Dedicated Servers for Gaming: Transforming the Multiplayer Experience

Dedicated Game Server

Key Takeaways

  • Dedicated gaming servers offer improved multiplayer experiences by providing exclusive resources and stability.
  • Dedicated gaming server pros include better performance, customization options, and control over server settings.
  • Gaming server costs vary based on CPU, RAM, storage, bandwidth, and latency requirements.
  • Understanding server specifications is crucial for optimal gaming performance.
  • The gaming server implementation plan should consider game requirements and server setup.
  • Game server hosting costs depend on the chosen specifications and hosting provider.
  • The choice between VPS and dedicated hosted servers depends on game demands and budget.
  • Popular games with dedicated hosted servers include Minecraft, Counter-Strike 2, and ARK: Survival Evolved.

Who doesn’t enjoy playing video games? Did you know that in 2024, the market for video games is expected to reach a revenue of $282.30bn? The technological marvel of dedicated gaming servers lies at the heart of the gaming revolution. These servers have transformed the multiplayer experience.

Designed specifically for gaming, they offer robust, high-performance platforms that facilitate smooth, lag-free, and highly responsive gameplay for gamers worldwide. The ability to ensure stable connections, minimal latency, and superior reliability set the gold standard for multiplayer gaming environments.

The impact of these dedicated resources on the gaming experience is profound, whether for competitive eSports, massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), or casual gaming sessions among friends. This blog will take you through how server technology elevates the gaming industry. It will also guide you in choosing the best dedicated game server for your needs.

Table of Contents

  1. Key Takeaways
  2. What is a Dedicated Gaming Server?
  3. Pros and Cons of a Dedicated Gaming Server
    1. Pros of a Dedicated Gaming Server
    2. Cons of a Dedicated Gaming Server
  4. Understanding How Dedicated Gaming Servers Work?
    1. The Backbone of Online Multiplayer Gaming
    2. How Dedicated Gaming Servers Operate
  5. Understanding Specifications For Dedicated Server Hosting For Gaming
    1. CPU (Central Processing Unit)
    2. RAM (Random Access Memory)
    3. Storage Type and Size
    4. Bandwidth and Latency
  6. Game Server Implementation Plan
    1. Define Your Requirements
    2. Choose the Right Server Type
    3. Server Architecture and Software
    4. Networking Considerations
    5. Deployment and Testing
    6. Launch and Post-Launch Support
  7. How Much Does Game Server Hosting Cost?
    1. Type of Game
    2. Number of Players
    3. Server Specifications
    4. Bandwidth
    5. Location
    6. Managed vs. Unmanaged
    7. Additional Features
  8. Should I Choose VPS or Dedicated Game Server Hosting?
    1. VPS Hosting
    2. Dedicated Game Server Hosting
    3. Making the Right Choice
  9. Games That Require Dedicated Hosted Servers
    1. Minecraft
    2. Palworld
    3. Unturned
    4. Counter-Strike 2
    5. Among Us
    6. Enshrouded
    7. DayZ
    8. DotA 2
    9. Rust
    10. ARK: Survival Evolved
  10. Conclusion
  11. FAQs

What is a Dedicated Gaming Server?

What is a Dedicated Gaming Server

Credits: FreePik

A gaming dedicated server is a specialized server specially created and optimized for hosting multiplayer online games. This server dedicates its resources only to running a specific game. This exclusivity ensures that gamers experience smoother, more stable gameplay with minimal latency or lag, crucial for real-time, fast-paced online games.

Game developers, gaming communities, or third-party hosting services can host these servers. They offer players and game developers greater control over the gaming environment. This includes custom settings, mods, and rules.

Dedicated gaming servers improve the multiplayer experience by providing a centralized and consistent platform. This supports many players simultaneously while maintaining high performance. This setup benefits players by improving their gaming experience and aids developers in managing their games more effectively.

Are you in the middle of the process of choosing dedicated hosting for gaming? Read our blog, ‘6 Steps To Choosing Dedicated Hosting For Gaming,’ for effortless decision-making.

