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This tutorial is intended to help advise the player when playing on a public survival server with strangers.

If you are playing only with friends on a private server or an LAN world, each situation is different, and you will have to adjust to how you play the game if you want to have fun.

If you get bored of these tips, feel free to break a few, or all. These tips are just to ensure the player has the most fun when playing with others.

Note: This guide is not for Factions. Factions is a different minigame with different rules and strategies.


First, you will have to find out a few things:

  • If the server does not have PvP allowed
  • If the server has plugins that protect claimed land
  • If the server has limited or changed any features (e.g. disabling TNT to prevent griefing)
  • If the server does not allow cheating or toxic behavior and can effectively punish rule breakers
  • If the server allows new players to teleport to random locations

Roleplay servers[]

Players assume a role in this server. For example, they can be a rebel, a loyal soldier, a mercenary, an assassin, etc. They can also be a powerful dictator and the server also has a finished story that must be followed.

One of the best examples of RP servers is the Dream SMP. Dream himself is the main antagonist of the SMP.

Friendly servers[]

These servers meet most or all of the above conditions.

While these servers are not 100% safe, they are generally cheater-free, friendly and encourage cooperation. There is not much strategy needed apart from a singleplayer world, and depending on the server, you might be safer to build things that you would normally not in a singleplayer world (e.g. creeper explosions turned off), and it is also recommended to engage in trade, if the server's players have set up an economy or you happen to be near a lot of players. Trading with players is a good way to start making new friends, along with helping them in various ways. The only rule is to be nice to others to get the best experience from these servers.

These servers are usually not Hardcore servers, but on the few that are Hardcore servers, try to bring friends to reduce the overall chance of death for all of you.

Vanilla servers[]

These servers meet a couple of the above conditions.

These servers try to install a minimal amount of plugins other than anti-cheats and moderator plugins. These servers want players to have a vanilla experience, so you will need to keep your guard up as there are ways for your day to be ruined. There are a few tips:

  • Try to log on when almost no players are online for the first time to run from spawn, like in the middle of the night, there may be players camping near spawn killing all new players. You do not need to worry about this if you can be teleported to a random location upon spawn.
  • Have your best gear at all times to fight off enemies trying to kill you
  • Try not to have your base near spawn or heavily populated areas. If possible, hide your base and remember the coordinates.
  • If your friends are joining with you, make an alliance. It is risky to do this with strangers, but it is a good way for new friendships to be made (and broken if they betray you!)
  • It may still be possible to trade, but only on a few servers.
  • Do not participate in wars unless you are being threatened or your friends are involved. Unnecessary wars can needlessly damage or destroy your gear or damage your base, possibly with no make-up for it at the end even if you are victorious.
  • Be ready for the day someone finds your base and decides to destroy it and loot the contents. Unless the server has anti-griefing rules and can restore to a backup, the damage will be permanent.
  • It is also advisable that if you see another player, you should mostly keep sneaking and standing repeatedly. This is considered a sign of peace, and there is a good chance that the other player will not attack you, unless you have harmed him in any way, or griefed his base. If that player has griefed your base or harmed you, you can attack him, but also beware of the consequences it may cause.
  • An efficient villager trading hall with weaponsmith, toolsmith, and armorer villagers selling diamond gear can be a great addition, along with a villager to obtain lots of emeralds from. Ideally, you would also have librarians selling high-level enchantments, but this is hard to set up.
  • If you raid an enemy base, always look for traps. These include random valuable blocks to trigger a trap, a pressure plate (even in front of an iron door), a storage container that is linekd up to redstone, a tripwire, or a switch. If their entire floor is carpet, break a piece (not the one you are standing on). Carpets usually hide pitfalls or lava underneath, and can quickly fall if their supporting blocks are removed. You should also watch out if they built their floor from gravity-affected blocks, because they could be one update away from sending the player into a pit.

