While most modern online video games provide their own servers, some games such as Minecraft or Valheim allow users to create servers on 3rd party services. By creating your own dedicated gaming server, you can set up a persistent online gaming environment for you and your friends to use whenever you want. In this article, we will discuss the purpose of dedicated gaming servers and explore some of the benefits of setting up your own server.
What Is a Dedicated Gaming Server?
As mentioned previously, most online video games provide their own servers. These servers are generally operated and maintained by the developer of the game, who will regularly perform updates and patch any issues that are discovered. Popular games such as World of Warcraft and Fortnite provide their own servers where users will generally have lag-free game hosting. For obvious reasons, these types of games require a reliable internet connection.
If you have the know-how to setup a gaming server and you have a computer that can handle the minimum requirements, you can use your own computer as a server.
In addition to using your own computer, you can rent a dedicated server from any number of hosting providers (such as InMotion Hosting) and use that as your gaming server.
You can also control who is able to connect to the server, limiting server access to only your friends and other approved players. Using a dedicated gaming server requires more initial setup, but it provides a number of unique benefits not offered by “official” game servers.
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Why Use a Dedicated Gaming Server?
While these games benefit from regular updates and consistent patching of issues, they can also run into server performance issues as more and more users connect from various parts of the world in order to play.
When a given server becomes overloaded with users it can result in a degradation of the gameplay experience, mainly through a phenomenon known as “lag”.
Lag is a term used to describe the delay between inputting a command and the execution of said command. For example, while playing Minecraft, you can press the spacebar to make your character immediately jump into the air. If you are experiencing a great deal of lag, there will be a perceptible delay between when you press the spacebar and when your character actually jumps. This lag, when severe enough, can ruin even the most fun gaming session.
One of the ways to avoid lag is through the use of a dedicated gaming server. By setting up your own server with its own network rules and system resources, you will have direct control over the performance of the server itself. If a certain user is causing bandwidth problems, you will have the tools you need to isolate and block that user and prevent them from adversely impacting the experience of other users.
In some games, you will be able to modify the game world in ways that would not normally be available in an “official” game server. One of the primary ways this is done is through the use of mods. These software mods can change how the game looks and plays, sometimes adding entirely new features or items to a game world. Within your dedicated gaming server you can implement as many mods as you want in order to perfectly customize your game server. In addition to software mods, depending on your hosting provider, you may be able to customize the server with additional RAM to handle increased resource usage.
In addition to performance and customizability, dedicated gaming servers also provide an element of persistence to some online gaming sessions. For example, in Valheim, a user can invite another player to their session at any time. While the hosting player stays online, you can interact with the game world. As soon as the hosting player closes their game, you will find yourself disconnected from the game world.
If a user has a dedicated Valheim server, they can set up a persistent server that will remain online, even if all of the players have since logged off. If someone then wants to play, they can connect to that game session at any time, even if the original host is still offline. For gamers with a large friend group that play at all hours of the day, a persistent dedicated gaming server can be a game-changer.
Do I Need a Dedicated Gaming Server?
The question of whether or not users need a dedicated gaming server has become increasingly common as online video games have risen in popularity. While most users will not need to directly interact with a dedicated server in order to play their favorite online games, some users prefer a more personalized experience through the use of dedicated servers. In this article we will help you decide if you need a dedicated gaming server for your online gaming activities.
Many Games Do Not Need a Dedicated Gaming Server
While online games are becoming increasingly popular, there are still a wide variety of single-player games that do not require the use of online features at all. Obviously, these games do not need a dedicated gaming server as there is no online data that needs to be handled. Meanwhile, other games handle online features through what is known as peer-to-peer connections. These connections take the place of a dedicated server, with one of the user’s machines acting as a “host” server.
In essence, peer-to-peer connections use the extra computing power of video game consoles or computers to create a temporary server that houses the game data. This means an increased stress on the hardware which in turn will likely result in performance degradation. Well-coded games manage to establish these peer-to-peer connections without putting too much stress on the system as a whole.
Some Games Benefit from Dedicated Gaming Servers
While many games do not require the use of dedicated servers, some games clearly benefit from them. In addition to providing a customizable and private environment for the storage of game data, some games allow you to access unique features by purchasing or configuring your own dedicated gaming server. These features can include enhanced control over the gameplay itself as well as administrative features such as block lists and the ability to ban problematic users.
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