Pros and Cons of a Dedicated Gaming Server

Pros and Cons of a Dedicated Gaming Server

Like any other technology, dedicated gaming servers have advantages and disadvantages. Understanding these pros and cons can help you determine whether the advantages surpass the disadvantages for your use case. Here are the pros and cons of using a dedicated gaming server to help you weigh your options.

Pros of a Dedicated Gaming Server

Here are the pros of a dedicated gaming server.

Performance and Stability

One of the top reasons people opt for a dedicated gaming server is its enhanced performance and stability. Dedicated gaming servers’ ability to allocate resources to your gaming needs offers smoother gameplay, reduced lag, and minimal latency. These are critical factors contributing to competitive gaming and a seamless multiplayer experience.

Better Control and Customization

A dedicated gaming server gives you all control over the server environment. This allows for extensive customization. It enables you to adjust game settings, install necessary mods or plugins, and configure the server to your specifications. This customization can alleviate the gaming experience for you and your players.

Improved Security

Security is critical during gaming to protect against DDoS attacks, hacking attempts, and other online threats. Dedicated gaming servers often come with advanced security features and the ability to install further security measures. This added protection helps ensure that your gaming environment remains safe and uninterrupted.

Dedicated Support

Many dedicated gaming server providers offer 24/7 support to address any technical problems that may occur. This dedicated support can be invaluable. It is especially beneficial for game server administrators who must resolve issues quickly to minimize downtime.

Cons of a Dedicated Gaming Server

Here are the cons of a dedicated gaming server.

Cost

The most notable downside of a dedicated gaming server is the cost. Dedicated hosted servers are much more costly than shared hosting options or virtual private servers (VPS). The high cost can be prohibitive for casual gamers or small gaming communities. This makes it a less viable option for those on a budget.

Technical Knowledge Required

The setup and management of dedicated gaming servers demands technical knowledge. The technical demands can be extensive for those without IT experience. You may have to fulfill tasks like server configuration and security checkups. This learning curve can be a barrier for less tech-savvy gamers.

Underutilization

A dedicated hosted server’s resources may be underutilized for smaller gaming communities or games with fewer players. Paying for a server might not be cost-effective if your gaming needs do not require these servers’ extensive resources.

Also Read: What Is A Dedicated Game Server And How To Host?

Understanding How Dedicated Gaming Servers Work?

So, how do gaming servers offer all the discussed benefits for gaming environments? To answer this, we must explore the workings of dedicated gaming servers:

The Backbone of Online Multiplayer Gaming

The Backbone of Online Multiplayer Gaming

Credits: FreePik

Dedicated gaming servers are specialized servers configured to host online multiplayer games. These servers run 24/7. They allow players from around the world to connect and play together. Dedicated servers provide a neutral ground for all players. They ensure a fair and balanced gaming environment.

How Dedicated Gaming Servers Operate

Unlike peer-to-peer (P2P) connections. Where one player’s computer acts as the server and can give that player an advantage or result in lag if their connection is poor. Dedicated servers provide a centralized and neutral platform that all players connect to. Here’s how they operate:

Hosting and Connectivity

Dedicated gaming servers are powerful computers stored in data centers. They are equipped with high-performance hardware to manage the heavy traffic of multiplayer games. This ensures smooth gameplay without downtime or lagging.

Game Sessions Management

These servers handle game session creation, management, and destruction. They synchronize player actions, maintain the game state, and broadcast relevant data to all connected clients in real-time.

Player Data Synchronization

Dedicated hosted servers continuously exchange data with each player’s device. This ensures that every action is accurately reflected in the game world for all participants. This includes player movements, in-game actions, and real-time game events.

Security and Fair Play

Developers can implement robust security measures against cheating and hacking by centralizing game data and processing it on dedicated hosted servers. These servers can monitor suspicious activities, enforce game rules, and provide a secure gaming environment.

