The best Minecraft servers 2023

Venture into our top Minecraft servers to discover a galaxy of new and exciting multiplayer worlds that are free to join right now in 2023.

A blocky character leans against their colourful market stall.,

What are the best Minecraft servers? We’ve jumped into some of the many multiplayer servers around to find the best, friendliest, and most fun of them all. Joining any one of the varied Minecraft servers in this list will invite you into a magical world full of like-minded fans, builders, redstone masters, and survival experts. Minecraft worlds are infinite, so what better than sharing one with others?

While vanilla, single-player Minecraft is still one of the best games ever, there’s nothing better than jumping into a world with friends and creating a world together. The servers below aren’t just for builders, though, and there’s something for you whether you want Minecraft mods, parkour, PVP, or a number of other things. So, dive into the expansive world of multiplayer with these incredible Minecraft servers, or head to the bottom of the list if you need to know about hosting your own Minecraft server.

Here is a list of the best Minecraft servers to join in 2023:

Best Minecraft servers - MCC Island: a speedboard rushes towards MCC island, which is covered in brightly coloured buildings housing minigames.

MCC Island

Server IP address: play.mccisland.net
Game modes: Minigames, Parkour

MCC, or Minecraft Championship, is a well-known event in the Minecraft community, bringing YouTubers together to compete in a series of PvP and parkour minigames. Created by NoxCrew – the iconic makers of some of the best Minecraft maps – the competition and its world, puzzles, and games, are gloriously built. While you might not be able to participate alongside your favorite content creators in the event itself, you can join MCC Island, a multiplayer server featuring MCC minigames and more.

Following a closed beta period, MCC Island is now available for everyone in open early access, and all you need to do to join is enter the IP address into your Minecraft multiplayer section, ensuring you are in version 1.19.4+.

Best Minecraft Servers - Complex Gaming: The Complex Pixelmon home page load screen, featuring Lapras and other water and ice pokemon.

Complex Gaming

Server IP address: hub.mc-complex.com
Game modes: Pixelmon, Skyblock, Factions, Prison, Hunger Games, Survival, Creative, Minigames

Complex Gaming is another very popular Minecraft server with a great variety of game modes, including survival, PvP, and PvE. While the hunger games, skyblock mode, and the spectacular creative realm come highly recommended, Complex Gaming – like Pixelmoncraft above – also has a version of Pixelmon, which is especially popular, allowing you to catch and trade hundreds of Pokemon.

To enable some of these game modes, including Pixelmon, you first need to install a modpack. Although this takes a little more effort, it also means that whenever you don’t feel like joining the multiplayer server, you can still play Pixelmon in solo mode. If you’re looking for an epic environment to catch your first Pixelmon, try using our list of the best Minecraft seeds.

Best Minecraft servers: a pirate harbour surrounded by leafy green trees in Manacube.

Manacube

Server IP address: play.manacube.com
Game modes: Parkour, Survival, PvP, Creative, Skyblock, Factions, Prison

Manacube is one of the only large Minecraft factions servers with minimal ‘pay to win’ elements, thanks to its recently balanced shop. It’s also got a vast Minecraft Skyblock server, plus survival, parkour, and creative servers.

Manacube is especially well-known for its excellent parkour gameplay. If you’re looking for something a little different, its Islands game mode tasks you with surviving on a mostly-submerged island – while staying away from the poisonous water. Or there’s Olympus, a prison-based server where you’re assigned your own personal plots of land, ranking up as you make money, gaining access to new, more profitable areas.

Best Minecraft servers: a sprawling island of mushrooms in the Hypixel server.

Hypixel

Server IP address: mc.hypixel.net
Game modes: Minigames, Sky Wars, Hunger Games, Hardcore, Parkour

No list of the best Minecraft servers is complete without the largest and most famous one: Hypixel. Hypixel is still the most popular Minecraft server in 2023, undoubtedly thanks to its many game modes, including Cops and Crims, Duels, and a Murder Mystery.

Their SkyWars game mode is a precarious PvP take on the classic Minecraft Skyblock server. There’s a dazzling variety here, making the Hypixel Minecraft server a great place to laugh with your blocky pals.

Best Minecraft servers: Mineplex Sky Wars, with zombie guardians stood around.

