Introduction / Background
This Minecraft server optimization 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 come 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 which often do more harm than good. Hopefully this guide provides some useful insights to you!
Last updated: November 27th, 2023 for Paper Version 1.20.2 Build #307
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Table of Contents
Configurations & Optimizations
Impacts of Alteration
Performance Diagnostic Tool
Backup and Recovery Best Practice
Quality of Life Plugins & Tools
Things to Avoid
Domain and Server Record
Tools and Software for Windows Users
Replace Tab with Space in NotePad++:
Replace by Space
Force Binary Mode in WinSCP:
Install JAVA with this guide
Obtain official Paper jar
Download a server jar from Paper’s official download page
Launch the server
- Launch through your terminal or with a startup script.
- Generate a script with flags.sh
- If you are self-hosting on Windows, read Windows self-hosting Guide
Configurations & Optimizations🔗
Before we start…
There is no singular setup 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. The values shown below are the defaults and are provided as examples. Please test and experiment, and then come up with your own set of numbers that best suit your community
With Modern Minecraft version, running on default (Vanilla) setting requires decent hardware and it may not be feasible for some small to medium sized servers where server resource are very limited. Aside from picking a reputable host and the right hardware, optimizing the configurations and making compromises 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.
Even 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.
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 the player.
simulation-distance has a huge impact on the performance so having a lower value will help maintain a lagging-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 Skyblock, 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 values on a per world basis in
spigot.yml to overwrite
(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 the Modern Minecraft versions, even the top-of-the-line CPU in the current market would still be brought down to its knees if you do not keep entities under control.
Ideally, you want to maintain your overall entity ticks to be less than 30% (Assuming a reasonable amount of player activity is present and not just an empty server)
Spark 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 comes a 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 alterations so you can explain them to the player better. In the following walk through, I will attempt to explain the impact of each change and how to combat compromises.
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.
- The brown cylinders indicate 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 that falls under the 32 blocks ring (entity activation range) will be ticked at normal rate.
- Any entity that resides in-between the 32 - 128 blocks ring will be ticked at a reduced rate.
- Any entity that falls outside the 128th block is instantly despawned.
Vanilla / Paper default value
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 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 as area outside of this range will not be ticked.
- A farm cannot excess the radius of
(simulation distance -1)x16blocks.
- Everything outside of
simulation distancewon’t tick so any farm bigger than this value wont be functional.
mob spawn range also determines the maximum size of a farm as no mobs will spawn outside of this defined range.
Mob Spawn Rangeshould be between
(simulation distance -1)to
- If you are running the vanilla default simulation distance of 10, you can keep the mob spawn range at 8 or lower.
- Mobs can only spawn a minimum of
24 blocksaway from players so setting mob spawn range below
3is strongly discouraged unless your simulation distance is extremely low 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 instantly despawning.
- The value of
hard despawn-rangedetermines the ideal afk spot of the farm
- This value is
128blocks for the 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-rangeas the range limit applies both horizontally and vertically.
(Additional important notes are located on later section…)
hard despawn-rangeshould always be
(mob-spawn-range)x16blocks and never lower.
(This prevents the server from doing extra work of spawning a mob only to have it despawn instantly because it falls outside of hard despawn range)
entity-activation-rangeshould 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 config mentioned above and make the necessary modifications to the farm design accordingly. Do not copy and paste from YouTube tutorials block by block without ever taking these configs into account.
Take a look at Paper Chan’s Little Guide to fix your Nether farm for a sample walkthrough on common troubleshooting steps.
Here is a video providing a simplified overview on Vanilla mobspawning.
/paper playermobcapsfor additional details on mob spawning around a player. It is especially useful for finding errors on the spawnproofing.
Why is my farm built in older version slower now when nothing has 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 successed at spawning 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 on the SciCraft server and in most farm tutorials that use void flat-world for demonstration)
Enderman farm at Y0 – Enderman farms are advised to be built at Y0 as it is the most effective location.
Nether Farm above Netherroof – Nether farm are usually built high above Netherroof as it is generally a pain to make a large perimeter due to the amount of lava present, and by going higher into the Netherroof, you move your despawn sphere high up in the sky to eliminate all possibilities of a mob spawning anywhere outside of your farm platform.
With that being said, your farm may be less effective now due to the world height change. Instead of checking for an eligible spawn attempt from Y0 to Y265, it’s now checking from Y-64 to Y320 to find the 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
Accept & understand that mob spawning is inherently flawed in multiplayer servers and a more detailed explanation is provided in the per-player-mob-spawns section later.
Essential configurations for server.properties
This sets the view distance (terrain only) of the server unless stated otherwise in
This sets the simulation distance (ticking) of the server unless stated otherwise in
If you decide to lower your
Please refer to How Mob Spawn Works to ensure all other configs are adjusted accordingly.
simulation-distanceshould always be equal to or lower than view-distance.
(If simulation distance is set higher than view distance, only an area up to view distance will be applied)
- It is strongly discouraged to reduce these value lower than
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 chunks loaded by a single player is
[(View Distance +2)x2+1]^2
view-distance=10(Vanilla default), a singular player will load
view-distance=5, a singular player will load
view-distance=15, a singular player will load
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 in the per-world config section later.
For example, you can opt for a higher
view-distancein the_end dimension, which would make navigating through the void with Elytra a much more pleasant experience for your players.
This prevents players from getting kicked by the server for "flying" while riding a horse or climbing on scaffolding.
Having this option as false doesn't mean everyone can fly, it just means that players would not get kicked if the server thinks they are flying.
