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Adding a resource pack to a Minecraft server

Last updated: 04/30/20
written by  Nodecraft Staff

Resource Packs / Texture Packs can change the look of everything in Minecraft, including the items, creatures (there's a steampunk Resource Pack that turns all enemies into gear powered robots!), and even the hotbar and inventory itself.

You can change Resource Packs whenever you want, and there are lots of really cool ones to explore with some truly unique looks and art styles - see the bottom of this article for some examples of different Resource Packs!

In order to use a Resource Pack on a Minecraft server, it must first be hosted on a website, so that each player who joins the Minecraft server can be prompted to download the Resource Pack. The Minecraft server itself is not capable of hosting the files, and an external location must be used.

Coming from Minepack.net? We unfortunately had to sunset that solution to focus on other aspects of our service, but following this article should allow you to host your own Minecraft Resource Pack for free.

One of the simplest and cheapest methods of doing this is to simply upload the Resource Pack to any kind of file sharing site that provides public and direct file downloads. Many of these file sharing sites are free, and require only simple downloads or a free account to get started. As long as the site will give you a URL that points to the file, it can be used for hosting your Minecraft Resource Pack.

Some examples of file sharing sites include:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • OneDrive
  • iCloud

Websites will paywalls or redirection pages that prevent direct downloads (such as Mediafire) should be avoided, as they will generally not work for the purpose of hosting a Resource Pack.

Resource Pack Size Limit

Before getting started, it's important to note that there is a maximum file size for Resource Packs that can be downloaded automatically by Minecraft, currently 50 megabytes.

Any Resource Packs larger then 50 MiB will not be automatically downloaded. This limitation is built into the game, and cannot (to our knowledge) be circumvented. It is possible to manually install Resource Packs that exceed the limit, but will require each of your players to manually install the Resource Pack, which isn't ideal.

Uploading the Resource Pack

For the purpose of this guide, we're going to be using Dropbox as our file sharing platform of choice. Dropbox is easy to set up, simple, and widely used. We will also be showing examples of using Dropbox on Windows operating system, so all instructions (ie, rightclick to bring up context menus) are for Windows.

Installing Dropbox

You can install Dropbox by visiting their site at https://www.dropbox.com/install. Download the installer, then find it on your computer and run it. When it finishes installing, you will be greeted with a box to sign up for an account, or sign into an account if you already have one.

Either click the blue text "Signup" (near the top) if you are a new user, or sign in if you have an account already. Once Dropbox is installed on your computer, and you open the program, you will see something like this:

A view of Dropbox, with no files uploaded yet

Moving Files to Dropbox

Once you've got Dropbox set up, navigate to where you have the Resource Pack saved on your computer. As an example, we will be using the "Faithful-32" Resource Pack, which is essentially the regular Minecraft textures but just in much more detail. It's available on Curseforge here.

The version of this Resource Pack for Minecraft 1.15.2 will download as a file named something like 1.15.2-r1.zip. Right-click on the file name, and in the pop-up menu, look for the option "Move to Dropbox".

A view of the right click window, showing the option to move files to Dropbox

Click on that, and the file will disappear from that location. If you're curious, it will have been moved to a newly created "Dropbox" folder in your user account (at least on Windows). Open up the Dropbox app, and you should see that same file name now showing as a file in your dropbox window.

A view of a file successfully moved into Dropbox

To create a share link, use the following steps from the Dropbox UI:

  • Click on the three dots to the right of the file name when you move your mouse over it, or just right click on the file name. This will open a small menu.
  • Click on the "Share…" option from the menu.
  • Click on the "create link" button in the lower right. This will create a public URL for the file.
  • Once the "Create Link" button changes to a "Copy Link" button, a URL has been successfully created for the Resource Pack. You can click on the "Copy Link" button to reveal the URL at the bottom of the share window, or you can close the share window and return to the regular Dropbox window and do it there.
A view of Dropbox, showing the share option on the menu inside Dropbox
A view of the share window, showing the button to create a share link

Back on the regular Dropbox window, you can copy the URL link by either clinking on the symbol that looks like two chain links (or just simply right click on the filename).

You can quickly test the URL is working by opening up a browser window, and pasting the URL into the browser. If everything is set up okay, you should see something like the screenshot below. It will display the name of the file, the contents of the file, and an option to download the file. This means the file is hosted, and it can now accessed by other programs over the internet.

A view of Dropbox, showing the copy link option

A view of a Resource Pack URL being tested in a web browser

Configuring your Minecraft Server with your Resource Pack

To configure your server to prompt your players to install your chosen Resource Pack when they connect, you will need to edit the server.properties file.