Mineplex

Server IP address: eu.mineplex.com or us.mineplex.com
Game modes:
Minigames, Survival, Sky Wars

Mineplex is an enormous Minecraft server platform, containing multiple arenas and zones for a hefty number of game types. Mineplex is populated by thousands of players at any time across a plethora of minigames and experiences.

From the usual survival games fare – inspired by the battle royale genre – to more unique experiences such as Cake Wars, where you must defend your cake from the hungry foes on the enemy team, all while trying to scoff their cake at the same time. There’s also MineStrike, which is a Minecraft take on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive; one team tries to plant the bomb on one of two designated sites while the other team defends them.

Mineplex has something for everyone, including a slightly stripped-back Bedrock version of the server if you’re not playing on Java.

Best Minecraft servers: Gen IX Pokemon Sprigatito appears in the Minecraft world thanks to the Pixelmoncraft server.

PixelmonCraft

Server IP address: play.pixelmoncraft.com
Game modes: Pixelmon, Role-playing

The Pixelmon mod is one of our favorite Minecraft mods, and the only thing that could make it better? Multiplayer, of course! PixelmonCraft is just that and is hands down one of the best Minecraft servers ever. It takes the popular Pokémon-themed Pixelmon mod and turns it into a  multiplayer experience.

Not only have the geniuses behind PixelmonCraft recreated the areas and towns of Pokémon games faithfully, but they have also replicated as much of the gameplay as possible. Animals in Minecraft are replaced with Pokémon, and they can be caught and used in battle. As you would expect, there are gym leaders to fight, Pokémarts to shop in, and long grass to avoid. Don’t forget to choose the right Minecraft skins to wear into any of these servers, and our list includes the perfect Ash Ketchum skin for PixelmonCraft.

This server proves Minecraft’s blocky beauty is the perfect home for the Pokémon games, and it feels like the Pokémon game for PC you always wanted.

A colourful cast of blocky characters populate a grey stone hub area.

HiveMC

Server IP address: Bedrock only
Game modes:
Minigames

As one of the largest and best Minecraft bedrock servers around, there will always be something fun for you to do in HiveMC. From hide and seek to survival games, HiveMC covers all sorts of genres. What’s more, this highly engaged community is coming up with new minigames – and maps to house them – all the time. To stay up to date with all the latest updates, check out their website. Sadly, HiveMC is no longer available in the Minecraft Java edition.

A colorful view from above of one of the best Minecraft servers, OPBlocks.

OPBlocks

Server IP address: sm.opblocks.com
Game modes: Prison, Skyblock, Creative, Survival, Pixelmon, Oneblock, Factions, Earth, Bedrock

With an impressive 4.9 star rating from over 5,000 votes and a reputation for quality, OPBlocks is one of the best places to go for its supported game modes. It’s especially proud of its friendly and carefully maintained community, with “no toxicity allowed”, and assiduous staff who keep the game current: it supports the latest Minecraft version, 1.20, and refreshes its own games with new unique content and major gameplay updates on a rolling seasonal basis. It even has a battlepass and an online store.

A view of the entrance to Insanity Craft, one of the best Minecraft servers, with the server name biult in Minecraft blocks in the sky.

InsanityCraft

Server IP address: sm.insanitycraft.net
Game modes: Survival, Skyblock, Factions, SMP, Lifesteal, Prison, Crossplay, PvP, Pixelmon, Bedrock

Purportedly one of the oldest and largest Minecraft networks in the world, InsanityCraft has been running since 2012. It offers many games and game modes, but is most famous for Factions, Survival (SMP), and Skyblock. It runs frequent events in all of these and has made plenty of thoughtful quality-of-life tweaks to enhance the fun, such as custom classes and a large number of commands and plugins. Its website has an online store selling cosmetics and in-game upgrades, and also offers a handy Wiki to get you up to speed on how the server runs each game.

A horizon of Minecraft skyscraper buildings one a backdrop of a realistic sky in one of the best Minecraft servers, Vortex Network.

