multiplayer Minecraft, performance can be impacted by things like a crowded server, distance to the server, computer/console specs, and in-game settings. Luckily, there are various tweaks that can help optimize multiplayer performance for a smoother experience.
Adjusting Server Resources for Performance
For hosted Minecraft servers, increasing RAM allocation, CPU cores, and other resources can allow the server to handle more players and activity without lagging. Many hosting providers let you scale server resources up or down. The optimal amount depends on your server's size and plugins, but 4-8GB RAM is a good starting point for 10-20 players according to this optimization guide.
Reducing the server's view distance can also take pressure off the CPU. Setting it between 4-10 chunks is a good balance for performance. Other optimizations like disabling sync chunk writes in the server.properties file can help too.
Tweaking In-Game Settings
Client-side settings can impact multiplayer performance as well. Lowering your render distance and graphics settings reduces the load on your PC/console when connecting to a server. Capping frame rates at 30-60fps prevents wasting resources rendering more frames than your screen can display.
Mods like OptiFine contain advanced performance customization options too. The official Minecraft guide has tips for optimizing client performance.
Troubleshooting Lag Issues
If you still experience lag, some common culprits are distance to the server, network issues, outdated clients/servers, and problems like memory leaks on the server. Using diagnostic tools like timings reports can help pinpoint server-side problems.
Solutions include moving closer to the server's location, using Ethernet instead of WiFi, updating clients/servers, restarting the server regularly, and optimizing problematic plugins. If issues persist, contacting the server host for troubleshooting may help.