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Want to know what Minecraft minigames are popular these days and how to play them? Check our quick list of the biggest minigames around!

The Most Popular Minecraft Minigames

Want to know what Minecraft minigames are popular these days and how to play them? Check our quick list of the biggest minigames around!
This article is over 8 years old and may contain outdated information

 The great thing about Minecraft has always been that you can do just about anything you want in it. And if there’s anything that shows how true that is, it’s the popularity of minigames and alternative game modes on some of Minecraft‘s most popular servers.

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Ranging from team shooters to intense survival matches, these games are increasingly sophisticated and popular with huge numbers of Minecraft players. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s popular these days:


Prison servers have been around for a long time and are incredibly popular, but they vary a lot from server to server. The basic idea is this — you start out as a prisoner and have to work your way up to either free or guard status. You do this by mining coal, stone, or chopping wood and selling it to rank up. How long this takes depends on the server, but it can be pretty excruciating.

Some servers have ‘jailbreak’ events and mechanics and other features to keep inmates happy, but some of them are thinly veiled Stanford Prison Experiments, complete with power tripping guards and abuse. The good servers can be fun, but make sure you do your research.


The goal of survival is, well, to survive, but how you do so varies greatly from server to server. Some survival games are just PvP matches in the woods, but some of them introduce mechanics that limit health regeneration or add thirst to force you to find food or water to stay moving. The most demanding survival servers require that you make the most of your Minecraft knowledge and wits to survive, giving you the full Hunger Games experience.


Arena is also pretty simple — fight other players and win. How you go about doing that depends a whole lot on the type of map or server you’re playing on, though. Some arena maps have guns, some have powers, some have complicated arenas with lots of hazards, some have strange rules, some have power-ups…you get the picture.

Team or solo, complicated or simple, if you’re looking to do violence to your fellow Minecraft players, there’s almost certainly a place for you.

Cops and Robbers

This is kind of a catch-all term for team deathmatch PvP, but a lot of servers stick to the theme anyway. The idea is pretty simple — you’ve got one team of cops and one team of criminals, and they fight. This usually plays out a lot like a Counter-Strike game, but some servers have a longer-term faction wars going on, and others have different mechanics. The most advanced (and popular) servers tend to have games that play out almost exactly like a Quake or CS match.

These are some of the most popular Minecraft mini games around, but we know that’s not all of them. Do you have a favorite map that we missed? Have something to add? Let us know in the comments!

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Robert Guthrie
Writer, freelancer, historian.