The software that powers servers can make a huge difference in how they perform. There have been many server software options over the years. The most well-known and popular are Forge, Sponge and Bukkit.
This article will help you choose the right server software for you.
Forge servers can be used against the Forge modding interface. They can run any mod that has been created to work with the Forge modloader.
Forge servers are required for modders. While they cannot run standard plugins, forge servers can run mods that are sometimes much larger.
Forge servers have one disadvantage: they aren't as efficient as other solutions. They are not able to scale well with many players and they can only be used in environments that have less than 20 players.
It is important to remember that mods must be installed locally to players who are connected to the Forge Server. This can cause some problems, particularly when it comes to version mismatches or minor differences between setups.
Bukkit servers are able to run server plugins, and can be optimized for higher playercounts. Bukkit forks are used in the most popular game modes of Minecraft server, such as Factions. Most commonly, this is PaperSpigot which is a highly optimized Bukkit fork that is designed for large playercounts.
Paper or another fork of Bukkit can be a great option in many cases, as it doesn't require mods to be installed on the client. The backend server runs all plugins that add new features.
However, a Bukkit fork has one major disadvantage: mods cannot be run on these servers. It is disappointing for modpack enthusiasts, but it can provide huge performance improvements.
Sponge servers can be described as a hybrid of Forge and Bukkit servers. Sponge servers can run mods and plugins, and they are quite efficient due to optimizations imported directly from the Paper project.
Sponge servers, while not as efficient than a Paper server are still a great option for modpack players. Even with many mods running, they can still maintain a decent level of server performance even at higher playercounts.
Sponge will work with most server plugins, but not all. This can make it difficult for server admins to verify that the plugins they are using with sponge work together. Unexpected errors can occur if this is not done.