A common question we get is "How much RAM do I need to run my Minecraft server?" - the answer is: 4. No, wait! The real answer is... it depends. In this article we'll be walking you through how you can figure out how much RAM you need to run your server.

Quick rules of thumb  for Vanilla Minecraft Servers

Players Minecraft Java Minecraft Bedrock
1-5 Players Minimum of 1GB Minimum of 1GB
5-10 Players 2GB - 3GB 2GB
Up to 20 Players 4GB - 6GB 3GB
Up to 40 Players 6GB - 8GB 4GB

If you're ready to start your own Minecraft server then click here!

Part 1: Not all RAM is created equal.

4GB of DDR3 RAM is not the same as 4GB of DDR4 RAM.

When determining you hosting provider you need to check the hardware the provider uses. Budget hosting providers often cheap out on RAM and will buy old RAM and then advertise a really low price for 4GB of RAM - it's a common trap users fall into. The number is not all that matters. Sticks of RAM are not created equal and you need to ensure you hosting provider is buying quality components. DDR3 RAM is slower than DDR4, significantly.

DDR3 vs DDR4 RAM Performance

The difference between DDR3 and DDR4 is staggering, so you might be surprised to hear that over 50% of the Minecraft hosting providers on the market use DDR3. At ServerFlex we use high-end enterprise hardware, and offer DDR4 RAM with all our servers - you can read more about our hardware here.

Part 2: It's not all about RAM

RAM is important for Minecraft, it is a very RAM intensive game, however it isn't everything; CPU specs also matter. A common trend we see among free, or cheap hosting providers is a high allocation of RAM per server, but a huge number of servers sharing the same (often low spec) CPU. Each time you destroy or place a block, each time you move, every time you do anything in Minecraft the server needs to run logic to determine the consequences - this takes processing power. A low spec CPU with many users sharing it will slow down your server - the CPU will be split between too many processes. Make sure to check the CPU your hosting provider uses!

To a lesser degree, you also need to check the storage your server hosting company provides - Minecraft is constantly reading and writing files to disk so if you are using older hard-drives over modern NVMe SSD's then you will notice a performance drop.

With so many different factors playing into the speed of your server, you may feel a little overwhelmed - well, there is a solution. Find a solid, reliable and transparent hosting provider that doesn't put across bogus sales and marketing gimmicks, doesn't oversell and has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Hint: It's us :D  (Check out Minecraft on ServerFlex)

Part 3: How do server settings affect RAM consumption?

Your server's RAM consumption will be heavily dependent on your server settings - even with Vanilla Minecraft your settings can make a huge difference in server performance. Settings such as View Distance, Max Players and Max Build Height can all affect your server - if you are struggling with a laggy server we recommend first reducing the View Distance.

The number of players you have on your server will also contribute to using more RAM. Your Minecraft server must keep chunks loaded around players and if you have many players who are far apart you could easily be keeping hundreds of chunks in memory - limiting the maximum number of players on your server could help bring down RAM usage too.

To conclude

There is no right answer for "How much RAM does my Minecraft server need?" - the answer will always be "it depends".

When hosting your Minecraft server you need the ability to easily upgrade your server for better performance or to handle more players, and it's important you choose a host that offers these features with an easy to use web interface. ServerFlex offers the best Minecraft hosting in the world and offers instant resizing and countless other features using our industry leading, bespoke platform - check out Minecraft Server Hosting on ServerFlex today!