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How to code Minecraft plugins from scratch (without prior experience)

November 25, 2019 | Published by Matej Pacan

Ever wondered how to code your own Minecraft plugins and develop custom servers from the ground up? This article from the largest Minecraft education portal on Earth is designed to help you quickly.

A lot of Minecraft server owners are tired and frustrated of broken and limited plugins that can’t do what they want them to do. The choice of existing plugins is large, however most of them are hard to configure, prone to bugs and errors, and their authors hard to reach or give up soon after the first version(s).

So is there a better alternative than to rely on the existing plugins?

There are two options to transform your ideas into reality:

#1 You find talented developers and build a great team
#2 You learn how to code your own plugins fast and implement what you want, the way you want it

Warning: There’s a lot of psychology and principles oriented thinking in this article. To avoid failure, frustration, procrastination and overwhelm when coding, please read this article in full.  

Finding Developers And Building a Team

If you have a large budget, you can opt in for this. However, don’t think that money will save you out of trouble. We have seen enough servers struggle with communication with their developer team. Even if you succeed at finding talented developers (that are expensive), you still need to be in contact with them and explain everything you need.

This can create misunderstandings and communication is often painfully complicated and slow. Besides, every developer has their own likings and may or may not comply to your requests in the exact way as you outlined it. If you don’t need a ground-up built server like Mineplex, chances are you can do it quicker and for free instead of finding and building a developer team.

Learning How To Code Quickly Without Prior Experience

This option is suitable for 99% of people. Even if you need an extremely large solution like Mineplex or Hypixel, you still need to understand at least the basics so you won’t need to ping your developer team each time you need to change a simple message in the code for you.

Coding is easier and faster than most people experience. The problem out there is a lack of quality resources, proven systems to follow and professional guidance to help you get unstuck. And as you probably know, if you’re a beginner, you’ll get stuck a lot.

Getting Started With Coding For Free

Here are some great starting points for coding plugins. Minecraft updates rapidly and plugins break, so I really tried to write this article in an universal and future-proof way to avoid putting out a version-specific advice out there.

Understand This Before You Start

Minecraft is coded in Java. Everything we do will have to do with the Java programming language. If you never coded anything before, or you don’t understand the Java programming language, you need to learn it before you can developer great Minecraft plugins. Yes, this tutorial is designed as a jumpstart right into production and we will not cover how Java works in general, but for most people you need to learn it simultaneously if you are serious about your progress.

#1 Prepare Your Battle Plan and Mindset

No, the first step is, contrary to what most articles do, NOT downloading software and clicking a freaking button to create a new project right away. You can do this and give up, like most people after 1-4 weeks. Before you even touch something, you need to set your foundations right.

Start by planning out the next 30 days – what days will you be able to dedicate to this, and how many hours? Any important exams, doctor appointments, job or client work, or holidays? Once you get that handled, set a specific goal for the month. It can be ‘I will easily code a double-jump plugin in the next 30 days.’ It should be attainable and realistic to your level of experience.

Studies show that most people over-exaggerate their expectations so you should probably divide yours by 1/3 or more. Once you start seeing progress from something realistic it will give you a “winner’s effect” and a feeling of empowerment that will keep you motivated. If you set the bar too high you will crash and lose motivation once you get stuck, and then find yourself browsing Facebook or Youtube videos and soon give up on your plan. So really, keep this in mind (I warned you)!

#2 Prepare Your Computer

Now it’s actually a time to get your computer ready for the war.

  1. Downloading Java JDK 8. Minecraft is programmed in the Java programming language. At this time we recommend Java version 8 despite versions 12+ available on the market, since this is the version Minecraft 1.8.8 through 1.14+ use. By using a newer version because you want you expose yourself to methods that are unavailable on an older version and make your plugin completely break for most users, since most servers and hosting providers use Java JDK 8.
    1. Uninstall your Java version if you have one. Most computers with Java run Java JRE which is for playing games not for developing them, uninstall it.
    2. Get the latest (highest uX number) Java JDK 8 from the following link (the official link now requires login and credentials): [click here]
    3. Install both JDK and JRE when you run your installation.
  2. Downloading an IDE. This stands for Integrated Development Environment, or simply the software with which you code, such as Word for making text documents. We recommend either Eclipse or IntelliJ. Both are excellent IDE’s and give you powerful environment to code quickly. Our courses support both IntelliJ and Eclipse.
    1. We recommend IntelliJ for beginners. Get the Community Version from [here].
    2. Eclipse if you have a slower computer or want to work on a lot of projects at once. Get the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers from [here].
  3. Setting up a test server. Create a local test server right on your computer to make testing your plugins seamless and blazingly fast. Basic tutorial [here]. We recommend you use Paper instead of Bukkit/Spigot for highest performance, get it [here].

Here are the resources mentioned in this video:

#3 Code Your First Minecraft Plugin And Win

Now you have a computer and a mind that’s (hopefully) ready for making some awesome plugins! The next step is to follow the video below to learn how to code your first plugin from scratch.

Here are the resources mentioned in this video:

Now what?

Now that you have your first plugin up and running, you can start transforming your ideas into reality and expand it to slowly replace the sub-optimal and broken plugins you’ve been limited to until now.

If you know how to code your own plugins, the possibilities are endless. Need a custom solution that no other plugin can offer? Oftentimes it is infinitely quicker and easier (and at 0 costs!) when you just sit by your computer for a few hours and make a custom plugin. Of course, large servers need proper developer teams, but for most smaller server owners, coding plugins on their own is the easiest and most convenient way to start and grow.

If you dream about becoming a developer, getting a prestigious computing or data-related job, the journey of coding Minecraft plugins will help you. You will understand principles of an object-oriented language as Java is, and this will open a gateway to the world of computer programming which enables you to learn any other language much quicker than if you did not posses any experience beforehand. And you also have your own project(s) to put on your resume to increase your chances.

Finally, if you want to become an entrepreneur and build your own business, having an extra computer experience is always handy, since it can be easily transformed into other parts of the digital world, it will help you build your software/platform/app/whatever quicker and simpler if you already know a computer language.

This is a long-journey, and that’s why we’ve prepared an entire program helping you become self-reliant and code groundbreaking plugins from scratch.

What is Project Orion?

We created Project Orion to help you become self-reliant and learn how to code your own Minecraft plugins. With no prior experience required, you will discover how advanced plugins are created, and will be able to completely customize every aspect of a Minecraft server from the ground up.

Project Orion includes a complete Java course (from beginner to advanced), a complete Bukkit/Spigot API course, live Q&A 1on1 calls twice per week, a private community, dedicated support team to help you out and lots of interactive materials, downloadable PDF’s, source codes under each video and even handy reminders and summaries for you to just download and massively accelerate your learning!

We have now over 600 students and hundreds of positive testimonials from people all around the world getting results, building their own, unique servers, and turning their ideas into a reality. Now it’s your time. Get it [here].

…LEARN MORE ABOUT PROJECT ORION

Sincerely,
Matej

Matej Pacan

Matej Pacan helps people build and grow success Minecraft networks, build complex systems, hire and manage teams better, reduce overhead and take a leading role on the market. He founded MineAcademy with the mission of creating the world's best educational platform where any idea can be transformed into reality on your own demand.

Are you ready to join the revolution?

Your Minecraft server 2.0 has been waiting for this.