Community-led Growth: The Journey of

Redefining how players and creators discover and connect with each other

By: Maria Tamellini

March 18th, 2024

Online gaming thrives on community influence, serves as the driving force behind engagement and expansion, and sits at the very core of our product development. The synergy between community and product evolution is illustrated in Minecraft, a game well-known as a hub of creativity and collaboration with over 300 million copies sold since its release in 2011.

In November of 2023, the world was introduced to the Official Minecraft Server List, a joint project by Mojang Studios and GamerSafer. This new website is a testament to the relationship between community and program development. Launching this website with active creator participation boosts GamerSafer’s mission to ensure positive and safer gaming experiences.

Together with both players and servers, we have built a Minecraft server list that enhances discoverability and upholds player safety and community engagement values.

Players love Minecraft for its ability to bring people together to share their creativity and explore the game with others. The Official Minecraft Server List reflects this love, a place where the community’s voice is heard and valued, and where the shared journey of players, developers, and industry leaders continues to evolve and inspire. FindMCServer is now here to redefine how players discover and connect with each other.

Building from the Block Up

Unlike traditional server list websites where large servers with hefty ad budgets dominate, levels the playing field while still keeping the player’s interests and safety first. It offers distinctive communities a place to show off their creativity and unique features, ranging from servers designed for newbies to those tailored for seasoned crafters, from vanilla gameplay to extensively modded game modes. When we set out to build this site, we wanted to capture the wide range of player and server owner interests and take on Minecraft’s global scale, readily accessible and free for all to use, regardless of where they come from. 

But we didn’t just want to build a server list, we wanted to create a matchmaking and discoverability engine that allows players to find the exact communities they’re searching for. This required us to innovate with new ideas, constantly tested by players and community managers involved in our alpha phase.

We invited creators with over a decade of experience in the scene to join for the first year of the development to provide their feedback and encourage a feeling that the site is built with the community. The initial servers that joined the site were chosen and invited based on their existing interests in creating experiences with trust and safety built-in. This allowed us to design the site with a foundation of player safety while spotlighting leaders that the broader community of creators look up to.

“A challenge I’ve faced was finding a way to share the consensus of small server owners with a single voice. It’s difficult to let Mojang or GamerSafer know if you’re sharing a personal opinion versus experiences of a decade. But they have both listened quite well and taken all the feedback under consideration.”

– mrfloris (1moreblock)

The journey from concept to launch was marked by several phases: closed alpha, closed beta, open beta, and finally, the fully public launch in November, 2023. Each phase played a crucial role in refining the platform, with the community’s role evolving alongside. Early supporters, numbering around 70 alpha participants, were instrumental in this process.

“…I both wanted to help and hoped it would increase new player joins. The process helped our staff team clarify some server goals and brought in quite a few new players.”

– Momshroom (TrekCraft)

Crafting Connections and Stronger Communities  

We had to meet players and server teams where they were to get this project started. One notable aspect of this strategy is our emphasis on creating a welcoming and inclusive environment at GamerSafer. Both GamerSafer Discord community members and our staff were encouraged to engage in discussions constructively within a positive and respectful atmosphere. While we did not shy away from hard conversations about tough community management topics, any contentious topics were addressed promptly, which set the stage for kind and open-minded conversations within the community.

Reaching out to server operators on platforms like Discord proved to be an effective way to foster collaboration and build trust over time. By connecting with key leaders in various Discord communities, we gained valuable insights that helped us shape the development of

“The community and staff at GamerSafer are always welcoming, regardless of the topics or background of what you wish to discuss. I find that it is very easy to communicate with both members and staff alike in a civil positive atmosphere. Any topics which are deemed unacceptable are quickly shut down or any discussions which seem to be leading to negative undertones are defused professionally and cordially.”

– Aequotis (Cubed Community)

One observation is the community’s receptiveness to changes when accompanied by clear explanations. By actively participating in Discord communities resistant to proposed changes, GamerSafer members have been able to address concerns directly, leading to a positive shift in community sentiment. Decisions that at one time may have been met with confusion or frustration were often received with appreciation and understanding.

Ultimately, the success of these strategies hinges on the tangible benefits experienced by server operators and players. The Official Minecraft Server List’s positive impact on servers and players’ experiences has been instrumental in garnering support and participation from the Minecraft community.

Navigating Challenges in Community Building  

Managing a pre-existing, active Minecraft server community involves integrating diverse experiences and setups. Once was officially announced across Minecraft and GamerSafer’s social media channels, players were requesting frequent updates on a day-to-day basis. To address this, and based on suggestions from active members, we created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document and Discord /tags to handle common queries and empower our super fans to answer those questions on their own.

With the influx of server applications, another hurdle was clarifying the progress of the server review. All servers must be manually reviewed by GamerSafer first, and then Mojang after, to ensure they meet the Minecraft Usage Guidelines and our own site rules. We tackled the commonly asked question, “When will my server be listed?” by adding a prominent review status banner on the server’s edit page.

Effective communication with a community that holds strong opinions on various topics requires careful attention to language and ensuring alignment on key definitions and concepts. The team engaged in numerous discussions with the community on topics like chat moderation, monetization models, competitive leaderboards, age-appropriate content, and loot crates, fostering a two-way relationship based on active listening and shared values.

