Top 5 Minecraft Multiplayer Mods
Minecraft. The indie game success story.
Since its creation by Swedish programmer Markus “Notch” Persson back in 2009, Minecraft has quickly grown from a harmless block-gathering curiosity into one of the largest and most successful PC games of all time. Its light-hearted emphasis on creation, resource gathering and basic survival skills have captured the imagination of millions of players around the world. Whilst the single player is undoubtedly thrilling, it’s Minecraft’s online multiplayer that has really helped establish its excellence. As fun as it is searching through a Minecraft map alone, the appeal is doubled when you share that experience online with friends. This list considers five of the best multiplayer mods, maps and modes that exist, are free to download and are generally amazing to play.
5. Vanilla Minecraft
Although this can be considered cheating, it feels almost impossible to create a Top 5 list of anything Minecraft related without mentioning the original game mode. ‘Vanilla’, as some players call it, refers to the most basic form of Minecraft that almost every player will encounter when they first try the game. Vanilla drops players into a randomly generated map, leaving them to acquire their own resources and tools in order to survive against the terrifying monsters that hide in the shadows. Despite not strictly being a mod or downloadable map, the classic Minecraft is endlessly humorous when you have an armada of friends frantically chipping away at blocks beside you.
Whilst some of your friends will look to quickly set up a mud house and begin designing a more extensive underground mine, others will prefer to stay on the surface and work on agriculture and house building. Everyone has their own way of enjoying a sandbox game like Minecraft which can at times lead to certain ‘creative differences’. However, the beauty of online Minecraft is that the game generally rewards teamwork. Those looking to mine minerals can do so with ease whilst farmers, weapon makers and general explorers can go off and do their own thing, safe in the knowledge that their individual efforts are all helping the team as a whole in some way. With so much to see and do in Minecraft it soon becomes a necessity for online friends to split up and take on different tasks. Whether it’s building a golden fortress, an Obsidian portal or even just a simple shelter to help you and your friends survive the first night, working together has never been so much fun! Before you try anything else on Minecraft, give online Vanilla a go.
Installation is a piece of cake. Pop on over to the Minecraft website, download the Minecraft server and follow the instructions from there. I personally recommend using LogMeIn Hamachi to host your online games.
4. Survival Island
Ever seen that film Castaway with Tom Hanks? The one where he gets stranded on an island in the middle of the ocean with nothing but a bunch of Fed Ex packages and a Wilson ball to keep him company? If so, prepare to feel just as isolated as Tom did when you try out the appropriately titled Survival Island mod. Unlike the open world of typical Minecraft, Survival Island throws you and your friends into a much harsher environment. Surrounded by water, sand and with very few resources, the island can be quite the challenge to survive on. You and your friends will only have one lonely tree, a small patch of grass and a beach of sand to assist in your survival effort. With the sun setting so quickly, a lack of decent tools and a safe shelter can soon lead Minecraftians to panic.
The only way to cope, it seems, is to dig down into the depths of the island, find better supplies and assemble your courage for the treacherous nights ahead. Like so many Minecraft mods, teamwork is massive in Survival Island. Seeing as no block can be wasted and no monster underestimated, it’s crucial for wannabe survivors to coordinate their movements as a unit. With so much at stake, gameplay is both an exhilarating and terrifying experience.
A great addition to the multiplayer world of Minecraft although it might be best to attempt survival with one loyal friend rather than a selection of mischievous ones.
3. The Hunger Games
The thought of playing a Minecraft inspired version of Suzanne Collins well-loved book series is a mouthwatering one indeed. Created entirely for online multiplayer, The Hunger Games throws contestants into a battle royale fight to death where only one pickaxe-wielding warrior can be declared champion. Much like Katniss Everdeen in the book, players begin the game in a large circle with a treasure trove of goodies waiting for them in the middle. When the clock strikes zero, the mayhem begins as everyone darts for the nearest chest to salvage whatever useful weapons and tools they can find. Those who survive the early onslaughts will quickly flee off into the map and look to survive as long as they can.
