The server.properties file in your server folder will contain base settings about the game your going to run and some much needed information about your server.

Here are what each of the settings are setup to do:

spawn-protection
This is the number of blocks around your spawn you wish to protect. Players who are not operators, known as ops will not be able to build in this radius. The default is 16, you can change this to any size you want your spawn area. To remove it set it to 0.

max-tick-time
This is the time in milliseconds the game will wait between ticks before it considers the server must have crashed and it will stop running. Recommended to leave this at 60000.

port
This is the port that some services or plugins may use to see who is playing on your server and other stats. If you don’t use one of these services you can leave it at its default 25565, it may change depending on your host.

generator-settings
This setting is for advanced world generation for if you want custom flat worlds or you don’t want to generate particular structures.

sync-chunk-writes
This lets the server save chunks more efficiently. Definitely leave this as true.

force-gamemode
This forces a gamemode when a user joins the game. If for instance you have given someone Creative when your gamemode setting has been set to survival, upon logging in again their gamemode will be reset.

allow-nether
This setting allows the nether world to be generated and lets users teleport to it through portals.

enforce-whitelist
If you have set your server up to use a whitelist this setting makes sure that when the whitelist.json file is reloaded users not in the file and are online on the server will get kicked. Set this to true only if you have white-list set to true.

gamemode
This is the default gamemode for your server, when players join your server this is the gamemode it will set them too.

broadcast-console-to-ops
This lets those who you have appointed operators to see console messages, such as when the world is being saved or a command is run.

enable-query
This allows some plugins or even websites to see who is connected to your server and other settings. If you don’t use one of these services you can set this to false.

player-idle-timeout
This is the number of minutes a player can be idle for, e.g. how long they can be inactive for in your server. All players on your server use up ram even if they are doing nothing. It would be advised to set this to one minute.

text-filtering-config
It is thought this setting is used to filter words in your game chat but there is no documentation from Mojang on it yet.

difficulty
This is the difficulty that your server will use. It will affect players hunger and how many aggressive mobs’ spawn. There are three difficulties to choose from: peaceful, easy, normal and hard.

spawn-monsters
This setting disables whether aggressive mobs will spawn in your server.

broadcast-rcon-to-ops
Broadcasts remote console commands to all ops. If you don’t use rcon, you don’t need to change this setting.

op-permission-level
This is the level that operators will have access to, level one they can bypass spawn protection. Level 2 they can use most single player cheat commands. Level 3 they can op and ban people and lastly 4, ops have access to all commands.

pvp
PVP stands for player versus player, if you set this to false players will not be allowed to fight other players. If set to true they will be able to do damage to other players.

entity-broadcast-range-percentage
This is the distance at which entities are sent to users. It is like a view distance for only entities. Making this value higher will result in lag as your server has to render more entities. 100% is normal and 500% is the max this value can be set too.

snooper-enabled
Your server will send analytics data to Mojang. It is recommended to keep this setting enabled as true since it does not affect performance and can help Mojang in developing updates and getting usage information.

level-type
This is the type of world your server will generate. Default will generate a normal Minecraft world, flat will make a flat world, largeBiomes will generate a world with much bigger biomes, amplified, your server will need lots of processing power for this generation as it makes massive hills.

hardcore
Hardcore mode means that once a player dies on your server, they will be forever in spectator mode and cannot play the game again.

enable-status
If users add your server to their server list, they will see if it is online or not. If you set this option to false, they will not be able to see if it is online or not. Some server list websites may attempt to display if your server is online so you may want to block that if you don’t want your server public.

enable-command-block
Command blocks are programmable blocks in the game which can affect gameplay or even break your server. It is best to keep these as false in case a player manages to get hold of a command block.

max-players
This is max number of players who may join your server at once. Be warned that it generally takes up 5Gb or RAM for 20 players so check how much memory your server has before changing this.

network-compression-threshold
This is an advanced setting for compressing the data that your server sends to clients, players connected to your server. If you are not familiar with bytes and compression, it is safe to leave this value at 256.

