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Can you make a free modded Minecraft server?

The short answer is yes, you absolutely can create your own free modded Minecraft server! By setting up a Minecraft Forge server and installing mods on your own computer, you can host Minecraft for you and your friends without needing to pay for monthly hosting fees.

I‘ll walk you through step-by-step how to make your own free modded Minecraft server. With a bit of effort, you can have an awesome customized Minecraft experience without spending a dime each month.

What You‘ll Need to Create a Free Modded Server

Here‘s what you‘ll need to get started hosting your own free modded Minecraft server:

  • A Computer to Act as the Server – This can be a desktop PC, laptop, or even a Raspberry Pi. The more RAM and computing power, the better to support mods and players.

  • At Least 4GB of RAM – I‘d recommend 8GB or ideally 16GB+ to have good performance for modded Minecraft.

  • Fresh Minecraft Server Download – Grab the latest Minecraft server .jar from Mojang‘s site. This allows multiplayer free.

  • Matching Minecraft Forge Version – Forge loads mods into Minecraft. Get the correct Forge build for your MC version.

  • Port Forwarding Access – You‘ll need to open a port on your home router to allow external connections.

  • Your Mods! – Find and download the mod .jar files you want to install. Lots of great options out there!

With those prerequisites handled, you‘ll be ready to setup your own Minecraft server with mods. Let‘s get started!

Step 1: Install and Run the Minecraft Server

First, we need to get the base Minecraft server files installed. Here‘s how:

  1. Download the Minecraft server .jar file for your desired Minecraft version from the official Minecraft site. They offer Java and Bedrock editions for Windows and Linux.

  2. Create a new folder somewhere like your desktop or documents folder. This will be your server folder.

  3. Move the Minecraft server .jar you downloaded into this new folder.

  4. Open a command prompt or terminal window in the server folder.

  5. Run the server .jar for the first time using a command like:
    java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.1.16.5.jar nogui

  6. Agree to the EULA, stop the server with the stop command once it starts, and that‘s it! Your vanilla Minecraft server is installed and ready.

This gives us the base server files we need before adding mods through Forge.

Step 2: Install Minecraft Forge and Mods

Now it‘s time to install Minecraft Forge which allows us to then add mods. Here‘s how to get Forge setup:

  1. Download the Minecraft Forge installer for your Minecraft version from files.minecraftforge.net. Make sure you get the Minecraft Server installer.

  2. Run the Forge .jar installer, choose Install Server, and install into your Minecraft server directory.

  3. Forge will setup itself in your server. To launch it, run:
    java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar forge-1.16.5-36.2.4.jar nogui

  4. Your Minecraft Forge server is now running! You can now add mods.

  5. Download the mod .jar files you want and place them into the mods folder that Forge creates.

  6. Restart your Forge server and they‘ll be loaded! Add and remove mods as you wish.

Through this simple process, we now have a Minecraft Forge server ready for mods to be added. Just drop mod .jars into the mods folder and restart to load them. Now the fun begins!

Step 3: Configuring Your Modded Server‘s Options

With a basic Forge server up and running, some key configuration settings to modify include:

  • server-port – Change the listening port, default is 25565.

  • server-ip – Configure the server IP if needed.

  • level-name – Set the world name to be loaded.

  • gamemode – Choose default game mode like survival or creative.

  • difficulty – Set difficulty, easier for new players.

  • max-players – Raise max players based on your resources.

  • white-list – Toggle whitelist on if you want to restrict access.

  • motd – Create a fun message of the day for your server!

Adjust these and other settings in the server.properties file as you want for your custom modded server.

Some key settings for performance:

  • view-distance – Lower view distance to reduce memory usage.

  • render-distance – Similarly, lower chunk render distance to help performance.

  • no-tick-view-distance – Set lower than view distance to improve CPU usage.

I‘d start with lower values around 4-6 chunks, and increase slowly as able.

Step 4: Allowing External Connections with Port Forwarding

By default, your Minecraft server will only be accessible on your local home network. To allow external connections from the internet, you need to forward the server‘s port (25565 default) on your home router to your server computer.

Here is how to port forward:

  1. Log into your router‘s admin interface, usually at an IP like 192.168.0.1.

  2. Find the port forwarding or virtual servers section.

  3. Create a new rule:

    • Service/Application: Minecraft Server
    • External port: 25565
    • Internal port: 25565
    • Internal IP: Your Server Computer‘s Local IP
  4. Save the port forward rule. Your router will now direct Minecraft connections to your server!

You can find your computer‘s local IP address by running ipconfig on Windows or ifconfig on Linux/Mac.

With port forwarding setup, your friends can now connect to your public IP remotely!

Step 5: Connecting and Playing on Your Free Modded Server

That covers the setup steps – you should now have your own Minecraft Forge server ready for connections. To play:

  1. Start your Forge server as usual.

  2. Find your public IP address through a site like whatismyip.com. This is how friends will connect externally.

  3. Provide your friends with your public IP. Have them add it to their Minecraft server list.

  4. Connect and play on your own modded server! Enjoy all your installed mods.

Some general tips:

  • Add the server to your favorites for quick access.

  • Whitelist friends‘ usernames to restrict access.

  • Incrementally install mods and test, don‘t go overboard.

  • Watch server resource usage and adjust settings as needed.

  • Make periodic backups of the world folder for safety.

You now have your own free playground to enjoy Minecraft with mods using your own computer resources. Have fun exploring!

Top Sites for Finding Quality Minecraft Mods

One of the best parts of running your own modded Minecraft server is choosing which mods help create the experience you want. Here are some top sites I recommend browsing for great Minecraft mods:

  • CurseForge – Considered the best site for MC mods with thousands to browse.

