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Minetest servers allow players to play online with other people. They can be run from a dedicated server, a Virtual Private Server or a home computer.
Getting access to a server
Finding a server
In order to play on a server at all, you need to know the address and a port number of a server first. There are many ways to find those addresses:
- Server list in Minetest: The easiest way to obtain a list of servers found within Minetest itself. You find it in the main menu under the tab “Client”
- Server list in the Web: http://www.minetest.net/servers/ has the same server list as above, but you can read in your Web browser
- Minetest Forums: There is a subforum called “Servers” entirely devoted to servers
- Friends: If you know a friend who hosts a Minetest server, ask for the address and port number
Connecting to a server
If you have obtained address and the port number of a server, you just have to enter those values into the respective fields in the “Client” tab in the main menu and click on “connect”, or press Enter. In case you used the in-game server list, Minetest automatically enters those values for you.
You also need to choose a player name. Player names need to be unique on a per-sever basis. You can choose a password but this can be empty on some servers.
The account registration in Minetest is never explicitly mentioned as such and happens in the background. In a player account all information about your player character, such as health, items, name, etc. are stored on the server. A player account is only valid for one server, so you can have different player names on different servers.
IMPORTANT: An account is registered as soon as you connect to the server successfully for the first time. There will be no notification.
The first step is to pick a player name (which is valid for one server only):
- Allowed characters are a-z, A-Z, 0-9, the hyphen (“-”) and the underscore (“_”)
- The name must not be “singleplayer”
- The name must have a length of 1-20 characters
Then you can pick a password for the player name on this server. This password can be empty, but some servers don't allow an empty password, so be prepared to think of one. Be aware that with an empty password, anyone could connect with this player name to the server.
IMPORTANT: Remember and triple-check the password before you connect on a server for the first time. Minetest will not ask you to enter the password again. If you messed it up in the first time and don't realize it, you will logically fail in later logins because you probably won't remember how you mis-typed your password. Countless player names have been burned because of this.
Warning: There is also no automatic mechanism to recover a lost password. If you lost your password, it's tough luck for you. You could try to contact one of the server operators, but there is no guarantee they'll help you.
If you picked both name and password, hit “Connect”.
To log in to the server again, just use the same credentials on this server as before.
Playing on the server
The gameplay in a multiplayer server is basically the same as in a singleplayer game. The same rules apply. See Getting Started for gameplay-related concepts. Well, at least in theory.
In practice, every server is different. They can either just host the vanilla Minetest Game, or host Minetest Game with many crazy mods installed, or even host an entirely different subgame. Be prepared to be surprised! :D
Also, different servers are usually managed by different people, they also may or may not have rules which may or may not be enforced.
Useful things to know
In multiplayer servers, these things become more important:
- Chat: learn how to communicate with other players
- Privileges: learn what you can and can’t do on a server
- Server commands: learn how to use server commands. They are also sometimes useful for players; for example, you can pulverize an item, teleport (if you are allowed to), and more
- Find out more about the server with commands like “/mods”, “/privs”, “/status”.
- The mods installed on the server
- Take note of mobs, PvP (fighting “player-vs-player”), and server rules
- Custom settings which may affect gameplay
- When you press Esc, the game will not be paused like in single player mode
Also, you can generally connect to all servers, no matter how many mods they use or what subgame they host. No need for additional configuration or manual downloads. All data you need is downloaded automatically for you.
Griefing and protection
“Griefing” and “protection” are two words you will read frequently when playing on servers.
“Griefing” refers to the act of destroying, damaging, or vandalizing a building built by other players against their will. On some servers griefing is forbidden, on some servers it is allowed.
Protection mods are very common on servers. A protection mod is a mod which grants players ownership to certain parts of the world. Only the owner can add or remove blocks in an owned area. Protection basically eliminates griefing.
Managing a server
See setting up a server for information running your own server.