Best Game Server Hosting of 2021

Hosting your own game server has never been easier.

We found the top providers to take your server online.

Here’s what we did:

  1. We scoured the net for the most promising solutions.
  2. We signed up for and tested all the hosts.
  3. We put all the info in our comprehensive reviews.

Ready to rumble? Find the best game server hosting in the comparative reviews below.

Best Game Server Hosting in 2021

1. Host Havoc

Host Havoc is one of the leading hosts today for midrange and large gaming parties and public servers. Excellent infrastructure and server options, a great control panel, and airtight security, plus VPS and dedicated servers make it an absolute marvel. FULL REVIEW

  • Robust offer
  • Great control panel
  • VPS and dedicated servers
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Host Havoc is one of the leading hosts today for midrange and large gaming parties and public servers. Excellent infrastructure and server options, a great control panel, and airtight security, plus VPS and dedicated servers make it an absolute marvel. FULL REVIEW

Control panel

TCAdmin

Data centers

11

Security

Great

Starting price

$10/month

2. Streamline Servers

For the best-performing infrastructure for your gaming server try Streamline Servers. Get i9 7940x CPUs at up to a stunning 5GHz, 128 RAM, and NVMe SSDs, plus a specific tickrate, robust DDoS protection, and an excellent mod manager? FULL REVIEW

  • Great hardware
  • High tickrate servers available
  • Robust DDoS protection
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For the best-performing infrastructure for your gaming server try Streamline Servers. Get i9 7940x CPUs at up to a stunning 5GHz, 128 RAM, and NVMe SSDs, plus a specific tickrate, robust DDoS protection, and an excellent mod manager? FULL REVIEW

Control panel

TCAdmin

Data centers

21

Security

Great

Starting price

$4/month

3. GTXGaming

Over 150 games and meticulous attention to each one make GTXGaming the kingpin of game server hosting services. Powerful hardware across 20 data centers lets you purchase clan packages and deploy or shut down servers with a single click. FULL REVIEW

  • Massive collection of games
  • Robust hardware
  • 20 locations
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Over 150 games and meticulous attention to each one make GTXGaming the kingpin of game server hosting services. Powerful hardware across 20 data centers lets you purchase clan packages and deploy or shut down servers with a single click. FULL REVIEW

Control panel

Custom

Data centers

20

Security

Fair

Starting price

£7/month

4. ExtraVM

ExtraVM sells game-optimized virtual machines that give you 100% control. The provider runs top-notch hardware with firewalls hardened against DDoS attacks. ExtraVM is ideal for starting your game hosting journey on your own terms. FULL REVIEW

  • Great for independent users
  • Anti-DDoS tools
  • Fantastic hardware
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ExtraVM sells game-optimized virtual machines that give you 100% control. The provider runs top-notch hardware with firewalls hardened against DDoS attacks. ExtraVM is ideal for starting your game hosting journey on your own terms. FULL REVIEW

Control panel

User-installed

Data centers

5

Security

Excellent

Starting price

$3.50/month

5. GameServers

GameServers offers hosting in a whopping 36 locations, including places like Hong Kong and South Korea. Get a user-friendly control panel, free web hosting, and a discount on VoIP servers in straightforward deals. FULL REVIEW

  • Massive choice of servers
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Free website included
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GameServers offers hosting in a whopping 36 locations, including places like Hong Kong and South Korea. Get a user-friendly control panel, free web hosting, and a discount on VoIP servers in straightforward deals. FULL REVIEW

Control panel

Custom

Data centers

36

Security

Fair

Starting price

$3.95/month

6. OVHcloud

OVH provides the infrastructure for many other game hosts. Its incredibly powerful game servers with top-of-the-line firewalls are no longer off-limits. OVH is the perfect place for high-end projects, competitive servers, and even game hosting companies. FULL REVIEW

  • Powerful servers
  • Great for high-performance servers
  • Powerful reseller options
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OVH provides the infrastructure for many other game hosts. Its incredibly powerful game servers with top-of-the-line firewalls are no longer off-limits. OVH is the perfect place for high-end projects, competitive servers, and even game hosting companies. FULL REVIEW

Control panel

User-installed

Data centers

28

Security

Excellent

Starting price

$95.12/month

7. Pingperfect

Pingperfect has great geographical covers, a beginner-friendly admin panel, and automated offsite backups. You can start with all that with as little as $10/month and even try the service for free for 48 hours. FULL REVIEW

  • Free backups
  • User-friendly
  • Lots of data centers
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Pingperfect has great geographical covers, a beginner-friendly admin panel, and automated offsite backups. You can start with all that with as little as $10/month and even try the service for free for 48 hours. FULL REVIEW

Control panel

Custom

Data centers

21

Security

Fair

Starting price

$10/month

Dissatisfied with the choice of game servers out there?

Tired of playing by other people’s rules?

Set up your own server and reach out to freedom.