Essential configurations for bukkit.yml
spawn-limits: monsters: 70 animals: 10 water-animals: 5 water-ambient: 20 water-underground-creature: 5 axolotls: 5 ambient: 15
This section determines the mob cap in your server. Lowering the value here has the most direct impact on server performance, as entities are one of the most resource intensive tasks the server has to tackle.
The global entity cap will scale based on online player counts as long as
per-player-mob-spawns is set to
paper-world-defaults.yml. Given that valid spawn locations exist around a player; the server will attempt to spawn entities until the spawn-limit cap is reached.
Changing spawn-limits requires you to look over other related config.
Refer to Understand Mobspawn section for more details.
mob-spawn-rangein spigot.yml accordingly to achieve this illusion.
Click here to show a detailed explanation on how the calculation is done..
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
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
Here is a cheat sheet with prefilled suggestions for monster category for those who are too lazy to workout the math, please read carefully and apply the config accordingly.
|Overall Entity Count (%)||Suggested
||Actual Calculated Number|
|100% (Vanilla)||70 (default)||8 (default)||8 (default)|
|90%||63||7 or 8||7.6|
|70%||49||6 or 7||6.74|
|50%||35||5 or 6||5.75|
|30%||21||4 or 5||4.55|
|3%||2||Please upgrade your server hardware||My Samsung smart fridge can handle more entities|
The suggested numbers above are for the purpose of keeping the mob density consistent with Vanilla, feel free to make up your own numbers that work for your server. As for other categories, there will never be an ideal number as entities like sheeps, cows, and fishes have more complicated spawning rules and additional mechnics, please produce a Spark reports, analyze it and make adjustment as needed.
Please do go over Understand Mobspawn 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!
Generate a Spark report during the busiest period where the most players are online in your server and analyze the report for problematic areas to be addressed.
- Overall, entities should be less than
30%of your tick and if you are seeing high tick time 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 maintaining 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 in a farm, the yield of the farm should be roughly the same as Vanilla Minecraft given the farm design is adjusted accordingly.
- Please note that, the limits here only apply to naturally spawned entities. Entities being created through special spawning mechanism such as Allay Duplication, Iron Golem from Villager Gossiping, Guardian within Ocean Monuments are not limited by this config. A plugin is required to properly limit them.
See Quality of Life and Must-have Plugins section below for more info.
Every entity in the game falls under 1 of the 7 categories as listed below 🔗
monstercategory consists of Elder Guardian, Enderman, Warden, Silverfish, Piglin Brute, Stray, Illusioner, Skeleton, Shulker, Zoglin, Guardian, Magma Cube, Zombie Villager, Zombified Piglin, Vindicator, Phantom, Piglin, Slime, Ender Dragon, Drowned, Pillager, Evoker, Zombie, Spider, Husk, Ghast, Ravager, Hoglin, Cave Spider, Witch, Wither, Endermite, Wither Skeleton, Blaze, Giant, Creeper, Vex.
creaturecategory consists of Pig, Polar Bear, Fox, Cat, Zombie Horse, Sniffer, Panda, Rabbit, Wolf, Cow, Turtle, Frog, Allay, Trader Llama, Donkey, Bee, Camel, Sheep, Tadpole, Ocelot, Chicken, Mooshroom, Horse, Llama, Wandering Trader, Parrot, Goat, Mule, Skeleton Horse, Strider.
ambientcategory consists of bat. Bat is useless.
water_creaturecategory consists of squid and dolphins.
water-ambientcategory consists of cod, pufferfish, salmon, tropical fish.
underground_water_creaturecategory consists of Glow Squid.
axolotlcategory consists of Axolotl.
Misccategory consists of Primed TNT, Llama Spit, Market, Thrown Bottle o' Enchanting, End Crystal, Snowball, Leash Knot, Potion, Minecraft with Monster Spawner, Thrown Egg, Spectral Arrow, Text Display, Interaction, Item Display, Thrown Ender Pearl, Triden, Fishing Bobber, Firework Rocket, Block Display, Area Effect Cloud, Glow Item Frame, Experience Orb, Lighting Bolt, Dragon Fireball, Evoker Fangs, Player, Item Frame, Snow Golem, Eye of Ender, Minecart with Hopper, Villager, Painting, Mincart with TNT, Item, BOat with Chest, Boat, Fireball, Shulker Bullet, Wither Skull, Armor Stand, Minecart with Chest, Minecart, Minecart with Furnace, Iron Golem, Arrow, Falling Block, Minecart with Command Block, Small Fireball.
Some categories have two different names listed due to Paper using the proper names in related
paper configs while
bukkit.yml still uses the old names.
Villagers are complex entities and very resource intensive 🔗
Villagers are generated with Village structures and breeded by players. They are the entity that cause a great deal of performance issues in most Minecraft servers. Since they are not limited by the config options in
bukkit.yml mentioned above, using the recommended methods below to artificially control their populations and their impact to the server is strongly recommended. It is an alternation to Vanilla gameplay but it is sadly necessary as most players are not resource efficient and would produce a tons of Villagers unnecessarily.
Below are a few different approaches to help address villager problems, please consider them carefully and pick one that works the best for your community.
- Attempts to reduce villager tick-rates to ease the workload on the server.
- Introduce a hard cap with a farm limitor type plugins and then clearly communicate the limit to your players so they can adjust their playstyle.
- Using a plugin to dynamically remove the A.I. from the villagers if they are used as trading hall vendors.