Customization and Control

Dedicated gaming servers offer game developers and community admins extensive control over the game environment. This includes setting custom game rules, configuring match settings, and adjusting server parameters to optimize performance or gameplay experience.

Also Read: The Evolution of Dedicated Servers in the Hosting Industry

Understanding Specifications For Dedicated Server Hosting For Gaming

When choosing a gaming dedicated server, it is important to understand the specifications in detail to ensure you pick the ideal ones for your needs. Here’s a breakdown of the critical specifications you must consider:

CPU (Central Processing Unit)

CPU (Central Processing Unit)

Credits: FreePik

The CPU is the brain of the server. It processes instructions and manages tasks. In gaming servers, the CPU handles the game’s logic, player actions, and interactions within the game world. A powerful CPU ensures these processes happen in real-time. It reduces lag and improves the gaming experience.

Look for servers with multi-core processors (quad-core, hexa-core, etc.) with high clock speeds measured in GHz for gaming purposes. This ensures efficient handling of multiple simultaneous game sessions and complex game mechanics.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

RAM is crucial for temporarily storing data the server needs quick access to. In gaming servers, RAM size directly impacts the server’s ability to manage game states, player data, and real-time events without hitches.

The more RAM available, the more players and game instances the server can handle simultaneously. Starting with at least 16GB of RAM is advisable for most modern games, though more demanding games and larger player counts may require 32GB or more to ensure optimal performance.

Storage Type and Size

Storage is where game data, player information, and all necessary assets are kept. The two main storage types are HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) and SSDs (Solid-State Drives). SSDs, significantly faster than HDDs, are preferred for gaming servers because they can drastically reduce load times, making game worlds more accessible and responsive.

Regarding size, this will depend on the specific game and the number of games being hosted. A single modern game can require tens of gigabytes of storage. So, a server with several hundred gigabytes to a few terabytes is recommended. This is even more important if hosting multiple games or large player bases.

Bandwidth and Latency

Bandwidth and latency are important network specifications that affect the server’s ability to communicate with players’ devices. Bandwidth is the amount of data transmitted in a given time. Latency refers to the delay before a data transfer begins following an instruction for its transfer.

High bandwidth is essential for supporting many simultaneous players. It ensures data (like player actions, game states, and real-time interactions) is transmitted quickly and efficiently.

Low latency is crucial for real-time responsiveness, a must-have for competitive gaming where every millisecond counts. Opt for dedicated server providers with high bandwidth capabilities and data centers located geographically close to your player base to minimize latency.

Specifications For Dedicated Server Hosting For Gaming

Also Read: Best DNS Server For Gaming: Top 7 Pick.

Game Server Implementation Plan

It is important to have a detailed plan in place for your game server infrastructure. Here’s a detailed guide to help you navigate the process:

1. Define Your Requirements

Identify the game’s needs, including game type, latency, and scalability.

  • Game Type

The type of game (MMO, FPS, strategy, etc.) directly impacts server demands. Consider the number of concurrent players, the complexity of game mechanics, and real-time interaction needs.

  • Scalability

Estimate the initial player base and growth over time. Plan for scalability to handle peak loads and future expansion.

  • Latency Sensitivity

Real-time multiplayer games require low latency. Identify target regions for your player base and plan server locations accordingly.

2. Choose the Right Server Type

Decide between dedicated or cloud servers based on your game’s requirements.

  • Dedicated Hosted Servers vs. Cloud Servers

Dedicated hosted servers offer performance and control, ideal for games requiring low latency and high processing power. Cloud servers provide scalability and flexibility, suitable for varying workloads and player counts.

  • Hardware Specifications

Select the appropriate storage, RAM, and CPU based on your game’s requirements. High-frequency CPUs are crucial for real-time game processing, while RAM and fast SSDs support smooth gameplay.

3. Server Architecture and Software

Select the appropriate server architecture and software stack for efficient game operation.

  • Architecture Design

Choose between a monolithic or microservices architecture. Microservices can offer better scalability and maintenance for large-scale games.

  • Game Server Software

Decide if you’ll use commercial game server frameworks, open-source solutions, or custom-built software tailored to your game’s needs.