Although only one winner can emerge, it doesn’t hurt for players to team up and unite with others during the fighting. Having trustworthy friends who can help you overcome tricky adversaries in tight situations can be crucial to your survival chances. Understandably, some may bemoan the lack of crafting and creation in the mod but as an interactive survival experience, The Hunger Games stands alone.
With pulsating combat, rewarding teamwork and only one life to work with, it’s hard to picture a more enjoyable way to survive in the world of Minecraft!
2. Cops and Robbers
You awaken in a cold, damp cell. The only thing that lights you and your surroundings is a single glowstone block that hangs dimly from the ceiling. Your window is blocked by a series of impenetrable bars which allow only thin rays of sunshine to creep inside your cell. You start to wonder, what is this place? Is this even Minecraft any more? In many ways it’s anything but Minecraft and yet the Cops and Robbers game mode is so perfectly executed, you’ll hardly care.
Acting as a homage to all the great prison escape films, Cops and Robbers chucks its players into an unforgiving Alcatraz-esque castle where freedom is the only goal. What really makes this mod so hilariously brilliant is the inclusion of a playable warden character. At the beginning of the game, one player is elected to don the powers of a prison officer and maintain order amongst his or her captives. Where the criminals have nothing but their fists to work with, the warden is luxuriously equipped with diamond armour, a diamond police baton and even a deadly automatic pistol. This ridiculous advantage that the cop has over the robbers really adds a worrying level of threat to whoever rules the prison cells. Prisoners who don’t fall in line and obey the wardens commands could quickly face strict punishment, death or even a prolonged period in solitary confinement! (Torture for players in an open world sandbox game like Minecraft!) However, with effective teamwork, cunning and a little bit of patience, the united prisoners can evade the warden and begin searching for ways out of the jail.
It’s fast-paced, relentlessly silly and yet strangely tactical. Seeing how each of your friends adapts to the role of warden and how the rest must adapt to his/her regime is truly fascinating. With no two wardens acting, or succeeding in the same way, you never know what sort of prison you’re going to wake up in. This is a pleasure to try out with friends. Preferably a large amount!
It’s true. Sometimes mining in Minecraft can be tough. There are monsters hidden at every darkened cavern, treacherous falls, scorching lava pits and pickaxes that always break in your hands at the most inconvenient of moments. Imagine the relief then of setting up your own quarry system powered independently by an electric generator. A quarry system that filters through the dirt to find and transport all the valuable ores and gems straight into a chest sitting in your back garden. Sounds enticing doesn’t it? It’s the world of industry and automated power. It’s Minecraft Jim, but not as we know it.
Tekkit is very much Minecraft on super powered, futuristic overdrive. Coal powered furnaces soon become a thing of the past now that electric, solar, wind and even nuclear energy are thrown into the mix. Along with its mechanical, self-motorised machinery, Tekkit also comes equipped with wonderfully overpowered weapons such as laser-guns, nano-tech armour, jet-packs, and nuclear bombs that cause catastrophic damage to the surrounding countryside. With so many cables, wires and generators needed for these items, it becomes mandatory to employ an online team. A team ready to aid you in the art of industrial crafting. The multiplayer focus on maintaining this production line is an ingenious way to keep everyone busy. Half the fun comes from feeling your way through the game, learning the logistics, the recipes and the formulas, the dos and the don’ts. It’s a steep learning curve but one that comes with a huge reward. With the help of internet guides and each other, both you and your friends will soon have a fully operational factory in no time.
Despite the futuristic and industrial tone, Tekkit is the perfect way to enjoy Minecraft with friends. With so many updates constantly appearing online, you’ll be hard-pressed to ever finish building in this fantastic multiplayer mod.
Clearly Minecraft’s multiplayer experience is advancing at a relentless pace with new user created content arriving on a daily basis. It’s hard to believe that such a simplistic looking game could be re imagined in so many unique and creative ways. It stands as a testament to the undeniable popularity of the original and reinforces just how much fun you can have when you share your mining experiences with others. Whether it’s escaping from a prison, surviving on a desert island or building a castle from scratch, multiplayer Minecraft remains satisfying no matter what you and your chums are doing!
What do you think? Leave a comment.