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Setting up a game server: games and technical requirements guide

Get the most out of your favorite games. In this article, we look at the benefits of setting up game servers, and the games that can be greatly enhanced by having your own server.

is*hosting team 13 Jun 2023 7 min reading
Setting up a game server: games and technical requirements guide

In the world of gaming, having your own game server opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Whether you want to host multiplayer matches with friends or create a thriving community of players, setting up a game server can provide the perfect gaming experience.

Where do you start? By choosing a game and researching its requirements for a dedicated server. This article not only covers the general steps of setting up a game server but also details a number of games.

What is a game server and how to make game server?

A game server is a dedicated computer or server that hosts multiplayer games, allowing multiple players to connect, interact and play together in real-time. A dedicated game server acts as a central hub to support gameplay in a particular virtual environment. Game servers perform a variety of tasks, including managing game logic, player interaction, data storage, and networking.

You can host your own game server, starting with buying components, building a server from an old computer, or even buying an off-the-shelf server. However, the best option is to rent a dedicated server to be used as a game server. You will be able to download the game server files and set up the configuration and security system remotely.

When a hosting provider manages your private game server, you don't have to worry about hardware costs, cooling systems, or security risks. You also get access to higher bandwidth, which ultimately means a better gaming experience.

A dedicated server game configuration must match the technical requirements of the game and the number of players who will connect to it. The is*hosting team will help you before renting a server and will find the ideal configuration for any gaming experience to provide you with the best dedicated gaming server hosting.

For some people, choosing a VPS as a gaming server is a more convenient solution due to the cost of renting one. However, if you are an avid gamer and want enough processing power to handle heavy loads, you should choose a dedicated server for games.

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Why Host Your Own Game Server?

Why Host Your Own Dedicated Server?

The benefits of a dedicated server for games include increased performance, privacy, and the ability to scale up quickly.

  • Dedicated game servers offer better performance and stability compared to shared or peer-to-peer hosting. With dedicated resources, the server can handle the demands of the game, resulting in smoother gameplay, reduced latency, and an improved overall gaming experience.
  • Running your private gaming server gives you complete control over your gaming environment. You can customize game settings, apply mods or plug-ins, and create a unique experience that suits your preferences and the needs of your community.
  • You can use your server for a more secure gaming experience. You can control user access, apply strong security measures, and minimize the risk of cheating or hacking.
  • Dedicated game server hosting allows you to find or create a community of like-minded gamers. Invite your friends and create a private virtual server for a specific group. This helps to create a sense of camaraderie and encourages social interaction between players.
  • Dedicated game servers offer scalability, allowing you to play with a growing player base. You can upgrade your server hardware to increase its capacity and handle more simultaneous connections as your community grows.

How much does it cost to build a gaming server?

In terms of disadvantages, it is reasonable to talk about the cost of owning your own server. This can be solved by renting a dedicated server for games rather than building your hardware. All you need to do is find a trustworthy hosting provider and choose a server configuration that suits the requirements of the game.

Setting up and managing a dedicated game server requires technical knowledge. You need to be familiar with server administration, network technology, and troubleshooting. It is also time-consuming as all settings need to be configured and reviewed regularly. Network configuration, firewall settings, and troubleshooting server-related issues may require specialist knowledge or external support. This confirms the need for a hosting provider with quality technical support.

Genres of games that would benefit from a game dedicated server hosting

Genres of games that would benefit from a dedicated server

An MMO typically involves a large number of players interacting in a persistent virtual world. Game dedicated server hosting provides a centralized and stable virtual world in which players can conduct research, complete quests, and engage in player-versus-player combat. Examples of MMOs that rely heavily on dedicated servers include World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, EVE Online, and Guild Wars 2.

FPS games often benefit from the use of dedicated servers as they provide lower latency and a more equal playing environment for all players. Dedicated game servers also allow greater control over game settings such as game modes, maps, and player restrictions. Popular FPS games that often use dedicated servers include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Team Fortress 2.

Survival games typically feature open-world exploration, resource gathering, crafting, and player interaction. When paired with a dedicated server, players have a stable gaming environment in which to collaborate or compete. Games such as Minecraft, ARK: Survival Evolved, Rust, and 7 Days to Die have dedicated server options that allow players to create their own worlds that other players can join.

Building games and sandboxes gives players the tools and freedom to create their own virtual worlds. With a dedicated server, players can collaborate on larger projects, share their creations, and enjoy the world they have created. Examples include Garry's Mod, Terraria, Space Engineers, Minecraft, and Factorio.

Role-playing games (RPGs) with multiplayer components, such as cooperative gameplay or player-versus-player battles, can benefit from the use of game dedicated server hosting. Examples include Diablo 4, Path of Exile, Divinity: Original Sin 2, and The Elder Scrolls Online.

Sports and racing games often include multiplayer modes where players can compete against each other. Dedicated servers provide a fair and consistent environment for matches, reducing latency and keeping players in sync. FIFA, NBA 2K, Rocket League, and iRacing are some examples.

How to set up a game server with Steam via SteamCMD

How to set up a game server with Steam via SteamCMD

Make sure you understand the game requirements and desired settings before you begin.

