Replicating a Modpack via Spigot Plugins
Last modified on May 9, 2023 in General
By Nathan Young
Hosting a Forge or Fabric Minecraft server can introduce many new features to the game, such as machines, custom equipment, and unique materials. Unfortunately, most mods require all players to install them on their client before connecting, making it a complicated process for some. This is especially true with modpacks, as they’re a large collection of modifications. Luckily, this isn’t the case for Spigot or Paper since they use plugins instead. These are only installed on the server and require no client-side setup. If you’re wanting to create a modpack-like experience that doesn’t force players to download files, then using the Nova plugin is highly recommended. This, combined with its addons, makes your server extremely similar to a modded one since it implements machines, power blocks, custom gear, and other items. There is minor configuration needed beforehand, which can confuse new owners. With this in mind, we’ve created this Apex Hosting guide to show you how to set up the Nova plugin on your Minecraft server to replicate a modpack experience.
How to Download
- Navigate to Nova on Spigot, then click the
Download Nowbutton to the right.
- Save this file somewhere easily accessible on your computer.
- Do the same process for its addons: Logistics, Machines, and Jetpacks.
After downloading the plugin, you’re prepared to upload it into your server’s File Transfer Protocol (FTP) system. However, make sure to avoid using the addon files during this process since that comes later on. The following instructions below show you how to install Nova on the server.
- Head towards your Apex server panel and click
FTP File Accesson the left-hand side.
Important: Ensure you’re using the correct Server Profile for this installation.
- Proceed to enter your password in the text box, then press
- Locate and enter the plugins directory, then select
Uploadat the top left corner.
- Continue to drag and drop your downloaded file into the respective area.
- Wait for all of them to reach
100%, then return to the main panel.
Restartthe server to load the plugin and its configuration files.
Make sure your server is using Spigot or Paper 1.19.3 and higher, as Nova doesn’t support older versions. This means you cannot use Forge, Fabric, default Minecraft, or other types unless it’s compatible with plugins. Changing your server to one of the supported kinds above requires you to tweak the Game File section of the main panel.
Once you’ve restarted the server with Nova installed, the addons can now be uploaded. These are stored in a separate directory compared to normal plugins, so make sure to follow the steps below to successfully install them.
- Navigate to the
FTP File Accessarea, then enter the
- Continue to select the
Novasubdirectory and click on the addons folder.
- Once there, press
Uploadat the top left corner.
- Drag and drop the downloaded addon files into the respective area.
- Wait for all of them to reach
Restartthe server from the main panel.
Resource Pack Setup
Due to Nova’s design and mod-like functionality, you’ll need to set up its resource pack. This is absolutely necessary to get everything working, as it determines how custom items are displayed, among other visual aspects. This will not disrupt vanilla Minecraft textures since it’s only adding new kinds to the game. The entire process is split into three sections: Downloading, Uploading, and Enabling. Follow each of them to install Nova’s resource pack on the server.
- Enter the
Novadirectory from the
pluginsfolder in the FTP panel.
- Afterward, continue to click the resource_pack subdirectory.
- Proceed to press
Downloadto the right of ResourcePack.zip.
- Save this file somewhere easily accessible for later use.
- When it’s downloaded, navigate to MC-Packs and click
Choose Fileto the left.
- Select the ResourcePack.zip file, then press
Uploadto the bottom right.
- Wait for this to finish and copy the
Download URLlink when it appears.
Optional: Leave this tab open if you need it for future reference.
- Return to the
Novadirectory in the FTP panel.
- Enter the
configsfolder, then press
Editto the right of config.yml.
- Inside the file editor, highlight resource_pack: and paste the following:
resource_pack: url: 
- Replace “” with your MC-Packs link, click
Saveat the top and return to the main panel.
Restartthe server to apply the changes, then join to confirm it works.
Note: You may need to remove the server from your list and re-add it to accept the pack.
Upon joining your server, you’ll notice that when looking at anything, a popup box will appear. This gives you detailed information about the material you’re viewing, such as the tool needed to break it. Additionally, using this helps you gauge machine fuels, power supply, and more. Once you’re familiar with this system, try executing the /nova items command to learn what’s available in the Nova plugin. However, you may have to become a server operator before executing it. There are other helpful commands, discussed in the subsection below to get you started.
Whether you’re an operator or using a permissions manager, like LuckPerms, these commands should be available to you. Some of them allow you to spawn custom items, view their recipes, or toggle specific features from the plugin. In other words, these commands are an important part of Nova that helps you configure and play with it. Review the list below to gain a better understanding of each one to use in-game.
|View all available items from Nova and its addons.
|/nova give [player] [item]
|Spawn any custom item or material in your inventory.
|/nova advancedTooltips [on/off]
|Toggle advanced tooltips from appearing in-game.
|Displays the currently installed addons in the server.
|Main command for using the automatic resource pack system (not suggested).
|Reloads the entire plugin and addon files to apply recent changes.
|Controls the render distance for the plugin to use, only between 1-6 values.
|Used to debug issues, show additional information, and reload networks from the plugin.
|Shows the recipe for a custom item or material in-hand.
|Shows the usage for a custom item or material in-hand.
|Bypass the TileEntity limits.
|Get reminded to update the plugin if a newer version is available.
Machines & Power
The core of the Nova plugin is its machinery, as there are lots of possible devices to use in your world. These range from automatic fishers to cobblestone generators. Due to the amount of them, we’ll go through three popular machines. Remember, using the /nova items command in-game shows you all items, materials, and blocks to possibly use. Do this if you want to learn about all of them. Otherwise, continue to review our brief list below to get an idea of Nova machines.