Vortex Network

Server IP address: sm.vortexnetwork.net
Game modes: Prison, Skyblock, Survival, Pixelmon

Vortex is a well-supported server network that regularly sees around 2,000 concurrent players. Its core game modes are Prison, Skyblock, Survival, and Pixelmon, all of which receive regular updates and unique content. The distinctive selling point of the Vortex Network, however, is its space theme: its users are called astronauts and its custom maps and assets are typically based among the stars, in impressive space stations and star cruisers. Look no further if you’re after a cosmic twist and high-quality support for these game modes.

A pathway into DonutSMP, one of the best Minecraft servers, with five colored pillars at the end.

DonutSMP

Server IP address: donutsmp.net
Game modes: Vanilla Minecraft, Survival (SMP)

DonutSMP bills itself as a ‘hardcore’ Minecraft server in which the focus has always been on survival multiplayer, or SMP. The goal in such servers is to become the wealthiest player on the server, but beyond this the rules can vary widely. In DonutSMP’s hardcore case, the rules are minimal: griefing, stealing, and killing are all allowed, and just to raise the stakes, if you die, there’s a time limit before you can rejoin.

That’s not to say it’s total lawlessness, however – the website makes a number of stipulations to maintain a friendly community and to keep the socio-capitalist Darwinism fair, such as no hacks, abusing bugs, unfair UI advantages, and so on. Many multiplayer modes are supported, but DonutSMP earned its name for its stripped-back, vanilla Minecraft approach to the experience. If you just want to compete against others with no bells or whistles – and you back your combat skills – this is the place for you.

An image from one of the best Minecraft servers, Netherite, showing cute bunny armor, which gives the wearer 20% more money in-game.

Netherite

Server IP address: play.netherite.gg
Game modes: Survival, Lifesteal, Skyblock, with crossplay and Bedrock

Founded in 2022, Netherite is a new server that’s nonetheless making a splash, having racked up concurrent populations near 1,000 players. Priding itself on quality and innovation, its aim is to offer the best experience in its core games of Survival, Lifesteal, and Skyblock. It updates these games regularly, following a seasonal model, and is compatible with Minecraft version 1.20.

A snowy biome with a large penguin build and a wooden villa in one of the best Minecraft servers, Penguin.gg,

Penguin.GG

Server IP address: sm.penguin.gg
Game modes: Skyblock, Survival

Another rapidly up-and-coming new server network, Penguin.GG was launched in 2022 by Minecraft YouTuber SB737+ with a focus on delivering a quality version of the popular Skyblock game mode. Less than a year later, it regularly sees concurrent player populations around 1,300, and has now added Survival SMP to its offering. It’s well supported with many custom additions to its modes both in-game and out, including custom ranks and purchasable items via an online store.

Best Minecraft servers: towering red buildings against a blue sky in The Archon.

The Archon

Server IP address: play.thearchon.net
Game modes: Minigames, Skyblock, Factions, Prison

The Archon has a monumental population of players enjoying regularly updated Minecraft game modes – it’s one of the most popular Minecraft factions servers and Minecraft Skyblock servers, and it also offers robbery, prison, and outlands game modes.

Best Minecraft servers: An aerial view of the huge Minr map.

Minr

Server IP address: zero.minr.org
Game modes: Parkour, Minigames

Minr is one of the oldest Minecraft servers around, meaning there are years of content and builds to explore. Including a mix of parkour and adventure, Minr is filled with challenges for all difficulties that will keep you busy visit after visit.

Six very colourful square spacepeople stand in a line in Minecraft.

Among Us Performium

Server IP address: amongus.performium.net
Game modes: Among Us, Battle Royale

Minecraft and Among Us are two of the most popular games in the world right now, and since Minecraft has a wealth of creative possibilities – and Among Us has such an ingeniously simple formula – it was only a matter of time before the social deduction game found its way over to Minecraft.

Though there are Among Us Minecraft maps available to play with your friends, if you’d rather hop on a public server and play with the unsuspecting public, RGA Minecraft’s Among Us Server is open to all and requires no texture packs or mods to play, although it might look extra lovely with some Minecraft shaders.

The Among Us gameplay is cleverly recreated, with a boss health bar at the top showing your task progress and tasks themselves performed as faithfully as possible – you’ll plot courses and destroy debris inside chests, for example – and you’re even provided with a compass to help you find your outstanding tasks.

Best Minecraft servers: a man holding a gun in The Mining Dead.