Join us as we give you a tour of the best game server hosting companies. We’ll show you:

  • The best host overall
  • The best host for games like Ark, Rust, CS: GO, ARMA 3, and more
  • The best host for beginners
  • The best host for experienced server admins

You’ll find all of that and more below. Interested? Good, then let’s jump right in.

Methodology

Testing out dozens of providers to find the best ones is no small task. This is what we at HostingTribunal did to pick out the best companies for our comprehensive gaming server rental list:

  • Keep an eye on the market—There are many players in the game hosting world, both big and small. We keep tabs on reputable companies so we can start our search there.
  • Pick out the most competitive offers—Providers come in all shapes and sizes. We picked the ones with the best features for as many users as possible. There are a few solid providers that sadly fit too small a niche to qualify, but they ended up in our honorable mentions.
  • Evaluate features—Features are the main thing to look for. They determine what games you can run, the game performance, supported mods, and more. We took a deep dive into each host’s offer and tested the features.
  • Determine ease of use—This mostly comes down to the control panel. Online game servers have a slew of different solutions. We picked the ones that make managing a server seem like an easy task.
  • Factor in the hardware—We looked into hosts that have solid geographical coverage and robust enough hardware to handle most gamers’ needs.
  • Test the support—You’ll likely need some assistance with your game server at one time or another. We contacted the support teams to see which ones know their way around game hosting.
  • Compare prices—We found providers that offer everything you need without requiring obscene amounts of money. You’re here looking for the best deals, after all.

You can find the best dedicated game server hosting in the dedicated reviews below.

Host Havoc
Host Havoc
Host Havoc

BEST PROVIDER OVERALL

Starting at
$ 10 /mo
  • Control panel TCAdmin
  • Data centers 11
  • Security Great
  • Starting price $10/month
  • Many servers
  • Choice of plans
  • Great for large parties
  • Instant setup
  • TCAdmin
  • DDoS protection
  • Great features
  • Few supported games

Host Havoc started in 2013 as a private hosting service provider in Canada, but it quickly opened up to the public and expanded its network. Today, it’s one of the strongest gaming hosts, with over 75,000 customers.

This is what it offers to gamers:

Specs and Supported Games

Host Havoc supports 25 of the most popular games, including ARMA 3, CS: GO, GMod, DayZ, and Minecraft. It’s not bad, but it pales in comparison to GTXGaming’s 70+ games.

The dedicated game server hosting covers 11 global data centers—seven in the States and four are in the UK, Germany, France, and Australia. It would be nice to see an Asian server too, but this is still decent coverage.

Host Havoc has great hardware. All services run on robust Intel Xeon CPUs, DDR4 RAM, and NVMe SSDs, making the host blazing-fast.

If you’re a beginner, you should go for standard game hosting. These plans are fully managed by the provider and you don’t even have to worry about the resources. Host Havoc will charge you based on the player slots you need for your dedicated gaming server.

The number of slots you can go for depends on the game. Some games start at around ten slots, though most require at least 20-30. The maximum number on the standard plans is 100-150, depending on the game.

This means Host Havoc is more suitable for larger gaming parties and public servers. If you want to play with two or three friends, you can find a cheaper option.

Host Havoc’s Minecraft, Eco, and Hytale servers are an exception. You can purchase between 1GB and 16GB RAM, which works for four to 250 players.

If you’re more technically inclined, Host Havoc’s VPS or dedicated game servers might be the right choice for you. These come with a bucketload of resources, an OS of your choice, and an optional gaming control panel. They are unmanaged, though, so server administration chops are required.

Host Havoc has a solid data center network with even better systems inside.

Features

Host Havoc sets up your server instantly. Well, a server is technically ready as soon as you sign up, but you still need to customize it, making yourself an admin and installing the mods you want to run.

Speaking of, Host Havoc’s video game server hosting integrates Steam Workshop, so you get access to thousands of mods. This is one of the most established mod repositories and it lets you install anything for free in just a few clicks. You can connect other modding platforms like uMod via the API.

The Host Havoc servers come with TCAdmin, which is the most established game control panel. It features FTP access, game and plugin updates, a map installer, player management, TeamSpeak, backup capabilities, scripting support, advanced monitoring, and much more.

The servers are protected from DDoS attacks, which goes a long way in ensuring service reliability. Host Havoc also follows other good security practices like employing 2FA for logins. Daily backups are there so you can roll back the private game server if something happens.

Host Havoc has a public pay system you can use to accept donations from players—nice if you want to monetize a server easily.

Pricing

Host Havoc charges you based on open player slots. The price to rent a game server depends on the number of players you want to support. Pricing varies somewhat between games as well and the rates taper down the more slots you purchase.

Most games start at around $0.50/month per slot and go down to $0.30/month per slot. This means the average starting server costs about $10-$15 per month, which is alright for about 20 players.

If you want a premium TeamSpeak server to go along with the game server hosting services, it’s available for $0.20/month per slot. Extra services like website hosting cost as little as $2.63/month.

