Spigot: How to add plugins to the Minecraft server

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Matthew M. White
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Spigot is one of the most popular Minecraft servers known for its stability and flexibility. It is also a fork of Bukkit, containing the original Bukkit code as well as some new additions. One of its features is the use of plugins to improve the game.

If you want to learn more about adding plugins to your Spigot server, you've come to the right place. Here you will learn all about the process and then some. We'll also answer a few questions about Spigot and related topics.

How to Add Plugins to Spigot

Plugins are add-ons to your Minecraft server that change the way you play. Minecraft servers are often shared with friends and others so they can join. With some plugins, you can add new features such as modified NPCs, in-game economy, and make everything in part of the world indestructible.

Think of plugins as browser extensions, but for Minecraft servers instead of Google Chrome. Plugins don't change the game at all, because mods do (hence the name). As such, plugins tend not to cause as drastic a change as mods can.

Despite this, plugins are attractive due to their convenience. Installing mods will require you to modify your copy of Minecraft in some way. Instead, plugins are only installed on the server, so there's no risk of damaging your game files.

How to add plugins

To add plugins, you will need to access server files. This will allow you to download the plugins and add them. After that, a server restart will allow the plugins to work.

You can enter your server to check if your plugins are working. Otherwise, you may need to download a new copy or retry the installation process. Sometimes you might also have accidentally downloaded the plugin for the wrong version of Minecraft.

The process is simple and only takes a few clicks. Here are the steps:

  1. Download a plugin or several plugins of your choice.
  2. Open a window that contains the plugins.
  3. Locate your Minecraft server directory.
  4. Navigate to the file named “plugins”.
  5. Switch to the window with plugins.
    • The plugins are in .jar format, which makes them easy to identify.
  6. Drag the plugins into the “plugins” folder.
  7. Close the windows.
  8. Restart your server.

After restarting, your plugins should work when you enter the server.

This is the manual installation process. If you use ApexHosting or Multicraft, they will allow you to search for specific plugins within the program. The software will also take care of the installation and you just need to search for the correct version.

We won't list all of these steps here, as there are many server clients available for your world.

Add your own plugins

If you have had success coding your own plugins, you can install them for testing. The process is the same as for all plugins. Here's how you'll install them:

  1. Create a plugin.
  2. Open a window that contains the plugin.
  3. Locate your Minecraft server directory.
  4. Navigate to the file named “plugins”.
  5. Switch to the window with plugins.
    • The plugins are in .jar format, which makes them easy to identify.
  6. Drag the plugin into the “plugins” folder.
  7. Close the windows.
  8. Restart your server.
  9. After restarting, your personal plugin should work when you enter the server.

As long as you code everything correctly and for the particular version of Minecraft your server is running, there should be no problem.

Plugins Bukkit

You can use almost any Bukkit plugin, as long as it's compatible with your Minecraft version. Let's take a look at a few important things we think you should have, or at least consider installing.

Vault doesn't add new game features on its own, but many other plugins won't work unless you have it installed. That's why you should have Vault on your server, because it also manages other plugins. It should be among the first plugins you download and install.

This plugin is essential, especially if the nature of the server is to use a lot of commands. With it, you can delegate permissions to players and restrict who can use which commands. As a bonus, you don't even have to touch any game files at all.

As the owner of your server, having some order and method for delegating power is essential. That's why we recommend it. It requires Vault to work, so make sure you have that installed as well.

This plugin provides you with more than 100 handy commands. It also makes it easier for new players to orient themselves via starter kits. However, the original plugin, Essentials, ceased development before the release of Minecraft 1.8.

EssentialsX runs on newer versions, so you should get that instead if you plan to update your game. It also needs Vault to be fully functional. At its core, it looks a lot like the original Essentials.

If you love creating giant works of art on your server, nothing can make you sadder than heartaches and trolls. This is where WorldGuard comes in. The plugin makes sections of your Minecraft world indestructible.

You can work as hard as you want and relax. Sorrows can spend all night hacking blocks, but they will stay unscathed. WorldGuard requires another plugin called WorldEdit, so you need to get that first.

Have you dreamed of integrating Discord into Minecraft? With DiscordSRV, that dream is now a reality. Once installed, you receive Discord messages from a bot notifying you of server activity.

Players with Discord communities will find this plugin a godsend. They can use it to maintain order and track players.

Common issues

Here are the solutions to several common problems. Anyone can fix them quickly for the most part, but we recommend heading to the official Spigot forum to ask for help if nothing works.

You can easily fix this by uploading the corresponding plugin to your Minecraft server. If you are using Minecraft 1.8.1, your plugin must also be designed for version 1.8.1. If it doesn't work, it may be a problem in the code itself.

  • Using a Vanilla Minecraft Server

Vanilla Minecraft, or unmodified Minecraft, does not support plugins. Your server must be running one of these server types:

  • Tap
  • Bukkit
  • Paper
  • CraftBukkit (obsolete)

With these servers you can run plugins. You need to change your server type to install and run plugins.

  • You have not installed the prerequisite plugins

Some plugins require other plugins to work. It may not go both ways, as Vault is operational on its own, but bPermissions cannot run without Vault. By researching the plugin requirements, you can know what to install.

  • Some plugins are not compatible with each other

If this happens, you will need to uninstall one of them. Conflicts in the code can cause crashes and errors. Check the plugin's documentation and look for any other plugins it's incompatible with, just in case.

Additional FAQs

Where can I find Spigot plugins?

There are a few websites that offer free plugin downloads. Some developers lock their plugins behind a paywall. The good news is that you don't necessarily need these plugins.

Here is a list of websites to get plugins:

The Resources section of the Spigot site

The Projects page of the Bukkit site

GitHub, where some developers work and offer downloads

Can Spigot run Bukkit plugins?

Yes he can. Most plugins designed for Bukkit work with Spigot. However, some Spigot plugins may not work with Bukkit.

Be sure to check a plugin's documentation and see if there's anything warning you not to use it on Spigot. Alternatively, you can consider sending a message to the developer to ask them directly.

Is paper better than tap?

Paper offers additional customization over Spigot, as it is a fork of the latter. It also has more users, but Spigot remains popular today. For the average Minecraft player, Paper is the best choice.

No mourning on this server

With the help of plugins, your Spigot server can become a fun place to play. Your world will gain features not found in the base game. The best part is that you can change the plugins however you want.

What is your favorite plugin? Do you find it difficult to install plugins for Spigot? Let us know in the comments section below.

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