The Future of GunColony

Hello all,

As the owner and developer of GunColony, I would like to take the opportunity of the 8th anniversary of GunColony to make an important and exciting annoucement on the future of the server for its ninth year and beyond. I hope that what I reveal today should be great news to you and all players of GunColony.

I have additionally added a section to address the recent situation of Mojang’s ban of commercial gun servers, and how this will affect GunColony going forward. (Spoiler alert: GunColony is not going anywhere, no matter what happens.)



Today, I am announcing our plans to develop a standalone game based on GunColony.

The game has yet to be named, but we are internally and temporarily naming it “GunColony 2”. Work on this game started a year ago in June 2022, and our plan is to complete and release it over the next three years while simultaneously using our new work to improve the existing GunColony server. Our aim with the standalone game is five-fold:

  • Reduced dependence on Mojang and its recent decisions such as forced migration and chat reporting
  • Free-to-play access from the browser and PC, and eventually mobile
  • Cross-play between standalone and vanilla Minecraft players and supporting both on the same codebase
  • A greatly improved game experience exploring the full possibilities of a fusion between the FPS and voxel sandbox genres, with never-seen-before game features for both FPS and Minecraft players
  • Massively increased performance and reduced server hosting hosts to feasibly operate at larger scales with a player-friendly donation model


For GunColony 2, we aim to build an ambitious custom voxel game engine that is cross-play compatible with Minecraft players. This is important because it will allow us to eventually move the GunColony Minecraft server to the standalone engine as well.

The game engine will have two modes. First, it can operate independently and support players who login through standalone clients, with no code in this mode being related to Mojang. Second, it can also operate alongside a module that sits on top of a Minecraft server. In this mode, standalone players still play in game worlds fully based on our own custom code, but Minecraft players can now also join and play together with standalone players, through a mixture of our own code and Minecraft code. It is this second mode on the new engine that the existing GunColony server will eventually be moved to.


Our current starting point is a well-documented basic engine framework with about 20,000 lines of code. Further development will happen in stages and we will start by improving the current GunColony server. We will first transition the GunColony server part by part to the new engine, starting with easier systems such as assets and player data/accounts, to harder systems such as guns and gamemodes, and finally to the entire rest of the server. We hope to finish the full conversion by releasing a 2.0 Update before GunColony’s 10th anniversary in 2024, kickstarting the era of GunColony 2.

Throughout this process we will be rewriting over 100,000 lines of code in the GunColony codebase to make the server better, but also laying out the building blocks for the standalone game simultaneously. After the 2.0 Update, we will have achieved a full standalone game server implementation supporting most or all current GunColony features as well as many new ones, and players can still play normally from Minecraft like they do now.

After the full transition of the Minecraft server to the GunColony 2 engine, we will then begin developing a fully standalone game client in earnest, and release the standalone game sometime around 2025. From then on, the two experiences will share the exact same server codebase, making it easy for us to update both at once going forwards.

Due to the incremental nature of new development, you will be able to keep all of your progress during the transition from GunColony 1 to 2. This includes your guns, attachments, level, inventory, and the tens of thousands of kills that top players have racked up in their stats (Valvo plz nerf).


With the standalone game, we are planning on many new improvements that will make GunColony 2 a greatly improved project compared to its predecessor in many ways.

First, I shall highlight the free-to-play nature of the standalone game, which I think would be easy to overlook. GunColony 1 was free-to-play too in some respects, as we earned no money whatsoever from players logging into the server, but in fact it was free only to players who already owned the Java edition of Minecraft. The standalone game will instead allow anyone to play the full GunColony experience for free. We aim to build a game which anyone can jump into and have fun without spending a single dime and without being marketed with pay-to-win items or obnoxious cosmetics every step of the way.

The second ingredient to make this all possible is the higher server performance. Everyone knows that hosting Minecraft servers is expensive, but the standalone game is an opportunity for us change that. Every bit of the new GunColony 2 codebase is being written from scratch with lessons learned from our 8 years of hosting Minecraft servers to ensure that it runs as quickly as possible. We are targeting a 10x speedup compared to Minecraft servers, leading to much lower server costs to truly offer a game where monetization does not get in the way of the player experience. Community servers are being considered too to further this cause.

If we do include real-money cosmetic items in our game, we plan to mostly forgo official items and instead let our community to design and sell them and benefit from a very large portion of the revenue (~75%). This is where our next innovation comes in: the browser platform. From the very first day of our idea to build a standalone game for GunColony, one requirement has been clear: that it has to run on the browser. Part of this is to simply attract more players more easily as you can play with a single hyperlink. But more importantly, the browser is the only easily-accessible game destribution platform with zero platform fees. If we had chosen Steam or most other platforms instead, we would have had to given 30% or more of our players’ money to the platform, but supporting the browser platform will allow us to give back to individual community creators much more effectively than we otherwise could.

(If you combine the last two paragraphs, you might even piece together something else we are thinking of doing.)