Hardcore servers under this category must be played with extreme caution, as an enemy can quickly either give you a ban (allowing the player to rejoin after a few days at a random location so they can continue playing, albeit having to start over) or make the server unplayable in survival forever if they kill you or you fall into one of their traps.

Semi-anarchy servers[]

This is a mix of both vanilla and anarchy servers. The players here are encouraged to fight and usually grief and loot bases but usage of hack clients, duping, x-ray and other rules that the server owners add are prohibited.

The best example of a semi-anarchy server is Lifesteal SMP hosted by ParrotX2. The server allows fighting, griefing and conquering territory but bans netherite tools except for shovels and pickaxes, totems of undying, end crystals, respawn anchors, strength II pots, x-ray, hack clients, etc.

Anarchy servers[]

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These servers meet none of the above conditions.

These servers are brutal, with only a bare minimum of rules (which only prohibit things like god mode hacks, in which a player is immortal, or activities that cause things like extreme server-side lag or intentional map corruption), and an unmoderated chat. These servers may even be prone to crashes caused by players or map corruption, and players with hacked clients are the norm, not the exception. Griefing is all but an inevitability for players who choose to build anything out in the open.

These servers are not recommended for most players due to their unwelcoming and unforgiving nature, and many of their users are unwelcoming to new players and will probably spawnkill you.

Some tips for anarchy servers are:

  • It is highly recommended to get a VPN in anarchy servers, to prevent the server owners to trace player's IP address. However, some servers block VPNs to avoid ban circumvention.
  • It is advisable to disable chat through the Chat Settings, as in most anarchy servers, chat behavior can be extremely rude and hostile, and offensive language and links to malware sites are common in the chat.
  • Expect spawn to be an incredibly hostile environment due to spawn campers and deliberate destruction of all nearby resources vital for survival (especially food and wood), and the area is likely to be surrounded with multiple deathtraps explicitly designed to kill or confine players trying to escape spawn. For the most treacherous spawn areas, you may need to use a hacked client equipped with a pathfinding bot. On old anarchy servers, this destroyed spawn can go for thousands of blocks. It is even possible for spawn to be rigged in a way that it is impossible for new players to escape, like
    • If present, Nether portals can aid in putting a good distance between you and spawn. But beware of portals that have been booby-trapped by having the other side be blocked off. Generally, portals that are far away are less likely to be traps.
  • You should definitely build your base as far away from spawn as possible (no fewer than 10,000 blocks away, though even this might not be sufficient on heavily populated servers), hide it, and use ender chests to prevent your items from being stolen when the base is griefed. Due to X-ray clients, your base will almost certainly be griefed if it is near highly populated areas or if you fail to cover your tracks. Keep the base small and unknown, as larger bases are noticed far more easily and every person you share the base with is a person who might reveal it to griefers- or even grief it themselves. In the event of exposure, some players might even grief their own bases just to deny others the satisfaction of doing so.
    • It might be worth considering the possibility of taking up an entirely nomadic lifestyle, as the only way to truly avoid having a base griefed is not to have a permanent base at all.
    • Using dispensers can fool players using X-Ray or ray-tracing looking for chests.
  • Expect duplicated items to be everywhere, and expect sets of perfect enchanted armor, weapons, totems and enchanted golden apples to go around for virtually nothing. This can be an advantage to a new player, as a shulker box of very high tier equipment will be really cheap.
  • Only use trusted and reliable hacked clients, examples include Impact, Future, Meteor and Lamnda. Some servers may prefer forms of combat that are wildly different from standard Minecraft PvP- a common technique involves using End Crystal explosions to kill players quickly.
  • Be wary about who you trust- there is a good chance that the person who says he wants to help you is trying to lead you into a trap. Similarly, when attempting to establish yourself within a community it is important to establish your trustworthiness. Players with a bad reputation are prone to being repeatedly griefed.
  • Alliances can be risky to join due to frequent bouts of open warfare between alliances, but your chances of survival as part of a group are significantly better than they are if you're alone. Some groups do not readily accept new players into their ranks, and so you should work to build trust with their members and show them that you can be a productive part of their group.
  • Never click suspicious links, especially in chat! These usually can lead to dangerous consequences.
  • Never leak your coords, especially when you're planning to stay on the server.
  • There are almost no Hardcore anarchy servers, but it is not recommended to join one if you find one unless it is really new, as you will probably be killed as soon as you join by a spawn killer.
    • Some hardcore anarchy servers (and most hardcore servers in general, anarchy or not) usually are not truly hardcore (vanilla's built in hardcore feature), instead, may temporarily ban players for dying.

