How to Play Minecraft Multiplayer Servers With Friends

Playing Minecraft with friends on multiplayer servers is an incredibly fun experience that allows you to collaborate on builds, go on adventures, and battle enemies together. Here is a guide on how to get started playing with your friends on both Java and Bedrock Edition Minecraft servers.

Joining an Existing Public Server

The easiest way to play multiplayer Minecraft with friends is by joining an existing public server. Public servers allow anyone to join and usually have minigames or specific themes built in.

To join a public server:

  • Open Minecraft and click Multiplayer
  • Click Add Server
  • Enter the IP address or domain name of the public server
  • Click Done and the server should appear in your list

Some popular public servers include:

  • Hypixel – huge server network with a variety of minigames
  • Mineplex – minigames and competitive events
  • Lifeboat – survival games and Skyblock maps

When joining a public server, make sure your friends enter the exact same IP address so you all connect to the same server instance.

Creating Your Own Server

For a private experience with just you and your friends, you can create your own Minecraft server. This gives you control to install mods, plugins, and configure the server how you want.


There are a few options for Minecraft server software:

  • Vanilla – default server software from Mojang, supports basic survival multiplayer
  • Spigot/Paper – optimized server software that supports plugins
  • Feed The Beast (FTB) – makes modding easy with modpacks


You will need to host your server on a dedicated machine:

  • Your own computer – easy but computer must stay on constantly
  • Rent a server – pay for managed hosting from a provider
  • Free hosting sites – provides server free but with resource limitations


Once you have server software setup and hosted:

  • Give your friends the IP address to connect
  • Have them click Add Server and enter the IP
  • Make sure port 25565 is open if hosting yourself


For the easiest private server option, Minecraft Realms auto-creates and hosts the server for you.

  • Subscription based – pay a monthly fee for an online hosted server
  • Realms handles configuration and hosting
  • Supports uploading world saves
  • Easy for friends to join from invite

Playing LAN

If all your friends are on the same WiFi network, you can create a temporary LAN world they can join without any server setup.

To host a LAN world:

  • Open your singleplayer world
  • Click Open to LAN in settings
  • Friends navigate to Multiplayer and click your world under “LAN Games”

This makes it easy to play quick multiplayer sessions with friends in the same household.

Tips for Playing with Friends

Here are some additional tips when playing with friends:

  • Set a group goal like defeating the Ender Dragon
  • Use voice chat so you can communicate verbally
  • Enable PvP and have duels against each other
  • Compete to see who can build the most impressive base
  • Install fun mods like Lucky Blocks or custom weapons
  • Use the Dynmap plugin to view a live map of the world

Playing multiplayer Minecraft dramatically expands the possibilities for what you can create and experience. By joining an existing server, creating your own, or using Realms, you can adventure alongside friends no matter which version of Minecraft you use.

I have over 10 years of experience playing Minecraft multiplayer with friends across various servers and realms. The key is finding a group of friends with similar playstyles – some prefer adventuring and battling mobs, while others enjoy relaxing and building together. With the right server setup and mix of friends, you’re bound to have an amazing time. Don’t be afraid to try out both minigame servers as well as survival open world servers to figure out what you enjoy most. I highly recommend playing multiplayer over singleplayer whenever possible!