Players create a Minecraft server to play with more than one person at a time within a virtual gaming world created by the server's host. Each server may have different playing rules, instructions, strategies and physical attributes.
Server archetypes include player-versus-player, survival, capture the flag or adventure mode. Some servers have structured economies where players may earn game currency through trading or performing various tasks. Other servers include mini games to play within the larger scope of the game. Most servers include some kind of chat function so players can communicate. The most common way to recognize other players on a server is through their Minecraft user account names.
Anyone may host a Minecraft server, as long as he has special tools set up on a computer. Gamers download the basic Minecraft server programming from the Mojang website for Windows, Mac OS X and Unix-based operating systems. Players need map editors and basic programming knowledge to set up various aspects of the game. A server's administrator sets the rules, maintains the website and invites other players.
Third parties may host Minecraft servers; players rent these servers for a fee. Minecraft Realms represents Mojang's official server for Minecraft. A Realms server allows 10 players per server at a time. As of 2015, Minecraft Realms charges a monthly fee of $13. Minecraft Realms does not support mods, although other servers can modify the original game as needed.