- Introduce different ways for players to gain loots thus greatly reduce the need for player-made trading halls. This may include a community trading hall, a global admin shop with villager loots, or customize your wandering traders loot table with superior items.
ticks-per: animal-spawns: 400 monster-spawns: 1 water-spawns: 1 water-ambient-spawns: 1 water-underground-creature-spawns: 1 axolotl-spawns: 1 ambient-spawns: 1 autosave: 6000
This section determines the frequency of each category of entities making 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 spent on mob spawning on your Spark 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 gamemodes, this is especially crucial, as the server tends 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.
Essential configurations for spigot.yml
view-distance: default simulation-distance: default
This serves as an overwrite to the identical config in the
Putting a value here will overwrite the value inside
The value default instructs the server to use the value from
The value can be set per-world if an additional category is created.
Radius in chunks around a player in which server attempts to spawn mobs.
As mentioned previously in the bukkit.yml section, this value can be altered to adjust the perceived mob density.
This value should always be set to a maximum of (Simulation Distance - 1) with a minimum of 3, as any entity falling 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.
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 monsters would attempt to spawn outside of your simulation-distance. It is crucial to have the correct value.
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 back toUnderstand Mobspawn section for full detail.
This setting removes AI from mobs spawned from a spawner. If your server allows players to relocate spawners, setting this option to true can reduce lag.
Please also toggle
paper-world-defaults.yml if you do decide to enable this. It will allow mob to jump so certain farms will remind functional.
- Read Things to Avoid section for why allowing your players to silktouch spawner is a bad idea.
entity-tracking-range: players: 48 animals: 48 monsters: 48 misc: 32 display: 128 other: 64
entity-tracking-range determines how far away in blocks that an entity is tracked and sent to the client in order for players 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 chunks (simulation-distance -1). This is an optimized solution to combat expensive entity tickings.
You can find related performance merits in your Spark 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 overall entity counts, then lower simulation distance; and if all else failed, reduce tracking range as a last resort.
Additionally, Paper allows the server owners to define the vertical
Y value of entity-tracking-range in
paper-world-defaults.yml/entities.tracking-range-y if one wish to have entities to show up or disappear faster.
playerconsists of players.
monsterconsists of monster, raider, and flying monster.
animalconsists of villager, water-animal, and animal.
miscconsists of itemframe, painting, sign, dropped item, experience orb.
displayconsist of display entity.
otherconsists 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
(BONUS fact: Setting the value to
0, all entities will be hidden; setting the value to
-1, all entities will essentially become ninja! PLEASE DONT DO THIS)
If you are experiencing invisible Ghast Ambush, it may be a symptom of your
monster is set too low.
- Additionally, check client side setting
Entity Distanceand make sure it is set high enough to show the Ghast.
entity-tracking-range, please also adjust and match the value in the corresponding category on
entity-activation-rangeas well, so players do not see frozen entities.
entity-activation-range: animals: 32 monsters: 32 raiders: 48 misc: 16 water: 16 villagers: 32 flying-monsters: 32 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 villagers-work-immunity-after: 100 villagers-work-immunity-for: 20 villagers-active-for-panic: true tick-inactive-villagers: true ignore-spectators: false
entity-activation-range determines how far away (in blocks) an entity should be activated.
Any entity falling outside of this zone will be ticked at a reduced frequency.
Those values 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.
A value of
-1 on the corresponding categories listed within
entity-activation-range will disable this feature for that category 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 absolutely necessary.
Reducing entity activation range should be the 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 words, only villagers that are within the activation range will be active.
- However, doing so may reduce the yield of Iron Golem farms if a player is not in 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
-1 to remedy the issue. EAR may impose a negative effect and break redstone contraption in this particular use case.
work immunity and wake up inactive are implemented by Paper with the goal of bringing more liveness to the world by allowing certain entities to "wake up" and do some work for a set amount of time. It allows villager to restock, find work etc...
0 if you do not want this behavior for that particular category.
Click here to read EAR Commit message on Github
To elaborate a bit more, we will use this snippet of
wake-up-inactive below as an example to help you get a better understanding of this mechanic.
wake-up-inactive: villagers-max-per-tick: 4 villagers-every: 600 villagers-for: 100 villagers-work-immunity-after: 120 villagers-work-immunity-for: 20
The above setting translates into the following behavior...
600 game ticks, there is a chance of
up to 4 randomly selected loaded villagers, that has not been active for
120 ticks, to wake up for
100 ticks where they are able to wake up and do stuff for
20 ticks while being immune from the freezing effect of being too far away from players.
To disable work immunity, set
0, please note that this will break villagers.
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 needs.
A value of
-1 disables it. Do note that this is a degradation in performance.
Alternatively, you can adjust
paper-world-defaults.yml if you wish to still 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 towards you when you sit afk on your farm, you can disable this option with the implied performance tradeoffs.
A config folder now stores the default and global config files for your Paper server, and it is located in your Minecraft root folder.
paper-global.yml consists of all available global config.
paper-world-defaults.yml consists of the default config for all worlds.
Additionally, a per-world basis config file called
paper-world.yml is also generated in each world folder.
paper-world.yml can be edited to overwrite the config on a per-world basis and is located in
Essential configurations for paper-world-defaults.yml
tracking-range-y: enabled: true animal: default display: default misc: default monster: default other: default player: default
In addition to the
entity-tracking-range in spigot.yml, Paper provides the ability to config the vertical
Y level tracking distances. This is espeically useful for server that wish to make entities appear/disappear earlier or later.