Host Havoc is on the pricey side as far as starting costs go. Considering the service quality and the resources, though, the deals are fair.

If you’re unsatisfied with the service, Host Havoc has a 72-hour money-back policy. You can ask a few buddies to join your server and see how it handles actual traffic before committing.

Verdict

Host Havoc is one of the most complete game server hosting options. It provides all the features you might need, has plenty of room to scale, and maintains excellent infrastructure. It is undoubtedly one of the best dedicated game server hosting services on the market. Just make sure it supports your favorite game.

Streamline Servers
Streamline Servers
Streamline Servers

BEST FEATURES

Starting at
$ 4 /mo
  • Control panel TCAdmin
  • Data centers 21
  • Security Great
  • Starting price $4/month
  • Lots of games
  • 21 data centers
  • Solid hardware
  • Custom tickrate servers available
  • Robust anti-DDoS
  • Works with Tebex
  • Backups cost extra

Streamline Servers was established in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. It grew rapidly and today offers a range of game hosting services around the globe.

Let’s see what the notable ones are.

Specs and Supported Games

Streamline Servers has an impressive portfolio of nearly 80 video games. It covers all the big titles like ARMA 3, Ark, CS: GO, and Rust.

The host runs an impressive 21 data centers. The network covers eight facilities in the US, four in Australia, four in Europe, three in Asia, and one in South America and New Zealand. That’s amazing coverage of practically all gaming hotspots and particularly English-speaking regions.

But wait till you see the hardware used for the hosting game servers.

They run Intel i7-5960x, i7 7820x, or the robust i9 7940x CPUs. And as if that weren’t beastly enough, the techs use custom liquid cooling rigs that let them overclock the processors to 4.5GHz-5GHz.

Boost this with 64GB-128GB DDR4 RAM and NVMe SSDs and you can expect stellar performance.

You can choose the number of player slots, starting at around 10-20 for most games. The limit goes up to about 50-125. Streamline Servers calculates the resources you need and automatically assigns you a server for the game.

You can also specify whether you need extra RAM, faster CPUs, or priority CPU access. This allows you to heavily mod your game or design something crazy while maintaining peak performance.

Another awesome feature is the FPS gaming servers with a higher tickrate than the default 64. You can go up to 128 ticks per second, which is on par with the competitive CS: GO servers. Awesome if your goal is to achieve the smoothest game performance.

This is hands-down one of the most powerful setups available.

Features

Streamline Servers offers instant setup so you can begin playing as soon as you sign up. The provider can also migrate your existing game server for free.

It operates with TCAdmin—the industry-standard panel. This makes it easy to install add-ons, manage players and maps, work with server files, etc.

The game server rentals are protected with DDoS mitigation services from three robust providers—Black Lotus, Staminus, and NSFOCUS.

You can get daily backups for $3.75/month. This is kind of pricey, considering most providers just factor in the price into the base plan costs. But the MySQL database, which is required for many plugins, is available for free.

Streamline Servers’ mod manager is simply excellent. It only takes one click to set up your favorite mods and plugins.

Tebex.io—one of the top ways to monetize a multiplayer game server—comes integrated with the service. You can set up a full online store to sell perks and in-game items.

Streamline Servers also sells related services like TeamSpeak and Mumble servers. These are the two most popular voice communication tools for gamers.

Pricing

The prices mainly depend on the number of slots you go for. The per-slot prices range from $0.75/month per slot for Mordhau to $1.50/month per slot for ARMA 3.

Keep in mind some server locations might be more expensive, though this depends on the game. The minimum number of open slots also depends on the game you deploy.

Some add-ons for the game hosting services are paid too. Overclocked CPUs add 25% or 50% to the overall bill. Double RAM allocation is $11.25/month, while CPU priority access is at least $3.75/month.

The good news is that you can get a significant amount off your hosting bill by prepaying for a longer period. You can take advantage of the largest 20% discount by subscribing for two years.

Verdict

Streamline Servers has one of the most impressive infrastructures of all game server hosting companies.

You can even specify if you need overclocking or a specific tickrate, which hardly any other provider offers.

If you want a beginner-friendly platform that lets you access top-notch hardware, Streamline Servers has some of the best game server hosting solutions for 2021.

GTXGaming
GTXGaming
GTXGaming

BEST FOR SETTING UP NEW GAMES

Starting at
£ 7 /mo
  • Control panel Custom
  • Data centers 20
  • Security Fair
  • Starting price £7/month
  • Massive choice of games
  • Tons of integrated features for individual games
  • 20 data centers
  • Great hardware
  • Plans to switch to AMD Ryzen CPUs
  • DDoS protection
  • Clan packages
  • Long-term discounts
  • Some locations cost extra

GTXGaming is a UK-based game servers hosting company established in 2007. With 70,000+ users and a massive number of supported games, it’s one of the most influential game hosts.