  • Database Management

Select a database that meets your game’s data storage, access speed, and consistency requirements. Consider SQL for structured data and NoSQL for flexible schema design.

4. Networking Considerations

Plan for bandwidth, protocols, and security to ensure smooth player experiences.

  • Bandwidth Needs

Estimate bandwidth based on player actions, game state updates, and concurrent connections to ensure smooth data transmission.

  • Security Measures

Implement DDoS protection, firewalls, and encryption to safeguard servers and player data.

  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Use CDNs to distribute game content efficiently and reduce latency.

5. Deployment and Testing

Implement a strategy for deploying and rigorously testing the server infrastructure before going live.

  • Automated Deployment

Use CI/CD pipelines for automated testing and deployment. This ensures quick updates and minimal downtime.

  • Load Testing

Simulate peak loads to test server performance and stability. Adjust configurations based on test results.

  • Monitoring and Maintenance

Set up monitoring tools for real-time performance tracking. Plan regular maintenance and updates to keep servers optimized.

6. Launch and Post-Launch Support

Prepare for the initial launch and establish a support plan for maintaining server health and player satisfaction.

  • Soft Launch

Consider a soft launch in selected regions to gather feedback and adjust server settings before a full launch.

  • Community Management

Engage with your player community for feedback and support. Monitor server performance and player experiences continuously.

  • Scaling Strategy

Have a plan for scaling up server resources quickly in response to player base growth or unexpected demand spikes.

Game Server Implementation Plan

Also Read: Top 7 Best Linux OS For Gaming In 2024.

How Much Does Game Server Hosting Cost?

How Much Does Game Server Hosting Cost

The cost of game server hosting can vary based on several factors. This includes the game being hosted, the number of players the server needs to support, server configuration, bandwidth requirements, and additional features or services. Below is a breakdown to give you an idea:

Type of Game

When talking about simpler or older games, hosting can be relatively inexpensive, often starting at $5 to $15 per month. However, modern multiplayer games, especially those with high player counts, may require more resources. The prices usually range from $20 to $100+ per month.

Number of Players

Hosting costs increase with the server’s capacity to accommodate more players. A server for a small group of friends might be on the lower cost spectrum. Servers designed for larger public communities will be more expensive.

Server Specifications

As discussed above, higher-performance CPUs and larger amounts of RAM are necessary for games with many players or complex physics. This significantly impacts price. Besides CPUs and RAM, SSDs are also preferred for faster data access. However, they are more expensive than HDDs. The amount of storage needed also affects the cost of a game server.

Bandwidth

Games with significant player interaction and real-time data transmission can consume a lot of bandwidth. This may increase hosting costs, especially if the hosting provider has bandwidth limits or charges for overages.

Location

The server’s geographical location can affect cost. Hosting in regions with higher operational costs may be more expensive.

Managed vs. Unmanaged

  • Managed Hosting: More expensive but includes the provider’s support and management of the server.
  • Unmanaged Hosting: Less expensive but requires the customer to manage and maintain the server software and hardware.

Additional Features

Features like automatic backups, DDoS protection, and 24/7 support can add to the cost but are often worth the investment for added security and convenience.

Also Read: 7 Easy Steps To Setting Up A Valheim Server.

Should I Choose VPS or Dedicated Game Server Hosting?

It is common for individuals to contemplate between VPS or dedicated game server hosting for their gaming needs. Informed decision-making in this regard involves comparing both choices in detail:

VPS Hosting

VPS Hosting

Credits: FreePik

VPS hosting bridges the gap between dedicated and shared hosting. It involves partitioning a physical server into several virtual servers, each isolated from the others. This setup provides you with dedicated resources and full root access at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated hosted server.

Pros of VPS Hosting

Let’s discuss the Pros of VPS.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

VPS provides a more affordable option for smaller gaming communities and developers starting out.

  • Scalability

Easily scale resources based on demand without needing physical hardware changes.