It can be enabled for particular categories per world based on server needs.
despawn-ranges: ambient: hard: 128 soft: 32 axolotls: hard: 128 soft: 32 creature: hard: 128 soft: 32 misc: hard: 128 soft: 32 monster: hard: 128 soft: 32 underground_water_creature: hard: 128 soft: 32 water_ambient: hard: 64 soft: 32 water_creature: hard: 128 soft: 32
This value defines how far away a mob should have a chance to despawn (soft) or instantly despawn (hard).
Please refer to the bukkit.yml section to see what each entity falls under what category.
If you kept your simulation-distance as default
10, lowing the hard value will increase the perceived mob density with a cost of extra depsawn/spawn action on the server.
If your simulation-distance is set lower than 10, please read this!
The value of hard despawn-range should be
(simulation-distance -1)x16 blocks and no less than
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 designs accordingly.
If you do chose to run the default value of 128 to keep the ideal afk spot persistence against Vanilla while running a lower
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 short story about BumbleTree and his Minecraft friends
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 are 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 despawn 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 creating an illusion that no mob is actually spawning. This is why it is crucial to ensure the hard despawn-range is in line 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!
To help mitigate the negative impact of a low hard despawn range, the community-made plugin harderdespawn can be utilized to remove non-persistent mobs when a chunk unloads. By manually despawning mobs upon chunk unload, a default hard despawn range of
128 can be maintained, ensuring it does not affect the AFK spot on farms.
The value is the maximum amount of entities that should be included in collision lookups. The server will stop processing any additional entity collisions after this threshold.
Lowering 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
- The cramming gamerule sets 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 farms as the maximum number of animals that can be held inside a block space is determined by this value.
This fix the issue where climbing mobs bypass the cramming rules
false if you have farms that utilize this behavior (very unlikely).
Paper would attempt to spawn mobs more evenly across all players online.
Ensure this option is set to true. This is beneficial to the majority of servers.
When enabled, the global mob cap will scale based on the number of players online.
To access detailed breakdown of mobcaps, use the following commands...
/paper mobcaps for global mobcaps and total spawnable chunks.
/paper playermobcaps for player mobcaps.
Spawnable chunks are based on the number of loaded chunks and the spawn-limits as defined in
paper-world-defaults.yml). Please make adjustments when necessary, especially if you do not have it enabled prior.
Vanilla mob spawning is not only complicated, but also inherently flawed on multiplayer servers
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 on all loaded chunks around both players; a vast 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 overall.
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 with the highest priority, thus tanking the TPS.
Paper provides options to specify the redstone implementation the server uses.
The available options are
Vanilla being the default.
alternate-current implementation is more efficient and recommended, but come with possible behavioral changes. Please use with caution!
For technical details on
alternate-current, read more here.
treasure-maps: enabled: true find-already-discovered: loot-tables: default villager-trade: true
There are several methods to further mitigate the performance issue around treasure maps as listed below.
Method 1 - OkTreasures - A plugin solution brought to you by Kyle
OkTreasures fixes map related crashes by replacing the Vanilla buried treasure search with a custom, faster, and simpler one: it randomly selects a beach within a reasonable distance and places the treasure there. Since this process is mostly asynchronous, it won't cause lag.
Method 2 - TreasureMapsPlus - A plugin solution brought to you by Machine Maker
TreasureMapsPlus is made by Machine Maker, an avid members of PaperMC project, who aims to solve the issue surrounding treasure maps with a slight behavior change. Instead of leading players to an undiscoverd treasure, the plugin simply rewards the player with the loots from the chest loottable upon using the map.
Method 3 - Limit the search radius
By toggling the
villager-trade option under
true, it will reduce the performance impact of treasure maps. (map will no longer try to find undiscovered treasure instead returns the nearest one)
Method 4 - Completely disable treasure maps
Alternatively, you could also opt to completely disable the functionality of treasure mapss by setting
false to prevent any issue related to the prolonged feature lookup.
Why are the treasure maps resource intensive?
Due to how Vanilla Minecraft generate/lookup new loottable from treasure map found via cartography villager or dungeon loot chest, the server may stall due to the potentially large amount of lookups done when it attemps to locate a chest that has not yet been discovered by other players.
The issue can be mitigated by using the options provided above, along with modifications to the Vanilla gameplay. However, it is sometimes necessary to prevent significant lag spikes or prolonged server stalls that could result in the server being shut down by the watchdog.
The treasure map searches up to a ~1100 block radius for buried treasures and remains blank if none is within the range.
That's a big radius!
keep-spawn-loaded: true keep-spawn-loaded-range: 10
If your world spawn isnt frequently used, you can toggle this option to
The world spawn will not be loaded thus saving resources.
The range value is in chunks, and the formula for total chunks to be kept loaded is
[(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 saved in a chunk.
The limit here is essential as it prevents the server from stalling when attempting to load a chunk that contains a large amount of these projectile entities.
It is especially critical to enforce them plus the additional additions listed above if you are running an extremely low simulation-distance.
(Sometimes projectiles are being fired into unloaded chunks intentionally by players to crash a server, or unintentionally by sheer luck. Both of which can be avoided with these limits set in place)
chunks: auto-save-interval: default max-auto-save-chunks-per-tick: 24
By default, Paper saves chunks incrementally, up to 24 chunks per tick.
This configuration option is for advanced users only and is provided here for informational purposes. The majority of servers will be fine with the default value, and no change is required. Please be extremely cautious if you decide to change the value here, as setting it incorrectly will likely result in a negative performance hit and an increased risk of data loss.
