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 that users can connect to in order to play. For obvious reasons, these types of games require a reliable internet connection.
Some online video games take a different approach, allowing the user to set up their own dedicated gaming servers. These servers can be set up on a personal computer or within a server hosting solution such as a dedicated hosting server. By setting up your own dedicated gaming server, you have full control over the game software that is installed, as well as any modifications (mods) you may have installed to customize your experience.
In addition, you can 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 set up, 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.
If you want to connect to your favorite gaming communities, we recommend checking out Discord!