Realms Map Guidelines

Last updated: February 11th, 2020

Table of Contents

  1. What is Atlas
  2. Requirements
  3. Technical information for Minecraft Realms
  4. Map Categories
    a. Minigames
    b. World Templates
    c. Adventures
    d. Experiences
    e. Inspiration
  5. Advertising
  6. Recommendations
  7. Links and promotional assets
  8. Easter eggs
  9. Capes

What is Atlas

  • Atlas is the website that allows creators to submit, upload, and edit their own maps for the Content Creator Program on Realms for Minecraft: Java Edition. To gain access to all functions and features in Atlas, you must first have one of your submissions reviewed and approved on the Realms subreddit.
  • When submitting your map to the Realms subreddit, make sure to use Google Drive, OneDrive, or Dropbox as other file-sharing sites may contain harmful advertisements.
  • Once your Reddit submission has been approved, you can log in at atlas.minecraft.net and submit maps for consideration of publication on Minecraft Realms. Once published, they will be accessible to play for anyone with an active Java Realms subscription.
  • You can edit details of a map submission through Atlas, even while it is being tested. Once a map is published to Realms you can no longer edit the map, but you can submit an updated version for review.
  • Once your map has been approved through Atlas, it will be scheduled for publication in the next Java Realms content release of your choice.

Requirements

Mapmakers must follow the publishing agreement as well as the Minecraft EULA. Realms users and creators using Realms must also follow the Realms End User License Agreement.

Your content must also not contain:

  • Content which may affect Minecraft's ESRB-rating (E10+, Fantasy Violence)
  • Includes gameplay exceeding 'Fantasy Violence': “Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life”.
  • Depictions of human or animal (red) blood and guts.
  • Redstone may not be used as a replacement for blood.
  • Depictions of real-world guns, regardless of the degree of accuracy with which the object is represented.
  • Depictions of tanks (the armored fighting vehicle), military or otherwise.
  • Real nations or their representative symbols in military conflict.
  • Strong or vulgar language.
  • References to, or depictions of, real persons without their consent.
  • Creators may depict deceased persons of historical or educational significance if the character is rooted in reality, and sensitivity is exercised in order to not remove the person entirely from their historical context.
  • Specific religious displays or symbolism.
  • Unequal representations of gender. A world where all professional jobs are one gender, and all service work are another, or where one gender was shown subservient to the other in all cases, would be unlikely to be accepted.
  • Inappropriate clothing or nudity. Clothing or hair that gives the appearance of the character being unclothed is not allowed.
  • Prescription or “over-the-counter” (i.e. legal or illegal) drugs.
  • Pornography or pornographic products.
  • Tobacco, tobacco products, or paraphernalia.
  • Alcohol products or other intoxicants the sale or use of which is regulated by law.
  • Intellectual property which you do not have the rights to use or display.

Additionally, creators may not:

  • Name their map by simply using a genre title (Spleef is not allowed, but Castle Spleef is allowed), or by referencing content that is not allowed (for example, Machine Gun Blood Blitz), or including the word "Minecraft".
  • Publish a map which shares the name with an already published map. Look at existing content on Minecraft Realms to ensure that you don't choose a name that already exists. You may want to make your name distinct enough so that it cannot easily be confused with an existing map name.
  • Include commands or tools used for creating or testing that may give certain players an advantage, such as a back-door admin command, designed to give the creator an advantage in a multiplayer game. Depending on the nature of the commands or tools, a map removed in this way may make the creator ineligible to submit maps in the future.

Technical information for Minecraft Realms

  • Realms is a Minecraft server for 1-10 concurrent players, however, a slot is reserved for the owner, so it's possible to join your own Realm as an 11th player. The invite list (whitelist) holds up to 5000 players.
  • View distance is set to 10. This cannot be altered.
  • The maximum allowed size of resource packs is 100 MB.
  • Realms always runs on the latest version of Minecraft. For older maps, new features will only begin generating or spawning in previously unexplored or unloaded terrain.
    • Most maps are loaded in through the three separate world slots for each Realm, however, Minigames have their own category and can be loaded independently (rendering the world slots inaccessible until changed back). Loading a minigame does not affect the content in a world slot.