Before using any machines, you’ll need to craft a device to capture power from the environment. One of the best ones to use is a Solar Panel, as it directly collects energy from the sun. The only downside to this is no power being generated at night time. Despite this, all energy is stored within the system to be used for other purposes.
A Charger block is used to store additional energy, which can replenish items or materials needing more power. For example, if you’re wanting to build an automatic mine, then this block is needed to duel the devices. A common way to collect energy is using a solar panel on top of it, allowing for easy access to power.
Once you’ve obtained power, using a Cobblestone Generator with water and lava inside can automatically farm stone. This also allows you to get obsidian, but removes the lava afterward. This is manually configured in its GUI, which has input and output fields for your desires.
Minecraft is filled with resources, almost all of which is obtainable by players. Due to this, the Nova plugin allows you to store them in unique ways. This includes a Vacuum Chest, Storage Unit, and a Fluid Tank. The first instantly sucks any dropped item or material inside of it, within a specific radius. The second stores an infinite amount of resources inside of it, exceeding the 64x limit. As for the last one, it simply stores liquid for other uses. However, there are several tiers of tanks to choose from for this process. There are some sub variants of these storage devices, with individualized abilities for each type. Remember, using the /nova items command allows you to view all of them for your reference.
Just like other modpacks, the Nova plugin introduces new weapons and tools to use in-game. These are made from Star Materials, which is obtainable through a Star Collector block. Upon obtaining enough resources, you can craft a Star Pickaxe and other items. Each one is a mixture of iron, gold, and diamond tools, meaning you can mine quickly but it breaks easily. These materials add extra options for your players to use in-game, adding onto the modded experience.
Movement is an important part of Minecraft, which is why Nova added Jetpacks to the game. These come in several tiers, with some requiring lots of energy to power. Using this differs from an elytra, as you’re given the ability to move in any direction. Additionally, you can hover in the sky to help build your bases, explore the world, or escape from a combat situation. These jetpacks need to be charged before lift off, so make sure you have enough available energy.
Similarly to mods, the Nova plugin has multiple configuration files for you to tweak. These control custom item IDs, messages, core features, and other aspects. Starting to edit them can be confusing, so we advise checking out the official wiki for more information. Besides this, review the process below to access and edit the config files.
- Head towards your
FTP File Accessarea, then enter the plugins folder.
- Continue to the following directory:
- Continue to locate your desired configuration file and press
- Make your changes, then press
Saveat the top of the editor.
- Return to the main panel and
Restartthe server to apply the edits.
Using Nova is a great start to begin a modpack experience on a plugin-based server, but may not be enough. Installing more plugins can really make everything feel modded. We’ll review popular ones to try out that will work nicely with Nova. However, you can always find other plugins on your own through our official tutorial here.
EssentialsX - An extremely popular plugin that adds teleportation, kits, spawn points, an economy, among so many other features. This is a must-have for any Minecraft server using plugins, especially owners trying to replicate modpacks. Everything about this plugin and its addons provides you with lots of control, as you can toggle almost any functionality.
MCRealistic - This is a rather simple plugin due to its core features, as it adds thirst, fatigue, sickness, and realistic physics. For instance, blocks will now fall down due to gravity. Installing this plugin on your server mimics realism-based modpacks, which is a popular theme in Minecraft. The configuration for it allows for owners to tweak everything about these functions.
LevelledMobs - In cases where gameplay is too peaceful, installing this plugin will give players a challenge. Whether you’re fighting a boss level creature or a stronger zombie, there are countless new enemies to slay. There are default ones created by the developers, but you can make your own. After killing one, they have unique drops to give players as a reward.
EnhancedEnchants - A critical part of Minecraft is enchanting tools, weapons, and armor to grant the player buffs. These can range from sharpness on swords to efficiency on pickaxes. However, using this plugin allows you to exceed default levels for each enchantment. In other words, you can create an overpowered tool that isn’t obtainable in vanilla servers.
TerraformGenerator - Making your server like a modpack can also involve using custom biomes, as it’s a common feature in many mod collections. Using this plugin gives you the ability to generate unique worlds with lots of different areas to explore. The players can truly experience a modded experience with this installed on your server.
MyCommand - If you have many plugins installed on your server, then using MyCommand will make using their functionality a lot easier. For example, you can create shortcut commands or custom GUI menus with other plugin features inside of it. This can personalize any server, especially for owners wanting to make a modpack-like experience.
Sometimes, the plugin will not work properly on servers. This is likely due to either missing the resource pack or addons. Remember, these are separate processes that need to be done by you. Only afterward, everything will begin working normally in-game. However, make sure your server supports plugins. In other words, use either Spigot or Paper for 1.19.3 and above.
If you’ve configured the resource pack, then installed addons, it will not work. This is due to textures needing to be updated after enabling extra Nova features. Simply redownload the file from the server and redo the uploading and enabling processes to get it loading in-game. However, a similar situation may arise if you decide to delete an addon. With this in mind, redoing the resource pack setup tends to fix any corruption issues.
Make sure to become a server operator or be in configured rank from your permissions plugin before executing Nova commands. In other words, you’ll need to have authorization on your account before running them in-game. However, if the situation persists, then it could mean the plugin isn’t working properly. Double-check you’ve successfully installed it on a compatible server type, which can be confirmed via the /plugins command.