  • Control

Full root access allows for extensive customization and control over your gaming environment.

Cons of VPS Hosting

Now, let’s take a look at the cons of VPS.

  • Shared Resources

Despite having allocated resources, the underlying physical server is shared among multiple users. This sometimes impacts performance.

  • Technical Knowledge

Requires a certain level of technical expertise to manage and optimize effectively.

Dedicated Game Server Hosting

Dedicated Game Server Hosting

Credits: FreePik

Dedicated game server hosting provides a complete server dedicated to your gaming needs. This option is ideal for:

  • High-traffic gaming sites.
  • Competitive gaming leagues.
  • Large gaming communities that demand peak performance, security, and reliability.

Pros of Dedicated Hosting

Here are the pros of dedicated hosting for gaming.

  • Superior Performance

With all the server resources dedicated to your gaming application, you can expect unparalleled performance, even under heavy loads.

  • Security

Having a server all to yourself significantly reduces security risks, giving you more control over the security measures.

  • Total Customization

Tailor each aspect of your server environment to meet your game’s and its players’ exact needs.

Cons of Dedicated Hosting

Here are the cons of dedicated hosting for gaming.

  • Higher Cost

The superior performance and exclusivity of a dedicated hosted server come with a higher price tag.

  • Management and Maintenance

Requires more technical expertise or hiring specialized staff to manage and maintain the server.

Making the Right Choice

  • High-traffic games with thousands of concurrent players may necessitate the robust capabilities of a dedicated hosted server.
  • Smaller projects with limited budgets may benefit from the cost-effectiveness of VPS hosting.
  • Games requiring high processing power, memory, and fast loading times will perform better on a dedicated hosted server.
  • If you anticipate rapid growth, consider the scalability of your hosting solution to ensure it can accommodate increasing demands.

Also Read: Minecraft Java Vs Windows: 6 Distinguishing Features.

Games That Require Dedicated Hosted Servers

Games That Require Dedicated Hosted Servers

Credits: FreePik

Below are ten popular games that use dedicated hosted servers:

Minecraft

Minecraft’s enduring popularity is partly due to its dedicated hosted server support. It allows players to form, handle, and customize their worlds. These servers enable endless possibilities for collaboration, exploration, and creativity within the game’s blocky universe.

Palworld

Palworld combines creature collecting with open-world survival, all hosted on dedicated hosted servers. This setup ensures players can explore vast landscapes, battle, and trade with friends and strangers without worrying about server instability impacting their adventure.

Unturned

Unturned offers a zombie survival experience that relies on dedicated hosted servers to host multiplayer sessions. This ensures a seamless experience as players build shelters, scavenge for resources and fend off zombies in a post-apocalyptic world.

Counter-Strike 2

The highly competitive nature of Counter-Strike 2 benefits from dedicated hosted servers. Its dedicated hosted server support empowers it to offer players an equitable and lag-free environment. These servers are crucial for the fast-paced, precise gameplay the series is known for, ensuring that skill is the only determining factor in victory.

Among Us

Among Us became a sensation for its unique take on social deduction games, with dedicated hosted servers playing a key role in supporting its multiplayer gameplay. These servers ensure players can smoothly debate, deceive, and deduce their way through each session without technical interruptions.

Enshrouded

Enshrouded uses dedicated hosted servers to enhance its mysterious, exploration-driven gameplay. Players can delve into its enigmatic world, solving puzzles and uncovering secrets together, supported by the reliability of dedicated hosting.

DayZ

In the unforgiving world of DayZ, dedicated hosted servers are essential for hosting the game’s open-world survival horror experience. They provide the stability needed for players to navigate the post-apocalyptic landscape, encountering zombies and other survivors.

DotA 2

DotA 2′s complex, strategy-driven battles are hosted on dedicated hosted servers to ensure fairness and performance. This infrastructure supports the game’s competitive scene, where split-second decisions and actions can lead to victory or defeat.