Map Categories

Minigames

Minigames are self-contained, repeatable, often cooperative or competitive games within Minecraft.

  • Minigames are by default set to survival mode, difficulty Easy.
  • Mobs, villagers, hostile spawns are on.
  • Force gamemode is off.

Minigames are meant to be played and reset continuously. If the server is inactive without any players online, the minigame will reset. Where it makes sense, minigames should not artificially limit the starting condition to 2+ people. Some games are still fun with one player, especially score-based games. Where it makes sense, also make sure to add configuration options. A game that goes to twenty-five kills may be appropriate with ten players but may drag on and force players to manually quit in a two-player game.

In a minigame, no one has operator permissions except the owner who is an operator with level 0 in order to be able to get into the server when it's full, and settings cannot be changed. Control panels normally designed to be used by operators may need to be updated to allow any player to use them.

A minigame that needs to keep player data between sessions may be better suited as an adventure map.

World templates

A world template is a custom survival world spawn where vanilla Minecraft terrain continues to generate outside of the custom area. They often allow the player to start with something extra compared to a regular survival world, such as a deserted temple, an abandoned outpost, or perhaps a mysterious sunken ruin.

A world template should provide players with a meaningful starting area for their survival game, whether through gameplay, design, or otherwise. While there are no fixed size requirements, we recommend that the main starting area is at least 300x300 in order to provide significant value to players. Small builds (or similarly builds which are extensive in size) may be considered provided that they provide the player with a meaningful experience.

  • Any interiors must be furnished and decorated where appropriate and necessary.
  • Templates must blend into the naturally-generating terrain and keep generating terrain outside of the starting area.
  • Your map should be free of command blocks and mostly free of elements that would not occur naturally within the game. Text is rarely needed in world templates. Let your build convey your ideas, rather than signs or books.
  • World templates cannot contain advertisements for yourself or others.

To get an idea of the kind of quality, the density of play area, and depth of features that we're looking for, check out The Lost Civilization and Raider's Refuge via the links here or from the content library on Realms.

Adventures

Adventures are generally designed to be played from start to finish with a specific goal in mind. They often contain a story, an overarching objective, or an end goal for the player to strive towards.

Adventure maps without a specific objective or goal (e.g. an open-ended adventure) still need to provide the player with an overarching purpose to strive for, regardless of whether that purpose is achievable or not. A map without any form of a goal is likely better suited as an experience.

  • Adventures do not reset when the Realm is inactive, and no players are online. This allows players to save their progress to continue the map at a later point.
  • Adventures do not need to be played in adventure mode, however, this may be helpful to limit the way players can affect the map.

Experiences

Experiences are a category of loosely-defined maps mostly without a specific intended goal, where the player's purpose might be to explore, experience, or observe.

  • Adding or removing elements from a map may cause it to fall into or out of the experience-category: for instance, adding a timer to an elytra-based experience map might make it more suitable as a minigame, whereas an added story would make it an adventure. Maps that do not meet the criteria for other map-types tend to live in the experience category.

Inspiration

Inspiration maps are generally designed to encourage and inspire players to create or design new things in Minecraft.

  • The main purpose of inspiration maps is to be educational or inspiring to players. A map not directly directed toward this may be better suited as an experience.
  • Examples of inspirational maps could be (but are not limited to): showing many versions of a build in a specific theme or category, showing a wide variety of build styles, a library full of original books in different styles of writing, a redstone wiring tutorial, or a step-by-step, narrated guide to building a modular dream home.

