In this article, we’re introducing you to private servers and game server hosting: what they are, why you’d need one, and how to choose the best one.
What Is a Game Server Host?
A game server host is a virtual or physical server that anticipates the inputs of a player and sends the information to the rest of the players connected to the server. It allows the gamers to play with each other in real-time, as if they are physically joined to a single network.
How a Hosted Gaming Server Works
Hosted gaming server works by having one centralized version of the game with all the controls and game configurations. The server side keeps a copy of the game along with its mods and Downloadable Content (DLC). The server will then communicate its state to all the connected clients, so they are all synchronized.
The server acts as a medium where every player will connect, so they don’t have to connect to one player that potentially has a less stable network connection or lower RAM. This means that they can play with the best speed and performance.
The server communicates whatever information, movement, or input one player gives to the server and then transmits it to the rest of the players.
Benefits of a Private Gaming Server
There are a lot of benefits to having a private server that all translate to the best gaming experience you can have. Here are some of them:
1. Lower latency
Latency or Ping is the time it will take for your data to be transmitted from your device to the server and back to your device again. A higher ping results in lags and might ruin the fun. On the other hand, some private servers are really fast and have almost no lag.
2. Run mods and install downloadable content remotely
Depending on your server host, you can customize and distribute DLCs to your server. Most public servers don’t allow this, so private servers are the usual option for players who want this feature.
3. More control
Not only can you run mods and install DLCs, but you can also configure what games you can deploy or host if you have your own private server. You can also control the players who can access the server so you can enjoy a toxic-free gaming environment.
How Much Does a Private Gaming Server Cost?
Private gaming servers differ in cost depending on what games you want to play using them. For example, when your server needs to handle game session traffic, the cost might be higher since your host also needs sufficient computer power and internet connection to smoothly handle your game.
Private server prices can be as cheap as $10 per slot to hundreds of dollars, depending on the following factors:
- RAM – More RAM will obviously mean higher monthly pricing. The server memory is where your game rendering will depend on. Processing large maps or detailed game worlds would require much more RAM.
- Storage – SSDs are the ideal storage for private servers and have become a staple in the industry. The larger the storage, the more expensive the servers become—however, the more storage, the better the performance.
- CPU – CPU power is the core of a server. It will run the whole server and handle the performance as more players join your server.
- Network – Your network speed or internet speed will affect the server performance, especially when connecting players from different places worldwide. Speeds server hosting can offer typically range from 100Mbps to 1GBps.
These factors, along with others, will increase the cost to build and maintain your own server. But of course, if you choose to subscribe to a private gaming server instead, you only have to worry about the fees.
Games That Have Private Gaming Servers
Most multiplayer online games today have the option to join a private gaming server. In fact, games with private servers available are steadily growing in numbers. These unofficial servers aim to give customized maps, exclusive servers, and faster gameplay.
Some of the well-known games with an option to have private gaming servers are the following:
- ARK: Survival Evolved
- World of Warcraft
- Counter Strike
Each game has slightly different requirements and preferences to be considered when renting a private server. For example, according to Bestarkhosting.com, choosing a server hosting provider for ARK: Survival Evolved includes considering your Cross-Ark Travel, downloadable content (DLC) and mods, control panel access, and others.
The perfect private gaming server depends on your needs. Therefore, before getting or renting a premium private server, you need to ask yourself what kind of server you want and if you’re going to build your own or rent one.
With our starter guide, we hope you can choose the best server for you and your buds and take gaming to the next level.