Rust

Rust’s harsh survival environment is brought to life on dedicated hosted servers, where players must gather resources, build bases, and survive against both the elements and each other. Dedicated hosted servers ensure a consistent and fair playing field for all.

ARK: Survival Evolved

With its vast, dinosaur-inhabited world, ARK: Survival Evolved relies on dedicated hosted servers to manage its extensive multiplayer gameplay. These servers allow players to explore, tame, and survive in a prehistoric world without the gameplay being marred by technical issues.

Conclusion

As we’ve examined the impact of gaming dedicated servers on the multiplayer experience, it becomes clear that the right server infrastructure is vital to unlocking the full potential of online gaming. If you are looking for a reputed gaming dedicated hosted server provider, we recommend RedSwitches.

We offer specialized dedicated solutions that cater specifically to the needs of the gaming community. With our server, gamers and game developers can leverage the power of high-performance, low-latency servers engineered for the most demanding online games.

Whether you’re looking to host a competitive eSports tournament, run a popular MMO, or provide a stable platform for friends to connect and play, we offer the reliability, scalability, and performance of modern gaming demands. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today to transform your multiplayer experience.

FAQs

Q. What is a dedicated server in gaming?

A dedicated server in gaming is a remote server meant to be explicitly used to host multiplayer video games. It provides a centralized and stable connection for players, ensuring smoother, lag-free gameplay and enhanced control over the game environment, rules, and settings. Dedicated gaming servers handle all the game data. This leads to a more reliable and consistent gaming experience.

Q. What server is best for gaming?

The best server for gaming is one that offers high performance, low latency, and reliable uptime. A high-quality dedicated gaming server should have a powerful CPU, substantial RAM, and fast network connectivity to handle multiple connections without downtime or lag. The choice of server also depends on the specific game, the number of players, and the players’ geographic location to minimize latency.

Q. Can I build a server for gaming?

Yes, you can build a server for gaming. It involves setting up a dedicated computer with sufficient hardware specifications and configuring it with the necessary software and network settings to host your chosen game. Building your own server offers flexibility and control over the gaming environment but requires technical knowledge to set up and maintain.

Q. How can a dedicated game server enhance my gaming experience?

A dedicated game server gives you more control over server settings, reduced lag, better performance, and the ability to customize gameplay. This results in a more immersive gaming experience.

Q. How do I choose the best-dedicated game server hosting provider?

To choose the best-dedicated game server hosting provider, consider factors such as server location, hardware and software capabilities, customer support, uptime guarantees, and pricing plans that suit your needs.

Q. What should I look for when choosing the best-dedicated server for gaming?

When choosing the best-dedicated server for gaming, look for high-performance hardware, low-latency network connections, DDoS protection, scalability options, and reliable customer support for uninterrupted gameplay.

Q. Is renting a dedicated game server or opting for game hosting services better?

Renting a dedicated game server allows for more control and customization than game hosting services. It is ideal for gamers looking to host specific game versions or mods for a personalized gaming experience.

Q. How important is server location when selecting a gaming dedicated server hosting provider?

Server location plays a crucial role in determining latency and connection quality for players. Choosing a gaming dedicated server hosting provider with servers close to your target audience can improve gameplay performance.

Q. What features should the best gaming dedicated server offer?

The best gaming server should offer high-speed processors, ample RAM, SSD storage for faster loading times, reliable network connections, 24/7 technical support, and DDoS protection to ensure a seamless gaming experience.

Q. Can I rent a dedicated game server for hosting my Minecraft server?

Many dedicated game server hosting companies offer services specifically tailored to Minecraft servers. They offer the performance and resources needed for a smooth gaming experience.

Q. What are some benefits of renting a dedicated game server?

Renting a dedicated game server offers benefits such as full control over server settings and heightened security. You can also enjoy customizable resource allocation and the ability to create a tailored gaming environment.

Q. How does a dedicated game server compare to a shared server hosting option for game hosting?

A dedicated game server outperforms shared hosting options by offering dedicated resources, faster processing speeds, and lower latency. It also offers the ability to handle larger volumes of players without performance issues.