Minehut provides free Minecraft Java Edition server hosting with some limitations compared to paid plans. Here is an overview of how long free Minehut servers last and tips to keep your server running on the free plan.
Free Server Duration
The main limitation of free Minehut servers is limited uptime compared to paid plans that stay online 24/7.
Specifically, a free Minehut server will shut down after around 5 minutes if there are no players logged into it. This is to conserve resources.
However, if there is at least one player online on the server, it will remain active indefinitely. So to keep your free Minehut server constantly running, you need to have at least one user logged into it at all times.
Keeping a Free Server Online 24/7
The easiest way to keep a free Minehut server online 24/7 is to have an AFK (away from keyboard) account logged into the server at all times.
You can either create a secondary free Minecraft account and keep it always connected to your server, or use a bot account that stays online when you‘re not actively playing. Some options for AFK bots include Minebot and PCBot.
Just be aware that using bots violates Minehut‘s fair usage policy so proceed with caution. An alternative is to coordinate with friends/players so at least someone is always logged into the server.
Paid Minehut Plans for 24/7 Uptime
If you want to operate a public Minecraft server that needs to stay online constantly regardless of players logged in, Minehut offers paid hosting plans starting at $3 per month.
The main paid tiers are:
- Basic ($3/month): 1GB RAM, 10 max players, 1 world
- Premium ($7/month): 3GB RAM, 20 max players, 3 worlds
- Ultimate ($15/month): 8GB RAM, 35 max players, unlimited worlds
With a paid Minehut plan, your server is guaranteed to stay online 24/7. You also get benefits like more RAM for performance, priority customer support, and the ability to select your server JAR file.
So if uptime is critical and you anticipate having more players, a paid Minehut server is worth the investment.
Other Free Minecraft Server Hosting Options
Besides Minehut, there are other free Minecraft server hosting providers like Aternos. The tradeoff is they also limit resources and uptime for free accounts.
For example, Aternos free servers will automatically shut down after 1 hour if no players are online. You can restart the server when needed, but this makes coordinated long play sessions more difficult.
If you‘re willing to display some branding/ads, services like ScalaCube and HostHavoc offer free Minecraft servers that can stay online 24/7. Just be aware that resources like RAM will still be lower than paid plans.
Optimizing Free Server Performance
To get the most out of a free Minehut or other free hosting server, here are some tips:
Limit exploration: Constantly exploring and generating new chunks creates lag. Restrict how far players can venture from spawn.
Avoid resource intensive plugins/mods: Too many gameplay plugins can overload a free server. Use them sparingly.
Reduce concurrent players: Cap your free server at 3-5 max players online simultaneously.
Reboot periodically: Restarting the free server daily or every few days can clear memory issues.
Reset world: Back up and reset your world after a few weeks to restore performance.
With these optimizations, a free server can still provide an enjoyable multiplayer experience for you and a few friends or community members!