Single-player Minecraft just not cutting it? Looking to explore the vast procedurally generated world of blocks with your friends? Look no further, here's everything you need to know on how to join a Minecraft server.
Finding a Minecraft Server's IP Address
Whether you're joining a friend's private server or a public one with thousands of players, you must find the server's IP address. Don't worry, this is quick and easy, but it is a different process to finding your own IP address on Windows or Mac.
For Private Servers
If your friend has their own server that you want to join, ask them for the IP. If they already know the server's IP address, skip to the next section.
If they purchased server hosting from a third-party site, they can usually find the IP address by checking the site's dashboard or an email they may have received upon purchase.
If they're running the server from their own computer, you have two options to connect - LAN (Local Access Network) and over the internet (the owner needs to port-forward for others to connect over the internet).
If you're using the same network as them (LAN), you can connect using their internal IP address. You do not need to port-forward for LAN connections.
Find your internal IP address by opening up your command-line or terminal. Press Windows+R and type cmd into the Run prompt on Windows, or for Mac use Cmd+Space to open spotlight and type in Terminal.
For Windows Command-Line: Type ipconfig into your command-line to find your IP address. Look for the IPv4 Address. It will look something like "126.96.36.199". Now that you have this address, copy it to your clipboard (Ctrl+C on Windows and Cmd+C on Mac) and head to the next section to learn what to do with it.
For Mac Terminal: Type ipconfig getifaddr en0 (or ipconfig getifaddr en1 if you use ethernet instead of Wi-Fi) into your terminal to find your IP address. The terminal displays your IP Address is on a new line. Now that you have this address, copy it to your clipboard (Ctrl+C on Windows and Cmd+C on Mac) and head to the next section to learn what to do with it.
If you're connecting to a private server over the internet, you'll need their public IP.
You can find your public IP address by using a tool such as whatismyipaddress. Now that you have this address, copy it to your clipboard (Ctrl+C on Windows and Cmd+C on Mac) and head to the next section to learn what to do with it.
For Public Servers
If you're looking to join a public server with other players, find the IP address by searching the internet for a list of servers. There are some excellent servers for you to try out highlighted later in this article.
Now that you have this address, copy it to your clipboard (Ctrl+C on Windows and Cmd+C on Mac) and head to the next section to learn what to do with it.
How to Join a Minecraft Server: Paste the IP Address
Once you have the IP address of the server you want to join, start Minecraft and navigate to the Multiplayer screen.
You have two options to connect to a server from here. If you know you'll want to come back to the server, click on Add Server so you can save it to your list.
If you're just popping in to check things out, use Direct Connection so that it doesn't show up on the list.
Either way, paste the IP address you copied to your clipboard into the box that says Server Address.
For Direct Connection, click Join Server. For Add Server, click Done and then join the server from your list by double-clicking on it or selecting it and clicking Join Server.
Now you're playing Multiplayer Minecraft! If you want to take your Minecrafting to the next level, then check out our ultimate Minecraft commands cheat sheet.
Minecraft Servers to Play With Friends
These are servers that are all fun for their own reasons, we had a great time play testing them.
Hypixel (IP: hypixel.net): Hypixel has been wildly popular for a long time, and for good reason. You can play a host of mini-games ranging from Blitz Survival Games to Mega Walls or Murder Mystery.
UniverseMC (IP: mcc.universemc.us): UniverseMC has a Factions mode that will keep you coming back day in and day out. Seriously, it's addicting. KitPVP is also a great way to brush up on your sword fighting skills.
Snapcraft (IP: mc.snapcraft.net): We spent probably a little too much time playing Snapcraft's Prison mode. If rising through the prison ranks doesn't sound fun to you, try your hand at their Parkour.
DestinyMC (IP: play.thedestinymc.com): DestinyMC's Skyblock mode is an adventure to lose yourself in. Every block counts, and they're all too easy to lose to the abyss.
RealismTown (IP: play.realismtownmc.com): RealismTown is an escape from it all. A simple survival server with custom plugins, a bustling economy, and friendly faces.
How to Invite Others & Join a Minecraft Realm
Setting up a private Minecraft server can be tough. Minecraft Realms makes it easy!
If you're looking to join a Realms server, the server owner must whitelist you first. The owner of the Realm can do this by inviting you.
The owner of a Realm can invite another player by starting Minecraft, then navigating to Minecraft Realms and clicking on the wrench icon of their Realm. From here, select the option that reads Players and invite the player you want with their Minecraft username.
You can check your invites by clicking on the envelope icon at the top next to the Minecraft Realms logo. If you have a pending invite, it will show up here for you to accept.
Related: The Minecraft Command Blocks Guide
Once you've accepted the invite, you'll be able to join the Realm from your list of Realms by selecting it and clicking Play or simply double clicking on the list option.
Make Memories With Multiplayer Minecraft
Now that you have the know-how to join any Minecraft server you set your sights on, it's time to get in the game. Experience what Minecraft offers when you play with friends; it's far more than what it can give you when you play one of its game modes alone.
Playing Minecraft with others is also a great opportunity to make new friends and learn new things. Every experience you have building a massive structure or being the last team standing in an all-out Player vs Player war is one you might remember for years to come.