The Mining Dead

Server IP address: hub.miningdead.com
Game modes: Survival, Role-playing, PvP

PvP and PvE combine in this server-wide recreation of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Fight, craft, and survive on the enormous map, fighting off walkers and other players alike. Much of the action plays out like a Minecraft version of DayZ, with players doing whatever it takes to make it out alive – a Minecraft survival server on a whole new scale. The Mining Dead also features key locations from TV series like The Prison, Woodbury, and Alexandria.

Best Minecraft servers: The military base area in the Grand Theft Minecart server world.

Grand Theft Minecart

Server IP address: gtm.network
Game modes: Role-playing, Survival, PvP

Grand Theft Minecart brings two of the biggest games on PC together: Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto. Not old enough to walk into a brick-and-mortar branch of GAME to let loose on Los Santos with Trevor and chums? With houses to own, weapons to shoot, and pesky policemen to evade, you can have a fantastic recreation of the GTA experience here – making this one of the best Minecraft servers out there.

Best Minecraft servers: two people clashing swords while a village is on fire in Minewind.

Minewind

Server IP address: server.minewind.com
Game modes: sSurvival, PvP, Hardcore, Minigames

Do not expect a particularly pleasant experience on the Minewind server. Instead, you get the ultimate playground for griefers, player-killing, and deception. Your goal is simple: try to survive for as long as possible – this is still Minecraft, after all – but you will also be up against endless Minecraft mobs, double-crossers, and killers.

Best Minecraft servers: An aerial shot of villages connected by a bridge in the Minecraft server Minescape.

Minescape

Server IP address: minescape.me
Game modes: Role-playing, Survival

RuneScape fans can now experience leveling their skills to 99 in Minecraft on this meticulously built Minecraft RPG server, designed to look and feel like one of the best free MMOs. Two years of tremendous effort have culminated in a very faithful reproduction of all the locations, mobs, and skills in RuneScape – Minescape has taken inspiration from both OSRS and RS3, so players of both should feel right at home.

Best Minecraft servers: a pirate ship sailing in dark waters in PirateCraft.

PirateCraft

Server IP address: mc.piratemc.com
Game modes: Role-playing, Survival, PvP

If you think our list of the best pirate games isn’t blocky enough, then Piratecraft is for you. Sail, build, and plunder in PirateCraft, a server dedicated to the golden age of scurvy and theft. One of the most ambitious servers we’ve played on, Piratecraft even has a fully-functioning ship-to-ship combat mechanic. As with all Minecraft ideas of such magnitude, it’s a little clunky, but it works. Ships can be built and sailed across the seas, and cannons can be mounted to the hull and used to blast away enemy vessels.

On land, a simple but functional economy replicates the trade and booty of the period, and players can create their own Minecraft houses, and Minecraft builds on ‘safe zones’ to bunk and store treasures. Safe Zones are protected from griefers, meaning you can build as much as you like without fear of others trashing your masterpieces.

Piratecraft’s salty setting makes it one of the building game‘s best roleplay servers. Of course, if you’re roleplaying a pirate, there’s going to be some grief involved, and provided the owner is in a Safe Zone, other players can siege them. Attackers can destroy ‘soft’ blocks and generally make a nuisance of themselves until they either walk away or the defender surrenders. Similarly, ships can be stolen, provided the owner is not on board at the time.  So if you’re looking for a PvP Minecraft server with a twist, this could be the buried treasure you seek.

Best Minecraft servers: Two guarding statues mark the former border of Gondor, built entirely from Minecraft blocks, in the Middle Earth server.

Minecraft Middle Earth

Server IP address: build.mcmiddleearth.com
Game modes: Creative

If ever there were a classic world that would inevitably end up immortalized in textured blocks, it was Tolkien’s Middle-earth. This as-yet incomplete project is primarily based on Peter Jackson’s cinematic vision of Middle-earth. You can help push forward with the building of the world of men, elves, and creatures of shorter stature, so long as you follow the rules. Easily one of the most ambitious Minecraft builds to date.

Best Minecraft servers: a view of Winterfell in WesterosCraft.