The final category of improvements worth mentioning is the gameplay. The original article contained a lot more details about the new gameplay potential of the standalone game, but they have had to be cut to make room for the new addendum. Here are some particularly interesting examples: deathcams/killcams and remote-controlled drones will likely be coming to both the standalone game and the Minecraft server over the next few years thanks to innovations made in the new game engine. Oh, and the servers will be natively 120 Hz and fully multithreaded, and is technically absolutely bonkers. GunColony already has great gameplay with a lot of variety and room for strategy and skill, but the standalone game will allow us to take it a lot further still to develop the dream FPS experience that we had always wanted to exist.


Under our current and detailed plans, the standalone game will offer a quantum leap in the accessibility, performance, and gameplay potential of GunColony, without existing players losing any progress nor the familiar experience of playing on a frequently-updated Minecraft server. We hope that our technical infrastructure being built now will last years if not decades, fueling steady long-term growth and powering future expansion beyond our current gameplay. We hope to explore every aspect of the intersection between the sandbox and FPS genres and more to bring a truly unique, free, transparent, and community-centric game to everyone.


I will keep this short. Mojang has recently threatened to shut down a Minecraft gun server with ten years of history, Grand Theft Minecart, and clearly mentioned in their email that under a recent directive they now consider real-life-inspired firearms to breach Mojang’s guidelines for commercial servers. All gun servers to currently exist are under Mojang’s crosshairs, including GunColony.

If Mojang goes after GunColony, our two choices are to remove all realistic weapons from the server and possibly rename the server itself, or remove all sources of server revenue, up to and including donations that give nothing in return.

I will pick the latter.

If we receive an enforcement notice from Mojang, we will immediately remove our donation store which is our only source of revenue, and you will not be able to support the GunColony server at all, at least for a while. That’s OK. Mojang’s recent decision is deeply unfortunate and unreasonable. But what is fortunate to me is that the event has come at an incredibly lucky time in my life.

I founded GunColony when I was fourteen. Starting from its founding on May 31st, 2015, and for every day since, I had needed your support to keep the server afloat. Over time, GunColony grew, and I grew along with the community. However, starting this summer, I will finally be able to financially support the server on my own, and pay the server’s total hosting costs of roughly 120 dollars a month out of pocket.

In exchange for losing all of our revenue from players and carrying the costs myself, we will get to keep our server’s gameplay that me and the community has spent hard work developing over the last 8 years.

I founded GunColony when I was fourteen, to make fourteen year old me’s dream game. Today, I think I would have made fourteen-year-old me proud. But one thing’s clear: it was certainly, definitely never meant to be a game for only eighteen-year-olds and up. It was also never a game meant for an eight- or ten-year-old. Therefore, I have made my decision today to ensure that GunColony’s identity is kept intact for the years to come. I also think that it is the right thing to do for all of our staff and community members who have made custom maps and content over the years, to see them continue to be played as they were meant to be played.

Should we be forced to remove our donation store and you still wish to support GunColony, just know that the avenue to do so will not be gone forever. I was lucky to have the foresight that the Minecraft Java server space was a sinking ship and to have begun the development of a standalone game last year, following the footsteps of others like Hypixel who saw the same thing*. As soon as the standalone game releases, you will be able to support GunColony again. Maybe I will even do a pre-launch Kickstarter for the game, who knows.

I thank you for playing on and supporting my server for the last eight years and it really means a lot to me. Here’s to another eight or many more years to come.


* but not too far.


Update 1.4.1: Minecraft 1.18.1 Support

Hello all,

In this minor update we have added Minecraft 1.18.1 support and addressed the recent log4j vulnerability on the server side.


Due to the newly discovered security vulnerability in Minecraft, if you are playing on a modded version of Minecraft, you must update Forge/Fabric. If that is not possible due to Minecraft version or mod compatibility issues, you must alternatively install this fix from CreeperHost.

No need to panic if you are using vanilla Minecraft to play GunColony. Mojang has fixed the issue for vanilla players, and your fix will be automatically downloaded the next time you play Minecraft. This kind of quick response to issues is why GunColony is committed to fully support vanilla Minecraft players going forward, even with some plans currently being drafted to create a GunColony mod.


You can now join GunColony using Minecraft 1.18.1.

The new fog changes in 1.18.1 will allow you to see more of the map if you previously had to turn down your render distance for performance reasons. If your render distance was already at 16 chunks or higher, this change should have no effect.


We have fixed the new zero-day log4j exploit on GunColony servers.

  • Applied two fixes on the 1.12.2 servers
  • Updated Paper and applied an additional fix on the 1.17 test server and StaffBuild
  • Updated BungeeCord

6th Anniversary Roadmap

Hello all,

As you might know, the 6th anniversary of the server is coming soon, and with this opportunity we’d like to present a roadmap for things that will come to GunColony in the 6th Anniversary Update, as well as over this summer.


Minecraft 1.12.2 is almost 4 year old, and it is about time to start taking advantage of features from newer Minecraft versions. We plan to use a gradual transition to ensure that players have time to update.

