Sometimes, you or your players may want the ability to connect to your server from different versions of Minecraft. This is possible to do with a plugin called ViaVersion, which allows players to use different versions to connect to a server.
ViaVersion: This is the core plugin and is required for all other extensions to work. This plugin allows clients on newer versions to connect to an older server version, meaning players on 1.16 could connect to a 1.12 server. Please note, ViaVersion only works on 1.8 - 1.17 servers.
ViaBackwards: ViaVersion only allows backward compatibility between the client and the server. ViaBackwards expands upon this by allowing players using older client versions to connect to a newer server version, meaning players on 1.12 could connect to a 1.16 server. Please note, ViaBackwards requires ViaVersion to be installed.
ViaRewind: ViaBackwards is limited to only allowing clients using MC version 1.9 + to connect. ViaRewind extends the capability to allow clients running 1.8 or 1.7 to connect to newer server versions, meaning a 1.7 client could connect all the way up to a 1.17 server. Please note, ViaRewind requires both ViaVersion and ViaBackwards to be installed.
Which Plugins Do You Need?
Depending on the server and client versions you wish to support, you may need to install one, two, or all three Via Plugins. The chart below shows version compatibility if ViaVersion is installed.
Installing ViaVersion, ViaBackwards or ViaRewind
When installing ViaVersion, make sure you are using one of the following server types: Spigot, PaperMC, or Bukkit. You can also install it on a BungeeCord server, but it is recommended that you install it on your game servers rather than your proxy server.
You can find each of the Via plugins here:
You can follow this article which explains how to correctly install, and set up plugins on your Minecraft server. Make sure you install all of the required plugins above.