• Host Your Own Game Servers

    If you are looking to host your own game servers and don't know where to start, here is some information to get you started.

    Things to know:

    Windows vs. Linux: This completely depends on what operating system the game servers are available on. For servers that require Windows, like DayZ Standalone, it might cost less to purchase managed hosting due to the licensing costs associated with Windows itself, it's worth shopping around. You can check what a server runs on by either looking at its info on https://www.steamdb.info or doing some google-fu for non-steam servers.

    Example: https://steamdb.info/app/581330/ Shows Insurgency: Sandstorm servers run on Linux only.

    VPS/Shared vs Dedicated: A VPS, "virtual private server" or "shared hosting" is where users are allocated a portion of physical hardware through a virtual machine. Common practice, allows providers to split up powerful servers into smaller ones. Usually cheaper than dedicated servers, where a whole server is rented.

    There are two options to host servers, Managed servers and Self Hosted(Unmanaged) servers:

    Self Hosted(Unmanaged)- Cheaper, More Effort

    With self hosting, game servers are hosted from either external hardware or local hardware. Local hardware is the cheapest, though most difficult to host from. No DDoS protection by default, users will have to configure around local networking, setup and install all of your own hardware/software. Must replace your own hardware if it fails, low chance but possible. Upload speed in many areas not sufficient for large amounts of players.


    Much cheaper

    Minimal restrictions



    Usually no direct support, community or forum support only

    Pros or cons, depending:

    Self configured OS

    Self installed servers

    Self configured server settings


    Managed Hosting- More Expensive, Less Effort

    Managed hosting is where a company runs a server on their hardware for you. Could be individual game servers, could be dedicated box you select what servers will be on. Usually all you have to do is input settings and the server will run itself with minimal maintenance. Usually comes with a web-based graphical menu to manage your servers with. More expensive. May restrict mods or player slots unless you pay more. Most game server hosts now advertise built in DDoS protection.



    Graphical interface

    Easier to use if you're new to server management

    Usually comes with automated crash detection, updating, and restarts from the start



    More expensive

    Possible restrictions on mods, player slots, etc.


    What to look out for:

    It's common for smaller companies to rent hardware instead of own it, which they then resell to you. This is common and not usually a problem, but it's possible to recieve a game server on overfilled hardware, degrading performance. You can usually see who the real provider is by doing a IP lookup on their existing customer's servers.

    Look out for providers who are overly cheap. This ties into the above point, if a provider is cheap and it's hard to tell why, it's probably because they are over provisioning. If you are renting dedicated hardware instead of shared hosting or individual servers, these shouldn't be actual problems.


    Recommended Providers:

    These recommendations are based completely on our experience running our servers. There are other good providers, these are simply the ones we have used. Provided links will be affiliate links when applicable.


    (managed and unmanaged) NFOservers: Jack of all trades game server provider. Offers managed game servers/voice comm servers, supports windows and linux, offers managed and unmanaged dedicated servers, offers managed and unmanaged VPS servers, offers shared webhosting. Built in DDoS protection. We have used almost every one of their services, easy to work with, top tier support, top tier company, recommended.

    Go to NFOservers Website


    (unmanaged) Linode: Linux only cloud provider. You can install windows yourself but it is not supported or recommended. Has pre-configured images for popular game servers like minecraft, images for LAMP, Wordpress, Drupal, cPanel, so you can set up a website, fastdl server, or gameserver in minutes. Easy to upgrade or downgrade plans, recommended.

    Go to Linode Landing Page - Ignore the jargon and marketing for cloud based services, what you're going to be interested in is either their "Dedicated CPU" or "Shared CPU" services. Their images can be installed on either of these services. They are currently offering $100 credit when you sign up.


    (managed, unmanaged through Vultr) Gameservers.com: Managed game server provider, good service, decent support, can't complain. Has a large selection of games available. Previously used for minecraft and counter-strike servers. They are also a cloud provider, branded seperately as Vultr, we have not used that specific service. Previously used for CS:GO, Minecraft, Gmod servers, recommended.

    Go to Gameservers.com - A lot of game servers available, access to their VPS services are in the navbar at the top.


    (unmanaged) OVH: Cloud provider/dedicated server provider. They have some wicked hot deals sometimes. You'll see smaller managed server hosts reselling their stuff all the time. Previously used for ARK: Survival Evolved servers, easy to use, straightforward, recommended.

    Go to OVH - Specifically Dedicated or VPS offerings, European company so a lot of options in Europe.


    Other notable good providers: DigitalOcean, Nitrado, HostHavoc, g-portal, nodecraft, clanwarz.com

    The only provider we currently don't recommend is Vilayer,  stock CS:GO servers were running terribly, could not get the issue resolved, poor support.


    Recommended Software:

    Linux Game Server Manager (LGSM/LinuxGSM):Free "Command-line tool for quick, simple deployment and management of Linux dedicated game servers." Makes installing dependencies, downloading, and running a server on Linux a breeze.

    Go to LinuxGSM website 




    Jank but cool:

    I've heard there are some server owners hosting lighter gameservers on Amazon's EC2/S3 free tier cloud services. Cool, but sounds a little jank.


    Last page update: 11/21