Minecraft Server Plugins – Everything you need to know

Have you ever played on Minecraft servers and seen extraordinary features? In this guide, we are going to teach you what are Minecraft server plugins and how to use them. Our guide is beginner-friendly and will teach you everything there is to know.

What are Minecraft Server Plugins?

Minecraft plugins (server plug-ins) are extensions that can be added to any Minecraft Java edition server. These extensions can bring more features, without changing the core of the game.

A plugin can add extra content such as commands, permissions, and perks. Nonetheless, they are also released to bring perks, like visual effects, buffs, and other in-game changes.

They come packed in jar files and are mainly created in the programming language called Java, and can be found in different versions. Each version is exclusively created for a certain update.


Whenever Minecraft receives a new update, developers need to change the code on their plugin to maintain compatibility. These changes require updating Minecraft plugins to work with the newest versions.

How to Use Minecraft Plugins

Each Minecraft plugin is unique and provides different features. However, all of them function the same way. To execute a plugin feature, players are required to run the command specified in the plugin files.

The command should begin with a forward slash (/), and the feature you want to execute.

Plugins can also be executed from the server client. To use them, you will need to write the plugin command by disregarding the forward slash.

Minecraft Plugin Permissions

In most cases, whenever a plugin command is executed, the player is required to be “OP” or server console rights. To let your players use plugins, you will need to provide them with permissions.


While giving operator rights can be harmful, permission plugins come in handy. These are special plugins, which let you grant players exclusive rights to certain commands.

To give exclusive permissions to a command, the plugin will need to have “permissions encoded”. The easiest way to find them is by checking the developer’s notes.

If a plugin has “permissions”, you can include them in your permissions plugin and give them rights to the command.

However, if the “permissions” are missing, you will need to find an alternative plugin or give operator rights.

Plugin configuration files

Depending on the plugin you are using, you may need to make manual adjustments. These adjustments affect the configuration, and help you change the plugin’s behavior.

To make such changes, you will need to edit the plugin’s YAML or YML file. These files are typically generated after installing Minecraft plugins.


For configuring plugin files, stop your Minecraft server, and make sure it has been saved properly. After that, navigate to your plugins folder, and open the plugin’s YML file.

Once you have made your desired changes, save the plugin’s configuration file and start your server. Directly after that, your changes will become visible on the server side.

Frequently asked questions regarding Minecraft Plugins

What is the difference between a mod and a plugin?

Minecraft plugins can be reviewed as add-ons or server extensions. While mods are in-game modifications that change the game’s behavior.

You can add any plugin for extra functionality to your server, while a mod adds in-game content to change certain aspects in-game.

Are all Minecraft plugins free?

There are tons of popular plugins on the web, however, not all of them are free. You can find paid plugins, or be charged to get one created.

Typically, developers charge for plugin usage, but they take money for support, and not the plugin itself.

From where to download Minecraft server plugins?

The safest places to download Minecraft server plugins are Spigot and Bukkit (CraftBukkit). These websites are known as the safest and provide real in-game products.

Nonetheless, moderators manage content and prevent downloading malware.

How much RAM do plugins use?

It always depends on the plugin you are using. Small functionality plugins typically use 15 to 20 MB of RAM per player. Bigger projects can use anywhere between 40 to 50 MB of RAM.

The speed of your RAM sticks plays a significant role in processing commands, and how much RAM will be used at once as well.

How many plugins do Minecraft servers use?

On average, Minecraft servers use 60 to 70 plugins. These include server management, saves, and player commands.

However, anything above 100 can be considered too many plugins for most Minecraft servers.

Do plugins slow down Minecraft servers?

Plugins can significantly slow down servers. It all depends on how much RAM is allocated to the server.

If your server RAM hits the ceiling, it will start to lag and eventually crash.

Allocating more RAM can prevent this from happening. Another way to prevent your server from crashing is to limit the plugins used.