The basic formula is as follows:
total loaded chunks that requires save
chunks: delay-chunk-unloads-by: 10s
Paper provides finer control over how often chunks are saved and how fast they are unloaded. Lowering
delay-chunk-unloads-by value too low would actually result in additional work on the server to reloading the chunks that are just unloaded if a player happens to be hanging around an area.
default value here is most likely going to be the most optimal options for majority of the server owners.
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
Enabling 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 of server time.
Additional items can be added to the list above and you should find your own reasonable value that suits your needs as every server has their own unique circumstances. For example, if a farm utilizes minecarts 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.
To acquire the official Mojang item ID, simply use the hotkey
H in game.
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!
tick-rates: behavior: villager: validatenearbypoi: -1 container-update: 1 grass-spread: 1 mob-spawner: 1 sensor: villager: secondarypoisensor: 40
Paper provides finer control options govorning certain ticking rates
Increase the value here will reduce the resource usage with some cost to their respective behaviors.
If your server is experiencing villager related performance issue, first try to play around with this config before moving onto a plugin solution.
For example you can increase
120 to save resources. The negative behavioral change is likely not noticeable.
grass-spread too high will result in many ugly dirt patches if you have a lot of animals around.
Setting this to true will 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 value would also increase the risk of your server crashing in the event of large amount of TNT detonation.
armor-stands: do-collision-entity-lookups: true tick: true
This decides whether armor stand should be ticked & accounted for collisions.
Setting these to
completely remove any armor stand related lag machines.
break plugins that utilize armor stands.
break farms such as an automatic ice maker .
lootables: auto-replenish: false max-refills: -1 refresh-max: 2d refresh-min: 12h reset-seed-on-fill: true restrict-player-reloot: true restrict-player-reloot-time: disabled
true if you plan on running a long-term survival server. It replenishes the chest once looted and would bring some life back to your old worlds.
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.
reset-seed-on-fill will shuffle loot table seeds on each refill so the items inside the chest will always be different.
restrict-player-reloot will stop the same player from camping and looting the chest multiple times.
restrict-player-reloot-time (default disabled) can de enabled to stop the same players from looting the same chest again with a definable time.
The units of measurement here are
s for seconds,
m for minutes,
h for hours,
d for days. m is NOT for months!!
Scenario 1: If a player loots a chest once and comes back later, there will not be new loot.
Scenario 2: If player A loots a chest and then player B comes by later, the chest will be refilled and lootable for player A again.
Scenario 3: If
restrict-player-reloot time is set to
3d, a player cannot reloot the same chest until
3 days later.
The chest will refill regardless of the remaining items inside unless it is full.
Scenario 4: If player A opens the chest (generated the loot) and leaves 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 5: if player A opens 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.
Toggling this option to
true will provide you with some level of security against seed-cracking tools, as it randomizes the sub-seed for a Minecraft world, rather than using the world seed to generate features. This is a very useful feature if you aim to prevent unfair advantages that players may gain if they manage to figure out your world seed using tools like SeedcrackerX.
Please note that this config covers
features only, for
generated structures, please manually alter the structure seeds in
(Upstream Spigot does not automatically randomize the structure seed it provides, so this part of the process remains manual)
Please note that this configuration does not affect chunks that were generated before enabling this option. For the best results, it is recommended to use this feature in a brand new world. A detailed walkthrough is provided below if you wish to make the most of this feature.
Click here to expand and follow the steps within to enable this feature properly!
- Start the server in order for the paper-world-defaults.yml file to be generated then stop the server.
- Open up paper-world-defaults.yml located inside config folder and set generate-random-seeds-for-all to true.
- Open up spigot.yml and manually input the structure seeds to your liking.
- Remove the
(This step is needed due to
keep-spawn-loadedis default to
(Please double check that
level-seedis not already set in
server.propertiesotherwise same seed will be generated.)
- BONUS: if you want to define individual feature-seeds, you can go back to paper-world-defaults.yml and set them manually.
(by default, feature-seeds are automatically randomized)
- Start the server then you are good to go!
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.
Once the feature is enabled, you will find a new section with randomly generated
feature-seeds listed in your
paper-world.yml if you have any other per-world specific configs, be sure to add them under the corresponding categories.
Paper provides an optional config to adjust the required light level for mobs to spawn.
A value of
default follows the Vanilla default.
In 1.18 and later version, mobs can only spawn at light level
In 1.17 or older, mob can spawn at light level up to
The value can be any integer from
Essential configurations for paper-global.yml
chunk-loading-advanced: auto-config-send-distance: true player-max-concurrent-chunk-generates: 0 player-max-concurrent-chunk-loads: 0 chunk-loading-basic: player-max-chunk-generate-rate: -1.0 player-max-chunk-load-rate: 100.0 player-max-chunk-send-rate: 75.0
Paper provides control over how chunk data is sent to players. The default values listed above should work for the majority of the server.
If you are troubleshooting chunk loading issues, please consult the #paper-help channel first for advice first, do not alter the values without fully understand what they do. Do not follow any random guide for recommended value, there is a lot of misinformation out there!
In 1.20, the
chunk-loading options have been revised and have had their old global limit configuration completely removed. The default option should now work for the majority of servers, whether big or small.
If you are experiencing slowness while loading chunks on your server, please review the following list to further troubleshoot issues related to chunk-loading.
Is the map pregenerated?
If possible, ensure the entirety of the map is pregenerated. This would help ease any unnecessary strain on the server.
Is Paper anti-xray enabled?
Anti-xray makes chunks less compressible thus increase network usage, try disabling the feature to see if the loading speed improves.
