Minecraft tested a 1,024 player server using the experimental Aether Engine

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Minecraft has thousands of servers at its disposal, with varying levels of popularity, and even allow you to rent private servers known as Realms for your friends and families. However, as with pretty much any massive multiplayer online (MMO) game, performance and reliability begin to tank the more players you have in a single place. If you look at the starting areas for games like Destiny 2, World of Warcraft, and many others, you may notice reduced framerates, increased latency, and other performance issues. The Aether Engine by Hadean aims to solve this problem with a unique spin on server technology.

Using the Aether Engine, Mojang Studios was able to create a server that can reliably support up to 1,024 unique players in just three days, and that was without any prior experience with the Aether Engine or knowledge on how to properly optimize for it. What makes the Aether Engine unique is that it can dyanmically scale up to match larger loads or down to free up resources during smaller loads. This means isolated areas in an online game will run the same as much more populated areas, because the Aether Engine can scale to allocate exactly what each area needs to run smoothly.

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This also means new games that can’t forsee how popular they’ll become right after launch (Fall Guys is a recent example) won’t suffer from not having the resources necessary to support those players, leading to long load times, lag, and misconnections. The Aether Engine can respond to these surges in real time, so the number of players shouldn’t affect the performance of the game overall.

The Aether Engine has far more use cases than just video games, but allowing companies like Mojang Studios to use and test out the engine gives Hadean the data they need to improve it for other scenarios, and to get the product out in the real world. It’s quite possible that the near future could mean even larger MMO experiences, and much more intricate Minecraft servers for us all to enjoy.

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Minecraft is an inarguable and complete success. It has sold copies in the hundreds of millions, has a huge following of dedicated players, and lets you unlock your every creative desire. It’s also available on every platform imaginable, including Xbox One, Windows 10, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Play with anyone, and play anywhere.

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