If you’re a Minecraft player looking to play with your friends online anywhere around the world, you are probably considering whether to buy Minecraft Realms, or make your own server from scratch.
Is it worth to spend 7.99$ on Minecraft Realms rather than hosting your own server for free on a personal PC, or paying for a virtual private server host (VPS)?
In this article, we will discuss what is Minecraft Realms, the pros and cons, from the limits to the benefits of what a Realm or Non-Realm server has to offer.
What are Minecraft Realms?
A Minecraft Realm server is a multi-player feature created by Mojang that allows subscription-based server hosting requiring only for the owner to pay $7.99 a month recurring (the cheapest plan and worth it for the price) to keep the server running.
Realms is an invitation-only server where the owner is the only one permitted to invite people to join his/her Realm server by inputting the players in-game username.
Before we get started, the available Plans for Minecraft realms is as follows:
- Recurring subscription: $7.99/monthly.
- One-time charge: $9.99 for 30 days
- One-time charge: $26.99 for 90 days
- One-time charge: $47.99 for 180 days
If you are considering to pay for a Minecraft Realm server, the $7.99 plan would be the best deal out of the rest but it entirely depends on you in what you want to do with your friends and what plan you think is more convenient for you.
But there are several key things to keep in mind in what a Realm server offers before buying:
- Only up to 10 players/friends can join your Realm server (11 including you)
- Minecraft Realms offers a minigame feature when creating or changing your Realm world. Different types of minigames to play with your friends.
- It is always online, 24/7 uptime. You and your friends can connect anytime.
You can rent a Realm server for the Bedrock Edition (Pocket Edition) or Java Edition of Minecraft.
If you want to test Minecraft Realms out for free, there will be a 30-day free trial upon first activation.
The 30-day count starts on the day you activate the trial or order the Realm server.
The Benefits of a Minecraft Realm server is that it’s just right there, no need to setup any files, or get yourself involved with anything technical related, just order a Realm server and it is immediately accessible for you to play vanilla Minecraft online with your friends, just setup the world like how you would with a Single-player world.
Minecraft Realms is considerably cheaper compared to a decent VPS host, or is easier to do than creating a non-realm server from scratch and self-host it on your PC.
If you are the type of person that doesn’t have all the time in the world to learn and setup a server, then a Realm server is just a second a way to start-up to immediately connect and play.
A bonus fun-feature that comes with a Realm server is that they have a selection of minigames that you can choose when creating or changing your Realm world, there is a decent selection of minigames in which some of them being quite fun to play with friends.
It’s simply there for added content upon purchasing a Realm server, it’s something that you wouldn’t really use every day, but it’s there for you try anyway.
To get started, Minecraft Realms is very limited compared to what a Non-Realm server can do for you.
Major things that a Minecraft Realm server can’t do is:
- Creating a Modded, plugin or both Minecraft server
Realm servers don’t cater to the Minecraft players who want to play their favorite Minecraft Mod packs with friends or other players, so you would need to make an actual server and install the Mod packs yourself, and anyone with the Mod pack installed can join.
Minecraft plugins are also a highly demanded feature for people on the business side, as you would need plugins to achieve certain functions to make a stable public server, for example: Ranks, Donations, Grief protection, Anti-hack or access to a variety of more popular mini-games like the Minecraft Hunger Games.
- Public Server Hosting for a private community.
Paying for a Virtual Private Server is another option to go with, though more costly depending on your needs, if you are looking to create a Minecraft server for a big online community or make it your overall potential business, then paying for a VPS would be a bit pricey but beneficial for that need.
As more mods, plugins or players that join the server increases, the server requirements in order to support that demand doubles and a Realm server isn’t made for that purpose.
- Larger player slots
Realm servers only allow a limited capacity of 11 players to join at the same time, including you.
So, if by any chance you’re seeking to have more than just 11 players to join the server at once, then you can do that by creating a non-realm server and configuring it in the server files.
- The ability to fully customize a lot of things in your server:
The ability to fully customize a Minecraft server of course is the Mods, plugins, the player capacity, server aesthetics and just the overall technical side to fully utilize your server and customize anything gameplay related that a Realm server can’t do because Realms is purely vanilla Minecraft aside from their added official Minigame modes.
Making a non-realm server is entirely free, aside from renting a VPS.
People nowadays do have the required PC specification and internet connection to make their own private server for a few friends to join in without demanding a lot of resources from the Host’s PC.
If you would like to make a private server just for friends to play vanilla Minecraft survival with then Realms would be the best option to serve that purpose.
But, depending on what you want to do with your server to play with your friends, Realms isn’t just cutout in achieving what a non-realm server can do.
Mods, plugins or larger player slots would likely increase the requirement to host a stable server and a VPS company would charge a bit more on the recommended server package for that requirement but that is basically for those needs mentioned.
Realms is only convenient to provide immediate access to online vanilla Minecraft to privately play with friends around the world but again, if you want to simply do more that goes beyond vanilla Minecraft, making your own Non-Realm server is the best way to go.