Optimizing a Vanilla Minecraft Server

5 min. readlast update: 10.18.2023

Optimizing your vanilla Minecraft server from the start can be a great way to prevent lag from happening in the first place. However, if you have started experiencing lag on your server, this guide will help you out as well. 

Diagnosing Lag

While this is easier to do with a server that has the Spark plugin installed, it is worth trying to find out why your vanilla Minecraft server is lagging. 

Lag on a vanilla Minecraft server usually comes from three main sources - mobs/entities, chunk loading, or redstone. 

🧟 Mobs/Entities

Entities (hostile mobs, friendly mobs, and even things like items, hoppers, and armor stands) can be extremely resource intensive for a Minecraft server. 

We recommend limiting passive mobs (cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, etc.) as much as possible as well as making sure that any mob farms kill mobs instantly. This prevents them from building up in large amounts, causing lag. 


🔴 Villagers are also more resource intensive than other entities, so limiting them can be smart as well

With that being said, switching your server to PurPur, can reduce entity lag drastically. This is covered later in this article. 

⛰️ Chunk Loading

If you notice lag when you or your players are exploring, this means your lag is most likely coming from chunks. 

There isn't really a solution for this with a vanilla server outside of some minor changes that you can do in the server.properties file, which we will outline later in this article.

Luckily, Paper and PurPur improve chunk loading and allow it to produce significantly less lag.


🔥 Redstone

While redstone is one of the coolest parts of Minecraft, it can cause lag on Minecraft servers. 

Generally, static redstone builds that don't have clocks built in will only cause lag when they are used. In most cases, though, servers will be able to handle these builds without issue. 

Redstone builds that include clocks or recurring ticking can cause persistent lag on servers. For this reason, it can be a good idea to look at these builds if your server starts lagging.

PurPur also optimizes redstone allowing for bigger and more redstone builds before lag starts to occur. Keep in mind, though, that this can break some builds.

Switching to PurPur

It was mentioned with all of the main causes of lag in Minecraft, so it is worth mentioning specifically here. 

PurPur is Minecraft server software that specializes in optimization and lag prevention. With it, you can have more mobs, eliminate nearly all chunk lag, and build more redstone contraptions all while using less server resources. 

PurPur will allow you to add plugins to your server as well. However, this is not required. You can get a vanilla experience by not installing any plugins and just using the PurPur software. 

🖥️ Check out our complete guide on installing PurPur on your SimpleGameHosting server. 


Optimizing Your Server Files

Now, let's take a look at your server files. This, for a vanilla server, will just be your server.properties. 

🟢 If you make to switch to PurPur, you will have hundreds of more optimizations you can do in your server files. This a complete guide on configuring server files to prevent lag. 

Accessing Your server.properties File

In order to edit the server.properties file on your server, you will need to locate it. 

📝 Note: This can be done via SFTP, but we will be using the File Manage for this guide

  • Login to the SimpleGameHosting Control Panel.
  • Select the server you want edit the server.properties file on.
  • Click on "File Manager" in the menu bar. 
  • Click on the "server.properties" file in the File Manager to edit it. 

Editing the server.properties File

Below, you will find all of the settings that you need to change in the server.properties to help reduce lag on your server. 

view-distance: 4-8 

Your view distance affects how many chunks load around players. For vanilla survival worlds, 6-8 is recommended.

simulation-distance: 3-5

This affects the distance in chunks around players in which things around the will happen. For example, things like crops and saplings growing, furnaces working, animals growing up, and more will only happen if a player is within this amount of chunks of it. Setting this lower and your view distance higher allows players to see further without using a ton of server performance. 

sync-chunk-writes: false

By setting this to false, you are allowing the server to save chunks off the main thread of the CPU. This allows more room on your main tick loop for other things that cannot be moved off of it.


What if Your Server is Still Lagging

If your server is still lagging after all of these optimizations, feel free to reach out to our support team via Live Chat. We may be able to provide some more recommendations. 

Alternatively, upgrading your server may be required in order to fix performance issues in some cases. 

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