Now that you have acquired and honed your skills on the single player mode of this multi-award winning game, Minecraft, its about time you try your hands on the multi player mode of the game.
To play this mode of the game, you need to link up to a mine craft dedicated server, there are several, stable ones found all over the Internet.
Better yet you can create or host your own server that others can also join in to play.
Lets look at how to make a Minecraft server and specifically if you are running a DOS based operating system (a fancy way of saying you are running a flavor of the Microsoft Windows OS). Before you even think of actually installing and running the Minecraft server, you should be aware that there are two versions of the server, an executable version (.exe) or a java (.jar) version.
To run the .jar version your PC must already be running Java, a well known and stable computing environment that the server will be running on, don't be alarmed; it is free from the developers website and as of this writing version 7 update 17 is the latest.
I would not recommend this version for the average user because the installation and tweaking is much involving and is well suited for MAC and Linux users. The Java version of this server is still also at the beta stage of development.
INSTALLING THE .EXE VERSION
Lets stick to the simple .exe version, head over to the Minecraft site and download the server, it is an executable file of less than 1Mb (it actually is just 802kb). Double click it to install and the server will start with the default settings.
At this first run there is likely to be some error messages notably 'file not found' this is OK as the installation is still going on in the background. Once you restart the server or the PC, the error messages will cease to pop-up.
RUNNING THE SERVER
Now that you have installed the server, you have to configure port forwarding on the router in order for the other players to be able to join to your server, also note your IP address.
By default the connection port is 25565 but you can change it under the server properties file to whatever port, but be careful, opening ports might make your system vulnerable to intrusions and unwanted attacks.
When you restart your Minecraft server you are given an option to connect to a multi-player server, type "localhost" (without the quotes) if your server is the same computer you are playing on, otherwise enter the address information and click connect.
Now just share your connection address (port number and IP) with your friends and you are ready to go building structures and exploring the Minecraft world.
A FEW MULTI-PLAYER SERVER COMMANDS
op<playername> - to grant operator status to a player.
kick<playername> - to remove aplayer from the server.
list - show currently connected players.
ban <playername> - add a player to the servers blacklist.
pardon <playername> - remove a previously banned player from the blacklist.
stop - shutdown the server.
save-all - write pending changes on the world to disk.
tell<playername><message> - to send a private message to a player.
help - to show a full list of available commands.
If you want Minecraft for free click here and complete it to download your premium account: