What Mastodon Server Should I Join?

Mastodon is a decentralized social network that has gained popularity for its user-driven moderation and privacy-focused features.

One of the benefitd (or problems) of it being decentralized is that anyone can setup a Mastodon server (or instance).

There are currently over 11,500 Mastodon instances to choose from and this number is constantly growing.

This can make choosing a server to join Mastodon on, an extremely daunting task.

john travolta lost in a server room

The good news is that the vast number of servers present on the platform means that whatever your interests are you are sure to find a server that is a good fit to you…if you know where and how to look.

Below are a few tips to help you choose what server is a good fit for you and how exactly to go about finding a suitable server:

  • Identify your interests: Choose a server based on your hobbies or topics you’re passionate about.
  • Evaluate moderation: Look for servers with clear guidelines and effective moderation practices.
  • Understand server culture: Consider the type of interactions you prefer and choose a server that aligns with your preferences.
  • Assess server size: Smaller servers offer close-knit communities; larger servers provide more diverse content.
  • Consider language: Pick a server in your native language or a language you’re comfortable using.
  • Use directories: Utilize resources like instances.social or joinmastodon.org/communities to browse and filter instances (more on this below).
  • Test multiple servers: Don’t be afraid to join multiple instances to find the best fit for your needs.
  • Follow relevant users: Once you join a server, follow users with similar interests to create a personalized feed.
  • Engage with the community: Participate in conversations and share content to make the most of your Mastodon experience.

How To Find A Mastodon Server

To find a Mastodon server, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Visit a Mastodon instances list: Go to https://instances.social/ or https://joinmastodon.org/communities, these are both directories of Mastodon instances (servers).
  2. Browse the list or filter instances: The directories allow you to browse through a list of instances or filter them based on criteria like language, topics, number of users and server rules. This will help you find a server that aligns with your interests and preferences.
  3. Review instance details: Once you find a potential instance, click on its name to review more information, such as the instance’s rules, policies, and user count. Make sure the server’s values and guidelines align with your preferences.
  4. Sign up for an account: Once you’ve chosen an instance, visit its website and click the “Sign Up” or “Get Started” button to create an account. You’ll need to provide an email address, choose a username, and set a password.
  5. Verify your email: After signing up, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Click the link in the email to verify your account.
  6. Complete your profile: Log in to your new Mastodon account, and complete your profile by adding an avatar, display name, and a bio. This will help other users on the platform to know more about you.
  7. Start using Mastodon: Now that your account is set up, you can start following people, joining conversations, and posting your own content. Use the search bar to find users or hashtags related to your interests, and explore the public timelines to discover new content.

Remember that you can join multiple instances if you’d like to engage with different communities or explore various topics.

Just follow the same steps for each instance you want to join.

Popular Mastodon Servers:

1. Mastodon.social

Mastodon.social is the flagship instance, created and maintained by the platform’s founder, Eugen Rochko.

It’s a general-purpose server that hosts a diverse community and serves as an entry point for many new users.

If you’re unsure about which server to join, Mastodon.social is a safe bet to begin exploring the platform.

2. Mastodon.art

As its name suggests, Mastodon.art is a server dedicated to artists and art enthusiasts.

This instance is perfect for those who want to share their creative works or discuss various art forms, techniques, and trends with like-minded individuals.

3. Fosstodon.org

Fosstodon.org is a server focused on free and open-source software (FOSS) enthusiasts.

Users in this community are passionate about open-source projects, technology, and digital rights, making it an ideal place for developers, engineers, and tech-savvy users.

4. QOTO.org

QOTO.org is a Mastodon server aimed at users in academia and research.

It fosters a community of scholars, scientists, and researchers who share their work and engage in intellectual discussions across various fields.

5. Counter.social

Counter.social is a privacy-focused Mastodon instance with an emphasis on security and user safety.

This server is ideal for those who prioritize online privacy and seek a community that shares their concerns.

Mastodon offers a unique, decentralized social media experience that puts user privacy and control first.

By considering factors like your interests, server moderation, culture, size, and language, you can find the perfect Mastodon server for your needs.

With so many options available, you’re sure to find a community that aligns with your values and helps you connect with like-minded individuals.


  1. Can I join multiple Mastodon servers? Yes, you can create accounts on multiple servers. However, keep in mind that each account will have its own separate followers and interactions.
  2. Can I switch servers easily? While it is possible to switch servers, you’ll need to create a new account on the desired server and manually migrate your followers, as there is no automated process for transferring accounts between instances.
  3. How do I know if a Mastodon server is active and well-maintained? Check the server’s “About” page for information on its policies and guidelines. You can also look at the instance’s public timeline to see recent activity and user engagement.