Frequently Asked Questions
Sponge is a versatile Minecraft: Java Edition API. It was made to enrich your Minecraft experience by enabling creation of plugins to add functionality to Minecraft. Read more about Sponge here: Introduction and about the history of Sponge here: The History of Sponge
Sponge (and Minecraft) needs the Java Runtime Environment to run properly. You will obviously need a computer to run the server on too, besides that nothing is required. Learn more about choosing and installing the correct Java version here: Installing Java
You can download SpongeForge and SpongeVanilla on our downloads page.
The Sponge Project currently develops two implementations which both use SpongeAPI:
SpongeForge, a coremod for Minecraft Forge, which is an existing Minecraft: Java Edition modding framework famous for spurring the Minecraft modding scene. Forge lacks a cross-version API, and this is where Sponge steps in. Sponge allows server owners to deploy Sponge plugins with ease, making server management easier. (SpongeForge was formerly known as Sponge, until it was renamed to avoid confusion).
SpongeVanilla, a stand-alone implementation of SpongeAPI, running on top of the vanilla Minecraft server. (SpongeVanilla was formerly known as Granite, until the development teams merged).
There have also been community implementations due to the flexibility of the API:
LanternServer, an open source and compatible Minecraft: Java Edition server that implements SpongeAPI. It does not rely on the vanilla codebase at all, allowing for it be more configurable, open, and performant. While still a work in progress, their project is quite promising and may one day be the choice for servers not looking to run Forge mods. You can find more information on their website as well as on GitHub.
You can find plugins on our official plugin repository, called Ore.
The Bukkit project halted further development of their API and server modification. Shortly thereafter, one of the contributors to Bukkit sent a DMCA takedown notice to stop further distribution of CraftBukkit. He was within his legal right. Downloads, as well as source code, for CraftBukkit and its derivatives (such as Spigot and Cauldron) are no longer publicly available. If you want to know the reasons why this affected Sponge development, have a look at our history page: The History of Sponge
No, and enabling this capability is not a goal of ours. Sponge is using its own API (SpongeAPI), while Bukkit is using the Bukkit API. While third parties explored the idea of implementing the Bukkit API on top of Sponge, due to the design differences of the APIs, none of these projects have come to fruition. If you think a feature is missing in Sponge or you cannot find a plugin your server needs, consider posting on the forums, and someone may be able to help you.
For an existing Forge server, you will need to download SpongeForge and place it into the mods folder. The server can then be started like any other Forge server.
Non-Forge servers may elect to use SpongeVanilla instead, an implementation that does not rely on Forge. There are guides for migrating from Bukkit and/or Canary elsewhere on SpongeDocs. It is worth noting that many plugin developers from the Bukkit community have thrown their weight behind Sponge, and are planning to make their plugins available for Sponge-powered servers.
Worlds will be able to be ported over. It is up to plugin developers to create conversion processes that will allow you to keep plugin data, if any exists. Some plugin developers may not do this.
On a related note, we will not be providing support for Bukkit plugins on Sponge.
Switching to Sponge should not affect players on your server. If you (as a server owner) migrate correctly, players will be able to connect to your server the same way as they did before you migrated to Sponge. They will not need to have Forge installed - unless your server runs Forge mods, of course.
Sponge provides a Plugin API. This means that you can create new content and gamemodes on the go. Have a look at our plugin pages to get a quick-start: Creating a Plugin
Sponge can’t be used to create new blocks, textures, mobs on the client-side or any other content which would need client-side modifications. SpongeAPI won’t support sending mods or plugins to the client due to security concerns. However, you can make use of the ForgeAPI for clients and create Sponge plugins for the server-side. It is even possible to use Sponge on the client-side, but for several tasks mods are still required.
Bukkit’s API contains code licensed under the GPL. This is a large reason why Bukkit met its demise in September 2014; by moving forward with a new API licensed under the MIT license, we can avoid some of the problems that fell upon Bukkit. While this does not free us from Mojang’s control, as their code is proprietary, it is our belief that Mojang supports modding and will continue to do so.
Accessing the server internals (known as “NMS” or “net.minecraft.server” in CraftBukkit) can be done through MCP, which has a large number of names de-obfuscated. However, be aware that accessing the server internals raises the risk of your plugin breaking - this is your prerogative.
See Implementation-dependent Plugins for an introduction about using MCP in your plugin.