The best Minecraft servers to explore and play

The best Minecraft servers are ones that offer a unique experiences and ridiculous fun. Depending on what kind of Minecraft player you are, that could be through tense PvP action, team games, exploring a lovingly crafted world, or trying to capture pocket monsters and become a master trainer. Thanks to the tireless work of devoted fans, we highly recommend that you take a look at these superb servers that offer a variety of multiplayer game modes and recreations of GTA, Harry Potter, Pokemon, and a whole lot more. If you want to know what some of the best Minecraft servers out there are, and how you can join them, we’ve got all the information you need below!

How to access the best Minecraft servers on PC with Java Edition

Minecraft

(Image credit: Mojang)

If you’ve found a server that you like the look of, you’ll need to grab the IP address for it – for all the servers listed below, we’ve included the relevant addresses to help you out! Boot up Minecraft, open the Multiplayer menu, and then click “Add Server”. Just paste the address of the server you want add into that bar, name the server, and hit done. You’ll now find the server you added in your server list, so you can select it and join in to play whenever.

If you want to host your own server, there are lots of tutorials elsewhere online that will sort you out. You can easily create LAN servers for free, pay for a private third-party server, or subscribe to Minecraft Realms to get private online worlds for you and some friends. A Realms subscription is a great alterative to custom servers for console players but it is also available on PC and mobile – you get access to a whole host of Minecraft Marketplace content too, including texture packs, skins, and customized worlds.

While Minecraft Bedrock Edition players can also access custom servers on any platform (although it is very finnicky on consoles), the servers below are for Java Edition only. This means that they are only compatible for Minecraft players with the Java Edition of the game on PC, Mac, and Linux.

Hypixel

Best Minecraft servers

(Image credit: Mojang)

Host name: mc.hypixel.net

There’s a reason why Hypixel is so popular. This custom server is absolutely packed with minigames and is one of the biggest Minecraft servers out there. With 30-40,000 active players at any one time, there’s a plethora of things to do, from PvP matches like Ultra Hardcore and Bed Wars, to more peaceful variants such as Build Wars and Skyblock – Hypixel certainly has something for everyone.

Pixelmon Reforged

Best Minecraft servers

Minecraft Forge

Minecraft forge

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you want to try certain mods and servers, you may need Minecraft Forge

Host name: sm.mc-complex.com

The Pixelmon mod has grown into a huge phenomenon for Minecraft players, so naturally there are loads of dedicated Pixelmon servers and servers that host Pixelmon worlds as well as lots of others. The above address will take you to just one server that runs it’s own Pixelmon Reforged world, but there are plenty of others out there too, so it might be worth have a peek at a few to see which one is best for you. You can even install Pixelmon Reforged (opens in new tab). As you’d expect from a Pokemon mod, there are Gym Leaders to fight, PokeMarts to shop in, and, most importantly, lots of Pokemon to catch! It’s probably as close to a Pokemon MMO we’ll get and definitely worth checking out if you want to be the very best.

Best Minecraft servers: Grand Theft Minecart 

Best Minecraft servers

Host name: org.gtm.network

If one video-game behemoth modded into Minecraft wasn’t enough, you can also try a Grand Theft Auto-inspired server called called Grand Theft Minecart. Don’t let the fact that this Minecraft fool you into thinking GTM (opens in new tab) hasn’t got (gold-plated) teeth though. You can roam the blocky streets of MineSantos and use 48 custom weapons, pilot an array of vehicles, and even join gangs to up your criminal reputation. There’s plenty to make sure Grand Theft Minecart feels like a lawless jaunt down to Los Santos.

Minecraft Middle-earth

Best Minecraft servers

Host name: build.mcmiddleearth.com

If you’re looking for a painstaking recreation of Tolkien’s fantasy world masterwork, then this is definitely the Minecraft server for you. Minecraft Middle-Earth (opens in new tab) has been running since 2010 and still isn’t finished, but you’ll be able to explore some key locations from the world of Middle-Earth that were realized in Percy Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films. Think of it as a nice sightseeing trip as you wander the Shire, venture to Isengard, or delve into the depths of Moria. While exploration is perfectly fine, you can even aid with construction if you follow the rules and can prove you’ve got the skills. Do note that this is a build server and the map cannot be downloaded and is exclusive to this server. 

The Archon

Host name: pvp.TheArchon.net

While ‘The Archon’ might sound like a vaguely intimidating name for a Minecraft server, it’s actually a big, PvP-focused server with several different game modes. This long-running server will allow you to join other players in matches of consisting of a few multiplayer game modes including Skyblock, base-building team games like Factions and Outlands, and a unique mode called Robbery which, unsurprisingly, tasks you with robbing items and avoiding the eyes of patrolling guards. Hop in and see what fun The Archon (opens in new tab) offers.

Best Minecraft servers: WesterosCraft

Best Minecraft servers

Host name: mc.westeroscraft.com 

Game of Thrones x Minecraft, anyone? If you’re more of a GRR fan than a JRR one, you’ll definitely want to look at the Minecraft-ified continent of Westeros as it’s presented in the Game of Thrones show. WesterosCraft (opens in new tab) is another massive community construction project, much like Minecraft Middle-Earth, and features hundreds of recreations of major locations from the TV series, from the Red Keep at King’s Landing to the Wall. This is another server that’s still being built, but seeing what they’ve created so far is often breath-taking, and if you want to get involved with the ongoing creation you absolutely can. Or just marvel in the wonder. 

Best Minecraft servers: Potterworld MC

Best Minecraft servers

(Image credit: Mojang)

Host name: play.potterworldmc.com

When authenticity is the name of the game, you know a Minecraft server based on Harry Potter’s universe is going to have it in spades. Much like the other servers that ape AAA counterparts, Potterworld MC (opens in new tab) is an absolute stunning piece of work, from Hogwarts itself to Platform 9 ¾ and Diagon Alley. The actual gameplay lets you become a wizard, attend classes, duel other wizards and witches, play quidditch and more thanks to events and minigames. It’s a seriously impressive feat. Even Dumbledore would be impressed. 

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