How much bandwidth does a single Minecraft client use in SMP (up and down, in KB/sec)?

I'm asking this question for two reasons:

1) I plan on running a small MC dedicated server on my VPS, and want to make sure it won't obliterate my (currently barely used) monthly bandwidth cap, and

2) I'm looking at getting a mobile hotspot to play a little SMP on the go...

I wouldn't be doing this much (and know it will be laggy) but I was wondering whether it would even be feasible.

  • RUNNING the server will probably use up much more bandwidth than simply PLAYING on one.
    – GnomeSlice
    May 14, 2011 at 4:23
  • 5
    @GnomeSlice Well yeah, almost by definition Server Bandwidth = SUM( clients bandwidth )
    – Justin
    May 14, 2011 at 6:05
  • It largely depends on the players' playstyle. A player mining for diamonds under their base will use barely touch the bandwidth. A player flying on Elytra seeking woodland mansions will be obliterating the link.
    – SF.
    Mar 19, 2021 at 11:35

3 Answers 3


Well, according to this discussion:

Over a 100second test window, I recorded a mean of 31,630 bytes/sec and a max of 159,371 bytes/sec. That works out to an average of 0.1Gb/hr/user

As a rough ballpark measure that seems fairly believable (this was posted just under a year ago however, so SPM network performance could have changed since then).

Of course it depends a lot on what the users are doing, for example if a player moves around a lot then I imagine that the network use may be greater as the server needs to send more environment data to the client, similarly whenever users connect and disconnect network use will probably spike.

My advice would be to have a go yourself using 100 Mb / hr / user as an initial guess. You should also take into account the distinction between upload and download bandwidth, as many ISPs have a much smaller limit on upload bandwidth.

  • That sounds realistic; so if the 5 people on my server played ~10 hours a week, that's roughly 225 player-hours, or about 20-30GB/month - well within my server's cap. The mobile hotspot will be a little more problematic, as it has a bandwidth cap of 1GB/month, so I'd only get about 10hr/month play on it before I started having to pay for overages. Not sure 10hr/month of MC at work (lunch breaks) is worth $20/month :P
    – Doktor J
    May 14, 2011 at 16:39
  • @Doktor If you are talking about a wireless 3G connection then I think the biggest problem will probably be lag - I've tried this a couple of times and it worked OK (I could look around and see other peoples creations) until I actually tried to plant any blocks or make any changes - the server would just reject my actions a few seconds later. Obviously this depends a lot on the provider however, so you might have more luck than me.
    – Justin
    May 14, 2011 at 23:39
  • I'm at around 3-4 GB/month/user on my SMP server.
    – Ken
    May 22, 2011 at 17:49
  • @Kort Any idea how many hours per day each user is playing?
    – Justin
    May 23, 2011 at 10:38

I see >40 KByte/s per user on my server. There is a lot of automation going on on the server (a fully automated mining/factory operation on Tekkit) so there is a ton of constant updates going to the clients. Loading worlds is capped at 125KByte/s per user AFAIK (not tested). Vanilla minecraft may be way lower (not tested).

  • 40 KByte/s per user you must be joking! You must be muddling up your bytes and bits. I had a server running with 253 kByte/s upload speed and hosted 30 people constantly running craftbukkit and about 60 plugins with out ANY problems. 30 - 40 kbps per user is realistic, everything else is absolutely unrealistic and very likely some advertisement, muddleup.
    – user29039
    Jul 11, 2012 at 5:28

A user should never take up 159 kBps, ever! Each user maxs out at 30 kbps (notice the little b as in bits not bytes).

If someone is sending more then they are spamming the server as the average user will actually only use about 5 kbps, excluding idle users. Many servers have propagandized how much bandwidth is needed for a minecraft server.

Questions like this are answered profoundly by Minecraft server "staff" that raise bank each month and outsource to 2 mbps VPSs and turn a huge profit.

  • 5
    Interesting, but do you have a source?
    – GnomeSlice
    Jul 10, 2012 at 3:46
  • 1
    Agreed, it's a rather outlandish statement to make without citing a source.
    – kalina
    Jul 19, 2012 at 10:01
  • Question was upload and download. As well as KB/s. Please, stay on topic. Simply untrue. Do the math with those statistics and you have ~34 concurrent players per 1mbps. Even if you count for exponentials -- relating to player count -- that's still 10+ players per 1mbps. I could barely push more than 4 players on 1mbps with craftbukkit. (Sure it worked, but it was laggy) I can see a client's upload being ~30mbps. But the server still has to steam chunks. Server upload is about 1mbps per 2-3 players. Aug 13, 2013 at 4:30

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