Potential plugin related issue?
Check to make sure there are no plugins causing issues that might be holding up Netty threads. Consider Binary Search to isolate the problemic plugin.
Possible network bottlenecks?
Monitor network usage to ensure you have enough bandwidth to sustain all player activities.
Possible disk I/O bottleneck?
This could potentially be an issue if you are using older hardware or hosting a server with a shared host that may impose limits on your instance.
Are players traveling at high speeds and loading a massive number of chunks?
If you have multiple players flying with elytra and rockets, or boat flying in the server, it may potentially flood the chunk system. Aside from anti-cheat, a solution such as TooManyGen may be able to help by imposing certain limits on players who are loading a lot of chunks in a short period of time.
Experience high ping or timeout issue?🔗
If one or more players experience higher than normal ping when they first log into the server, teleport to a new location, or switch dimensions, please review the following list for possible causes.
Paper sends chunks a lot faster than Vanilla Minecraft; as a result, the Minecraft client may not be able to cope and just stop rendering chunks altogether. Reduce view distance on the server may help with this particular area.
A lot of information is being sent to the client during the log-in process. Players with less than ideal internet speed or routing issues to your server may experience higher than normal pings during the process.
For players with extremely slow or unstable internet, ask them to reduce the view distance on the client to the minimum as it would help reducing the data sent.
For players getting timeout'd frequently, aside from asking them to get better internet, there is really not much a server owner can do to help.
As for routing issues, tools like WinMTR can help identify potential routing issues if you wish to further seek out solutions. However, keep in mind that ping is just a snapshot of latency, and the root cause of the problem may not always be apparent despite the test done.
player-max-send-rateisnt always better. Please perform your own testing and come out with a set of value that works for your server.
chunk-system: gen-parallelism: default io-threads: -1 worker-threads: -1
With the introduction of chunk rewrite patch, these options are provided for server owners to fine tune the new chunk system to their needs.
Please note that the
default value is likely to be the most optimal option for the majority of servers. It is crucial not to overallocate workers as it may negatively impact server performance.
The chunk rewrite patch removes many age-old issues related to Vanilla system with an improved pipeline and alocates CPU resources for both chunk load and generations more efficiently. Chunk rewrite patch details can be found here
If you have any question, please visit Paper discord for futher assistance if needed.
just remember that the chunk system is mostly a stepping stone for other certain changes - The Rat King Spottedleaf
logging: 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
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: author: 8192 page: 16384 title: 8192 book-size: page-max: 2560 total-multiplier: 0.98 display-name: 8192 lore-line: 8192 resolve-selectors-in-books: false
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).
The value of
page-max is in bytes. It is safe to reduce the it by half or more to your liking (I.E.
Additionally, you can utilize a plugin to ban non-ASCII characters in a book which is listed in Quality of Life Plugins & Tools
All default config will now be stored inside
config folder on your Minecraft root folder.
The per-world config can now be defined in
paper-world.yml located in
paper-world.yml (The default file is empty)
Paper allows you to enforce a custom set of config in
paper-world.yml to overwrite the default value in the
paper-world-defaults.yml such as mob caps.
paper-world.yml file is located inside each of your world folders.
The following section serves as an example to help you virtualize the file structures...
Minecraft root folder/config/paper-world-defaults.yml spawn-limits: monster: 70 creature: 10 ambient: 15 axolotls: 5 underground_water_creature: 5 water_creature: 5 water_ambient: 20 /world_nether/paper-world.yml spawn-limits: monster: 80 creature: -1 ambient: -1 axolotls: -1 underground_water_creature: -1 water_creature: -1 water_ambient: -1 /resource_world/paper-world.yml spawn-limits: monster: 5 creature: 30 ambient: -1 axolotls: 10 underground_water_creature: -1 water_creature: -1 water_ambient: -1 keep-spawn-loaded: false
In the above example, by having a lower monster value in
resource_world and have
keep-spawn-loaded as false, you just made the resource world a bit safer for miners and also reduced the overhead on the server by not keeping the spawn chunks loaded because they are not actively being used.
Click here to expand for additional notes...
Paper uses proper category names 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, they 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.
Make sure the indentation is correct in 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 built-in Anti-Xray🔗
Paper has an efficient built-in anti-xray option to combat basic client-side resoruce pack to see hidden ores.
if you do choice to enable this feature, please follow the below post carefully.
engine mode 1 provides the most basic protection while leaving ores exposed to air untouched.
engine mode 2 & 3 works by obscures the views by presenting fake ores to client.
Please note that 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. Certain players may recieve higher than normal pings on login or dimension-switching, please see the tips below for an alternative.
Can people bypass these anti-xray feature?
Without going into too many technical details, with enough effort, people may still be able to bypass the anti-xray feature due to how the Minecraft client processes the information around a player. It is still possible to bypass the anti-xray measures provided above.
Alternative Methods to prevent xrays
Method 1 - RayTraceAntiXray Plugin
If you have spare CPU threads available on your server, consider stonar96's RayTraceAntiXray addon. It provides unpassable solution with additional resource usage.
Method 2 - Manual staff audit
By combining the usage of OreAnnouncer and the preview feature from CoreProtect, staff members can audit a player's mining tunnel and easily determine if they are cheating or not (by looking for signs of unusual tunnel layouts and checking if the ores were visible to them). This method, although manual, is 100% effective and requires zero additional resources. It is likely the ideal solution for small or friendly servers.