  • Modrinth – A newer mod site that heavily curates quality and safety.

  • Planet Minecraft – Long running Minecraft mod and texture community.

  • Minecraft Forum – Forums focused on Minecraft including mods.

  • Mods for Minecraft – Searchable directory of Minecraft mods of all types.

When downloading mods, always ensure you get the correct version that matches your Minecraft server whether it be 1.16, 1.15, etc. Having version mismatches can cause problems.

I‘d recommend sticking to trusted sites like these to find quality, safety tested mods for your server.

12 Must-Have Mods to Enhance Your Minecraft Server

Here are 12 great mods I recommend checking out to customize your own Minecraft server experience:

| Mod | Description |
|-|-|
| Biomes O‘ Plenty | Adds tons of new biomes and landscape options beyond vanilla MC. |
| JourneyMap | Ingame minimap mod for exploring the world and tracking locations. |
| Just Enough Items (JEI) | Useful recipe menu helper for crafting guides. |
| Inventory Tweaks | Automatically organizes chests and inventory efficiently. |
| Iron Chests | Variety of chests like diamond, obsidian, crystal with more storage. |
| Storage Drawers | Compacting item drawers to store huge quantities efficiently. |
| Chisels & Bits | Modify blocks into bits for intricate building and design. |
| Quark | Collection of small tweaks for building, automation, villager behavior, and more. |
| BetterFps | Performance optimizations to improve framerates. |
| AppleSkin | Adds hunger and saturation overlay for better food management. |
| CraftTweaker | Advanced customization of recipes, loot tables, worldgen, and much more. |
| Chunk Pregenerator | Pregenerate new chunks slowly to reduce exploration lag. |

This gives a great starting selection to enhance gameplay in your own way. Mix and match mods to find the ideal combination for you and your friends!

Optimizing Performance for Free Modded Servers

When running your own modded server on free hobby hardware, getting the best performance is crucial. Here are some tips for optimizing and boosting FPS on your free Minecraft server:

  • Allocate Enough RAM – Give your server at least 4GB, ideally 8-16GB for modpacks. More RAM improves performance.

  • Lower View Distance – Reduce chunk render distance in server properties to around 4-8.

  • Disable Unneeded Dimension Loading – Mods add new world dims that can lag if always loaded.

  • Spread Players Out – Grouped players stress an area. Encourage exploring separate bases.

  • Limit Entity Counts – Some mods like Animania can have high entity counts. Cull excess animals/mobs.

  • Use Performance Monitoring Mods – Add server admin mods like Spark to monitor lag sources.

  • Remove Laggy Mods – Test mods for performance impact. Remove intensive ones not vital for gameplay.

  • Regularly Restart – Even weekly restarts help clear memory issues accumulating over time.

  • Pre-Generate New Chunks – Use Chunk Pregenerator mod to reduce exploration lag.

Start with these optimizations and monitor closely. Tweak and adjust based on where you see bottlenecks emerge on your own free server.

Is Free Hosting Viable for Larger Modded MC Servers?

If you want to host a bigger modded Minecraft server to support more players, more mods, and increased uptime, a free hosted option likely won‘t work well long term. However, some limited free temporary server options exist.

Pros of Free Hosting:

  • No monthly cost – completely free to use!

  • Quick to setup – Limited account creation and configuration.

Cons of Free Hosting:

  • Very limited server resources – Usually 1GB RAM or less.

  • Constrained game slots – Typically only 10 players or fewer.

  • Temporary worlds – Worlds reset every 1-24 hours losing progress.

  • Lag and crashes – Underpowered resources crash easily with mods.

  • No mod support – Vanilla MC servers only on free tiers.

Some examples of free limited Minecraft server hosting include:

  • Minehut – 1GB RAM free servers with 100 player-hour limits.

  • ScalaCube – 1GB RAM that resets every 3 hours.

  • ServerMiner – 512MB RAM, resets every 24 hours.

These can work for temporary sessions but won‘t support a long term stable modded server. For that, paid Minecraft server hosting is recommended.

Is Paid Hosting Worth it for Minecraft Servers?

For hosting a serious modded Minecraft server that you plan to play on regularly with friends, a paid host is definitely worth the monthly expense in my opinion.

Here are some key benefits you get by paying for hosting:

  • 24/7 Uptime – Always online instead of just when your PC is.

  • More Resources – Options for more RAM, CPU cores, and SSD storage for performance.

  • Support for Mods – Most hosts allow modpacks and mod installation.

  • Fast Connections – Low latency on servers optimized specifically for Minecraft.

  • Easy Management – Server panels to start, stop, update with a click.

  • Technical Support – Get setup help or troubleshooting from the host‘s support staff.

  • Backups – Automatic backups to prevent world loss.

  • Security – DDoS protection and server security.

For around $10-$20 per month, the benefits are well worth it compared to janky free options. Some top paid Minecraft hosts I recommend checking out include Shockbyte, BisectHosting, Pebblehost, Apex Minecraft Hosting, CubedHost, and HostHorde.

Do your research to find one that fits your needs in terms of location, budget, features and mod support. Then enjoy your stable always-online modded Minecraft server!

Closing Thoughts on Creating Free Modded Servers

Setting up your own free modded Minecraft server on a home computer takes a bit more effort, but unlocks exciting possibilities for customizing your own Minecraft experience with friends.

From tweaking performance to tailoring the modpack to your gameplay interests, you can build the Minecraft server of your dreams without paying monthly fees.

Start small, find fun mods your community enjoys, optimize where you can, and your home hosted server can deliver endless entertainment. Have an amazing time playing Minecraft together!

Let me know if you have any other questions about creating your own free modded Minecraft server. I‘m always happy to share my knowledge and expertise around MC servers, mods, and optimization.

Game on!