Here’s what it offers:

Specs and Supported Games

GTXGaming has a colossal portfolio of supported games. With close to 150 different titles, it supports the most popular games as well as a bunch of obscure ones. If there’s a game with server multiplayer capabilities, chances are GTXGaming supports it.

You can seamlessly switch between games or run numerous online game servers on a single account. It’s great for parties or large gaming clans that like to enjoy a variety of games.

The provider lets you access a vast network of 20 data centers spread across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. It has better coverage than the great majority of competing companies.

The servers feature Intel i7 and i9 CPUs clocked at a minimum of 3.8GHz. GTXGaming is slowly implementing AMD Ryzen CPUs. They have comparable performance, but it’s always helpful to diversify.

The PC game servers run SSDs and are hooked up to multiple 10Gbps uplinks.

GTXGaming lets you purchase add-ons to get an extra boost. You can go for more robust CPUs, priority CPU access, and extra RAM. The addons can boost game performance and help you run larger maps.

If you’d like a bit more power or control, GTXGaming has excellent VPS and dedicated machines. You can preload these with TCAdmin for easier management.

Features

GTXGaming has a TCAdmin-based custom control panel, which is absolutely brilliant. It has not only specific features for individual server games but also for particular game mods.

The provider takes daily backups and exports them offsite—great for restoring your server if something goes wrong. You are free to download these to your computer if you prefer.

The DDoS protection offers an additional layer of safety from attacks.

A mod manager is there for installing mods, plugins, and APIs. The provider rolls out support for new mods and maps on the same day they get published, so you can run pretty much anything.

One shiny new feature that makes GTX one of the best game server hosting platforms is the mod updater, which detects new versions and updates them automatically. It can save you a lot of manual work.

You can easily manage games from the control panel. It covers scheduling messages, server restarts, updates, wipes, or RCON commands.

Some game servers include highly advanced features. Ark game server hosting, for instance, is optimized to run in clusters, i.e., multiple servers running different game maps. You can connect them and enable cross-travel between servers while letting players keep all in-game items. It really takes the Ark experience to the next level.

Game admins on the move might prefer the GTXGaming mobile control panel. You can work on your gaming server without even being on your home computer.

You can purchase DDoS-protected TeamSpeak servers for £0.25/month per slot. GTXGaming is a licensed TeamSpeak provider, so you can expect top-notch performance.

GTXGaming invests a lot into its servers and it shows.

Pricing

The exact price depends on the game and the number of slots. The big names start anywhere from £0.15/month per slot to £1/month per slot. This amounts to £7-£10 per month, which is a competitive price for a starter server. The good news is that more expensive games drop in price per slot on bigger servers.

The add-ons have competitive pricing relative to the best game server hosting companies. A RAM upgrade goes from £2.99/month for 8GB to £23.99/month for 32GB. The fastest CPU clock costs £5.99/month. NVMe drives are £4.99/month.

Keep in mind that some locations like Sweden, Finland, Moscow, and Brazil come with an extra fee. But if you prepay for a year in advance, GTXGaming will knock 15% off the price.

If you want to run a setup with multiple servers running several games, you don’t have to purchase different plans. Instead, GTXGaming offers clan packages that come with 60-300 slots and let you spin up or shut down servers as you need them. They start at £48/month—an affordable price for the extra flexibility.

One potential benefit is the free game server hosting trial… well, sort of. GTXGaming will deploy your server when you purchase it, but you have to pay the invoice early on the next day. If you time the purchase right, you’ll have a solid window to try out the service.

Verdict

GTXGaming has excellent infrastructure but what really takes the cake is the attention they give to each available game.

You get awesome features with all the brand-new game modes and maps supported. It’s the best dedicated game server hosting provider for gamers who want to keep up with the trends.

ExtraVM
ExtraVM
ExtraVM

BEST SELF-MANAGED VPS

Starting at
$ 3.50 /mo
  • Control panel User-installed
  • Data centers 5
  • Security Excellent
  • Starting price $3.50/month
  • Awesome virtual machines
  • Full flexibility
  • Separate Minecraft servers available
  • Very affordable
  • Powerful DDoS mitigation
  • Only unmanaged servers
  • Only five locations with game servers

ExtraVM is a host based in Texas. It focuses on virtual machines and strong protection, so it’s more high-end than most game server hosting options.

If you need something a bit more robust, check out ExtraVM’s offer.

Specs and Supported Games

ExtraVM spans ten locations, but only five of them have game hosting servers. These are individual data centers in the US, Canada, the UK, Singapore, and Australia.

ExtraVM’s hardware is nothing short of impressive. The servers are available with a range of CPUs, including robust AMD Ryzen 3950Xs with 16 cores and 32 threads, boosted to 4.7GHz. They also have 64-128 GB DDR4 ECC @ 2400 Mhz, NVMe SSDs, and a 1Gbps uplink.

Suffice to say, this is one beast of a server for games.

