Ever since version 1.3 (Snapshot 12w25a) of Minecraft, you have been able to invite other players on your local LAN to your single player world. This provides a simple way for friends to play a game together, without having to actually set up and host a server.
Using VPN software, like Hamachi and Tunngle, you are able to connect to other people on the internet as if you were on the same local network. The combination of VPN and the Open to LAN feature of Minecraft allows you to play multiplayer Minecraft, with a select few people, easily and privately over the internet.
When it came to setting up a VPN with my friend Andy, we found Hamachi to be a nightmare and were soon looking for an alternative. Every tip and piece of advice we could find did not allow us to connect to each other. After discovering Tunngle we were up and running in no time, seemingly providing a “it just works” VPN service for gamers.
This article serves as a guide to setting everything up.
Setting up a VPN
- First of all you need to download Tunngle and install it, if you haven’t already. You can download it from the Tunngle website here: Download Tunngle
- You will then need to create a Tunngle account to be able to use the software. You can do this at the following link: Register a Tunngle account
- Once registered, you need to login to your account with the Tunngle client software.
Setting up and joining a Tunngle Network
- Click on the Private Network button (the second from the left in the title bar).
- To join a network enter the network name and password and click Join
- To create a network, enter a name and password and click the Create – Update button.
- The first time you create a network, you will have to activate it. This is a simple online process that is free.
- Networks will stay alive for 3 days without activity, they will then be deleted. You can create a new network at any time.
Once everyone is in the same Tunngle private network, you are connected together in a virtual LAN.
Tunngle features a lot of advertising across the software’s screen space, which can be annoying. However, you only need to use it for a minute or two to set everything up, then you can minimise it (or send it to the notification area by pressing the . button).
Ensuring Minecraft uses Tunngle for LAN networking
This only needs to be completed by the player hosting the game.
- Go to the Network Connections control panel (Start>Run ncpa.cpl)
- Windows 7:
- Right click the Tunngle Network and click Properties
- Double-click IPV4, click Advanced and under the Interface metric enter 1.
- Windows XP:
- Click on the Advanced menu and the select Advanced Settings
- Move the Tunngle connection up to the top of the list as pictured below.
- Once this is completed Minecraft will use Tunngle when you click Share to LAN rather than your actual local network.
Connecting to each other in Minecraft
- The host needs to start up the map that you want to play on. Once it has loaded you need to click the Share to LAN button and choose the settings for the other players.
- Click Start LAN World and then note the server address that it reports to you (for example: 188.8.131.52:12345). The first part, before the colon, is the IP address and should match the one you are using in Tunngle. The second part, after the colon, is the port number. The port number changes every time you share a world so you need to make sure you communicate it to your friends every time you play.
- Once the host has shared his world other players can join by pressing the Multiplayer button on Minecraft’s main menu. You can then enter the IP address and port number in the Direct Connect window as IP:PORT. You can also use the Add server feature, to give the server a name – however, it doesn’t always work and you will have to keep updating the port number as it changes. Note: you can copy the IP address by right clicking on the host in Tunngle, you will always have to enter the port number yourself though.
- You should then be able to click Join Server and be playing Minecraft with your friends in seconds.
Note: We were unable to ping each other after setting all of this up, but we could still connect to each other in Minecraft.
I hope that this proves useful to anyone who has been stuck with Hamachi, or just wanted to play private multiplayer but didn’t know how. If you have any problems, please let us know in the comments below.