How to Start Your Own Game Server

Multiple gaming computers
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While you could host a game server on your PC, sometimes it’s more convenient to have a cloud server running 24/7. Game server hosting can be surprisingly cheap, especially if you’re just looking to play with a few friends.

Dedicated vs. Shared Hosting

Dedicated hosting is when you rent out an entire rack of a server—or, often, a portion of that rack’s resources. You’ll often be given detailed specifications about what exactly you’re buying, and you’ll generally be paying a bit extra compared to shared hosting.

Shared hosting runs multiple instances of a game server across multiple server racks, allowing the hosting provider to save money and provide a low price. However, it’s not always clear what specs you’re getting, and you can run into congestion issues if your server suffers heavy load.

If you’re looking to set up a server for you and a couple of friends, we recommend you save some money and get shared hosting. If you’re looking to have a lot of people playing on your server, you should try shared hosting first and upgrade to dedicated hosting if it’s necessary.

Depending on what provider you buy your server from, you may also get managed hosting, which is when the provider builds tools to set up, configure, and manage your server automatically, such as automatic restarts and easy mod installing.

Shared Hosting Options

Managed game server hosting panel

All of the options listed here are also managed hosting. You won’t have to worry about setup too much, as it should be relatively straightforward or just handled for you completely.

  • Very cheap servers for small use cases, as you’re charged by the number of player slots you want. A decent control panel, but no DDOS protection.
  • A compromise between dedicated and shared hosting, while still providing a managed control panel for most games. You’ll know the specs you’re getting, but you’ll have…
Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

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Sasha Harriet

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