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Minecraft Realms is the latest service released by Mojang which lets players rent a server directly from Mojang. Owners of a Minecraft Realms-server can invite friends to their servers to play with them. The servers are currently limited to a maximum of 20 players. The immediate question one can ask is what the major difference is between downloading a server package for free from their website versus using Minecraft Realms so lets have a look and compare the two.
Cost Difference & Server Management
The first and most major difference is that Minecraft Realms costs money (currently €10) whereas downloading a server package is completely free assuming you intend to host it on your own machine. The features of the two differ quite a bit too. With a server package you are given all the files and can freely edit them or add new ones to change how the gameplay works in-game. Minecraft Realms doesn’t grant you any sort of access to the files which makes it impossible to add extra features through plugins. Though, Mojang has said that further customizations of servers will be possible in later versions.
Minecraft Realms is an incredible good option if you are looking for a way to quickly get going with the server and don’t care too much about plugins. Perhaps you are a group of friends or an online clan which is looking for a cheap and reliable way to host a game then Minecraft Realms is probably the most reliable hosting solution on the market today as it is powered Mojang which hosts all official services connected to Minecraft. In other words, you are in safe hands and shouldn’t have to worry much about the uptime.
Choose Based on Needs
There is no possibility for a player to connect to your Minecraft Realms-server unless you make the official invitation. This limits players to freely connect to any server as they can if you were hosting the game on your own. At the same time this can be to your advantage if you don’t want anyone else than people who you invite to join, it can also work to your disadvantage if you are lacking players and want to expand on your community. If you were to host a server on your own then you would be able to submit your server to a server list such as MinePick and grow into a larger server.
The simple way to understand what service to go for is to realize your needs. If you are, as I have described before, a group of friends or a clan which are looking for a simple way to connect through Minecraft then Minecraft Realms is your safest bet. If you on the other hand are a larger community or are looking for a way to create a large community then hosting a server on your own or letting somebody host it for you is your best bet. Some reputable hosts I’ve used are MCProHosting and MCPowerHosting.
If you are a parent and looking for a way to host a server for your child then you should pick Minecraft Realms. It’s the cheapest and safest option. Remember, only players you invite can join. Here is a YouTube guide how to set it up. Get Minecraft Realms here!