Over time I have been experimenting with fun and unique ways to combine plugins that make Minecraft a more tailored and unique experience. While I used to be content with mining, building, and progressing towards "end game," the entire process has become tedious after over a decade of playing.

Why Plugins?

I run Paper Minecraft in Docker and plugins are incredibly easy to install this way. I can just wget plugins directly into the plugins folder and that is it. Players can join the server without downloading any assets locally which allows for instant fun. While plugins tend to have worse interfaces and reduced functionality when compared to mods, plugins are so easy to install that they become instantly rewarding. Several good plugins can completely transform how Minecraft is played.

Plugins I Use

Fast Travel

Fast Travel is a game changing mechanic that greatly effects how I play the game. It immediately adds an economy system by allowing players to pay to travel to destinations and makes the world feel enormous. Normally traveling around the map can become exhausting and tedious. In multiplayer servers, the world is quickly explored and ravaged by other players. Fast Travel allows game admins to place fast travel checkpoints at key areas of the map. This can make specific towns become hotspots of player activity and interactions, encourage home/base building around key points, and also allow new players to join and immediately travel to undiscovered parts of the map. Every once-in-awhile an admin can create a new fast travel location near the edge of the explored world, creating endless and instant exploration opportunities.

World Guard

World Guard is a must-have for almost any online Minecraft server. It allows admins to protect specific areas from manipulation and griefing. This is incredibly useful for common things like spawn protection or just creating a safe space for players to exist. World Guard can also be a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to world building. Important cities can be protected and named. This pairs perfectly with Fast Travel, allowing players to travel to protected regions/cities.

Codex (RPG Discoveries)

Codex is an essential plugin for world building. Codex allows admins to name specific areas and display banners on screen for discoveries. This really gives an RPG feel to the game. Players can discover unique, named areas that keep adventuring feeling interesting and fun. Named areas could be as simple as a unique forest, a pre-generated village, or even a large and custom-built city. World Guard regions can be used as discovery locations, making this plugin a great companion to the stack. Codex is a very simple plugin that offers a very immersive feel with simple mechanics.


McMMO is a paid plugin that still feels a bit infantile. In its current state, I cannot justify the $20 price tag, but this is still a really cool plugin that adds more meaningful progression to your playthroughs. McMMO adds a leveling system for a multitude of skills. Players can unlock special abilities and buffs that give them boosts to all sorts of skills. At a high mining level, players can unlock the ability to instantly break blocks for a brief amount of time. Other skills may increase drop rates or increase your odds to negate damage. This plugin seems quite promising and is a welcome member to my servers, though I would love to see it grow into its price tag.


Dynmap is an incredibly well-made plugin that rivals enterprise-level software. Many players are familiar with this plugin as it offers essential functionality and is just fun to play around with. Dynmap renders the world as a website that can be hosted and made publicly accessible to your player base. It includes a map marker system that plays wonderfully with some of the other plugins on my list. Not only does it offer a lot of utility for players to travel to key parts of the world, but it also just adds a fun to use, rendered map that is something that is just missing from the base game. This map makes the world feel more alive and tangible. Players can see how massive the discovered world is and actually visualize the expansive seas, forests, and deserts between cities and other key points. This plugin is one of my favorites as it allows players to easily revisit locations. Personally I love the mechanic of being the first person to discover a new, interesting area that all players can see.

Along with Dynmap it is recommended to pregenerate some parts of or even your entire world in order to avoid a patchy map and reduce the overhead of many players exploring your world. I am currently using the Fast Chunk Pregenerator plugin for this, but this is very simple functionality that can be obtained from any chunk generating plugin.

Simple usage to pregenerate a small area around your player and then render it in Dynmap:

fcp start 100
dynmap fullrender


Whatever way you wish to shape your Minecraft server is up to you. I play around with other plugins as well, but this is my core list of essential plugins for every MMO server. There are so many high-quality plugins out there that can help build a truly unique experience. Sometimes the simplest functionality can completely transform the feel of a server.