Its plans start at 512GB RAM, 1 CPU core, and 6GB storage. You can scale up to 4 cores, 10GB RAM, and 120GB storage. If you need something even more robust, its dedicated servers share a similar configuration but with more resources.

Features

At this point, you might be wondering why we haven’t mentioned the list of supported games yet.

Well, ExtraVM doesn’t offer managed game hosting like the other best dedicated game server hosting providers. The base infrastructure is optimized for gaming and the host has various operating systems ready to install. But beyond the base setup, most things are up to the admin.

In other words, you would have to manually install the game control panel and all games. The same goes for maps, mods, and server technology optimization. This makes ExtraVM optimal for experienced admins that know how to configure a multiplayer game server correctly.

There is one option for managed hosting—Minecraft servers. If you’re interested in those, you can check out our best Minecraft hosting reviews.

What earned ExtraVM a spot on this list are its anti-DDoS tools. The host has four layers of protection dedicated specifically to this.

The first is the pre-firewall, which recognizes and blocks common attack patterns. The network firewall is a bit more flexible, as it can be configured to block custom protocols, IP ranges, ports, and more.

Then there is the game firewall. It is designed specifically for stopping application-level attacks on dedicated game servers running VoIP programs and most games. Such attacks are some of the most nefarious and difficult to deal with, so this is a fantastic tool.

Lastly, ExtraVM’s native shield and armor firewalls are there to stop amplified attacks—always good to have that extra protection.

So if you’re having DDoS issues on your server and know your way around a backend, ExtraVM has an attractive toolset.

Pricing

ExtraVM has straightforward pricing. There are nine game VPS plans, each with its own resources and price. Here are a few of the dedicated game server hosting offers to give you an idea of the setup:

  • 512MB RAM, 1 CPU core, 6GB SSD storage—$3.50/month
  • 1GB RAM, 1 CPU core, 13GB SSD storage—$6/month
  • 4GB RAM, 2CPU cores, 52GB SSD storage—$24/month
  • 8GB RAM, 4 CPU cores, 104GB SSD storage—$48/month

These go up to 15GB and $90/month. The prices are overall reasonable for an unmanaged VPS.

The provider extends a 72-hour refund policy. This allows you to do a fair bit of testing on your server.

Verdict

If you have some server administration experience and don’t want to deal with annoying DDoS attacks, ExtraVM is the right choice for you. Since the plans are unmanaged, you can take advantage of some rather affordable rates.

It’s the best dedicated game server hosting for technical users.

GameServers
GameServers
GameServers

BEST GLOBAL PRESENCE

Starting at
$ 3.95 /mo
  • Control panel Custom
  • Data centers 36
  • Security Fair
  • Starting price $3.95/month
  • Massive server network
  • 127 games
  • Very beginner-friendly
  • VoIP server discounts
  • Unknown hardware specs
  • Leaves some of the management to the user

GameServers is one of the established game hosting services, founded in the distant 2004. Remember Vanilla WoW and Half-Life 2? They were released the same year.

But the host came a long way since the olden days and now boasts over 500,000 clients.

Let’s see how it manages to compete with the cutting-edge hosts of today. 

Specs and Supported Games

GameServers supports a whopping 127 games. This covers practically all of the big titles.

If you think that’s impressive, wait till you hear about GameServers’s network of 36 facilities. It offers the best game server hosting coverage of all continents save for Antarctica. It even has facilities in elusive locations like Hong Kong, South Africa and one of the largest gaming hotspots—South Korea.

GameServers doesn’t really factor server resources into the equation when letting you pick out a server. You can go for a specific number of player slots and the provider will assign you enough resources for it. The slots can range anywhere from 8 to 200, depending on the game.

Unfortunately, GameServers is kind of secretive about the hardware specs of its game hosting servers. We tried contacting the provider about it, but the staff disclosed no info, so the precise hardware remains unknown.

Features

GameServers activates each account instantly.

Once your server is set up, you get to use GameServers’s proprietary control panel. It’s user-friendly and it lets you manage various aspects of your server, such as switching games, installing mods, configuring games, managing players, etc.

Unfortunately, a lot of things are up to the server owner, like managing backups. GameServers includes the most important features into the panel but doesn’t really pack it with extras.

GameServers has a few unique options when it comes to choosing a gaming server. Many games support running a private server as opposed to a public one. Games like CoD let you choose between unranked and ranked servers too.

A nice bonus is that GameServers includes a free website with all plans—great for promoting public servers. You also get 50% off a VoIP server. The options include Mumble, Ventrilo, and TeamSpeak.

Another cool option is setting up a redirect server. It stores resources like maps for users to download before joining the game and eases the load on your multiplayer server.

Pricing

GameServers pricing is straightforward, though the price per slot varies between games. The costs range anywhere from $0.24/month per slot to $2.95/month per slot. Most games fall somewhere under $1/month.

GameServers has a five-day money-back policy. If you’re unhappy with its services, you can request a refund, no questions asked.

