Outsider looking in, I'm interested in Sponge and have a few questions

Hi! I owned a Bukkit server awhile back and started building one up recently. I kept seeing this thing when I searched queries in google about this ‘sponge’ thing. Looking further into it, It looks incredibly interesting and might be something I’d enjoy testing. But I had some questions, for people who perhaps have been messing with this api for a little bit, and the state of the major server modding api in general.

What is the state of Bukkit? Some plugins seemed decently updated while some were egregiously not the case, some ranging one to three years out of date. I tried doing some searches that found some mixed forum discussions about its demise, which has me worried, but no distinctive answer was necessarily clear. Is bukkit dead? By using it as my api am I somehow barricading myself with no upgrade path, like buying a processor and motherboard thats incredibly out of date?

Also, how does the plugin ecosystem compare to the giant previously mentioned? I use quite of bit of plugins, which I’ll list at the end for the sake of it, that I’d really rather not give up. I’m not concerned about the configuring differences, I think I can figure that much out quickly.

This, so far, seems like a compelling answer to the questionable fate to Bukkit. But alas, I can never be too careful. I don’t want to build on bukkit and limit the features and future of my server, but I also don’t want to build on Sponge on the off chance it doesn’t turn out to be as viable as Bukkit.

Thanks so much for reading this rather lengthy piece! I’m an aspiring owner, and I want the best for my server, so I want to look everywhere I can for the best.

Cheers! :grin:

~bukkit plugins currently in use~

  • Announcer
  • Autorank
  • Battlearena
  • Buycraft
  • Treecapitator
  • Citizens
  • DiscordSRV
  • Essentials
  • Factions
  • Healthbar
  • Jobs
  • Lockette
  • MobArena
  • Multiverse Core
  • Multiverse Portal
  • Permissionsex
  • Plotme
  • Vault
  • McMMO
  • Multiworld
  • Perworldinventory
  • uSkyblock
  • Worldedit
  • Worldguard

Ok. By asking the state of Bukkit on Sponge you will get more then a few biased options.

Little background on me so you know where my options come from. I was rased on Bukkit. I started my programming career on it. However i always felt there was something more bukkit could do. Bukkit natively does not allow developers to create Humans (aka false players). You need to go into the Minecraft code itself to create such a thing. So when i heard about sponge I was glued to updates. When sponge api4 came about I thought it was stable enough to develop plugins on it. So I did some very small unreleased things. And at that point i fell in love with the sponge api. So much so that when api 5 came out I made the announcement that all my new public plugins will only be made for sponge (i still make bukkit plugins but they are private. And i still maintain my current public plugins with updates).

The state of Bukkit api is still very alive, with Spigot stating that they will be upgrading bukkit to 1.13. However, that update will break almost every bukkit plugin because despite them making it clear that you shouldnt use block ids and meta data a long time ago. They never gave a alternative (probably to keep compatible with older plugins. Something bukkit is known for).

I mention this because plugins that have been abandoned on bukkit will most likely not be compatible anymore. This brings the bukkit eco system down considerably. Despite this huge breakages they are not changing anything that could benefit from being changed.

It is hard to tell if old plugin developers will come back to there plugins for a 1.13 update and/or current plugins become abandoned due to the change. So the shear size of the bukkit plugin community is unknown.

Sponge on the other hand has breaking changes every main api change to suit the current minecraft code so we as sponge plugin creators are used to it and most will probably update to 1.13.

As for the quality of plugins. I tend to find a lot of basic plugins that all do the same thing on bukkit with some great exceptions that normally need updating every new minor release of minecraft. As for Sponge i tend to find a lot of different plugins that all have there uses.

As for the plugins you have. For some of them there are direct good quality ports such as worldedit and worldguard. Some that there are better alternatives for such as vault (the sponge default eco system -meaning you don’t even need a plugin). And a few that dont currently have alternatives or ports such as citizen’s.

Hope this helps

In short.
State of bukkit: active
Is bukkit dead: no but after 1.13 is lacking most plugins
Barricading yourself: didnt actually touch on. But as a development standpoint i would say you are
Plugin eco system: very different to one and another
Sponge = viable: yes - even PaperSpigot recommends Sponge over Spigot (stated in the latest state of sponge - if you haven’t watched it then you should … If you have a spare 3 hours on hand).

My recommendation: due to the plugins you are refusing to remove. Sponge is not yet ready for you. However you can go on the plugin request for sponge and ask for a plugin to be ported. Some developers (like myself will do it for free. But need to be interested in the project itself to begin with) that might help speed up the progress to you being ready.

1 Like


Server owner here, I joined the Sponge community due to having a modded server, with Bukkit being officially discontinued and struggling to find updates for 1.8+ I found Sponge as an alternative. For us server owners, Sponge does does have a few gaps in terms of plugins, this is mostly due to a shortage of developers creating the actual plugins, although there are a few who will create new plugins for a price if there’s something you really need. I know I’m not exactly making a convincing argument for Sponge right now, haha, but here me out; Sponge has what Bukkit really does not: Potential. Sponge is commited to building better and more stable API, whereas bukkit is being built on code which shouldn’t even be distributed anymore, leaving the amazing Sponge team in the lead in terms of development on a base level. At least, this is my understanding.

So as server owners, by joining Sponge and supporting the amazing community, we’re helping it grow and in turn attracting more and more people and developers, building it up to it’s full potential.

And Sponge is just that, an amazing community. Everyone is willing to help each other out, work together and there’s not a single ounce of hate to be seen.

Best of luck on whatever you decide :slight_smile:

  • Alice

I am owner of a Spigot server and have been member of both communities since the beginning. I didn’t work on modded servers anymore for a few years and have therefore less reason to work with Sponge. I personally prefer the design of the Bukkit API and maintain a few more or less popular plugins.

The Bukkit team is dead, but SpigotMC does the job well since 1.8. The SpigotMC community is very active and always growing. There is criticism because the API is lacking additions which makes programming harder. That won’t harm users because programmers just use the server internals directly instead, but it’s really annoying for us. Sponge on the other side is a project which is in active development with less outdated APIs. It is of course not perfect neither; in the three years since the project started, it’s a fact that it was never close to reaching its original goal to replace Bukkit as the “market-leading” server software.


At the very beginning, when it seemed like Bukkit was done, we wanted to replace them. At this point, we don’t need to or, frankly, want to: we have our own community, our own market (which is rapidly growing), and the best staff you could ever ask for (and I could never be more proud). Our goals are vastly different as they value backwards compatibility above all else and we value in making the API fit the model of a modern Minecraft game engine.