Make a SHA-1 Hash (optional)

This an entirely optional step, but it's a way for the game to make sure that the Resource Pack isn't garbled during the download process.

A "hash" is a long string of characters created from source information, according to a formula. If you run the same formula on a copy of the original file, you should get the same exact result each and every time, over and over. Since the results of the hash are predictable and repeatable, Minecraft can use it to make sure the Resource Pack that's downloaded is intact. If it's a different result, and doesn't match, it means the file is changed somehow. That usually means something bad happened during download (incomplete download, corrupted information, etc).

You can search online for SHA-1 hash generators, and there are many options to choose from. Some can use the URL you generated above, and for others, you will need to upload the original file (the Resource Pack) from your home computer to make the hash. Look carefully at the options for choosing the source information, and you want to look for either a field for inputting a URL (which makes it go grab the file from where you hosted it), or to choose a file to manually upload from your home computer.

If there's only a text input box, and you paste in the URL or file name, the SHA-1 generated will literally only be for the text that makes up the URL or file name. It won't actually be for the file itself. When minecraft compares that SHA-1 hash against the file, they won't match at all.

Editing the server.properties file

If using NodePanel, our custom solution for hosting game servers, you can set the Resource Pack configuration options via the "Game Settings" -> "Gamemode" section in the control panel:

Setting the Resource Pack configuration options for Minecraft in NodePanel

Or if you're hosting elsewhere, or prefer to edit the files manually, look for the following lines in your server.properties file:

resource-pack=
resource-pack-sha1=

Paste the Resource Pack URL from Dropbox into the resource-pack line, after the equals sign.

A critically important step here, is to edit the zero at the end of the URL and replace it with a 1, so that it says ?dl=1. If the zero 0 is not changed to a one 1, it won't actually download the file automatically when Minecraft accesses the URL. For example, if your Resource Pack URL is https://www.dropbox.com/s/<RandomID>/ResoucePack.zip?dl=0, you would use the following in your server.properties file:

resource-pack=https://www.dropbox.com/s/<RandomID>/ResoucePack.zip?dl=1

If you've generated a SHA-1 hash, you can include that here as the resource-pack-sha1 value. For example, if your generated SHA-1 hash for the previous Resource Pack was cf23df2207d99a74fbe169e3eba035e633b65d94, you would use the following in your server.properties:

resource-pack=https://www.dropbox.com/s/<RandomID>/ResoucePack.zip?dl=1
resource-pack-sha1=cf23df2207d99a74fbe169e3eba035e633b65d94

Be sure to save the changes made to the config file, and then restart your server for the changes to go into effect.

Player experience joining your server

When players join the server, they will now see a message prompting them to download the Resource Pack, if they wish. If they answer yes, they will see a red progress bar as it downloads, and then a branded Mojang screen will appear for few moments. After it disappears, all the textures will be changed to the ones from the Resource Pack.

A view of the prompt to download a Resource Pack

Before and After Screenshots

Below are some screenshots of a little house we made in Minecraft, with the vanilla textures and the Faithful 32 Resource Pack. There are screenshots of the outside, the inside with crafting stations, and crops growing near the house.

These screenshots are of the same exact Minecraft world, with nothing being changed on the server at all. If a player refuses to download the Resource Pack, or the Resource Pack is removed, they will see the vanilla textures again.

A view of a house made in minecraft with the regular textures
A view of a minecraft house with the faithful 32 Resource Pack textures loaded
A view of the interior of a house in minecraft, with regular textures
A view of the inside of a minecraft house, with the faithful 32 Resource Pack loaded
A view of crops growing in minecraft, with regular textures
A view of some crops in minecraft with the faithful 32 Resource Pack textures

The Faithful 32 Resource Pack textures are heavily based on the original textures from Minecraft, but at an increased resolution and tweaks to add more detail. It's very faithful to the original game textures, as the name suggestions, but below are some examples of other Resource Packs where you can see much more dramatic changes.

Other Resource Pack examples

A minecraft house with the Mythic Resource Pack textures downloaded
A view of the inside of a minecraft house, made with the Mythic Resource Pack
A view of some crops in minecraft, with the Mythic Resource Pack textures downloaded
A view of a house in minecraft with the clarity Resource Pack textures downloaded
A view of a minecraft house with the Clarity resourece pack downloaded
A view of minecraft crops with the clarity Resource Packs textures downloaded
A view of a minecraft house with the annahstas Resource Pack textures
A view of a minecraft house with the annahstas Resource Pack textures downloaded
A view of crops in minecraft with the annahstas Resource Pack textures

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