Another cool option is the completely free servers. GameServers makes some of its powerful servers available every day, so anyone can claim them for up to three hours and see how they work.

Verdict

GameServers has more points of presence than any other of the top game server hosting providers. Plus, it has a great variety of games.

That said, the lack of certain features and critical info makes the provider look a bit dated. It’s a solid choice if you want to target specific locations, although there are a few more reliable hosts.

OVHCloud
OVHCloud
OVHCloud

BEST FOR COMPETITIVE SERVERS & SERVER PROVIDERS

Starting at
$ 95.12 /mo
  • Control panel User-installed
  • Data centers 28
  • Security Excellent
  • Starting price $95.12/month
  • Massive dedicated servers
  • 28 data centers
  • Hosts data for some of the biggest games
  • Rboust infrastructure
  • Floating IPs supported
  • Massively scalable
  • Reasonable prices
  • Very costly for the average user

OVHcloud is one of the leading cloud providers and offers a variety of services to 1.5 million customers. If its services look a bit familiar, that’s because OVHcloud actually provides the infrastructure to many other game hosting providers.

If you want to eliminate the middleman and rent a game server directly, OVH might be a good fit for you.

Specs and Supported Games

OVHcloud has a massive range of 28 data centers and six other points of presence. As the company is French-based, it has the strongest presence in Europe, though there’s a good number of data centers in the US and two in Asia-pacific.

The provider sells a range of dedicated gaming server solutions.

They are equipped with AMD Ryzen 5 and 7 series and Intel i7 of the sixth and seventh generation. The Intel CPUs come with the standard four cores, while the AMDs can get you up to eight cores running at an impressive 4.5GHz. Additional specs include 32GB-64GB RAM, NVMe drives, and up to 1Gbps public bandwidth.

The provider only sells full-on dedicated servers optimized for gaming. It’s a good choice for high-end projects like competitive servers, high-performance game clusters, or starting your own game hosting company. In case you want a small server for games to play with a ten-man party, you might want to look into some of the lower-end providers in these reviews.

Features

OVH focuses on handling the infrastructure and optimizing the servers, so what you run on them is up to you. You can set up any game or game control panel you prefer and go from there.

You do get some assistance, as OVH can deploy popular Linux distributions, Windows Servers, and hypervisors like Citrix Xen Server, VMWare, or Hyper-V.

Probably the most important thing is its optimized firewall. It runs a pretty standard filter for all suspicious traffic. You can configure a network firewall to block out any custom IP ranges, ports, or anything else to keep your gaming host server air-tight. Furthermore, OVH’s application firewall crushes any layer 7 DDoS attacks to your game.

Lastly, the Shield and Armor tech is there to stop extremely strong attacks using amplification techniques.

You get a free dedicated IP address with your server, which is standard. If you need extra ones, you can purchase them for a small setup fee of $2.24. OVH allows up to 256 IP addresses per server and lets you group them into blocks for easy management.

OVH supports floating IPs (aka failover IPs). They are IP addresses you can easily redirect from one multiplayer server to another. The tactic has several advantages, like adding failover within a server cluster, seamlessly rerouting users to perform updates, or distributing high traffic between multiple machines.

You get 500GB of free backup storage per server within OVH’s cloud platform. If you need to store more data, you can upgrade it to up to 10TB per server, which is enough to export practically everything from your server offsite several times.

The storage is accessible solely through your server’s IP address, which makes a world of difference in terms of security.

Pricing

OVH has a few different dedicated game servers you can go for. That said, the provider allows for a bit of customization during the checkout, like adding extra RAM or storage drives. You end up with quite a bit of flexibility. Let’s cover a few standard options.

A server with AMD Ryzen 5 3600X CPU, 32GB RAM at 2666MHz, and 2x500GB NVMe RAID storage would cost you $95.12/month paid annually. You can prepay for two years and get an even bigger discount—$90.11 /month.

Paying monthly is only marginally more expensive—only $100.99/month, but OVH adds an $88.99 setup fee to the first invoice.

The larger gaming servers aren’t that much more expensive. AMD Ryzen 7 3800X with 64GB RAM and the same amount of storage costs $137.40/month. We tried upgrading this server as much as possible, doubling the RAM and storage and adding 4TB in HDD storage on top of that. The end cost came out at $192.36/month with the yearly subscription, which is okay for the configuration.

Overall, OVHcloud offers reasonable prices for dedicated servers.

Verdict

OVHcloud is the leading provider for owners of more ambitious projects, like high-performance competitive servers and game hosting companies. If you know your way around a CLI and want to try your hand at setting up a robust game server, OVH might be the best game server hosting company for your needs.

Pingperfect
Pingperfect
Pingperfect

EASIEST FOR BEGINNERS

Starting at
$ 10 /mo
  • Control panel Custom
  • Data centers 21
  • Security Fair
  • Starting price $10/month
  • 160 supported games
  • Large data center network
  • Decent servers
  • Automatic backups
  • Web hosting included for free
  • Expensive add-ons
  • Migrations are paid

Pingperfect was established in 2013, which makes it relatively young by gaming server hosting standards. But eight years later, it spans six continents and is a significant contributor to the eGaming industry.

