How to Optimize a Minecraft Server in 2022

As a server owner you always want the best for your Minecraft server. It is crucial to have optimized speed and please your players as much as you can.

But when it comes to optimizing a Minecraft server, things can change. Optimizing Minecraft servers sometimes requires changes in the plugins, overall server file, and sometimes preventing things that players love.

In this guide, we will explain to your how you can effectively optimize your Minecraft server and never fear losing your player base.

What is a Minecraft server optimization?

Have you ever heard of Minecraft servers who can cause their players to be glitching or lagging?

These types of servers are the unoptimized ones, who are just starting in the business, but will not stay for long. If you are one of them, you can just disregard this guide and check the other ones.

Optimizing Minecraft servers is not something for the ordinary player. It sometimes requires technical knowledge in the are of Java, as Minecraft is made on this language, along with its plugins and mods.

When it comes to mods and plugins, sometimes we choose the heaviest ones, which can actually hurt our computers or hosting providers, because of the large content they have.

But that’s not all. Minecraft servers can also be optimized by purchasing a better internet plan.

A part of the lagging situations are caused due to poor internet connections, and depend on your server’s and the end client’s locations.

That’s why before starting out a Minecraft server we need to choose between self hosting and paying a Minecraft hosting company, to upkeep our server.

Types of lag in Minecraft Servers

There are 3 different types of lag when it comes to Minecraft servers. These are TPS, FPS and connection lag.

Each of them is caused by different means and will require certain changes, if a server owner wants to run things smoothly.

Let’s take a look what each of them means and how it can affect your server’s and player’s performance.

TPS Lag

TPS or the so called Ticks Per Second are the measurement for server lag. If you are starting out a clean Minecraft server, you should see that it has 20 Ticks Per Second. Each tick takes 0.05 seconds to perform.

These ticks can be affected in many ways and most of the server owners don’t take this issue seriously.

And once those Ticks Per Second start dropping, the game will start lagging frequently, until the server gets damaged and crashes. These crashes could even corrupt a world, if backups are not properly done.

Ensuring that we have a healthy and stable Minecraft server would mean that we need to have anywhere between 18 and 20 TPS.

Anything below that will cause noticeable lag, and players will realize that everything they do causes glitches and doesn’t let them play in normal conditions.

But what causes TPS Lag?

TPS lag is usually caused by lag machines, big redstone projects, hundreds of exploding TNTs and much more. But that’s only from the vanilla side.

What also causes TPS lag is the plugins and mods you install on your Minecraft server. Not measuring the quality or heaviness of a plugin or a mod, can significantly damage your server and decrease your player base. We will explain how to fix that later on.

FPS Lag

FPS Lag is not a server lag issue. But can be caused by the server to the players. Every computer is measuring games in FPS, which means Frames Per Second. A stable game runs in 60 FPS without drops. Once the FPS drops below that, we start seeing slow movements between the frames.

In such cases both computers and Minecraft servers can be responsible for these FPS drops while playing. Older computers are not as optimal as they used to be. But also newer Minecraft versions are not very optimal.

After the 1.9 update Minecraft has been slowly becoming a heavy game for older computers, which requires a lot of RAM to function properly.

That’s why some people consider playing older versions, and believe that they are the best versions of Minecraft.

Along with the older PC parts and newer Minecraft updates, we still have the resource packs as an issue causer. Every resource pack is done in different dimensions and has a number of details.

Imagine a resource pack with items, which transform Minecraft into an Ultra HD game with many details. Of course it would slow your computer and cause FPS drops. But in such cases, you can always used an optimized for speed Minecraft client and reduce some graphics.

Connection Lag

Connection lag is the easiest to understand type of lag, and also easiest to fix, compared to the other issues.

This type of lag is usually persistent due to poor internet connection with the server. It can be caused by players, internet plan, hosting location of the server.

If your using custom hardware for hosting a Minecraft server, your hosting location is usually limited to one spot. Therefore if your target players are not living in the same country as you, it may cause a bit lag.

Sometimes the server also has a bad internet plan, but usually our internet service providers do not offer high and scalable internet plans for upkeeping Minecraft servers.

