How to Add Plugins to a Minecraft Server

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Gaming How to Add Plugins to a Minecraft Server

Plugins provide a way for you to customize your Minecraft Server in infinite ways. You can add an economy, new mobs, items and so much more. There are tens of thousands of plugins to choose from. What’s great about Plugins is that they require nothing from your players, as they work with Vanilla Minecraft.

To use plugins, you will require a special type of Minecraft server. In the past, the most popular choice would be Bukkit. But today, it’s better to use either Spigot or Paper, as both are more optimized. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to install a Minecraft server as well as some plugins. We’ve also created many more Minecraft Guides which you are welcome to read.

Step 1: Install Spigot

If you don’t already have a Spigot server, you’ll need to set one up. You can also choose to use Paper, but we’ll use Spigot for the sake of this tutorial. Head to the Spigot Download page, and choose your Minecraft Version.

I’m going to choose 1.12.2, don’t press the ‘Create Server’ button. Instead, press ‘Download’, then download the JAR file on the next page. You will need to place this JAR file into a new, clean folder on your Desktop.

Choose a Spigot Version

Once you’ve done that, head to that folder and double click the Spigot JAR file we just downloaded. Not much will happen, but an EULA.txt file will be generated in the folder. Open this, and change it to say eula=true. Then open the JAR file again. 

The Spigot server should now be running, and many new files generated including the Plugins folder. Even though no new window has opened, the server will be running and can be connected to in Minecraft by entering the IP Address 127.0.0.1 but this only works for your own machine.

Step 2: Create a. BAT File

If at anytime you want to exit the server, you can open Task Manager (CTRL + ALT + Delete) and choose ‘End Task’ on javaw.exe. Alternatively, you can create a BAT file which works much smoother and gives you control over the RAM. 

First, rename the server JAR file to just Spigot.jar. Then, open up Notepad which is installed by default on Windows. Copy the code below, and enter it into the Notepad file.

@Echo off
title ~~SERVER
java -Xmx2G -Xms2G -jar -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 Spigot.jar
pause

You can change the -Xmx2G parts to a different value, this determines the amount of RAM you want to dedicate to a Minecraft Server. If you wanted to allocate 4GB of RAM, then you’d change this value to -Xms4G. Make sure to also change the Spigot.jar variable if you have the server file named as something else.

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In Notepad, choose File > Save As and navigate to the folder where the Spigot Server is installed to. For ‘Save as Type’, switch it from ‘Text Document’ to ‘All Files’, and set the name to ‘Start.bat’. It’s very important to put the .bat on the end, as this turns it into a program file.

Now whenever you want to start Spigot, simply double click the ‘Start.bat’ file, and you will have a GUI for managing the server.

Step 3: Installing Plugins

Now that the Spigot Server is setup and running, it’s time to install some plugins. The easiest place to download them would be the Spigot Repository. Although they are available in other locations such as the Bukkit website (possibly outdated) or private marketplaces. 

As an example, we’ll install Lib’s Disguises, as you will be able to see the effects immediately. Head to the Plugin Page, and choose the ‘Download Now‘ button in the top right corner of the plugin description. After a few seconds, you’ll receive a .JAR file. You will also need to grab ProtocolLib, which is required for a few plugins (just click the ProtocolLib.jar link).

To install these Minecraft Plugins, simply drag and drop them into the Plugins folder of your server directory. You should do this with the Server not running. Once the Plugins are installed into the folder, start up your Spigot Server by running the .BAT file.

Start by making yourself an Operator, so that you can enter admin commands. You can do this by opening up the Server file (the .BAT), and typing /op YOUR_MINECRAFT_NAME

Using the Disguises Plugin

Connect to your Minecraft server with the IP Address 127.0.0.1 and login. You can now use the /disguise command. To look like Notch like the image above, use /disguise player Notch

That’s it! You should now have a basic understanding of installing Plugins on your Minecraft Server. You can go ahead and install any plugin you’d like. Just make sure to read the description for every plugin so you know how to use them.

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Phillip Anderson
Hey, I'm Phillip Anderson! After studying Video Game Design at University, I began writing articles at PwrDown in my free time. I currently play my games on PC, but also own a PS4 & Nintendo Switch. I'm also a VR enthusiast, owning an Oculus Rift S where you might find me playing Beat Saber or Skyrim VR!