Civilization SMP[]

Here, players are divided into groups. Sometimes, each team had a special perk that makes it unique from other teams. For example, in MARCUSK's Dimension Civilization video, the Overworld team had the advantage of the overworld's vast and rich resources, the End team being supplied with OP gear and elytra from the End Cities and the Nether team, although their environment was hostile, had the power of netherite.

Civilization SMPs are often a symbol of fighting prowess, survival skills, teamwork, and tactical intellect. For example, in MARCUSK's Zombie Island Civilization video, a rogue faction of players who attempted to kill anyone almost won the entire competition due to their fighting prowess and teamwork, only losing due to a trap planted by one of the players in revenge of massacring his entire team.

How to survive in a server[]

In friendly and RP servers, don't worry as fighting isn't really a problem. RP servers still fight but only for roleplay so expect your stuff to be returned after the play.

Vanilla servers are much more different. Competition is important, so it's better to gear up fast. Try to not make as many enemies as possible, as they might band up against you. Instead, try to go far away and get max gear ASAP.

In semi-anarchy players, survival and combat skills are much more important. Before joining this type of server, practice on PVP servers first such as PVP Legacy. Also, try to get good gear ASAP and set-up your HQ far away from spawn to prevent it from being griefed or looted.

PVP is an important concept in PVP even if you're on a chill server. Don't try to fight when your gear is still bad. Max it out first. Although a full set of iron armour and tools is the bare minimum to deem you fit in fighting, it's much better if you're on full diamond or netherite. Also, know the basic concepts of PVP such as the kit, tactics, fighting methods and more.

Diplomatic skills are very important. Forge alliances or friendships with strong players on the server. The reason why it's better to team up with strong players than weak players is because they have the resources to provide you gear, farms and more. Although beware of the risk of betrayals so it's also good to have a sense of suspicion. Or if you have no friends, you can grind alone.

To get the max gear quickly, there are a variety of methods, from simple mining/caving to trading. Trading is safer but it would require you a lot of mining trees but they provide you a full set of gear in just a few minutes without having to sacrifice your time dying in the dark. Mining/caving can provide you more diamonds but is harder and somewhat inefficient unless you would want to acquire the cobblestone/cobbled deepslate for later use.

The most important gear for PVP is a fully enchanted sword, armour, axe, bow, pickaxe and optionally a trident enchanted with Riptide and fully maxed out crossbow. Other things you'd need for a fight are some pots (recommended are Strength II, Swiftness II and Fire Resistance 8 minutes, you can also add Regen II and Healing II for quick regen), golden apples (64 is recommended), XP bottles (around 2 stacks), arrows to load your bow and crossbow, a water bucket, some nutritious food such as golden carrots or porkchops, and optionally an ender chest filled with backup gear and a silk touch diamond or netherite pickaxe.

If you joined an anarchy server, expect what is to come, including hackers, rude players, etc. It's recommended to have a hacked client of your own (normal clients such as Lunar won't cut it, as they don't have hack modules such as xray and advanced PVP methods). If you don't trust clients on the internet, you can code your own client, but it does require extensive knowledge of Java and programming for it to actually work. Alternatively, you can buy a hacked client instead, but it requires money and are typically more expensive than Minecraft itself.