Hosting your own server is a trend that never faded away. For some games, such as Minecraft, you don’t have a choice if you want to play with friends. A gaming server is essential for multiplayer functionality.

Other games like Mordhau and Team Fortress 2 give you a choice between official and unofficial servers. For these games, you might want to host a server to use your own custom maps, mods, or settings.

The problem is there are so many different game server providers, it can be hard to find the best game server hosting. It’s even worse if you’re new to game server hosting and have no idea what you need.

This guide will help you sort through gaming server features and providers to ensure you get the best host possible.

Identifying the Best Game Server Hosting

There’s a lot of technical talk when it comes to servers. Let’s break down some of the common server host jargon.

You want to consider server reliability, performance, and automated setup, but there are some smaller features, too.

1. Game Server Reliability

Reliability is one of the main reasons people pay for game server hosting. If you were to host a server on your own PC, it would go down when you turned off your computer. Plus, it’s a real resource hog to allocate constant resources to a server.

So when you shell out a monthly payment to a great game server host, they’d better deliver with a reliable uptime. Most companies proudly display their uptime somewhere on their site, in the form of a percentage.

A 99% uptime seems quite good until you realize that means, for 1% of the day, your server is going offline.

And that can cause some serious problems, depending on the game. You’re looking for a host that has at least 99.9% uptime.

If you don’t see an uptime listed on a host’s site, check game server hosting reviews. Customers are quick to lambast hosts with unreliable uptime since it’s such an important aspect of running a game server.

2. Game Server Performance

In addition to keeping your server online for weeks at a time, you want to make sure it can handle the stress of multiple connections. It will also have to handle the load of in-game events that the server must resolve.

The performance you need from your server depends on the game itself. Before you choose a game server host, see what sort of performance your target game requires. This information is sometimes given by the developers, but you may need to dig deeper through community troves to learn more.

Look at the host’s offering of RAM, processing cores, and bandwidth. Also keep in mind that adding custom mods and other additions will likely increase the server’s burden, which means you may need more power.

Dedicated hosting makes it clear how much performance you’re renting out. Alternatively, shared hosting might give you the specifications, but they aren’t guaranteed.

But more on that in a bit.

3. Automated Game Server Setup

The second reason people look for game server providers? They don’t know how to run a dedicated gaming server. And that’s okay. You don’t have to.

But that does mean you need to choose a gaming server host that offers instant setup. These are known as one-click installations, but there’s more automation than that. Some game server providers also push through automatic updates, even while the server is running.

Unless you know what you’re doing, always choose a provider with automation. Automated support is usually specific to the game you’re playing. So if one provider doesn’t have it for your targeted game, another will.

4. Game Server Location

The proximity of the game server will have a direct impact on latency and connection strength. You should choose a host with servers in your area, or in the area of most of your players. This can be the difference between a 20ms connection and a 150 ms connection.

Not every host has a wide range of server locations, but in general, you can find game server hosting hubs on the east and west coasts.

5. Shared or Dedicated Hosting

During your search, you may see the phrases “shared hosting” or “dedicated hosting.” These are two very different types of hosting that will have a big impact on your overall server performance.

Dedicated hosting is more expensive, but is always the better option in terms of bandwidth, power, and reliability. When you use a game server provider with dedicated hosting, you are given an entire server.

This differs from shared hosting, where an entire server allocates resources to several customers. By sharing the server, you’ll pay less.

But you’re also sharing the hardware resources. This means your personal game may experience reduced performance during times of heavy load.

Shared hosting is more than enough for a small group of people. But for more players and games with a heavier server load, dedicated hosting may be worth the price.

If you’re interested in a dedicated gaming server, click here.

Host the Ultimate Game Server

The best game server hosting depends on your personal needs. While I’ve mentioned many popular server features, I’ve said nothing of price comparisons. That is ultimately up to your own discretion.

I would, however, advise against free server hosts. These have minimal functionality and come with several risks.

Of course, it’s completely up to you. Start by determining the server performance you’ll need in your game of choice. From there, you’ll want to know if you need easy server setup or can handle the networking on your own.

Happy gaming and keep coming back to our blog for more tips.

About The Author

What started as a hobby has turned into so much more. The site has changed over the course of the years, but we just try to write about what we enjoy.