When Minecraft was first released, it didn't have a lot of multiplayer features. Multiplayer has become more popular over time. It's now possible to play in survival or creative mode with players from all over the world.
There is one problem. Despite all the improvements, Minecraft does not yet have a multiplayer server browser. To connect to a server, you will need to know its web address. You'll need to do this on your own.
Locating A Minecraft Multiplayer Server
The Minecraft official forums is the best place to search for a Minecraft server. There are two boards available: one for survival servers and one for creative servers.
Creative servers are cooperative. You won't face monsters and you won't have to worry too much about fighting other players. Your goal is to be creative, create stuff, and have fun.
Survival servers are still in beta but replicate single-player survival. Although the world is hostile and full monsters, it is now also full of other players. Anyone can attack anyone on a survival server by default.
Both types of server forums work in the same way. Hosting Minecraft servers create a post that includes their server's URL and maximum player count. To join, simply copy-and paste the web address into Minecraft's multiplayer menu.
However, one thing is missing from this system is a way for you to verify that a server is actually running before joining.
There's a website called MinecraftServers.biz which lists hundreds of multiplayer servers you can join and play on. Before you get too excited about a server, it's a good idea to read the thread. Servers that are often down will be a source of frustration for players. It's worse than not being able to connect to a server. Imagine spending three hours building your base and then returning the next morning to find that the server is down.
Can I Play? Please?
You're now ready to join a Minecraft server. Not so fast.
You may have problems if you just try to join random servers that look appealing. Why? Many servers have what is known as a whitelist. You should be able join the server even if you are not on the whitelist. However, you might be kicked out or not allowed to change the world.
Usually, it is as easy as posting in the thread of the server or sending a message in the forum to the server owner to be added to the whitelist. Some servers, however, are more popular and require applications. You will need to explain why you want join, how often and other information.
If you want to be whitelisted, make sure you read the rules. There are a few servers that don't have rules, but they are rare. Most servers want to offer a unique experience and have certain rules in place. For example, players might not be allowed to attack other players in towns. There might also be rules against setting fire to structures, looting players' chests, and so forth.
Once you have found the server you want, read the rules, and been whitelisted, it is possible to connect and begin playing. Shew! It's not easy, but it's not hard. I've seen veterans gamers throw their hands up in frustration when they can't find a reliable server to play on.
Minecraft is not a game you can just jump into multiplayer and start playing. However, if you are patient, it can be a lot of fun. Mini-MMORPGs are the best Minecraft multiplayer servers. They have towns, economies and wars. They are worth the effort to explore.