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Minecraft Realms vs Server Hosting

Posted: Sep 6, 2023 in Minecraft

mc head By Nathan Young


When deciding to play with friends in a Minecraft world, challenges may arise for some since there are two options available. The first is known as Realms with the second being dedicated servers. What’s the difference between them? Is Minecraft Realms better than a server? These kinds of questions can haunt newcomers to the multiplayer scene. Don’t worry though! We’ll be comparing Minecraft Realms to dedicated servers to help you make the choice. Alternatively, you might just be curious about their differences. In any case, this Apex Hosting blog should answer all your questions. Whether you only want a small world for friends or a large one open to the public, it’s important to understand Minecraft Realms and servers before making a decision. Let’s begin to unravel this comparison between both of them!

Hosting Your Own Minecraft Server vs Realms

Minecraft Realms vs Servers

The harsh reality is that realms aren’t popular in Minecraft’s community, as dedicated servers provide a lot more to its users. This isn’t just our opinion! Research shows that countless thousands of servers are available in Java and Bedrock Edition, despite Realms being accessible in both versions. Alright, so the difference is popularity? Not quite. There are lots of unique features across both Realms and servers, such as marketplace content or modding compatibility. We’ll break down each one for your convenience, then jump into a comparison. This should help you decide if Minecraft Realms or dedicated servers are the right choice.

What Are Realms?

Firstly, Minecraft Realms is an official paid subscription by Mojang to offer a 24/7 multiplayer experience to invited users. This means that only specific players, typically friends and family, can join the world. Sadly, only two people can be in the same world. Whether you’re on Java or Bedrock, this still applies. As for the gameplay, Minecraft Realms provides a vanilla experience to all players. This can be amplified with addons though, allowing you to have extra features.

Minecraft Realms


What Are Servers?

Minecraft Dedicated Server Hosting

The majority of Minecraft’s community uses dedicated servers to play with each other, as it’s considered the best. This isn’t an understatement! You can choose to install mods, plugins, datapacks, and have complete control over them. There’s even the possibility of crossplay between Java and Bedrock, which is used among hundreds of servers. Essentially, these give you the ability to do anything you want in Minecraft without being too limited.


What About Realms Plus?

There’s one more on our list to check out, known as Minecraft Realms Plus. This is an alternative subscription service from Mojang that provides you with more features than its normal variant. You can have up to 10 players with unique marketplace content in the world. This is a popular choice for those looking for a Realms experience, but costs more money. There still isn’t a lot of customization or control with this subscription type.

Minecraft Realms Plus


Major Differences

There’s a lot to both Minecraft Realms and dedicated servers, making it hard to narrow down on the most important differences. With this in mind, we’ve created a list of them down below to help you out. However, the alternative Realms Plus subscription isn’t involved since that only introduces exclusive content and slightly more control over its standard version. Review the following table to understand the most important differences between Minecraft realms and dedicated servers.

Minecraft RealmsDedicated Servers
Less cost-effectiveMore cost-effective
Requires an invite to join a worldAnyone can join with an address
Limited customizationEndless customization
Only up to 2 players can joinHundreds of players can join
Able to use paid marketplace contentAble to install mods, plugins, or datapacks
Play across multiple devices and consolesAbility to have Bedrock & Java Crossplay



Hosting your own Minecraft server comes with many benefits compared to Realms, as you’re given complete control over the gameplay. Whether you want mods or plugins for crossplay, there are endless possibilities. We encourage you to check out our Pricing Page to see if there’s an ideal plan for your 24/7 Minecraft server. However, players looking for a fun time in Bedrock can still use Realms, especially the alternative subscription option since that allows for marketplace content. Regardless of what you decide, we hope this blog helps you learn more about the differences between Minecraft Realms and dedicated servers. Have a good one, gamers!

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