In such cases, you may need to advertise your Minecraft server to an audience which plays in your country or simply start paying for Minecraft server hosting to a professional company. There are some great deals for grabbing, which can repay after some time.

How to optimize a Minecraft Server

Server Type Jar Files

There are many types of Minecraft server running files. In the beginning we could only use the official Minecraft or Bukkit jar files.

Nowadays things have changed drastically and we were introduced with more optimized and frequently updated jar files for Minecraft servers.

One of the most downloaded and used jar files for Minecraft servers are Spigot and Paper. Spigot is one of the most popular jar files, which has a large library of plugins and mods. It was offering greater speeds than Bukkit, but after a fork, Paper came out with further optimizations.

If your Minecraft server is running on Bukkit, you may want to change it to one of its competitors. But as a recommendation, Paper would hold the top spot.

And the best part of all this is that Paper can run spigot plugins, as it’s a hard forked project. If you are looking for more reasons to migrate to Paper server jar, you will get excited to hear that it has exploits and bugs fixed, which neither Spigot or Bukkit have.

Server Properties

The server properties are like a configuration file for optimizing Minecraft server. It is one of the best things to optimize first if you have a brand-new Minecraft server created.

It contains all the options, which your server will follow. It’s like giving it commands, which it will run in a set amount of time.

We will be listing each setting and giving you the most optimal answer to each of them, so you can create the best settings for your Minecraft server.

max-auto-save-chunks-per-tick – Sets a chunk save limit over time. Each 0.05 seconds a number of chunks will be saved. An optimal number for saved chunks would be 4.

optimize-explosions – Optimize explosions is a great method for handling TNT explosions. Even though it doesn’t have a high impact on servers, it can still be a great feature to have. You can set it to true.

mob-spawner-tick-rate – The mob spawner tick rate will follow when to spawn a mob in Minecraft. The usual number would be 1 per tick, which means that every 0.05 seconds a mob will spawn. The most efficient timing would be per 4 ticks.

disable-chest-cat-detection – This option will check periodically if a cat is sitting on a chest, which will make it un-openable. You can keep this option disabled as it does not make a big change in server performance. Although you can set the option to true.

container-update-tick-rate – Updates the view of chests in Minecraft every 0.05 seconds, which can eat up your resources. You can set that up to 4.

max-entity-collisions – This option can potentially optimize your Minecraft server by lowering the number. It checks for cramming and the most optimal setting would be between 2 and 3.

grass-spread-tick-rate – The grass spread tick rate makes a grass to spawn over a dirt block in a set amount of time. Setting the spread tick rate to 5 or 6 can optimize your server, but decrease the grass spreading rates.

despawn-ranges – The despawn ranges will set a range where mobs can start despawning. The soft mode will despawn mobs at random, while the hard mode will despawn an amount of mobs instantly. You can set the the soft mode 26 and hard mode to 92.

hopper.disable-move-event – This option is not very recommended, as it can break the inventory listening plugins. If you are running a Minecraft plugin with no inventory plugins, you can set this option to true.

prevent-moving-into-unloaded-chunks – With this option enabled, you will be preventing players going into unloaded chunks. If your server is lagging and a chunk didn’t load, players can cause more lag by going into it. Keeping this option to true can optimize your Minecraft server a lot.

use-faster-eigencraft-redstone – Optimizes the redstone usability and reduces the lag, without the need of extra plugins. You can safely set this option to true.

armor-stands-tick – Checks if water is pushing armor stands, which is not a very important option and can be set to False.

per-player-mob-spawns – Adds a certain amount of mobs per player in the world, which can prevent the massive mob farms, and keep your server clean. You can set this option to true.

alt-item-despawn-rate – The item despawn rate can help you set a timing of when an item would be despawned, just like any other despawning Minecraft plugin. You can set the preferred despawn times for each item. A good time for all items would be 5 minutes.

anti-xray – The anti-xray is just like any other plugin. It will disorient and prevent players from using the x-ray. You can set this option to true.

Per World Settings

Every time you setup Spigot or Paper and run it for the first time, a ymls will be generated and saved. This file will have settings, which can be disabled, enabled or have their timings set for each world.

Tweaking them as per your liking could save up a lot of server resources and ensure that you are running everything smooth.

