How to Set Up a Dedicated Server for Palworld

Playing Palworld on your own is certainly fun in its own right. However, playing with friends adds that certain something – that extra element of chaos that takes an already entertaining game to new heights. To that end, the official servers are certainly an option, even if they are labeled as “Temporary.” You’ve also got classic 4-player co-op sessions, and a wealth of public community servers.

But what if you only want to play with some friends, but more than the 4-player co-op limit? What if you want to avoid griefing, trolling, or potential arguments about all the things that made Palword critics so mad? What if you just want to play with people you know?

For that, you’ll need your own dedicated server. That might sound like an incredibly nerdy and complicated endeavor. It can be just that, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ll show you how to get started, and tell you where you can look for further information. Ready? Let’s run some digital worlds.

Whether you’re playing co-op, on the official servers, on the dedicated servers, or running your own, you’ll want a VPN to give you that extra layer of security. A good gaming VPN can help protect your identity and data, provide a better connection to the game server, and get around any pesky local network blocks.

Should You Get a Managed or Unmanaged Server for Palworld?

For the uninitiated, a managed server is one that you rent from a company where they handle all the heavy lifting. You pay money, and they install everything, provide an easy-to-use control panel, and give you the IP address you’ll need to connect to.

There are several options for managed Palworld servers. Three of the more popular options are Nitrado, Shockbyte, and GPortal. These are all companies that have years of experience running servers for all kinds of games, so it’s not a bad option. Especially if you can get your friends to kick in a few dollars a month for the fees.

Managed servers are usually better for non-server admins, and people who want to host smaller servers.

Unmanaged servers are literally just servers you run yourself. These can be computers you run in your own home or office, or dedicated machines/virtual private servers rented from a hosting company.

If you know how to install, configure, and run a server yourself, it can definitely be a cheaper option, and doesn’t need to be time consuming beyond the initial setup. Unmanaged servers can be especially cheaper if you have a lot of people logging onto the server at once.

Pros and Cons of Managed Servers


    • Much easier to use – just buy and go
    • A graphical control panel is usually included
    • Little to no maintenance beyond configuring your server’s options, or the occasional backup


    • Usually more expensive, especially if you want to host a large server
    • Less control over the server environment
    • The company can simply shut down your server if they choose (they usually won’t, though)
    • If anything goes wrong, your friends will be texting you

Pros and Cons of Unmanaged Servers


    • Usually cheaper, and it’s a little easier to find good deals
    • Full control over the server
    • If you’re running the hardware on your own network, no one can shut it down but you


    • You need to know what you’re doing, and how to run a server at the OS level, at the game server software level, and optionally at the hardware level
    • Initial setup takes longer, and you will be using the command line and text-based configuration files
    • All troubleshooting and maintenance tasks are up to you
    • If anything goes wrong, your friends will be texting you

How to Rent a Managed Palworld Dedicated Server

The process will vary depending on the vendor. Essentially, though, you pay for the package you want (this will depend on how many people are going to be playing on the server), and go. They send you the IP address, you and your friends connect, and you all can run around capturing Pals for fun and virtual profit.

Be sure to read through whatever documentation is provided, and configure your server to your liking. You can speed up timers, or slow them down. Make the game easier or harder. It’s all up to you.

How to Roll Your Own Palworld Dedicated Server

Minimum Requirements

Games are getting more expensive to run in terms of hardware, and game servers are no exception. The most important thing you’ll need for Palworld is RAM, and lots of it. Here are the basic specs, as provided by the Palworld tech guide:

    • CPU: 4 cores recommended. Some hosting experts recommend a minimum of 3.8GHz clock speed for the CPU, but users on Reddit report that CPUs with a base clock speed of 3.2GHz work fine for smaller servers.
    • RAM: 16GB at minimum, 32GB or more is recommended
    • Storage: SSD (the faster the better), at least 30GB of space is recommended. Keep in mind you’ll need space for your OS too.
    • OS: Windows 64bit, Linux 64bit. Distros that should work include: Debian, Ubuntu, RHEL derivatives (CentOS Stream, Rocky Linux, etc.)

You will also need to know how to open ports in your firewall. If you are running the machine locally, you’ll have to perform port forwarding. Specifically, you’ll need to open these two ports with both TCP and UDP:

    • 27015 (for Steam)
    • 8211 (for Palworld, can be changed if you want)

Should You Get a VPS or Dedicated Physical Server?

Any machine, virtual or otherwise, that meets the specifications above should technically do the trick. However, from personal experience, you may find that a dedicated server gives you the most consistent performance. At least, that’s what I found back when I was running my own Ark server for a decent number of people.