resource-pack-sha1
This is another advanced setting for if your server uses a resource pack, a file that changes the look of the game. You will need to visit this site and upload the zip of your resource pack and get a SHA1 key to identify the pack.

max-world-size
This is the max size your Minecraft world will ever get; a larger world will cause your server to use more RAM to store it when your server is running. It will also use up a lot of space on your hard drive. The max, and default size of your server world is 29999984, to find out how many blocks across this is in each direction we times 29999984 by two. This means your world will be 59,999,968 blocks by 59,999,968 blocks. If you generated every block in a world it would take up an estimated 50 to 60 petabytes! Thankfully not all your world is generated at once.

function-permission-level
This like the op-permission-level sets the needed permission to use commands like /gamerule. It can be set between 1 and 4.

port
This is the remote console port, if you are not using a remote console to control your server you can leave this as is.

server-port
This is the server port; this is where the server listens for connections. 25565 is Minecraft’s default port. If your using a hosting provider, they may change this port to something else.

debug
This setting, when changed to true will include more detailed information in logs. If you are a developer or know about Java, you may want to enable this.

server-ip
Only enter an IP address here if you want to bind your server to a particular address. Most users can leave this setting blank.

spawn-npcs
If you want your server to have villagers spawn in villages or traveling traders, you should set this to true. Otherwise you can disable them with false.

allow-flight
It is recommended that you leave this setting to false, it will not stop you from using flight in creative mode or using elytra but instead will kick users who are using hacks to fly.

level-name
This is where you may set the name of your server world. This name is only used for the folder containing the world and is not visible to your players. If you have more than one world generated in your server folder you can change this value to switch between them after restarting your server.

view-distance
This is an important value to change for server performance. This is the number of chunks your server will send to your users to render at a time. If you raise this number it means more of your world will be loaded into your servers RAM and will cause issues. If you really havent much RAM it is suggested to lower this setting to 5 from the default 10.

resource-pack
Here you will need to include a direct link to where you can download the resource pack. This is needed so that when people connect to your server they can download the pack to use it.

spawn-animals
If you want to let animals like cows, pigs and sheep spawn you will need to set this value to true.

white-list
If you don’t want anyone other than those who you trust joining your server set this to true and set up your whitelist.json with the users you want to allow.

password
Again this setting is for remote console to let a console on the internet connect and control your server. Leave this blank unless you use a remote console.

generate-structures
Villages, strongholds, shipwrecks, and more are all structures, you can enable or disable them by using true or false.

online-mode
Leave this setting set to true. If online mode is set to false your server will not check if users have got authentic, purchased copies of the game. Hackers shall be able to join your server.

max-build-height
This is the max height of your Minecraft world, sadly no. You cannot increase it past 256. You must also make sure that the value you enter here is a multiple of 8.

level-seed
Minecraft worlds are generated procedurally from a seed, if you know of a Minecraft world that you really like the look of you can find its seed and can enter it here and your Minecraft world will generate identically from the seed of the world you gave it.

prevent-proxy-connections
Some hackers can use VPNs or Proxies to bypass IP bans. VPNs and Proxies have also grown more popular over the years so your ordinary players may connect through one of these services. Unless you have a problem with people bypassing IP bans you can set this to false, otherwise it shall block them.

use-native-transport
The setting you may not notice as it allows an improvement to package sending to your players if they run Minecraft on Linux. You should set this to true to take advantage of the performance improvement.

enable-jmx-monitoring
This is one other developer option if you have a knowledge of Java or are an advanced user working with Minecraft servers you can set this value to true for more advanced information.

motd
This is the message that is displayed in users Multiplayer menu, you can use this tool to help you create yours.

rate-limit
This is the number of packets a client can send to your server before they will be kicked. It is rare that you will need to change this setting from 0. If you have hackers who are able to destroy large areas of terrain you can set this value to 40 which is the average package rate per second a normal client will ever send to your server.

enable-rcon
If you use remote console you will enable it here.
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