How to Properly Set Up Minecraft on a Raspberry Pi Computer

Key Takeaways:

  • The Raspberry Pi is an affordable, credit card-sized computer that can run a special version of Minecraft called Minecraft Pi Edition.
  • Setting up Minecraft on a Raspberry Pi involves installing the operating system, enabling SSH, overclocking the Pi, installing Java, and configuring the server settings.
  • For the best performance, use a Raspberry Pi 4 with at least 4GB of RAM, a high-quality SD card or SSD, and optimize the server settings for the Pi’s hardware.

As an experienced Raspberry Pi enthusiast and Minecraft player, I’ve spent countless hours tinkering with these tiny computers to get the most out of them. One of the most exciting projects I’ve undertaken is setting up a Minecraft server on a Raspberry Pi. While it’s not as straightforward as running Minecraft on a regular PC, with a bit of patience and the right setup, you can have your own low-cost, low-power Minecraft server up and running in no time.

What You’ll Need

Before we dive into the setup process, let’s go over the equipment you’ll need:

  • Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB or 8GB RAM recommended)
  • High-quality microSD card (at least 16GB, Class 10 or better)
  • Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi connection
  • Power supply
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Monitor or TV with HDMI input

Installing the Operating System

The first step is to install the Raspberry Pi operating system. I recommend using the 64-bit version of Raspberry Pi OS (previously called Raspbian) for the best performance. You can download the OS from the official Raspberry Pi website and follow their installation guide to get it set up on your microSD card[1].

Once you have the OS installed, boot up your Raspberry Pi and go through the initial setup wizard. Make sure to enable SSH so you can access your Pi remotely from another computer on your network[1].

Overclocking Your Pi

To squeeze out every bit of performance from your Raspberry Pi, you may want to consider overclocking it. This involves increasing the clock speed of the CPU and GPU beyond their default values. However, be aware that this can void your warranty and may cause stability issues if not done properly[7].

To overclock your Pi, edit the /boot/config.txt file and add the following lines[11]:


These settings have been tested and found to provide a good balance between performance and stability. If you experience any issues, try lowering the arm_freq and over_voltage values.

Installing Java

Minecraft requires Java to run, so you’ll need to install it on your Raspberry Pi. Open a terminal and run the following commands[4]:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install default-jdk

This will install the latest version of the Java Development Kit (JDK) on your Pi.

Setting Up the Minecraft Server

Now that you have Java installed, it’s time to set up the Minecraft server. I recommend using the Paper Minecraft server, which is a high-performance fork of the official server software that’s optimized for the Raspberry Pi[7].

  1. Download the latest version of the Paper server JAR file from their website.
  2. Create a new directory for your Minecraft server and move the JAR file into it.
  3. Create a startup script called in the same directory with the following contents[4]:
java -Xms1G -Xmx1G -jar paper.jar nogui

This script allocates 1GB of RAM to the Minecraft server and starts it in headless mode (without a GUI).

  1. Make the script executable by running chmod +x
  2. Start the server by running ./ The first time you run it, it will generate some configuration files and then shut down.
  3. Edit the file to customize your server settings. Some important settings to consider[7]:
  • view-distance: Lower this to 4-6 chunks to reduce CPU and RAM usage.
  • max-players: Keep this low (3-5) to avoid overloading the Pi.
  • online-mode: Set this to false if you want to allow cracked/offline accounts to join.
  1. Edit the eula.txt file and change eula=false to eula=true to accept the Minecraft End User License Agreement.
  2. Start the server again with ./ It should now be up and running!

Connecting to Your Server

To connect to your Minecraft server, open the Minecraft Java Edition client on another computer and add a new server with the IP address of your Raspberry Pi. If you’re on the same local network, you can find your Pi’s IP address by running hostname -I in the terminal[4].

If you want to allow players from outside your local network to connect, you’ll need to set up port forwarding on your router to forward incoming traffic on port 25565 to your Raspberry Pi’s IP address[4].

Optimizing Performance

Running a Minecraft server on a Raspberry Pi can be challenging due to the limited hardware resources. Here are some tips to help optimize performance[7][11]:

  • Use a high-quality microSD card or an SSD for faster read/write speeds.
  • Overclock your Pi as described earlier, but be careful not to push it too far.
  • Keep the render distance low (4-6 chunks) to reduce CPU and RAM usage.
  • Limit the number of players to 3-5 to avoid overloading the server.
  • Use a lightweight resource pack or no resource pack at all.
  • Disable unused server features like command blocks, NPCs, and mob spawning.
  • Pre-generate your world using a plugin like WorldBorder to reduce chunk loading lag.

With these optimizations in place, you should be able to get a playable Minecraft experience on your Raspberry Pi server, albeit with some limitations compared to a full-fledged gaming PC.


Setting up a Minecraft server on a Raspberry Pi can be a fun and rewarding project for both Minecraft enthusiasts and Pi tinkerers. While it may not be the most powerful Minecraft server out there, it’s a great way to learn about server administration, networking, and optimization in a low-cost, low-power environment.

By following the steps outlined in this guide and experimenting with different settings and optimizations, you can create your own custom Minecraft world that you can share with friends and family. So grab your Raspberry Pi, get crafting, and happy mining!