But as for this article, we will be aiming at the 3 most important settings for all worlds.

keep-spawn-loaded – There are 3 different dimensions in Minecraft. The overworld, nether, and end dimensions. When it comes to this setting, it will set a spawn point for each of them. Since it’s better to have only a spawn point for the overworld, you can set every other world’s spawn setting to false.

– anti-xray – If you are using the anti-xray option it may eat up your CPU resources. Preventing this option from working can really help with your Minecraft server.

– auto-save-interval – Sets an interval of when a world should be saved in ticks. Leaving each world with a time gap between them will keep your server stable and running faster. This way there will be dedicated time when each world is saved and will ensure that nothing will go wrong.

Pre-generating World

Pre-generating your Minecraft world can save significant space and resources on your Minecraft server. With such a plugin you can optimize your Minecraft server by minimizing worlds.

A plugin like that would be Chunky. With Chunky, you can pre-generate worlds and set a border for them, so new chunks will never be generated.

This way you will be limiting your worlds and keep the amount of chunks as low as possible.

It’s a great plugin for those who have a spawn or a hub world, which has no wilderness.

Removing Lag Machines

Lag machines will always play a huge role in destroying Minecraft servers. It is one of the things that players love most when it comes to grief.

There are hundreds of lag machine creations in Minecraft, and more to be created. Not to mention that they require in-game items, and are not just limited to redstone projects.

There are many lag machine prevention plugins, but sometimes things may be left unnoticed. One of the best ways to catch such people, who can cause lag is by using a redstone detection plugin, which will indicate the players who try to break your server.

Clearing Items

While most of the players are using the Spigot server client it lacks a lot of optimization features, such as clearing items.

When players start digging, creepers explode, TNTs explode and much more, items will always be left on the ground. If these items are not picked up by a player or disposed in lava, lag may start occurring in the server.

This is because of the resource usage. Even though it’s hard to break server from fallen items, it still helps a bit to set an item clearance on a certain amount of time so the server can be clean.

Limiting Plugins and Mods

The problem with new server owners is that they get too excited and start downloading too many plugins and mods. While mods and plugins can make a server really good and functional, it can also damage it.

A good-looking server doesn’t need to have hundreds of plugins. 50 plugins would be the best amount. Even if you go up to 60 it will not harm your server, if they are small.

And if you are not sure what you need to install exactly, you can start with our recommended list of Minecraft plugins for servers.

Resource Packs

When adding resources packs to Minecraft servers or previously known as texture packs, you are changing the view of the game, or simply the look of each item.

A resource pack can be used in many different ways, like for Minecraft RPG servers, or just improving the graphics on the items you have.

Since resource packs are an addition, which changes the items that in Minecraft, it doesn’t delete them. It just overrides them. When a player joins your Minecraft server, they can see that a resource pack installation is pending, and can install it if they desire.

While resource packs can look really cool on servers, they can also slow some computers down, as some texture graphics are heavy.

The best thing to do to optimize your Minecraft server is to use a resource pack, which doesn’t have much detail, but can also look fancy.

Java Flags

Java Flags can further optimize a Minecraft server, but you will need to add them to your server startup file. If you are on a paid hosting, you will need to speak with your host if they can set the flags for you.

For others who are self-hosted, you can simply copy, paste and modify these lines of code.

java -Xms6G -Xmx6G -XX:+UseG1GC -XX:+ParallelRefProcEnabled -XX:MaxGCPauseMillis=200 -XX:+UnlockExperimentalVMOptions -XX:+DisableExplicitGC -XX:+AlwaysPreTouch -XX:G1NewSizePercent=30 -XX:G1MaxNewSizePercent=40 -XX:G1HeapRegionSize=8M -XX:G1ReservePercent=20 -XX:G1HeapWastePercent=5 -XX:G1MixedGCCountTarget=4 -XX:InitiatingHeapOccupancyPercent=15 -XX:G1MixedGCLiveThresholdPercent=90 -XX:G1RSetUpdatingPauseTimePercent=5 -XX:SurvivorRatio=32 -XX:+PerfDisableSharedMem -XX:MaxTenuringThreshold=1 -jar paperclip.jar nogui