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Running a vanilla Minecraft server is fun, but the real advantage to using Bukkit is the ability to install plugins to change gameplay. Bukkit plugins can do anything from protecting your world and managing large servers to adding gameplay and new features, and we’ve compiled a list of the best to add to your server.

RELATED: How to Run a Spigot Minecraft Server for Customized Multiplayer

In case you’re not familiar with Bukkit, it is a modified fork of the official Minecraft server released by Mojang. It allows server admins to modify and protect the world, and to install server-side mods to change gameplay. It is also faster than the official server. The latest version of Bukkit is called Spigot, and you can read up on it here.

Installing Plugins

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Installing plugins is fairly simple, just drag and drop the plugin .jar file into your server’s ‘plugins’ folder, and restart the server. However, problems can arise when installing lots of plugins or incompatible plugins. Outdated Bukkit plugins may or may not work. Check which version of Bukkit you are running by typing “/version” into chat. Most of the time, plugins built for 1.7 will work for 1.8, but sometimes they do not. It is recommended to only install plugins one at a time so that in the event of a compatibility issue, you will know which one caused the issue.

WorldGuard

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WorldGuard is a expansive plugin that protects your world. Out of the box, it protects your world from being destroyed by monsters or new players. The main feature is the ability to make regions and define rules in those regions. For example, you could set a region to contain your house and set the game rules for that region so that nobody except you could go inside or place blocks. You can also prevent items like TNT from being used inside the region. WorldGuard has lots of good features and should be installed on any public server looking to protect itself from players who just want to destroy things.

WorldGuard can be downloaded from the Bukkit Developer’s page

WorldEdit

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RELATED: Make Building in Minecraft Easier with WorldEdit

WorldEdit is the most complicated on this list, but it isn’t hard to get the hang of. WorldEdit makes the repetitive tasks in Minecraft easier by offering command-line alternatives. For example, instead of filling in every stone block in a 1000 block floor, you can select the corners of the floor and fill it in with WorldEdit. This makes building outlines for large projects easier. WorldEdit is a useful plugin for building large projects, but if you prefer building in survival, this plugin isn’t necessary.

WorldEdit can be downloaded from the Bukkit Developer’s page.

Multiverse

Multiverse is a plugin that adds support for multiple Minecraft worlds. With Multiverse, you can load twenty different Minecraft worlds on to your server, and travel between them. It also has commands for generating new worlds entirely. This plugin is good for any large server that needs more space, or a small server looking to add new worlds. The plugin Multiverse-Core contains the basics for the plugin, and can be downloaded from the Bukkit Developer’s page. It has a companion plugin, Multiverse-Portals, which makes it easy to travel between world without commands.

Vault

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Vault is a plugin unlike the others. Vault manages interactions between plugins, and is vital for any server running lots of plugins. Vault gives plugins easy hooks into permissions, chat, and economy systems and manages these systems. Since it is such a useful API, quite a few plugins require or benefit from it. Vault is not a sparkly plugin packed with features, but it’s something that’s needed. It can be downloaded from the Bukkit Developer page.

If you want an Economy system on your server, you need Vault. Vault supports many popular systems, including CraftConomy and iConomy.

bPermissions

bPermissions ties in with Vault, and manages which players can execute certain commands. For example, you could give players the ability to change from survival to creative mode, but not the ability to use WorldEdit. There are other permissions plugins out there, but bPermissions is supported by Vault and is easy to use in-game without editing any server files. It is available for download from the Bukkit Developer page.

LaggRemover

LaggRemover is another utility plugin that helps the server run better by clearing up unneeded entities and unloading chunks that don’t need to stay loaded. It’s another plugin that isn’t shiny and game-changing, but it is definitely worth an install. It is available for download from the Bukkit Developer page.

DynMap

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DynMap is a great plugin that makes an interactive map of your world, accessible from the Internet. DynMap actually runs a website from within your Minecraft server, and you can connect to it by entering your Minecraft server’s IP address (just ‘localhost’ if you’re running it from your home computer) followed by ” :8123 “, the port number for DynMap. DynMap is an awesome plugin for any server taking up large building projects, or a survival server looking to plan out bases, or just viewing your Minecraft world without the in-game maps. It is available for download from the Bukkit Developer page.

Citizen and Denizen

Citizen and Denizen are two plugins that go well together. Citizens is a plugin that adds NPCs to your world and supports add-ons to make them do different tasks. Denizen is a plugin that ties into Citizens, but also works on it’s own. Denizen is a full scripting language for Minecraft. You can create scripted NPCs with Citizens or forego Citizens entirely and just use Minecraft to code. Citizen and Denizen are not recommended for the average Minecraft user, but if it’s something that interests you, check out Citizens and Denizen.