Playing Minecraft alone can be fun, but it is even better with friends. The easiest way for kids to play with their friends is to purchase a private server, an affordable alternative to gathering at one house with friends. These servers enable players to use custom maps, plugins and even create their own forum websites. In addition to letting players join together from anywhere in the world, owning a server can provide young players with valuable lessons in administration and networking.
Private servers provide players with high-end hardware for hosting at a low cost. They utilize advanced automation and web interfaces to make the setup and maintenance processes as easy as possible. Servers may also come with added benefits, such as free voice chat or forum website hosting. Most hosts also keep their servers running 24/7, so players can connect regardless of the owner’s availability. Lastly, these servers typically have extensive security measures in place to keep hackers and other mischievous users at bay. This added security makes a private server a much safer option than trying to host the came on your home computer.
Using the online control panels offered by nearly every host, parents and children alike can restrict server access to certain users. Through the process of “whitelisting”, servers can be isolated only to allow certain friends to join, easily keeping away other unwanted players. Once this is done, kids can play Minecraft together from anywhere in the world. As a bonus, playing the game on a private server can give long distance parents another opportunity to interact with the kids even when they are away.
Some of the features offered by server hosts provide children with options not otherwise found in-game. Plugins and maps can let players enjoy hundreds of new game modes, including those found on the most popular public servers. Other plugins enhance the default experience rather than replace it, adding items, blocks, and structures designed to fit seamlessly with the rest of the game. Other hosting features, such as live maps and voice chat, can make all modes of the game even more in-depth.
Kids may best enjoy the ability to build fantasy worlds to their own specifications. They become the lords and ladies of their own domains, able to rule with an iron fist or a gentle hand of friendship. When they grow bored, they can change their world to something new and exciting. And as they build and create society rules, they are learning how to interact with others, strategically plan for the survival of their players, and how to balance creativity with functionality.
Despite the simplicity of setting up a private server, it can still be a fulfilling project. Kids get to learn first-hand how server hosting works. By installing mods and maps, they learn how to properly use software extensions. Curiosity regarding the IP address of their server could lead to a self-guided lesson in low-level computer networking. Interest in how plugins work may encourage kids to learn how to program one themselves. And as is common in Minecraft, kids can explore new worlds, create amazing structures, and enjoy countless other activities — alone or with friends, thanks to private servers.
Consider a private server for your kids. The cost is immaterial compared to the hours of fun and education to be had in the safety of your own home, where you can monitor their play and make sure they stay safe. In the end, you children will thank you, and you may find you too are a part-time gamer as you discover all the possibilities to be enjoyed within the game.