What is a Minecraft SMP?

It's familiar term.

Image via Mojang

There are more than a few ways to play Minecraft. You can become a dedicated speedrunner and race against time or create a world of your own. When it comes to the multiplayer side of the game, the limit will be the sky. From countless mini-games to community servers, you’ll always find something to do in Minecraft.

SMP stands for Survival Multiplayer. These games became more popular over the last year as the Dream SMP turned out to be a hit.

It’s a rather vague term, though, and it’ll be what the players on the Minecraft server want it to be in the long run. In the case of Dream SMP, it was a scripted server with a thriller of a story. For other players, an SMP can simply be a community server where they get together with their friends to enjoy Minecraft.

If you’re on the lookout for an SMP server, knowing the different types of them can be helpful while deciding on a server to settle in.

What are the different types of SMP servers in Minecraft?


Most SMPs have rules, and going against those can cause you to get banned. If you’d like to jump right into the action without doing any pre-work, look no further than Anarchy SMP servers.

Anarchy SMP servers have no rules, meaning players will be able to do anything they’d like to in the servers. Though the ruleless life may be appealing at first, it can also get boring quickly due to the toxic environment of these servers.


Factions are the closest server type you’ll get to live the SMP experience you’ll see on YouTube. In Factions SMP servers, you’ll be able to join a faction and claim land, loot, or even battle against other factions.

Factions SMP servers usually push forward the PvP aspect of Minecraft since you’ll need to resolve the differences between factions in some way if it isn’t diplomacy.


The core Minecraft gameplay experience is fun enough to hook countless players every day. As players get more into the game, however, they start discovering all the mods that make Minecraft even more fun.

Modded SMP servers will have their own set of mods that players will need to download before they can participate in the server. These will be essential to experiencing the server’s true potential. The requirements will change from server to server, meaning you may need a completely different set of mods to play on another server, ranging from visual to gameplay-related ones.

If you spend more of your time in Modded SMP servers, it may be a decent idea to have separate mod folders that you can drag on drop based on the server you’ll be playing.


Not every Minecraft player prioritizes the PvP aspect of the game. For creative-focused players, PvP can even be a drag sometimes since there can be players trying to grief your process.

Peaceful SMP servers disable PvP, allowing players to progress and communicate in a more chill but less eventful environment.


Skyblock SMP servers could be considered as a race against time. When you join one, you’ll find yourself on a floating island. Your sole goal will be to find a way to make the most out of all the resources you have and ensure your survival on the island while also expanding it.


The untouched Minecraft experiences can still be refreshing, even if you’re a seasoned veteran. It gets even more fun with friends, and that’s where the Vanilla SMP servers come in. 

Vanilla SMP servers will allow you to relive the core Minecraft experience with your friends. While nothing will be missing in terms of content, you won’t have access to the quality-of-life features that some modes bring to the table.


Sometimes even if you’d like to go to Vanilla, you may not want to go full Vanilla. After getting used to the meta, the Vanilla experience may start feeling sluggish or simply a grind.

Semi-Vanilla servers try to fix that by allowing plugins that make the core gameplay more fun without changing it significantly. 

How can you join a SMP server in Minecraft?

In most cases, joining an SMP server in Minecraft won’t be any different than joining another server. You’ll need to find a server close to you from a server list and punch its IP address in to Minecraft to join it. Once you first step foot into a server, you may be welcomed with a bunch of rules. If you’re looking to last in that server, taking note of those rules can save your life later.

There are also invite or review-based SMP servers that focus more on role-playing. Servers like these usually have their own website where they accept admissions and review them one by one. These request forms may require you to create your character beforehand and even write a backstory that you’ll live by once you get to the server.

Despite sounding like a lot of work, a roleplaying SMP server can be one of the most fun experiences for many Minecraft players since roleplayers take the game quite seriously as well. As you become a more permanent part of the server, you’ll also discover more of the narrative and you may end up finding yourself as one of the most crucial parts of a server’s storyline.