Let’s check out how well its servers work.

Specs and Supported Games

Pingperfect supports over 160 games, which makes it the indisputable winner of this category.

The provider has an impressive 21 data center locations. The bulk of them is in North America, though you can access five in Europe and individual facilities in European Russia, Brazil, Singapore, South Africa, and Australia. That is indeed enough to get you perfect ping all around the world.

The game server rentals feature Intel Xeon E-2xxx series CPUs, 64GB RAM, and Samsung Evo SSDs.

The host sells its plans on a per-slot basis. You do get handy extras like access to more CPU cores (the default is two), extra RAM, or gaining priority CPU access. Those are great add-ons if you want to get a performance boost or mod your server more heavily.

Pingperfect makes it easy to sign up and there are a few cool options to provide you extra power.

Features

The top game server hosting runs a customized version of TCAdmin. The panel is easy to use and it lets you perform or schedule various tasks like adding mods, rebooting the server, running Steam Workshop updates, etc.

You can also see various stats and manage the actual games.

The provider exports backups of your server automatically offsite. That’s great insurance in case something happens to your server.

The migration service costs $10.86. This is not ideal, as many providers offer free gaming server migrations.

You can purchase Mumble or TeamSpeak servers to go with your game hosting. They can be easily managed from the same control panel.

One nice addition is that Pingperfect includes web hosting with 1GB storage and 10GB bandwidth for free. It’s enough to set up a small site to promote your server.

The provider does mention DDoS protection, but there are no further specifications anywhere on the website or in the community forums. Although there’s no reason to doubt Pingperfect’s word, most other providers give you full specs of the anti-DDoS measures.

Pingperfect has a fairly standard offer but not enough features to compete for the best dedicated server hosting for games.

Pricing

Pingperfect has a standard per-slot pricing model. Servers can start anywhere from $0.20 to over $1 per slot. The end cost is usually around $10-$15 per month for a starter server.

There are a few discounts you can take advantage of—you can knock 15% off the price by paying for a year in advance. Pingperfect will also take a bit off your fees if you agree to put its own branding on your server.

This is hardly worth it, though, as the discount is less than $1/month off.

If you want to check its performance for yourself, you can request a 48-hour free gaming server trial.

Pingperfect has decent pricing for small to midrange servers, but you can find better deals for larger endeavors. What really drives down the value for Pingperfect are the high add-on costs combined with nickel-and-diming you for standard services.

Getting all the add-ons would add at least $50/month to your invoice. At that point, you might as well go for a full VPS. Pingperfect also charges extra for priority support and even hosting on SSD drives. In contrast, most providers implement SSDs by default.

The base costs are reasonable, but the add-on fees can pile up.

Verdict

Pingperfect has some good qualities like a broad server network and a user-friendly panel. That said, getting the most out of its gaming server hosting services can be a bit pricy. Try to play around with the configs and see if you’re okay with the price before jumping into the service.

Best Game Server Hosting Providers That Didn’t Make the Cut

That covers the top game hosting providers. Now, let’s go over some of the dedicated game server rental services with solid offers but didn’t quite make it to the top seven.

GameServerKings—GameServerKings is a decent hosting and has particularly strong options for Rust servers. It also has very nice Discord bot hosting. That said, the provider currently only supports eight games, making it unsuitable for most users. If you want to play Rust or 7 Days to Die, for example, feel free to take GameServerKings for a spin.

FastHost—FastHost sells dedicated servers optimized for gaming. Unfortunately, while decent, the provider just can’t fully compete with giants like OVHcloud.

GameHosting.co—GameHosting.co provides support for 22 games across three data centers. The offer includes Windows-based servers, solid hardware, and DDoS protection. The host does the job, but it has too few unique advantages to make it to the list of the best game server hosting of 2021.

Vilayer—With insane hardware, over 40 points of presence, and a ton of supported games, Vilayer looks great on paper. However, user reviews reveal the other side of the coin. Frequent outages, unresponsive support, and anti-DDoS systems failing. It’s not the most promising feedback you can see when looking for a game host.

What Is Game Server Hosting?

There are many ways to play a multiplayer game and hosting a dedicated game server is certainly one of them.

The idea is that a player or a game developer hosts a game server. Players then join in and enjoy the game together. The multiplayer server is there as a mediator between clients, to do the heavy calculations, and to be the authoritative source of events.

If you’ve played a game like CS, WoW, or Minecraft, you’ve certainly joined at least one game server. It is simply one of the most popular ways to play with other people.

Now, a game server has to be set up somewhere. In some cases, the game developers take care of this. But many games are designed so that enthusiasts can set up their own servers with their own rules.

This is where the best game server hosting companies come into play. They rent you out resources and all the tech you need to set up your own game server. You can install any game you want, get players in, and be your own boss, at least in the gaming world.

