The popularity of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) has burgeoned in the last couple of years. The online gaming industry is expected to reach $90 billion in 2020, up from $78 billion in 2017.
For those gaming aficionados who like to challenge each other and arrange regular gaming sessions, a game server is a must. If you host a private server for gaming, there are high chances of a technical snag as more players join the game. Reliable dedicated game servers are the best way to accommodate multiple players across time-zones without compromising on speed and performance.
The glut of hosting services today has made it amazingly convenient to rent a game server. Gaming enthusiasts often create a group and jointly pay for a dedicated game server. This way, they avail a high-performing hosting service without burning a hole in their pocket.
With gaming servers gaining traction, hosting service providers have begun to offer dedicated game servers for specific games. Games such as DayZ, Counter-Strike, Space Engineers, Call of Duty and Minecraft fall in this category.
If you are planning to rent a dedicated game server, you need to take into consideration several factors to make sure you select the server that best fits your needs. Some of these are as follows:
Visualize this for a moment. You are having a session of Minecraft with a bunch of gaming fanatics. All of a sudden, the server crashes and the session comes to an abrupt halt. Imagine the level of frustration it would generate.
A high-performing server is vital for hosting online games. A game server should be hosted on a network supported by robust infrastructure and adequate bandwidth. The server must be powered with premium hardware such as top-of-the-line processors and Solid State Drives (SSDs). Solid State Drives offer blazing fast speed and reduce loading time for games. For adequate processing power, at least Intel Core or equivalent hardware should be provided.
Different games have different performance requirements, so it is imperative to check the documentation to ensure your server is powerful enough to handle the load. For instance, for a game like Minecraft Wiki, you need RAM in the range of 512 MB to 2 GB depending on the type of server used.
2) Availability and Security
Uptime and availability are key determinants in choosing a dedicated game server. Since online gaming sessions require no interruption, any host with less than 99% uptime does not serve the purpose.
Security is another crucial factor, especially with hackers specifically targeting dedicated game servers. Gaming servers need a host that offers, among other features, robust firewall, DDoS protection, system updates, optimization and hardening.
3) Ease of Management and Automation
A gaming enthusiast would not like to spend too much time managing the server. An easy-to-manage server is, therefore, vital. Game server hosts need to offer features that facilitate server administration, for instance, automated updates that don’t require rebooting of the system, one-click software installation and a variety of control panels to choose from. With more features supporting automation, the time spent on server set up and administration gets considerably reduced.
4) Anti-Cheating Software
If you allow other users to access the game server, you need to have anti-cheating software in place. The advent of advanced technologies has given rise to hackers and cheaters who try to manipulate the code in order to gain an unfair advantage over other players. Some players use third-party tools to outsmart their opponents. Anti-cheating software prevents cheaters from exploiting vulnerabilities in the system and thus defends your server against malicious actors.
Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC), PunkBuster, BattlEye (BE), HackShield and nProtect GameGuard (GG) are among the popular anti-cheating software available in the marketplace.
5) Technical Support
Like any other hosting service, dedicated game server hosting also need a competent support team. Gaming enthusiasts seek reliable hosting providers that monitor the services efficiently and offer round-the-clock technical support. 24*7 support is particularly important for players who arrange gaming sessions on weekends or during late night. Efficacious technical support minimizes glitches and helps resolve issues within the stipulated time frame.
Wrapping it up
Choosing the right dedicated game server is crucial for immaculate gaming experience. The server selected should be hosted on a network with a robust infrastructure to ensure adequate bandwidth. It should be equipped with premium hardware including solid state strives and best-in-class processors. It should be sturdy enough to handle fluctuating loads.
The game server should offer high uptime in addition to top-notch security features such as robust firewalls and DDoS protection. It should have features that automate server setup and administration.
Anti-cheating software should be present to safeguard the server from unscrupulous entities. Besides, there should be a professional support team offering round-the-clock support to ensure a seamless gaming experience.