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Paper, the Newest Technology in Minecraft: Java Edition Servers

Paper Server for Minecraft: Java Edition

My server has pretty much always had performance issues. Even though I run my Minecraft server on my supercomputer (see The Poor Man’s Guide to Making a Supercomputer), and allocate up to 24 GB of RAM to it, it still crashes sometimes. However, that has recently ended, since I heard about Paper.

Recent Minecraft Server Lag

Minecraft servers have not been sufficiently stable since 1.12.2. The largest Anarchy server in Minecraft, 2b2t, is currently stuck in version 1.12.2, and it can still only support 128 players at a time. Just to get in, there is a waiting list that lasts several hours.

The queue to get in to 2b2t
The queue to get into 2b2t. Image credit to the 2b2t Wiki

The reason that Minecraft servers are unstable is that they don’t support multiple cores. The machines that run the servers might be able to support 4, 8, 16, 32, or sometimes 64 cores, but Minecraft servers just won’t run on more than one core. Mojang has no support for multiple cores. This has been causing Minecraft servers to be incredibly laggy since 1.13.

On my server, my player base demands the latest release. This means that we have to run the buggy releases of Minecraft, just because our players want honey blocks. One fix I came up with (which was somewhat buggy) was to use JVM arguments to make the garbage cleaner use multiple cores, but it only worked on the garbage cleaner. Sometimes the server would just crash when too many players logged in.

The Introduction of Paper

This all changed a few days ago when I was researching servers, and I found Paper. Paper is the same thing as Spigot and supports both the Bukkit and Spigot libraries, but it can run much faster. This is because (I believe, I couldn’t find where Paper made how they improve performance public, but assuming from the JVM arguments) that Paper can run on multiple cores, and not just the garbage cleaner.

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TPS for Paper is almost perfect

Basic Takeaway

There are a few things to take away from this:

  • Paper can majorly improve server performance
  • There is nothing you have to sacrifice – Bukkit and Spigot plugins work fine on Paper
  • Paper is suitable for survival or a creative server that needs all of the standard Minecraft mechanics. I recommend Glowstone if you want to have a minigame server that doesn’t require standard Minecraft mechanics.
  • I will be doing paper tutorials for Minecraft server tutorials from here on out (though you can easily change them back to Spigot using reasoning)

If you want to get Paper, you can check it out at https://papermc.io.

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