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How To Add Plugins To Your Minecraft Server

Last modified on Oct 26, 2022 in plugins

mc head By Nathan Young


Hosting a Minecraft server with your friends and other players can be fun, but vanilla gameplay can become dull. This leads to a desire for new changes, something that can add tools, cosmetics, commands, among other features. If you run a Paper, Spigot, or bukkit-based server, then you can use plugins to solve this scenario. These are files you can add in the server to implement new functionality such as homes, an economy, custom items, rules, and so much more. Depending on how you want to install them, there are two possible options done from the panel. In this Apex Hosting guide, you’ll learn how to properly install Minecraft plugins on your server.

How to Install Plugins

There are two installation methods for using plugins on your Minecraft server, which gives you more options. The first one is a manual installation, while its counterpart is automatic. Most server owners use the manual option to install plugins, although the automatic variant saves time. Both of these achieve the same goal, but their instructions differ greatly. However, before you start installing plugins, the server must be on Paper, Spigot, or other bukkit types. If the server isn’t set on that, then review this to change the Minecraft version. Once you have a valid setup, follow one of the methods below to install plugins.

FTP Panel

The first way of installing Minecraft plugins is through the FTP panel, which is highly recommended since it’s the most reliable option. This allows you to know exactly what’s being installed, thereby giving you more control and safety measures. For instance, you wouldn’t want to mistakenly install a backdoor plugin on the server, as it would allow griefers to ruin your world. However, you can review our How to Find Minecraft Plugins tutorial that shows safe ways to locate them. Learn how to manually install plugins by following the instructions down below.

  1. Head to your Apex server panel, then press FTP File Access in the top left corner.
    Apex Server Panel FTP File Access
  2. Use your password to login, then navigate into the plugins directory.
    Apex Server FTP Panel Plugins
  3. Once there, press Upload in the top left of your screen.
    Apex Server FTP Panel Upload
  4. Drag the plugin JAR files into the “Drop files here to upload” section, then wait for them to reach 100%.
    Apex Server FTP Panel Plugin Upload
  5. Return to the main panel and click Restart, as this will load the plugins.
  6. Join your server and use the /plugins command to confirm if they appear in the list.
    Minecraft Plugins Command

    Note: If successful, the plugins will appear as green in the list.


Plugin List

Our custom panel feature allows you to easily install plugins with just a few clicks, rather than downloading and uploading them. It’s called the Plugin List and is the automatic way to install plugins on the server. Unlike the manual method, you can simply use the built-in search function to find what you need and install them with one-click. However, we do not control what plugins appear in the list, so be careful when exploring and using them. This is important since you can accidentally install a bad plugin, which can cause issues for your world. Follow the steps below to start automatically installing plugins.

  1. Head towards your Apex server panel, then click Plugin List in the top left corner.
    Apex Server Panel Plugin List
  2. Once there, you may change the Source from Bukkit to Spigot. Spigot is suggested!
    Apex Server Plugin List Source
  3. Next, use the Category section to narrow the results through specific types of plugins.
    Apex Server Plugin List Category

    Note: You can keep it “All Categories” if you’re unable to locate the plugin.

  4. Afterward, use the Name field to search for the plugin you want.
  5. When the plugin’s name is typed, press Enter on your keyboard to look it up.
    Apex Server Plugin List Search
  6. When you find the plugin, click its name and press Install.
  7. Wait for it to finish, then you should see more options such as to remove the plugin. This means you installed it!
  8. Return to the main panel, then click Restart so they can load into the game.
  9. After it loads, join the server and use the /plugins command to confirm they worked.
    Minecraft Plugins Command

    Note: Every plugin should appear as green in the list after running the command.



Plugins are a great way to add custom features to enhance your Minecraft experience, especially when you have other players. Whether you use the manual or automatic installation method, it’s entirely possible to implement them into a compatible server. Once the plugins are installed, no additional steps are needed to get started. This means that players don’t have to use them on their launcher, unlike mods. When you play with plugins, you may want to tweak some aspects to them, which is done through its configuration files. Most of these are completely customizable, but some may limit your abilities. Regardless of this, we hope that this guide helps you install Minecraft plugins on your server.

Common Issues

Plugins Stuck when Uploading
Sometimes, plugins can become frozen when uploading them via the FTP method. This can happen if the server is having an issue or the file is too large. The best way to fix the problem is to Stop the server and re-log into the FTP panel, then try again. Otherwise, you can use an FTP client to install your plugins.

Unable to Automatically Install Plugins
In rare cases, Spigot or Bukkit plugins cannot be retrieved from their databases in the panel. This will not allow any plugins to be installed, and sadly there isn’t a foolproof solution. Either wait for the database issue to resolve on its own or use the manual method to install plugins.

Plugins Aren’t Loaded
Despite the method used for installing plugins, a server restart is required to load them. If you’ve done that and nothing appeared in the /plugins command, then something went wrong. One scenario is that the plugins attempted to load, but got disabled due to a missing dependency or wrong Minecraft version. This would make it show up in-game as red via the command. Otherwise, it simply wouldn’t appear at all and could be an indication that the plugin is broken. The best fix to both of these situations is to find a replacement, as it’s unlikely for multiple plugins to be problematic.

Useful Links

How to Find Minecraft Plugins
Recommended Plugins
How to Use the FTP Panel
How to Change Server Version

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