There are many things I left out and that is not without a reason. Those other settings often introduce too much gameplay compromises or only have minimum performance improvements on a majority of small-to-medium size server. For a full list of available configs, check out the official PaperMC Documentation.
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 compromises is the hard ceiling. At that point, impose a reasonable max player limit on the server and start thinking about network expansions with multiple servers) and congratulation on your achievement!
Performance Diagnostic Tools🔗
If you require help, it is handy to have a Spark report that captured the performance issue ready for the helpers in Paper community to assist with your performance issues.
Click me for how to generating a meaningful report...
Avoid generating diagnostic report right after server startup as the data will be skewed.
- Allow Spark to be recorded for a set duration
(The minimum recommended is 5 minutes)
- The ideal time to generate a report is during the peak player activities or during the period of time when the server is lagging
- Set a proper threshold-tick in milliseconds to capture and isolate only huge lag spikes and reduce data noise.
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 refer 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 dependant on your CPU, not RAM.
A majority of servers will be fine with
10GB allocated regardless of player/plugin count. Any host who claims more RAM would increase your server performance is trying to upsell you for their own profit gains. Do not fall for this trap.
RAM usage is not an indication of performance issues.
RAM usage reading gathered from panels/htop is very much meaningless on a properly setup JVM. Instead, monitor your GC intervals and durations for potential issues.
High memory usage =/= Memory leak
It may be a symptom of a memory leak but is not necessarily 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 programs to troubleshoot the issue. You can also seek help in the 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, players 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 databases etc.
It is recommended to have at least
4 threads/cores for most servers. If you are shopping for a host, please take this into consideration and select your plan accordingly. A lot of the budget hosting plan is borderline unusable.
JVM Flags (A Must Have)🔗
You should always opt to use Aikar's optimized JVM flags for your Minecraft server.
Generate a startup script with Aikar's flag with flags.sh here
Ensure that Xms=Xmx. This allows the JVM to take full control of the allocate RAM and is beneficial to performance.
(I will personally fight any host that suggests otherwise. Setting xmx=xms hinders a host's ability to host more servers into a physical machine and cuts into their profit margins. See hosting suggestions below for more info)
What about other GC such as ZGC or Shenandoah?
In regards to ZGC, Krusic has a fantastic blogpost if you'd like to dig deeper.
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 their claims.
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!
Having a backup and recovery plan in place is essential.
Unexpected crashes or improper shutdowns could cause world corruption or data lose 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 is a good as no backup.
- When possible, backup on OS level (avoid using Minecraft plugins for backups)
The simplest way is to stop the server manually and create a tarball or zips...
tar -czvf backup_date.tar.gz /[path]/ on Linux.
Right Click Minecraft root folder>
Compressed (zipped) folder on Windows.
Quality of Life Plugins & Tools🔗
Here is my personally curated list of plugins where it may be beneficial for every server to have them.
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.
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 is a family of plugins that provide you with several essential features for your server.
A lightweight bridge plugin
that brings your MC drama from in-game chat to Discord.
World pre-generation plugin.
Worldborder plugin with more features than vanilla worldborder.
A support ticket system to manage your server drama.
A simple plugin to display entity locations on the server.
A helpful tool to locate problematic entities and illegal villager orgy parties.
Vanish No Packet
Allows you to vanish with style. It's free and open source.
Allows you to open any player inventory, even if they are not currently online.
Customize MOTD and server icons.
The original™ TPS bar integration with pretty RGB color.
Powerful and fully customizable announcer plugin.
Adds the ability to customize the wandering trader loot table.
A simple plugin to disable RaidFarm.
Enable/disable maintenance mode.
Modern protection solution for individual blocks and entities.
Vanillatweaks datapack but as a plugin.
The only tree faller / fast leaf decay plugin that doesnt take the server down with it.
The classic world edit plugin.
The classic Anti-grief plugin.
The solution to overpopulated farms.
Similar to Farm Control mentioned above. (You will only need one or the other)
An anti-redstone griefing and block limitor plugin.
An useful tool to locate potential lag machine.
A must-have profiler plugin that provides you with more insights on server performance.
A temporary flight management plugin.
A map plugin that provides a 3D render of your server.
A lightweight Vanilla-themed 2D map with fast render speed that is also highly optimized.
ViaVersion (also known as ViaVersion)
A 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.
A feature-rich metrics collection plugin for Minecraft server made by a weeb.
A hologram plugin that does not put a hole in server performance.
A simple plugin to reduce villager lag without breaking restocking mechanic.
A simple plugin to disallow non-ASCII characters in books, thus preventing bookban exploits.
A grief management plugin.
An alternative to anti-xray, this plugin notifies you on blocks mined.
A random teleport plugin.
Simple chest shop plugin.
Community-made Plugins Designed to Address Particular Issues.
Custom World Generation Tools
A feature packed custom world generation datapack that works well with Paper.
Useful External Tools
An all-in-one tool for editing Minecraft world with powerful features.
A collection of useful tools for server admins such as Yaml validator, and chat format convertor.
A modern Minecraft world editor that allows external edits of your world.
Web NBT Editor
A simple tool to view and edit NBT files.
World Size Calculator
A tool to estimate the file size of a given world.
Chunker Bedrock/JAVA world converter
An experimental tool to convert your world between the two version.
Moreover, there are client side mods that aim to improve the Vanilla gameplay experience and are highly recommended for players who may want to have the best gameplay experience 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 plugins
Fix the root cause of the performance problem instead of masking it.
Plugins such as ClearLagg or EntityTrackerFixer (ETF) introduce gameplay inconsistencies, create unnecessary work 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 spawners are 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 datapacks 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, builtbybit, 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.
