A few versions ago, Minecraft received an update providing RCON support for administrators to use to monitor their multiplayer games. RCON has been used in most big-name multiplayer games, including Counter Strike. The protocol is implemented in a similar manner across most multiplayer games, allowing it to become a very popular protocol as almost any RCON client would be able to connect to a server utilising RCON.

RCON in Minecraft is not enabled by default, and needs to be setup before it can be used. This post is in direct relation to my app, Mine Control, which heavily utilises Minecraft’s RCON ability. The directions in this post will hopefully help guide you in setting up Minecraft’s RCON listener, so you can either use it with my iOS app or with another client. This post will not help you setup port forwarding, as that is very specific to your network and routing gear.

Setup steps

To setup RCON on your Minecraft server, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the location of your Minecraft data folder. On Linux and Mac OS, locate the directory where you’re executing your minecraft_server.jar from. You may even be able to find this directory by searching for “minecraft_server.jar”. If you’re on Windows, you may be running either a standalone jar file like on Linux or Mac, or the GUI based server or mod. Your directory will contain the minecraft_server.jar, so you can search for that like on Linux etc. If you’re running the server from the client application, as if you’ve made your game “public”, you may find more of your data files in the “%appdata%.minecraft\” directory.
  2. In this directory. there should be a file called “server.properties“. This is the file we’ll be editing – So if it doesn’t exist, make sure you’ve started your Minecraft server at least once. Make sure to stop your server before continuing as well.
  3. Edit “server.properties” with your editor of choice.
  4. Find the line where the property “enable-rcon” is set. If it doesn’t exist, create it. Make sure it is set to “true”: “enable-rcon=true”.
  5. Set a property called “rcon.password” to your password of choice, for example “rcon.password=awesome”.
  6. Set a property called “rcon.port” to a port number you wish to use. The default port is 25575, so you should use this if you’re unsure.
  7. Make sure that this port is open on your firewall, either for all applications or at least the Minecraft server.
  8. Start your Minecraft server, and look for the lines “Starting remote control listener” and “RCON running on″ – These determine that RCON is working and running.
If this is running on your local network, you can try using my Mine Control app to connect to the local IP address.