Online gaming has only continued to grow in popularity over the past couple of years, and it shows no signs of slowing. With Esports on the rise too, better gaming performance and experience is absolutely essential within online multiplayer games. Enter game server hosting.
What is a game server?
Game server hosting is used to play and host multiplayer games over the internet. These servers can be local, with access via a local Intranet, or remote, with access internationally. Game servers constantly send and receive data in order to improve game performance and allow all players to take part in real-time with next to no lag.
Game servers improve the overall experience of gaming by allowing users to control their game environment, which makes them a popular choice amongst avid gamers.
Learn more: How to set up a Minecraft server
How do game servers work?
Unlike single-player games that only require your own computer to run, online multiplayer gaming requires something a little bit different. In order to connect with players locally, nationally and internationally – you’re going to need a game server.
Gaming servers are typically run on dedicated servers, with the server acting as an authoritative source of all events in-game. They ensure a smooth game playing experience for everyone involved, so that latency and lag is reduced to a minimum and gameplay can be experienced in real time. But how does a gaming server do this?
1. It establishes all communication
A game server is constantly receiving and sending data between players within the game. This includes data on where players are, as well as what pickups and equipment they have. Without an established communication link, each player would be experiencing something completely different, and the game would be unresponsive. Ultimately, it handles:
- Other player’s locations
- Engine physics
- Game assets (weapons, items etc)
2. It dedicates space
With a dedicated gaming server, you can also pick how many players can enter it, which in turn preserves resources – especially if you have a set amount of RAM.
It’s possible to build your own game server at home, but we recommend opting for a game server provider as they will likely have a better internet connection and an increased bandwidth. Not to mention purchasing all of the parts will set you back a considerable amount.
3. It keeps things local
Think big games like Fortnite or CS:GO where they have a big map – how does one know what’s going on everywhere all at the same time? They don’t. Your server will share what’s relevant within your vicinity, unless the player is on a totally different area of the map, where again, you’ll only be privy to their view and not the wider vicinity.
4. It only displays a render of the game
Dedicated game servers, surprisingly, don’t run the games themselves. Instead, they allocate GPU, CPU and RAM and instruct the machines on what to render as an output to players. This doesn’t just include what we see, it also includes rendering of game controls and the sounds you hear in-game too.
Why? Because it’s far more efficient and reduces the risk of lag, loss of connection and ultimately interrupted gameplay.
Learn more: ‘Hosting your own CS:GO server’
The benefits of using a gaming server
If you’re considering opting for a game server, but you’re not sure how it’ll benefit you, we have some advantages that might just tickle your fancy. So, let’s dive in.
The main reason many gamers opt for a gaming server is to improve performance. With the best hardware and a strong connection by your side, a gaming server (almost) guarantees no lag or crashes within your gameplay.
The whole point of multiplayer games is to play with lots of different users. With a game server, a high traffic of users are allowed to join without game experience being compromised.
Gaming servers provide a high level of security to all users connected, and this is because the admin has access to an increased amount of security features. Your game server provider will also put a lot of emphasis on cybersecurity and keeping your server secure, so they are always available to help out with this too.
Syncing and storage
There’s nothing worse to a gamer than losing your progress. Luckily, with a gaming server there’s no chance of this happening. A gaming server will protect your stored data as well as protecting the new synchronised data from current gameplay.
Now that we’ve explained how game servers work, maybe you want to find out more about the different types of servers available. In that case, our blog ‘why are dedicated servers better for gaming?’ is a great next read.