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How to Install Plugins on a Minecraft Java Server

Last modified on Jun 8, 2022 in Control Panel

mc head By Noah


Vanilla Minecraft can be fun, but it may get a bit stale after a while. Being able to add new features to the game without waiting for Mojang to do so can be the key to alleviating any boredom you may have in your server. This is where plugins will come into play.

Plugins are server-side pieces of software that can add features to a server without the need to make any client side changes as you may need to with mods. There are tens of thousands of plugins that are available across the internet so there is almost never a time where you can’t find something you want or need.

In order to install plugins your server needs to be running either Spigot or Paper as the server version. Both will accept plugins from the Bukkit and Spigot websites. If you are unsure how to change your server version you can check our guide on this here.

How to Install Plugins through the Plugin List

Here at Apex Hosting we have a great curated list of plugins from Bukkit and Spigot that is directly integrated in your panel. This will be one of the easiest ways to install plugins on your Java server.

  1. Login to your Apex Hosting Panel and select the server you want to install the plugins too.
  2. Select Plugin List on the left hand side of the panel.
  3. On this page you can select either Bukkit or Spigot as your source. The only difference may be the results you get. Both sources of plugins should work on the server.
  4. You can then search for specific names of plugins or by category. Once you find a plugin you wish to install click on it.
    Plugin list
  5. Now at the top of the page verify that there is a compatible version for your server version, e.g. If your server is running Paper 1.16.5 you will want to make sure there is a version that states compatibility with 1.16.
  6. Once you verify there is a compatible version you can select it in the Version dropdown menu. Then click install to the right! You can verify the process has completed by checking your server console.
    Plugin list install
  7. Once the process is complete be sure to restart your server for the plugin to load.


How to Install Plugins through FTP

Sometimes the plugin list may not have what you are looking for. In that case you might need to search online for a direct download of a plugin Jar file. There are a few popular sources to get plugins such as the Dev Bukkit site, the SpigotMC site, and sometimes directly from developers’ github pages or websites. Generally the best way to find a plugin online is by simply googling the name or keywords of the plugin.

  1. Download the plugin jar file from its source online.
    Spigot Plugin Install
  2. Head to the FTP File Access tab on your panel and login.
  3. Once you have logged in, locate and click on the plugins folder.
    Plugin Folder
  4. Once you are inside the plugins folder click upload to the left and drag in your jar file.
    FTP Install
  5. Once the file reaches 100% uploaded you can then go back to your main panel page.
  6. Now restart the server to allow the plugin to load.


Common Issues

Plugins Not Loading:

Sometimes after you restart the server the plugins still may not load. You can check if a plugin is loaded by running /plugins in-game. If it is green then it should be loaded. If it is not in the list or red then there may be an issue. Verify the plugin is compatible with your server version as well as check its plugin page to ensure it has no needed dependency plugins. Sometimes if you restart the server and watch the console output it may tell you exactly what the error is or what plugin is missing for it to work.

Plugin List Download Failure:

If you are trying to download a plugin from the included Plugin List on your panel and it is giving you errors, for example it may say error downloading plugin, this would generally indicate an issue with the source site of the plugin. If this happens we recommend you manually install the plugin to the server by following the FTP part of this guide.

No Plugins Folder:

If you are trying to manually install plugins to the server but cannot find the plugins folder then either your server does not accept plugins or you may have forgotten to restart after changing versions to Spigot or Paper. Verify your server is compatible by checking the selected version in the Jar File dropdown on your panel. Certain compatible versions would be: Spigot, Paper, Magma, Thermos, and Cauldron.

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