Advertising

  • You may not advertise for companies, servers, or other players unless you have prior permission from us.
  • You are allowed to advertise yourself and your contributors in-game, excluding world templates. You may also have similar limited and tasteful advertising inside of adventures and minigames where it makes sense (ads mid-gameplay in immersive fantasy worlds are disallowed, but end-credits for something like a challenge parkour map may be included where appropriate).
  • Don’t abuse the subtitles or boss bar, don’t spam people with many rotating messages, etc. Feel free to get creative, just don’t annoy the player and overwhelm your creation.

Recommendations

  • Before submitting, consider what makes your submission different from other existing Realms content. Realms trials are available to all players, so it may be beneficial to explore the maps that are on Realms already.
  • Your lobby should be clean and clear, and have a way to start the game quickly. Additional options are fine, but shouldn’t slow down the ability to jump into the game too much.
  • Any minigame or adventures designed for a single player should be able to handle several players logging in. A map designed for more than one player should indicate that more players are needed if a single player would attempt to start it. The map should also be able, to the best of your ability, handle players logging in and out, or dropping their connection.
  • When considering player behavior (such as allowing configuration of minigame settings), keep in mind that many realms are comprised of small groups of players who may know each other. In other words, it won’t always be as chaotic or anonymous as a public server.
  • If not used in your map, advancements and recipe notifications should be disabled.
  • Where appropriate (such as a starting home's interior), light up your builds so that hostile mobs don’t spawn where are not intended.
  • Let your build convey your ideas, rather than signs or books.
  • To give your map title a sense of uniqueness, we suggest that you do not use mine, craft, block, cube, pixel, and other overused words.
  • The website link is so that players can find out more about you and your work. A link to a website and portfolio, social media page, or video channel page should go here. This feature is optional, though we suggest that you include a Twitter link at minimum so that players can connect with you and leave feedback about the map.
  • Don’t double up on ads (linking your youtube channel in a sign, in a hologram, in the boss bar etc., all at once).
  • Hidden features are great, however, make sure that they’re properly developed (example: allowing someone to fly behind the scenes of a minigame but giving them creative mode instead of spectator, possibly allowing them to break the game).
  • Creators may include a website link, a trailer link, and additional promotional assets in the form of screenshots in their submission to Atlas. The link and the trailer are displayed to players during map selection, whereas screenshots may be used for promotional purposes on our sites like Minecraft.net.
  • Screenshots and trailers cannot contain Steve or Alex, as these are meant to be representative of vanilla gameplay.
  • Links must be as direct as possible. Do not route players through URL shorteners, including sites such as AdFly or Bitly. You may append a query string to your URL.
  • The video link is provided so that you can link directly to a video trailer or preview of your content, and potential players can get an idea of what your map is all about. It is for the player's benefit, not necessarily the creator's. If you do not have a video preview of your creation, you may not link to other types of content here.

Easter eggs

  • Easter eggs are great - but don't overdo them. Make them fun and appropriate to anyone playing the map, not just inside jokes for your build team. Consider your wider audience.

Capes

  • As thanks for submitting and publishing your maps to Realms, creators become eligible to receive a Realms Mapmaker cape once they reach certain criteria.
  • Publishing maps rewards points, with different categories of maps yielding different amounts of points. Once a creator has received 8 points, they become eligible to obtain a Mapmaker cape.

    • World templates award 2 points.
    • Inspiration maps award 3 points.
    • Minigames, experiences, and adventures award 4 points.
  • To be awarded points for a map, you must be listed as a primary creator on the maps during the time of publication; once a map has been published, creators cannot be retroactively added to earn points.

  • If a map is submitted by a group, up to three people can be listed as primary creators.
  • Realms Mapmaker capes are not automatically given out, and are contingent on your good standing in the community, as well as any published maps following the Realms Map Publishing Agreement.
  • We're under no obligation to provide capes, but will do our best to use them as a reward for submitting multiple pieces of content to Realms. Please don't see submitting maps as an easy way to get a cape. Having maps approved and published may take months, and they'll need to be of excellent quality. Asking for a cape or spamming the Realms team about a submission is a sure way to become ineligible for a cape.
  • Maps commissioned by Mojang that are featured on Realms are not eligible for cape credit.