Game Server Hosting
Looking to publish an online multiplayer game but don't know where to begin? There are so many options for hosting solutions, so it's hard to decide. Your budget is a concern, but you also want to make sure the gaming experience keeps players coming back time and time again.
Here's a bit about multiplayer game hosting, also called game server hosting, and a few of the best hosting companies out there to help you decide!
How Game Server Hosting Works
Data travels from the client to the server, which processes it and delivers it back to the client, ensuring that each player sees an accurate representation of the game world as they progress.
Game Server Hosting: Types Of Servers
- Dedicated Server: This is probably the costliest option, but a good one nonetheless. Dedicated servers are hosted in a data center, offering high bandwidth and reliable performance. This is a great option for popular and large games, offering 24/7 uptime that the players want. If you run a massively multiplayer online game (MMO), you'll want to host your own dedicated servers so that you are able to control and update the content. Here, clustered servers are the way to go as it supports both the massive environment and number of players at any given time. If you have a small game, this may not be the way you want to go.
- Listen Server: This server is not housed in a data center, but rather runs on the same machine as the client. As soon as the client leaves the game, the server shuts down. Listen servers cannot support a lot of players because of CPU and bandwidth requirements, which is why the software itself limits the number of players that can connect to play the game.
Game Server Hosting: Best Game Server Hosting Providers
You've decided that dedicated servers will be the way to go. Great! But who offers the best hosting services? Companies offering game server hosting are often called game server providers, and the best ones will rent dedicated servers out to clients for a monthly fee. Here are some of the best game server providers so you can make a better decision.
- Counter-Strike.com: This site was registered in 1998. They boast “ultra smooth game play” thanks to their servers that rely on AMD 64-bit Quad Core Processors. They have 24/7 service, and respond quickly to ensure your game gets back up and running as soon as possible. They offer InterNAP bandwidth, which is one of the highest rated bandwidth providers in the industry, that guarantees a super-fast connection to the server.
- Fragnet: Fragnet was “built for gamers by gamers” in 2010. The company chooses networks that offer both low latency and high bandwidth, relying on Dual Quad Core Xeon Dell Enterprise servers. Action is smooth, performance is fast, and their support is 24/7 with quick response time.
- XFactor Servers: Since 2008, XFactor Servers know that customers are the key to their business. Because of this, their goal is to make sure you are satisfied by providing the highest quality gaming experience and amazing customer support. Whether public or private game server, they've got you covered.
- Nuclear Fallout: This game server provider looks to bring the best quality performance hardware to you at the lowest price possible. They've been selling these servers since 2002, and now offer “the fastest quad-core machines available on a dual-socket platform.” Their servers are constantly monitored by automated systems that can pick up a downed server instantly and alert them of any problems. They rely on InterNAP bandwidth to make the process fast and efficient. When it comes to service, they respond swiftly.
- Velocity Servers: This game server provider is an up-and-comer. Their minimum server specifications (OCTI Harpertown Xeon, 12GB DDR2-FB 667 ECC RAM, 2 x 15K SCSI Seagate Cheetahs, INTEL-5400 Chipset, SuperMicro 1U Chassis) are actually ranked as the top hardware configurations for other game server providers. They will assure that you enjoy every moment of gameplay.
Have you had experience with any of the above game service providers, or have you had positive experiences with another? Tell us about it!