Custom map images in your Minecraft Java world can really personalize your builds. They can be changed in both a local game or even your own online server. Let’s look at how we go about doing this. Prefer to follow along with a video instead? Check that out below!

Planning your image/maps

Before creating our map data, it’s a good idea to place our item frames to determine how large our image is going to be. My map is 6 wide and 1 high – I’ll be creating an image that is 250 x 250px per map in size. My maps are 6 wide, the total image will be 1500 x 250 px.

I’ll be using a screenshot from my world as my background and using Textcraft to create a text overlay for the image. Below is my final image I’ll be using.

Generate and place your maps in game

Next I’ll generate my 6 maps in game and take note of the map numbers. My newly generated maps are map 70 through to 75. The maps in Minecraft start from #0, so the 70th map is actually #69 – this means I already have 70 maps in my world.

When we generate our map data files in the next step, the website will ask us how many existing maps we already have in our game so we’ll need to take note of this number for it to generate correctly named files for us.

Place your generated maps in your item frames and be sure to place them in the correct order, 70 through to 75 in my case – otherwise you’ll end up with a mixed up image on your wall.

Creating the map data files

We’ll be using¬†MC Map Item Tool to generate our files.¬†Upload your image to the website and select the number of maps you are generating – mine is 6 horizontal and 1 vertical. In the following step, click adjust colors.

The most crucial step as mentioned above is telling the website how many existing maps we already have. I have 70 maps (#0 to #69) on my server currently, so I type 70 and generate the map files. Download and unzip the generated zip file that looks like this.

Uploading your map data files to your server

To get the maps showing on our Java Server, we need to upload them to the “WorldName/Data folder”. I’ll be uploading my map files to the Block Horizon SMP – so my upload folder is “BlockHorizon/Data”.

Note, before making any changes to your server: be sure to shut down your server. If you want to be extra cautious, run a backup on your server.

Block Horizon is hosted through Apex Minecraft Hosting – if you don’t currently have a Minecraft server, I highly recommend them. In your server control panel, look for the File Management/FTP link, on the Apex control panel it looks like this.

In the Data folder mentioned above, you’ll see a .dat file for each of your maps currently on your server as seen below.

With our server currently offline, click upload in the left sidebar, locate our downloaded .dat files from earlier and upload them to the directory we are currently in – overwriting the existing files.

With that uploaded to our server we can now reboot and join the server and the maps we placed previously should now update with the new data when joining the server.