But the old version of Ark was a terribly-optimized game, and needed all the power it could get. Palworld, on the other hand, is reportedly pretty decent, with the most important thing being the RAM. People are running both virtual and dedicated servers with reasonable success, so pick whatever seems like the best deal to you.

Dedicated Servers on Windows

If you’re an absolute beginner, this is the easiest way to start. Any sufficiently powerful machine running Windows or Windows Server can do it. Just install Steam, use it to download the Palworld Dedicated Server package, and click Play. You’ll get the choice to run a dedicated server, or a community server.

Choose the first option and you’re literally done. Well, as long as you configure the Windows Firewall to open the ports mentioned above.

the steam window where you can choose which kind of server to run

Caption: Image courtesy of the Palworld tech guide

If you want to do things the slightly harder way, and configure everything manually, you can use SteamCMD on the command line, just like you would normally do on Linux.

Dedicated Servers on Linux

If you’re even slightly considering running the server on a Linux machine, then I’m going to assume that you know how to use the command line… because you’ll need to. Now, you could follow the manual process as outlined in the Palworld tech guide, and Palworld servers do seem easier to set up than others.

But there’s an even easier option: LinuxGSM.

LinuxGSM is a collection of game server management scripts that make it super easy to install, configure, update, and troubleshoot different game servers on Linux. These also work with Ubuntu, Debian, and RHEL-derivative distributions, and simplify the whole process immensely.

They include tools to let you run multiple servers on the same machine, backup tools, server resource monitoring tools, and (in some cases) consolidation of configuration files to make your life easier.

With LinuxGSM, installing a game server is as simple as this:

  1. Add a user
  2. Log in to said user account
  3. Download the install script
    • curl -Lo && chmod +x && bash pwserver
  4. And run the installer

Be sure to check out the Palworld page on the Linux GSM site to learn more about how to run and configure everything.

Should You Run a Dedicated Server or a Community Server?

Just to clear up any possible confusion: you can run your server in two ways. The Dedicated server option keeps your server private. Your fellow players will need to know the IP address of the server to log in via the game, as well as any server password you set up.

The Community server option makes your server visible to all in the list of community servers. If you don’t mind random people jumping in as they like, pick this option. Personally, though… I wouldn’t.

Why CyberGhost Is the Best VPN for Gaming

CyberGhost makes a great gaming VPN for several reasons. First and foremost is the massive network of VPN servers all over the world, which allows you to make sure you have the best possible connection to the game servers of your choice. 

We even have gaming-optimized servers in strategic locations, including New York, Paris, Frankfurt, and London. You can access these servers through the Windows VPN app.

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What is a dedicated server for Palworld?

A dedicated server is one that you control, in whole or in part. It can be a machine you run in your home, or a dedicated/virtual server rented from a hosting provider. With a dedicated server, you can play with only the friends you choose, and even customize lots of things about how the game is played to make it easier, or harder, or more chaotic.

How do I set up a community server on Palworld?

Pretty much the same way you’d set up a dedicated server, only you should choose the option to make it a community server. Just remember that this makes your server visible and available to anyone playing Palworld, and they can jump in at any time.

What is the best server hosting for Palworld?

The best server host is the one that gives you a good deal, meets the minimum requirements, and is close to you and all the people you want to play with… or is at least at a midway point.

What are the minimum requirements for a dedicated server for Palworld?

A 4-core CPU with a clock speed of 3.8GHz is a decent starting point, 16GB of RAM is the bare minimum, at least 30GB of fast SSD storage (I’d budget for more), and 64bit Windows or Linux. No, you definitely won’t be running this on a Raspberry Pi. Please note that the most important thing is almost definitely the RAM. You’ll want lots and lots of it.

Is Palworld a dedicated server-based game or co-op?

Yes. You can have your own dedicated servers, or you can play in a classic, simple co-op session. Co-op is limited to 4 players at a time, though, and as soon as the host is done playing, everyone is done playing. On the upside, it’s still a private session, free from the ravages of random players, and it’s free.

Why is a VPN good for Palworld?

The big one? Security. If you’re going to play on community servers or other people’s dedicated servers, they can just see your IP address pretty much whenever they like. Even if the server admins are cool, servers can be hacked, and your IP can be used to target you. A VPN can hide your IP address, which can help prevent DDoS attacks and the like.

What’s the best VPN for gaming?

CyberGhost VPN has console support, a massive network of fast VPN servers around the world, industry-standard security, no data caps, a proven no logs policy, 24/7 customer support, and a 45-day money-back guarantee. What’s not to love?

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