  • On May 31st (the 6th anniversary date), we will release a resource pack update, but the server will still be fully functional on Minecraft 1.12.
  • In June, we will release a resource pack update that makes use of the custom font feature from Minecraft 1.13+. You will still be able to join with 1.12, but these new features will be unavailable. You are encouraged at this point to update to the latest version of Minecraft.
  • In July, we will release a resource pack update that makes use of the CustomModelData feature from Minecraft 1.15+. At this point, you will still be able to join with 1.12-1.14, but you will need to use 1.15+ for any new weapon skins and certain equipment models to display correctly.
  • At some time in August or September, depending on Minecraft 1.17’s release date, we will release a resource pack update that makes use of the vertex shaders feature from Minecraft 1.17. You will need to update to the latest version of Minecraft to get these improvements.
  • At a yet undetermined time during late summer or fall, we will update the server itself to either 1.16 or 1.17, making new blocks and in-game features available. At this point, you will need a Minecraft version at least equal to the new server version in order to join the server.

We are aware that in version 1.14 and above, there is movement lag when aiming down sights. This is a vanilla bug and can’t be fixed serverside, but it is not very distracting once you get used to it. If it still bothers you, TheShwarma has created a mod to fix it: https://guncolony.com/MovementFixGuncolony-1.1-MC1.16.jar (Requires Fabric API, 1.16+)


Starting from the 6th Anniversary Update, updates will be numbered. There is no cost to adding a numbering scheme to updates, and it both increases organization for purposes like a wiki, and makes it possible for infrequent players to see how many updates have been released since they’ve last been on the server.

The 6th Anniversary Update will be numbered as Update 1.0.


According to two recent polls on the Discord server, it was overwhelming agreed on by our long-term players that having 140+ weapons was a significant friction to development and balancing, and as such we needed to remove most of our weapons temporarily to rethink how GunColony’s gameplay should work.

We are thus planning to remove more than half of the weapons during the 6th Anniversary Update on May 31st. There will still be roughly 65-70 weapons remaining in the game, which is still more weapons than there are in most FPS games. Also, some of the remaining weapons will get access to new modifications like weapon-specific barrel and ammo choices. The removed weapons will remain in your inventory and will still be usable in Competitive, but they will be unavailable in PVP and Mob-Arena, and players who don’t own these weapons will be temporarily unable to earn them.

The month of June will be a long experimental period when weapon and attachment stats will be changed frequently to find a formula that works best. The balance might be wild and out of whack at times, but the goal is to arrive at a final balancing that is better than before, while encouraging better weapon variety and an increased number of high-skill weapons that shine in the right hands.

In July and beyond, the removed weapons will be slowly added back to GunColony, and each weapon will receive new attention to detail and its own weapon-specific modifications. You will keep your weapon levels and progress. We understand that for some people,  their favorite weapons might be among the ones that will be removed. Please know that this removal will be temporary and will be important to improving the game as a whole.

You can participate in future server polls in our Discord server.


Massive changes are coming to the loadout system used in both PVP and Mob-Arena.

We will wait until the 6th Anniversary Update drops to announce most of the changes, but we thought we would share a few details for the sake of letting you be mentally prepared for the scale of this update.

  • You will now create your PVP loadouts before the match, rather than hastily clicking buttons at the start of each round.
  • You will now be able to choose explosives in Mob-Arena.
  • Speaking of explosives, there will now be grenade launchers and RPGs in both Mob-Arena and PVP. We make no guarantees that they will be balanced at first, though we will definitely make them balanced eventually.
  • In both PVP and Mob-Arena, you will be able to earn money during the match to purchase additional items beyond your loadout.


Minecraft servers cost a lot of money to host. You’ve probably seen this sentence many times before, but it is true especially for high-performance servers that can provide a stable first-person shooter experience. I know that some of our players are willing to support the server, but currently there’s almost nothing to show for the donation besides a tag in the server chat and Discord. Other players don’t even know that an option to donate exists, given how little we have been promoting it up until this point.

A part of GunColony’s identity has always been creating a first-person shooter game without the greed. We would like to keep our monetization model based heavily on cosmetics and compliant with Mojang’s EULA, while making sure that our monetization decisions do not influence the core gameplay in any way. That said, we believe that it is finally time to add some cool cosmetics to the game as donation rewards. Although we dislike prioritizing the development of cosmetic items over essential gameplay features, we’ve accumulated a backlog of cosmetic items over time that have been finished by our builders, and they can be added to the game without compromising on other ongoing development.

Various types of cosmetics will be released over the course of this summer, including helmets, weapon skins, bullet tracer customization, reticle customization, and more to come. Some cosmetics will be available for free to show off your long-term dedication in the game, while others are reserved for our supporters. For the foreseeable future, all funds earned from purchases on our store will go towards server hosting bills and and development costs.

In addition, we are working on some donor rank changes, including making the old VIP rank obtainable again. There will be more to share about this soon.