“One of the most important lessons for me was to involve a group of users from the start, asking them about their expectations so they could contribute all the way. Understanding users’ pains to best address them is vital.”

– Guilherme, GamerSafer Senior Dev

Upholding a balance between promoting one’s server and considering the broader community perspective is something some site users are reflecting on for the first time. Still, our welcoming environment leads to inventive ideas and solutions. We always want to encourage creativity and diversity, not restrict it to one specific way of doing things, and that’s what this community-minded approach has allowed us to achieve.

Thriving: Uniting Safety and Fun 

The partnership between GamerSafer, Mojang Studios, and the Minecraft community stands out as a groundbreaking initiative that merges player safety with fun. At the heart of this joint effort lies the principle of voluntary compliance and positive incentives for creators.

GamerSafer and Mojang Studios worked together to create a detailed process for evaluating each Minecraft server application, ensuring that trust and safety standards are maintained within every server’s game modes. This process allows for personalized attention to the unique offerings of each server community, striking a balance between safety and creative fun. Servers that meet these standards are rewarded with Badges to showcase their work and commitment to safe and enjoyable experiences.

Initially, server operators had concerns that prioritizing trust and safety might hinder player retention and sustainability. But, through regular chats and conversations with our review team, which can last several weeks as servers work to take steps towards the goals, these apprehensions were calmed and the balances were found. Players’ viewpoints also evolved; modern players seek out enjoyable gaming sessions, while creators, often focused on the creative and technical hurdles, ask for guidance in implementing trust and safety protocols.

The results speak for themselves. During the first year’s beta phase, 85% of the invited servers implemented trust and safety measures, becoming compliant with the site and Mojang Studios’ guidelines. After the official launch, the impact grew even more pronounced, with smaller communities witnessing expansion and server operators noting an upsurge in player engagement, surpassing their previous experiences with conventional advertising methods.

Within the first week of the site’s official launch, 40% of the servers that applied had already taken the initial steps required to be approved to be listed, with many others following soon after. The initial impact on these servers showed smaller communities growing by as much as 400%, and some server operators shared how the site had brought them more players than they had ever gotten before. Even when compared to advertising on third-party server list websites that cost them thousands of dollars per month, had better results.

Building Tomorrow’s MC: Future Aspirations for community collaboration

As we look towards the future, community work will continue to be an indispensable part of GamerSafer’s initiatives. It’s foundational to our approach – every action we take is designed to protect, empower, and connect online communities meaningfully and authentically. Our vision for the community is about pioneering new paths and setting benchmarks for what a safe, inclusive, and engaging online gaming industry can be.

Both in our Discord and in our server review process, we see questions and comments every day from server teams asking for resources to create thriving communities. Many server owners are only just beginning on their path-to-pro journey, with some of them having their first job as gaming community managers. They want to learn as much as they can, so we’re exploring ways to provide them with more educational materials and programs to help them along the way.

We also envision servers collaborating to create joint events and activities, encouraging players to explore and enjoy a wider variety of game modes. This initiative aims to break down silos and promote a sense of unity and shared experience among different servers.

Training community members to spot-check servers and understand the nuances of what is acceptable and what isn’t is another key goal. This peer-review system would not only enhance the platform’s safety and scalability but also give community members a sense of ownership and involvement in maintaining standards.

As online gaming continues to evolve with new technologies and experiences, maintaining a direct line of communication with community members becomes crucial. This approach allows us to understand the impact of the changing gaming landscape and positively influence the narrative. Our contributions, initially focused on US and European-based servers, will expand to include other regions, reflecting Minecraft’s global appeal.

Celebrating our Shared Journey

Reflecting on’s evolution over the past year, we cherish the accomplishments and insights we’ve gained. Our path has been marked by collaboration, innovation, and community-driven progress. Importantly, we can successfully overcome the “us vs them” mentality by establishing shared goals and celebrating our achievements together. This unity fortifies our mission, proving that when we work collectively, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.

While community work demands time, planning, and constant engagement, it has shown its value through the vibrant and secure environment we have nurtured together.

We would love for you to join us on this adventure! Whether you are a server owner, a player, or an advocate for fostering safe and inclusive online communities, our invitation is open to you. Your insights, feedback, and involvement can shape the future of and online gaming. Together, we can innovate, grow, and establish new benchmarks for what a gaming community can accomplish.

Explore to discover how you can engage and have an impact within the Minecraft scene.

Thank you so much to our amazing community members who contributed their stories and quotes to this article!

Taking action is the best way to impact the Minecraft community

If you liked this blog post, spread the message!

We would love to hear what you’re doing to make the Minecraft community a safer and more inclusive environment.

Tell us about it using the form below.


Would you like to see a demo, learn about integration, or contact us about something else?

You can also join our Discord Guild.

Terms of ServicePrivacy Policy

© 2019-2021, GAMERSAFER, Inc. All rights reserved. GAMERSAFER  trademarks are registered in the US.

We use cookies to allow us to better understand how the site is used. By continuing to use this site, you consent to this policy. Click to learn more