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Category - Mods and Plugins Together


There are two primary ways to enhance Minecraft, using modifications or plugins. Both of these are similar, but mods require players to install them on their launcher before loading the world. Plugins on the other hand only need to be configured in the server, making anyone able to join without prior installations. Combining both of them together isn’t viable on many setups, as they lack compatibility. Fortunately, there are a few workarounds to resolve this situation to provide players with mod and plugin support. This requires hybrid servers with a specific configuration, which can be manually or automatically done through our panel. Once everything is correctly set up, you can have plugins on a modpack or other similar features. With this in mind, we’ve created this Apex Hosting guide to teach you more about mods and plugins together in your Minecraft server.

Requirements for Compatibility

Minecraft Mods and Plugins Together

As mentioned above, hybrid servers are needed to support both mods and plugins in Minecraft. These involve using Cauldron, Magma, Cardboard, or SpongeForge, which are the most popular kinds to use for this compatibility. The first type is for Minecraft 1.6.4 and 1.7.10, which cannot support higher versions and leads some to not choose this option. Fortunately, Magma is for Forge 1.12.2, 1.16.5, and 1.18.2, allowing for more features in the server. Continuing on, Cardboard is a modification for Fabric 1.16 to 1.18 that permits plugin compatibility. As for the last one, SpongeForge is for Minecraft 1.8 to 1.16.5 and only supports specific addons from their platform with mods included. Setting up Cauldron or Magma requires you to select them from the Game File area in the main panel, making it easier for you. The others need you to manually install it on the server and additional configuration, which can be difficult for newcomers to the hosting scene.

Benefits of Mods & Plugins

Minecraft Mods and Plugins Benefits

There are universal benefits for setting up any type of hybrid server, but some limit your ability to enhance Minecraft. For example, SpongeForge only allows you to install their plugins rather than Spigot ones. This may not be for everyone, but does permit Forge modifications that are for its game version. On the other hand, Cauldron, Magma, and Cardboard gives you the chance to install any plugin with mods accordingly. Due to this, these might be the best options you can try out on your server.

Whether you’re wanting to set up Cardboard on the Valhelsia Enhanced Vanilla modpack or simply combine individual addons together with Magma, there are more opportunities compared to SpongeForge. This can give you the ability to have a completely different experience than any other configuration on your server. Although, there are downsides to having a hybrid server that any owner should know about.

The Downsides

While running a hybrid server with any of the available types, there are drawbacks. The main issue is crashing, as having either too many plugins/mods or incompatible ones together can cause the problem. This can occasionally reset your progress in-game to a previous state, similar to restorations. Due to hybrid server designs, there aren’t many solutions to fix crashes besides uninstalling bad addons. Additionally, there isn’t too much support for mods or plugins while having these kinds of setups.

Minecraft Server Crashed

This can be frustrating for some owners, as an issue may arise with a specific configuration that requires assistance from the developer or author. In other words, hybrid servers have a higher risk for crashing and performance issues, but have compatibility for almost all addons.

Setting up Hybrid Servers

Minecraft Hybrid Servers

As for the actual configuration of your hybrid server, this process differs depending on the selected type. Due to this, we’ll be breaking them down into subsections for your convenience. However, it’s strongly encouraged to review their own dedicated documentation for more details. Besides this, review the information below to begin understanding your specific hybrid configuration.

Magma and Cauldron

Minecraft Magma
Minecraft Cauldron

Remember, Magma and Cauldron are selectable options in the server panel’s Game File section. This is where you can quickly and easily install them, which will only take a few minutes. Make sure to click Change Version, Create New World, and Restart Now in the prompts after choosing one from the panel. However, making a new Server Profile is heavily suggested for the best results. This will keep your previous files safe, while giving you a new directory for this hybrid setup.


Using SpongeForge requires you choose a viable Forge version from the Game File area, then installing it through the FTP panel. Visit the official page to download this file and review this tutorial to successfully set it up. Summarizing this guide, you’ll need to add “_AA” to the filename after uploading it to the mods directory. Afterward, owners can begin adding plugins to the server with any applicable modifications. Make sure to avoid uploading incorrect versions as this will cause issues.

SpongeForge Minecraft



Minecraft Cardboard Fabric

Similarly to SpongeForge, Cardboard requires you to install a file in the server’s FTP panel. However, this is only for Fabric setups and should be selected in the Game File area accordingly. Download this modification from their official page on CurseForge, then follow this tutorial to install it. Essentially, you’ll need to transfer this file to the mods directory and Restart the server to load it. Remember, Cardboard is for Fabric and does not support Forge addons.



Regardless of which hybrid server you used to get mods and plugins to work, the outcome is relatively the same. Whether you’re using Cardboard on a modpack or combining Essentials and other modifications on a Magma server, players can enjoy many features. Remember, hybrid types are more prone to crashing than other kinds due to their design. If you’ve encountered problems, then consider reviewing our Optimization Guide and Modded Performance Tutorial to resolve possible issues. Besides this, we hope this was helpful so you can start playing with mods and plugins in Minecraft.

Useful Links

Setting up a Magma Minecraft Server
Starting a Cauldron Minecraft Server
How to Install Mods on Minecraft Servers
Installing Plugins on a Minecraft Server