I'm running a vanilla Minecraft (PC) server that some of my friends and I play on together. We've been looking to get more people to join us, but have been fairly unsuccessful so far. Listing the server publicly would almost certainly change that, but brings the risk of griefing.

So my question is: if I simply set the spawn point far enough away from where we have so far built everything (say 5,000,000 blocks away), it would take very long to reach 0,0 even by horse in the nether. I'm thinking that would be sufficient protection for our existing village, if I'm not overlooking anything. Is there a way to bypass or overcome this distance that I am not aware of?

  • 2
    I would join them and get to know them before letting them join us in the main village. There is a big trolling and griefing culture around Minecraft that I would love to ignore but simply can't. @dlras2
    – oKtosiTe
    Nov 12, 2013 at 16:36
  • 4
    instead of that. why not just get anti-grief mods/plugins? You are correct in the minecraft community being lots of jerks, but a lot of protections also exist because of that.
    – Rapitor
    Nov 12, 2013 at 16:41
  • 3
    In my experience, public servers are rarely a fun time. You might want to open it up to a more limited community instead.
    – Unionhawk
    Nov 12, 2013 at 16:41
  • 3
    @oKtosiTe cough (granted, most of the people in there will probably not be a huge fan since they're all about the modded Minecraft thing, but I'm sure there are a couple of people at least who are interested in vanilla)
    – Unionhawk
    Nov 12, 2013 at 16:52
  • 2
    When having the other players so far away, you should consider having them on a completely different server in the first place.
    – Bobby
    Nov 14, 2013 at 18:50

6 Answers 6


While it may or may not be feasible for a player to make the lengthy trek to your area, the simple fact of the matter is, they don't have to, to grief you. Destroying your stuff isn't the only way to grief your server

As has already been mentioned in the comments, there are things they could do to slow the whole server down; massive animal farms are an easy way, as would be a large redstone contraption that mostly just triggers a vast amount of block updates every tick. And the worst part is, if someone does try to make something like this, you'll have to actually remove it somehow; just banning the player responsible will leave the source of the lag lying around, with its chunks unloaded, and once another new player shows up and loads those chunks, the griefing will be happening all over again.

Admittedly, griefers who will do things like this are rarer than people who will just wander over to your place and trash it. And there are ways to prevent it, and/or deal with it after the fact.

  • You can use something like MCEdit to directly clean up the situation, even if the server is utterly crippled.
  • You can increase the spawn-protection value in your server.properties file. Crank it up enough, and all new players will have to wander far enough away before they can do anything that a brand new player won't be loading potentially-compromised chunks.
  • You could also turn this around; leave the default spawn at (0,0), crank up the spawn protection enough to cover your place and a large surrounding area, and non-op players won't be able to damage things inside that radius.
  • You could even go more draconian, and create a wall around the default spawn, inside the spawn protection radius, so new players can't get out of it, then require an op to teleport all new players out after having a brief chat. Most griefers will give up quickly when they can't do anything, but you'll probably also lose a lot of good players if there isn't an op on pretty constantly to greet new people.

Ultimately, while isolating yourself from new players might be useful in preventing griefing, it's not a solution on its own. At the very least, you'd be leaving new players at the mercy of the same griefers you're trying to keep out, which could very well end up discouraging the exact sort of players you're hoping to keep around.

  • 8
    +billion for the last sentence. That's a really, really good point that makes most of this moot. Nov 14, 2013 at 2:54
  • You are, of course, correct. I will see if I can grow our community with trustworthy folk some other way. Either way I appreciate the depth of and effort put into your answer.
    – oKtosiTe
    Nov 14, 2013 at 14:08

The fastest way to teleport in vanilla Minecraft is though Nether.
From the Minecraft Wiki:

Locations in The Nether correlate to Overworld coordinates, but Nether distances are scaled down by a ratio of 8:1. Therefore, traveling one block in the Nether means traveling eight blocks in the Overworld. This fact can be used as an Overworld travel shortcut, though the Nether is significantly more hazardous, with more complex terrain, making navigation difficult.

With the simple calculation of 5000000 / 8. One would need to cross ~625000 blocks. Other sources from the wiki about sprinting and walking indicate:

Sprinting is a method of transportation that allows the player to move faster, around 5.6 meters/second. This is about 1.3x faster than the normal walking speed of around 4.3 m/s.

Now again with math if someone ran ~625000 blocks (Straight with no interruptions) it would take ~111607 seconds or ~31 hours.

I don't think anyone will waste ~31 hours running to your house. Other than the neither I know of no other ways to bypass distance without the use of commands and or command blocks. Hope this helps.

  • 2
    On a public server, over the course of days of play though, I could see someone going on an adventure to find 0,0. Nov 13, 2013 at 21:05
  • 6
    @SevenSidedDie The simplest way to add security, were this a new world, would be to make "trusted" spawn some random direction 5m blocks from 0,0, and make 0,0 the "public" spawn.
    – dlras2
    Nov 13, 2013 at 21:20
  • 1
    I challenge anyone to get anywhere near 2 m/s on average in the nether while on foot (or horse) over a distance of > a few thousand blocks. The "raw" environment is far too difficult an environment to travel in with any sort of speed.
    – John
    Nov 14, 2013 at 21:09

As stated, the quickest way to travel is through the Nether, but it is not on foot.

The fastest horse, according to the wiki, moves at about 14.5 blocks/second. In the Nether, where players only have to travel an 8th of the distance as the overworld, a player traveling straight to 0,0 from an overworld point 5 million blocks away could do so in no less than 12 hours.

As mentioned in the comments, this is a long time, and travel would obviously not be this quick, but it's doable over several days, especially if the user knew where they were headed (IE, 0,0)


Despite what's said above about taking hours, vanilla Minecraft servers come with little to no protection against hacks, so although you can disable flight in your server.properties, a griefer could easily fly at dozens of a blocks a second and, as long they did so in a certain way, it would be undetected and unpunished. Not to mention the fact that when the hacker/griefer does arrive, they likely have something like nuker which could utterly destroy your house in seconds. So, here are a list of things that I, as a server owner with similar problems, recommend.

  • Make your server a bukkit server, so you can use plugins.
  • Install worldguard to protect your village (or towny is very useful)
  • Install anticheat or nocheat to stop hackers
  • Install coreprotect for backups (it's more effective than just copying files)

If you are hell bent on running an open server to attract "good" people and avoid griefers, then consider running two servers instead of one single server. Make one open, one private. At the distances you're discussing, there's no benefit for running a single server that I can see, for all the reasons pointed out by @BillyMailMan.

  • 1
    Not sure why this was downvoted, since it is a perfectly legitimate alternative. Upvoted.
    – oKtosiTe
    Nov 17, 2013 at 10:19

You can always set a area with the plugin WorldGuard, and also set the force gamemode to adventure so that any block within that spawn radius can't be destroyed. And anyway all servers are gonna have a time when they get griefed so if you think a griefer is on the turn off world saving and back up... so little damage is done!

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