Practice your due diligence to audit the codebase or the developer to ensure the resource you get is clean. Websites mentioned above often contains poorly made resources, tinted (contains backdoors) or outright illegal/stolen codes due to a combination of poor moderations and sometimes outright shady companies.
To take it lightly, your server may take a huge performance hit by poorly-made plugins, or worse be invaded by griefers via built-in backdoors, even worse, your server itself may be taken over for other malicious activities.
Obtain your plugins only from reputable sites such as GitHub or Modrinth.
Do NOT auto-update your Paper.jar
The Paper development cycle does not include a proper release/beta versioning scheme so occasionally a bad build may slip through the cracks on to release. Automation provides convenience but you should not blindly download the latest Paper jar for use in any production environment.
Do NOT use anti-Fabric plugin
A growing number of server owners have the misguided idea that blocking non-Vanilla clients will reduce the amount of cheaters in the server. This is completely false. Majority of Fabric client users are after the optimization mods the eco system provides. By using plugin such as gProtector or Advanced Security, you are not only blocking legitmate players but also allowing the cheaters and dishonest hacked clients to run freely in your server due to the fact that any competent cheat developer will disguise their client as Vanilla. As a result, using anti-Fabric plugin will only harm your own community in the end.
Anti-cheat plugin is NOT a must
The best anti-cheat is a mature community. Catching the cheaters is a cat and mouse game and an on-going arm race between the anti-cheat and the hack client developers. There is not a singular plugin, paid or not, that would catch them all and never will be due to the sheer amount of things Minecraft just "trust the client." Focus on the community building aspect and create an envioment where cheaters are outed and casted away from the community combined with an active staff audits will always be the most effective way of moderating your server and keeping the game fair for everyone.
Avoid using plugins to disable chat report feature
There had been concerns around the newly implmented chat report features in the recent Minecraft versions. The bogus amount of misinformation and crazy conspiracy theory around it was very concerning; thanksfuly, a few months has passed and there had been no report of any severe issue and most of the concerns around it is either debunked or proven to be outright false infromation. With that being said, there are a few plugins on the market claiming to disable this safety feature; however, some of them are implmented badly and could cause potential issues on your server. If you do choose to go against this advice and still want to disable chat report, the only somewhat decently made chat report disabling plugin is FreedomChat. Please avoid using anything else.
The chat reporting feature is designed to keep your player base safe from the worse offenders of the community. It is important to educate yourself as a server owner and not fall for the misinformation and understand that going out of your way to disalbe chat report feature is a net negative to your community.
Here is a general checklist that you can utilize when picking a quality server host
- CPU model is labelled clearly on the plan.
(I personally wouldnt settle for for anything older than AMD Ryzen 3900)
- The host honors "Aikar's Flags" by default and allow you to set your
(Ask your potential host candidates about this, if they don't know what Aikar's Flag is, run and run fast, additional explanation is located below under premium host)
- The host has publicly available node status for system resource usage.
If a host matches all above requirements, it will be a decent one!
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 input
There are several available options when it comes to hosting a Minecraft servers.
Please read and understand the limitations of different setup below by clicking each category.
Dedicated Server (Baremetal)
Premium Shared Host
A managed service where you are sharing resources with other Minecraft servers
You are welcome to ask in the Paper Discord for recommendation from the community.
Ideal for medium size communities (5~50 players) on select plans.
Try your best to find hosts that allow you to 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 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.
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 after 60 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.
Virtual Private Server
It may sound like a good deal on paper but VPS are often not as great of value as the above mentioned Shared Host, as the hardware tends 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.
A cheaper alternative of shared host with much lower performance.
Similar to shared hosts 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 types 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 uneducated users and here are 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 a discount deal all year round.
- If Xms=128M is present in your JVM flags
(You can locate this info on the Spark report or server panel)
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 overcrowded 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 servers peaks. Majority of the summer host will disappear or become inactive once the demand declines, only to be resurrected next year with a brand new name.
If you are not paying for the product you are the product
Through clever marketing, some hosting companies are able to offer free servers with very limited resources to everyone.
They profit from the massive amount of user base they hold and outsource the risk of starting a server to those who dare to pay them for premium plans. Some have advertisements on their panels or inside your servers.
Free hosts 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.
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.
Ideal for a private group of close friends. (heavily dependent on your hardware)
A perfect solution for those who prefer pain and suffering. In truth, A Raspberry Pi is just not powerful enough to run on modern Minecraft version without making tons of gameplay compromises.
Ideal for a small community with less than 5 concurrent players online.
Domain and Service Record (SRV)🔗
If you own a domain, you can set up an A record and 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
To do this, you will need an
A record and a
In this scenario
www.yourdomain.com is your domain and you want to create
mc.yourdomain.com as your server address instead of
Step 1: Create an
A record that points the hostname
mc.yourdomain.com to your server's public IP address.
Step 2: Create a
SRV record with the hostname
There will be options to set up
You will set them as
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)
Some ISP DNS do not honor
SRV record, so your mileage may vary if you choose to run on non-standard
Advanced tips: A CNAME record can be used to point to your existing domain A record instead if you do not wish to deal with the protential IP changes later down the road.
Wow you made it this far, I hope you did not skip anything. The original idea of this guide was to make it as simple as possible for beginners who are just stepping their foot into 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 contact me via Discord @EterNity, or by email
Do you own a small-scale community? Do you run a Vanilla-like Minecraft server and worry about the behavioral changes from CraftBukkit/Paper? Check out the post below!