How much does it cost to run a game server?

Running a game server yourself provides needed control to engage in your best experience. The quest for specific server settings can be personal or more global.

The WoW Classic release date anticipation proves how much a different server feel can affect a game. If you choose to pursue building or renting a gaming server, you need some information.

The most important of which is how much does a server cost. Renting a hosting site has some advantages and disadvantages over building your own.

This guide will lay out the pros and cons and prices associated with each.

How Much Does a  Gaming Server Cost?

The cost of a game server depends on the game being run, number of users that will be connected to the server at any given time, and a variety of other factors. Here are a few basics you'll need to consider before you'll have a better understanding of the cost for running a game server:

  • CPU - Does your game require a high clock speed?  Would an Xeon E3 work better in this case or a lower clock speed CPU Intel (such as an Intel Xeon E5 CPU) with more cores?

  • RAM - Does your game need 8 GB, 16 GB? 32 GB? 128 GB RAM?  Are you hosting several game servers on the same machine? Do you need ECC RAM?

  • SSD or Hard Drive - The cost of Solid State Drives (SSD) has drastically lowered since their initial inception.  While hard drives will offer generally more storage space for your dollar value, SSD drives will offer much higher read and write speed.

  • Network - Most hosting companies will give you a 100Mbps port.  Server Mania offers dedicated 1 Gbps ports for every single dedicated client.

  • Operating System - Are you running Windows or Linux?  Do you need to scale quickly? Are you running a control panel or a custom home-brew solution?  Can you add capacity to your product without breaking the bank in software and operating system costs?  Does your game control panel carry a monthly license and support cost?

  • Disaster Recovery - What happens when data is corrupted or drive(s) are lost?  Do you have a local or remote backup? These types of incidents while they be rare or never happen to do, still happen (even with your computer or server at home).

By Server Type

Ideally, there are two server types to use for gaming. Which one is best for you?

Hybrid

A hybrid server is the choice for a small group of players working together. If you want to run around in a world with a dozen friends and have maximum control, this option provides enough power. Many a Minecraft server is a hybrid server.

Hybrids offer stable power and access without a lot of cost or frills. Costs vary by performance and set up with a range of $29 to $129 as you scale. This range matches with a personal server cost for storage or distributed applications.

Dedicated

Dedicated servers provide more power than a hybrid as they have a focus. If you intend to run the sever full time with frequent updates and plenty of players, this is the choice.

These servers are designed for developers working beyond a burgeoning mobile game or a low-resource retro game. Costs for dedicated servers fluctuate more as the hardware has a wider range of configurations.

To run a teardown and rebuild of something like CS Go can be done on a single processor 4.0 GHz server. That will price out at $119 a month for excellent performance.

Running a server for an MMO with expectations of hundreds of players in a server requires more processing. For configurations of this type, you would need heavy dual processors.

You also need more RAM but less overall processing speed. For maximum load, you would be looking at $980 in the upper range.

The trickiest servers to plan for are for battle royal games. These need the power to keep a hundred players accounted for without sacrificing speed for the impulse style gameplay.

Security and Updates

One of the larger costs associated with running a gaming server comes from security. DDoS attacks remain a constant threat because of the access a server provides to users.

Paying security professionals to look after a private system can cost as much as renting a hosted server.

Serve it Up

The question of, "how much does a server cost?" comes down to what is needed. The more speed and the more players, the bigger the price tag. Whether you are a developer or a player, look into game server hosting to power up your play.