  1. Access your server via SSH.
  2. Download and install SteamCMD, which is Valve's command line tool for working with game servers. It can be downloaded from the official SteamCMD website.
  3. Create a new folder where you want to install the game server.
  4. Open SteamCMD by running "steamcmd.exe".
  5. Log in via the SteamCMD console via commands: 

     

    login anonymous (to log in anonymously)

    force_install_dir <path to your game server folder> (specify the folder path you created)

    app_update <AppID> validate (replace <AppID> with the specific AppID of the game server you want to install, e.g., 740 for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)

  6. After installing the game server, go to the server folder and look for the configuration files (often in the "cfg" or "config" folder). Open these files with a text editor or terminal and change the server settings to your liking (e.g. game mode, player limits, etc.).
  7. To start a game server, go back to the SteamCMD console and enter the command: app_run <AppID> -console (where <AppID> is replaced with the AppID of the specific game server).
  8. Set your router to redirect the required ports to the IP address of the computer running the game server. The required ports can be found in the documentation or on the game's official website. Then set your firewall to allow incoming connections on the specified ports.

Popular Steam games you can host servers for and game server requirements

The technical requirements for a dedicated server for games depend not only on the type of games you play. It also depends on the number of players, settings, plugins, and mods installed. We recommend that you consider the server load and possible scaling plan in advance.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

cs-go

AppID: 740

CS: GO is a popular first-person shooter game in which players compete in teams as terrorists or counter-terrorists. It features fast-paced gameplay, strategic teamwork, and a variety of game modes, such as bomb disposal and hostage rescue.

CS:GO dedicated server system requirements:

  • 2.8 GHz processor (64-bit)
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 50 GB disk

Minecraftminecraft

AppID: 4020 (Minecraft Dedicated Server)

Minecraft is a well-known sandbox video game that allows players to immerse themselves in a generated world made of blocks. Minecraft offers several game options, including survival mode, where players gather resources, build structures and fight off enemies; and creative mode, where players have unlimited resources to build and experiment. Minecraft also supports multiplayer, which can be enhanced with your own game server.

For more details on setting up a server to play Minecraft, read this article. Disk space should be chosen according to the size of the world you plan to create. Minimum requirements for a Minecraft dedicated server:

  • 3 GHz processor
  • 5 GB RAM
  • 18 GB disk

Team Fortress 2Team Fortress 2

AppID: 232250

TF2 is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Valve. It has a unique art style and a variety of character classes with different abilities and gameplay styles. Players can take part in game modes such as Capture the Flag and Control Point. TF2 is known for its colorful aesthetic, fast-paced gameplay, and emphasis on teamwork.

Minimum requirements for a private gaming server for Team Fortress 2:

  • 1.7 GHz processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 15 GB disk
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ARK: Survival EvolvedARK: Survival Evolved

AppID: 376030

An open-world survival game set in a prehistoric environment filled with dinosaurs and other creatures from this era. It's ARK: Survival Evolved, where players must gather resources, craft tools, build shelter, and tame or hunt dinosaurs to survive. The game offers both single and multiplayer modes, with co-op and competitive gameplay options. You can already see the potential with your game server!

ARK: Survival Evolved minimum dedicated server requirements:

  • 3 GHz processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 30 GB disk

TerrariaTerraria

AppID: 105600

Terraria focuses on exploration, building, and combat. Players start with basic skills and must gather resources, craft items, and fight enemies to progress through the game's procedurally generated world. Terraria has many biomes, bosses, and NPCs to meet and interact with.

The game does not require much disk space. Minimum requirements for a game dedicated server hosting for Terraria:

  • 2 GHz processor
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 1 GB disk (approximately 10 players)

RustRust

AppID: 258550

Rust is a multiplayer survival game where you must gather resources, build shelter and defend yourself against hostile players and environmental threats. The game features a harsh open world with PvP combat. Rust also features a persistent world, a player-driven economy, and a deep crafting system.

Rust private gaming server minimum requirements:

  • 3 GHz processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 10 GB disk

Set up game hosting server for non-Steam games

Setting up a dedicated server for non-Steam games

Game servers for non-Steam games often require different setup procedures. Generally, you will need to download the special server files provided by the game developer. While the steps for setting up a game server for non-Steam games are different, the following steps are common:

  1. Check the official website or game community forums for the specific server files to download. The developer or community usually provides instructions on how to set up the server.
  2. Extract the downloaded server files to the desired location on your computer or dedicated server (access it via SSH). It is best to create a separate folder for this. Follow the documentation (instructions) provided to configure the server settings.
  3. As with Steam game servers, set up port forwarding on your router and adjust your firewall settings to allow incoming connections on the ports required for the game.
  4. Once the settings are complete, run the server file or startup script. For more information on server administration, adding plug-ins, and other features, check the official documentation or ask other players for help on the forums.

Increased performance, low latency, improved multiplayer, full control over gameplay - your dedicated game server gives you all of this. Considering the number of games you can improve with your own server, and the global community of players who support your hobbies, it's worth a try!

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