WesterosCraft

Server IP address: mc.westeroscraft.com
Game modes: Creative

If Middle-earth is our classic fantasy Minecraft server, then WesterosCraft is our modern great. From the Wall to The Red Keep at King’s Landing, WesterosCraft is a vast server with many of Game of Thrones’ landmarks recreated in astonishing detail. Most areas are built from the TV show designs, making much of this server like a trip inside HBO’s vision of the fantasy world. Kings Landing is especially awe-inspiring.

Like Minecraft Middle-earth, it is still a work in progress, with work currently being done to the Lannister bastion of Casterly Rock. Should you know your Winterfell from your Dreadfort, you can join in and help prop up the next house of death and tyranny.

Best Minecraft servers: several players riding horses in Ranch n Craft.

Ranch n Craft

Server IP address: mc.ranchncraft.com
Game modes: Role-playing, Survival, Economy, Minigames

Line dancing, horse taming, and farming: Ranch n Craft is one of the best Minecraft servers if you want to drop the shootouts and saloon brawls of other Wild West-themed servers and stick to the simplicities of country life. With tons of equestrian-based features unique to the server, it is ideal for Minecrafters who feel most at home in the saddle.

Users can claim land and start their own ranches, breed horses, and farm crops to their heart’s content. What’s more, Ranch n Craft is one of the most peaceful servers out there, with its mostly griefer-free community and an army of helpful moderators.

An image of the farm area in one of the best Minecraft servers, OPLegends, from the update trailer.

OPLegends

Server IP address: play.oplegends.com
Game modes: Prison, Skyblock, Role-playing

It’s no wonder OPLegends is as popular as it is when you consider that this is a crossplay Minecraft server, available on both Java and Bedrock editions, with Prison and Skyblock gameplay and regular game updates. If prison servers are your thing, then OPLegends is undoubtedly up there with the best, with new prisons maps on a regular basis, with their own themed activities. At the moment, you can experience prison is space, thanks to the server’s Neptune map. 

A top down view of a Minecraft server hosted on Minehut, featuring a castle and a water-covered base.

Minehut

Server IP address: mc.minehut.com
Game modes: Unlimited

Minehut isn’t a server per se, but rather a server provider that enables anyone to set up and customize their very own Minecraft server. This means you can find new servers operating any established game mode, from SMP and factions to roleplay and parkour, or pioneering entirely new ones. The IP address above will lead you to the Minehut lobby, where you can browse these many servers to find your latest flavor.

If you’ve got the itch to run your own game, Minehut operates a freemium model. The basic free server offers unlimited plugin slots – which is pretty cool – but has more restrictions elsewhere, with a max population of ten players and only 1GB of RAM to operate. It’s more of a way to experiment than anything else. If you’re serious about launching your server, you can upgrade it by purchasing one of Minehut’s payment plans. For those who might want to do so, the real advantage of the platform, or so say its providers, is visibility: they claim 250,000 users browse its lobby every month. Plenty more information is available on the Minehut website.

How do I join a Minecraft server?

To join a Minecraft server, first, find a server you like the sound of – like any of the ones mentioned above – and grab the IP address. Start the game, click ‘multiplayer’, then ‘add a server’. Next, pop the IP address into the ‘server address’ box and name the server anything you like – the latter is just how it appears in your list.

Now, make sure you click ‘done’ before heading back to your server list and finding your desired server. Hit the ‘join server’ button, and you will find yourself in a new, wonderful world of blocks and people who like said blocks. If you’d rather just start a new world with a few friends instead, check out our guide to Minecraft hosting.

How to join a Minecraft Bedrock server

Joining a Minecraft server in Bedrock edition is far simpler, but your choices are more limited. Upon launching the bedrock version of the game, scroll across from the ‘Worlds’ tab to the ‘Servers’ tab, where you will see the seven Bedrock edition servers available to you, including some of those above. You can jump in and out at will, so why not try them all?

Now you know all the best Minecraft servers for either Java or Bedrock edition, you’ll never get bored of the king of sandbox games – if there were possible in the first place. Not only is there plenty of non-vanilla content in the form of servers, maps, mods, and Minecraft texture packs to keep your world feeling fresh.

The vanilla game keeps getting regular content updates – the Minecraft 1.20 release date is finally here, further cementing Minecraft as one of the best PC games ever. You can find out more about Minecraft Sniffers and camels, as well as how to use the Minecraft brush when trying a bit of archaeology.

Additional contributions by Richard Scott-Jones