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Troubleshooting and Preventing Server Lag

There are three types of lag:

1. Server lag
This happens if the server is under extreme load, or old/outdated/broken plugins are installed. Use /tps (CraftBukkit/Spigot), /lag (Essentials) or /debug (Vanilla) to check how the server is running at that moment. 20TPS (Ticks Per Second) is the fastest Minecraft can run. Under 17TPS indicates an issue and we will need to get involved to troubleshoot - open a ticket in that case.

2. Client lag
This happens if you have a video card or CPU that can't keep up. Minecraft may look simple, but it is very demanding on your computer. Increasing the amount of RAM assigned to java ACTUALLY HURTS performance. 1 to 2GB is the max you should ever need to use, unless you have a memory hungry FTB or Tekkit MOD pack.

3. Network lag
This happens when you are far away from the server location. It's best to determine your ping time from your computer. Do not rely on the ping stats in Minecraft, as they are not accurate:

Network ping check

Preventing Server Lag:

1) Keep all your plugins up to date 
Always check for updates for all of your installed plugins. The developers often add new features and fix bugs that help bring down the amount of RAM the plugin uses. This will both help you prevent lag and get new features from your plugins! DO NOT USE OUTDATED PLUGINS unless the developer of the plugin has specifically stated that it will work with newer versions of Minecraft. Old/outdated plugins account for 99% of the problems our customers have with their servers. The reason for this is because many hundreds or even thousands of lines of code change between Minecraft releases. If the plugin developer has not validated their code and re-compiled for the latest version, there WILL be issues with that plugin.

2) Don't set your viewing distance too high
The viewing distance can be set in the server.properties, which can be easily changed through the Virtual Gladiators Multicraft control panel. Follow the "Allowing Players to Fly" KB article for instructions on accessing that page.

The default setting is 10, as you can see in the screen shot below. This can be adjusted anywhere from 3 to 15 chunks. Virtual Gladiators recommends setting this to 7. This helps bring the server's tick rate down while also allowing you to have more players, all while using less memory.

3) Stay away from the /reload command
Server restarts are always better than the /reload command. The /reload command has many issues that may break some plugins or cause memory leaks. Plugins written by competent developers will have a /(plugin) reload command available, when appropriate.

4) Set up automated restarts 
Minecraft servers and java are both far from perfect and will eat up your RAM. You can set up an automated restart in the Scheduled Tasks section of your Multicraft control panel.

5) Set up border for your maps 
When players walk out 10,000 blocks, your map will grow so large that it's always laggy. You can prevent this by using a plugin such as WorldBorder.

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