Looking for the best game server hosting provider? We know how difficult it can be to choose the right one given that there are many hosting providers that offer game hosting out there. We’ll help you out with our ultimate guide and comparison.
How to choose the best game server hosting provider for you
Basic guidelines that apply for most hosting providers apply here too. But here’s the gist of it:
- Make sure they support the game you’re planning on hosting. Either go through their website or contact them. By “support” each hosting provider has different criteria and what their scope of support actually is. Most of the time they have ready 1-click install options for your game servers, as well as 24/7 technical support.
- Make sure the game server type supports the number of planned players. If you plan on using the server with a couple of your friends, then you can go for a server with fewer resources, but if you plan on hosting a multiplayer server with dozens of players, you’d want to get a VPS with more resources or a dedicated server. Check the game’s official guidelines on what a server requires for a specific number of players, or contact the hosting provider. Each game has different server requirements, so there’s no ‘one size fits all” for game servers.
- Check if they offer DDoS protection. Unfortunately, game servers are a common target for DDoS attacks. If a hosting provider offers DDoS protection, you should go with them. However, if you properly secure your server you may not need DDoS protection at all.
- Check their reviews/uptime. Search for the provider on Twitter – check what kind of reviews they get. Some review websites can’t really be trusted, but if you notice a lot of reviews saying they experienced downtime (which is common for bad game server hosting providers) – you may want to avoid them.
- Don’t go for a free server hosting provider. This is just an accident waiting to happen. We won’t go into details, but basically, with the free game server hosting providers, you should not expect any support, any uptime, or fast servers.
- Choose a server location closest to the players. If most of the players are from the US, choose a server location from the US, preferably from the same state.
- Exclude website hosting from your requirements. Some game server hosting providers offer website hosting as well, but you don’t really need it. You’re better off getting “normal” web hosting and hosting your website/community there, instead of with the game hosting provider. The “normal” web hosting providers are usually a much better option since they specialize in just that – hosting websites. They have special control panels, experienced tech support reps, they are cheaper, etc.
- SSDs and latest hardware are a must. Don’t even think about getting an HDD server in 2021.
- …and more! It always depends on what kind of requirements the game has and what you actually need. As stated before, common guidelines apply here too, but at the end of the day, it all depends on your needs.
What to choose – specialized game server hosting providers or normal server hosting providers?
This is a common dilemma among gamers. It really boils down to what you’re going to use the server for, how easy it is to set it up, and how experienced you are. Here are some scenarios and use cases:
- If you have experience with servers, get an unmanaged server and set it up yourself. It’s way cheaper. You can follow tutorials on how to install a Minecraft server.
- If you don’t have experience with servers, but do know how to install, configure, and run a game server, go with a managed VPS. With a managed VPS, the hosting provider will manage the server for you, but you’ll most probably have to manage the game server yourself. Meaning, you’ll have to install, configure, and maintain the hosted game yourself. However, you can still contact them and ask them if they’ll do this for you, in some cases, they may help.
- If you don’t have any experience at all, go with a specialized game hosting provider. In this case, the hosting provider makes the job of hosting a game extremely easy. They offer 1-click installations, game server control panels, pre-configured servers, various options for server mods, 24/7 support, and more. We’ll compare this kind of hosting providers below.
Best Game Server Hosting Providers Comparison
We only chose the best. No EIG hosts, no hosts with many negative reviews. You can’t go wrong if you choose any of these. You can compare them by features, pricing, and more. The pricing depends on what game and server type you’ll choose. We used their 2GB RAM Minecraft server plans to use for our pricing column. You can get an additional discount with a coupon or a longer billing cycle. You can also get a cheaper plan with less RAM. Some hosting providers (like Host Havoc) use Xeon E5 and SSDs/NVMe, which is why they are a bit more expensive than the others. Check each hosting provider’s website for more info. The list is not ordered in any way. It’s random. You can even reorder it yourself. If you have any suggestions, you can leave a comment below. Anyway, here’s the actual game server hosting comparison:
|Hosting Provider||2GB RAM Minecraft Server Pricing||24/7 Support||Instant Setup||Game Control Panels||DDoS Protection||Server Locations||Supported Games||Voice Servers||Promo/Coupon|
|Host Havoc||$10||US, UK, EU, AU, CA||Minecraft, ARK, CS:GO, Unturned...||7% Lifetime Discount|
|Streamline Servers||$9||US, UK, EU, AU, CA, AS||Minecraft, ARK, CS:GO, Arma 3...||15% lifetime discount|
|ExtraVM||$6||US, EU, AS||Minecraft||12% lifetime discount|
|BeastNode||$5.99||US, EU||Minecraft||15% lifetime discount|
|ZAP-Hosting||$3.15||US, EU, CA, AU, AS||Minecraft, GTA 5, ARK...||20% lifetime discount|
|Apex Hosting||$7.49||US, EU, CA, AU, AS||Minecraft||25% one-time discount - coupon available on their site|
|LOW.MS||$19.22||US, UK, EU, AU, AS||Minecraft, ARK, Rust, Unturned, Rend, Starbound...||20% Discount|
|Shockbyte||$5||US, EU, AS||Minecraft, ARK, Terraria, 7 Days to Die, CS:GO...||25% One-Time Discount|
|ServerBlend||$8||US, UK, EU, AU, CA||Minecraft, ARK, Rust, ARMA 3, Kerbal Space Program, Team Fortress 2...||10% Off The First Month|
|ScalaCube||$10||US, EU, UK, AS||Minecraft, ARK, Rust, Valheim, Hytale...||50% off|
|Survival Servers||$9.70||US, EU, AS||Minecraft, ARK, Scum, Rend, Rune 2, DayZ, Onset...||20% off|
|Nitrado||$4.50||US, EU, UK, AS||Minecraft, ARK, Scum, Rend, Rune 2, DayZ, Onset, Farming Simulator 22...||15% off|
We’ll add more hosting providers as we find more, so you can check back here soon for updates.
Conclusion on game server hosting
Hope we made the whole process of choosing the best game server host easier. We included most of what you need to know in this article, but you can still google stuff or contact the hosting provider if you have questions. If you have any questions or need help choosing a host, feel free to contact us or just leave a comment below. Make sure to do your research before going with a hosting provider!