Gaming Hosting Basics: 10 Things to Know

Have you ever considered hosting your own game server? Even if not, you'll find lots of useful information in our guide to gaming hosting basics.

Millions of people all over the world are game lovers, so there is definitely a huge demand for game hosting. This kind of hosting is very specific in that it provides capacity for hosting online games such as Minecraft, CS:GO, 7 Days to Die, and many other popular games. Let's take a brief look at some of the basics of game hosting.

10 Things to Know about Game Hosting

What is an online game server?

Game servers differ, so the answer depends on their concrete type. Simply put, a game server is a dedicated computer that owns a server code and provides many players access to entering the one game simultaneously.

What are the types of game servers?

The type of a game server depends on the game genre. Action-oriented games are usually based on a dedicated server, while the majority of console platforms use more complicated server types in order to process real-time signals. Strategy games use peer-to-peer systems, and listen servers are commonly preferred for console games. 

Who controls a dedicated server, and how does it work?

Usually, most dedicated servers are controlled by the game’s developers or distributors who never interact with players. However, there exist so-called “clans” that can develop their own servers and establish their own rules of the game.

Dedicated servers are steadfast and exist whether a game session has players in it or not. At least one gamer has to start a new game, and it won’t end until all gamers leave the session. Dedicated hosting companies have to make sure game sessions have no latencies. 

What are the responsibilities of a game developer?

Developers perform multiple tasks to ensure games function well. They spend a lot of time setting up and establishing business relationships with their hosting providers. During their game server setup, they need to make sure the servers have enough bandwidth, CPU, and memory to run game sessions successfully.

Is it possible to set up a dedicated server on my home computer?

Technically it’s possible, and some users install the server on their home PC. However, this option has many downsides, including quite expected firewalls, blocked IP ports, inconsistent internet connection, etc. Not to mention, many hosting providers simply forbid having a dedicated IP address.

When is it necessary to purchase a dedicated server?

You should consider purchasing a dedicated server if you host games with a large number of players at one time, or if the game is persistently running.

Which of the dedicated server providers should I use, and how do I set one up?

In the beginning, consider what game genre you are going to host on a server. For instance, for Minecraft, it’s more important to have additional memory and storage since Minecraft's world is not steady and is constantly modified. On the other hand, FPS and MOBA games like Dota or Call of Duty require fast image transmission, so here storage doesn’t play a super important role. When you are done with the choice of a game, review different providers, their pricing policies, and whether they can process the data from all over the world. The latter is crucial provided there are many international game players involved.

Game vs. Web Hosting

What we know about typical web hosting has barely anything to do with what game hosting is. Web hosting gives you a place on the server where you store your website. However, even the best hosting is not always suitable for a game server. The thing is, the game server requires a special approach as well as powerful equipment and a large traffic capacity.

In general, game hosting provides a dedicated server for hosting gaming platforms. Such a server has to correspond to all the necessary characteristics. It basically gives you an access to the game through the hosting provider machine. It operates 24/7 to ensure you can access the game at any time of the day. Game hosting is specifically characterized by a convenient control system, quick access to the parameters settings, and the ability to customize and install additional plug-ins.

The main difference between web and gaming hosting is that the former allows downloading and processing programs necessary for a website operation. Game hosting, in its turn, offers a ready-made game server without downloading any additional add-ons.

Please note that not every hosting company can provide their resources for hosting specifically game servers. If you ever want to host a game server, take the process of choosing the proper game server as seriously as if you were choosing a hosting provider for your webpage.


Now that you know the basics, are you ready to host your own game server? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Published Dec. 19th 2017

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