Let’s cover some of the reasons why hosting a game might be a good idea.

The Benefits of Running a Game Server

There are a few benefits to buying game servers as opposed to using someone else’s.

The thing that attracts most people is the control it gives them. You can run any game with any mod and allow anyone in. This means you can mod the bejesus out of your game or play the same CS map 500 times in a row.

You can run a private server or kick anyone who doesn’t adhere to your guidelines. It’s your house, your rules.

A side benefit is the improved game performance. Many servers maintained by other players perform poorly, so purchasing a gaming host server with enough resources can be a great alternative.

Another awesome aspect of multiplayer gaming is building a community on your servers. Some of the platforms out there really bring together players from all around the world and form tight bonds between them. Most gaming providers also let you set up a Mumble server and, combined with Discord, the possibilities are endless.

If that’s not enough, you can try to earn a few bucks in the process. Some of the options are running pay-to-enter or subscription game hosting servers, running ads, or selling in-game content. Other servers earn through donations or sponsorships. If you spend a lot of time gaming, why not earn a few bucks while you’re at it?

If any of this sounds good to you, let’s see how to pick a game server host that fits your needs.

How to Choose the Best Game Server Hosting Provider?

There are plenty of choices out there—servers come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s what to consider when looking for the best dedicated game server hosting.

Data Centers and Hardware

Not all providers are built the same. Some have a vast network of data centers with state-of-the-art hardware, while others run ten-year-old servers with HDD drives.

It’s a good idea to first make sure the provider has points of presence in all the right locations. The closer the players are to the server, the fewer ping issues you’ll have to deal with.

Make sure to check out the hardware. It is important to see if it has SSD storage or runs on old HDDs. The former is significantly faster, which is a big deal for game hosting. Also, check the CPU model, uplink speed, and other system specs relevant to dedicated server gaming.

You’re paying for it, after all, so you shouldn’t have to deal with prehistoric hardware.

Resources and Player Slots

This is the main thing you should look out for. The amount of resources completely determines what game and mods you can run and how many players can join in.

The exact CPU power and RAM requirements depend on the game. For instance, you can run Minecraft on as little as 1GB RAM, but Rust requires at least 4GB.

Many game server hosting services get around this by letting you access as many resources as you need but charge for open player slots. This can be an easier alternative if you know how many players you can expect.

Just get enough to support your game and you’re good to go.

Control Panel and Features

All the shiny features you get are what separates managed game hosting from running a server. A good provider should give you everything you need to run a server effectively without even looking at a CLI.

The control panel goes a long way here. It should let you deploy various games, connect a database, manage backups, view files via FTP, access the Steam Workshop, integrate TeamSpeak, and a whole lot more.

TCAdmin is possibly the most popular gaming server hosting panel mainly because it has great features and is easy to implement. That said, there are solid modern alternatives like Pterodactyl Panel or GSP-Panel. If you do want to run Minecraft exclusively, you’ll likely be using Multicraft.

However, a lot of the features depend on the provider. The support for various games, server migration services, and instant activation vary by host.

Some providers offer extra services with your game hosting, like website hosting, IP addresses, email hosting, Mumble servers, etc. These can be handy additions if you want to build a community around your game server.

Security

Cybersecurity is crucial in video game server hosting. After all, you don’t want your personal info or that of your players compromised.

A provider should be encrypting everything on its servers so no one can access sensitive data. A firewall and malware prevention systems are also a big step in the right direction.

DDoS protection is an essential addition to your toolkit. It’s extremely easy for disgruntled players to take revenge by DDoSing a game server, which is one of the biggest nuisances in online gaming. Having protection from such attacks is practically a must-have.

Support Quality

Support is there to help you out if you can’t figure out a certain feature or if there’s a problem with the gaming server rental. No server admin knows everything, so it’s always good to have a few experts backing you up.

Look for a company with 24/7 support. Don’t be afraid to try out the live chat or ticketing system before you sign up. If you can find a provider with an active Discord community as well, it’s a bonus.

Reputation

Online gaming is all about the community, so why not use that to check what other admins say about a provider? Review sites and community platforms like Reddit can be an awesome resource. You might find out which game hosting services work smoothly and which ones fail.

Pricing

Running a game server is a ton of fun, but it can be taxing on your bank account balance. No one will blame you if you price shop a bit.

Now, the price often corresponds with the features and resources. You can’t look for a dedicated server that can handle hundreds of players and expect to pay ten bucks.

Make sure to check out if a provider has a free dedicated game server hosting trial or a money-back policy. This lets you test out the platform without spending a dime.

The best strategy is to consider everything you need and make a list of a few potential candidates. You can then work out a compromise between getting the shiniest features and keeping down the cost of ownership.

Bottom Line

That covers the main factors you should consider before picking a game server hosting company. If you need a place to start, check out the reviews above for some solid options.

Wrap Up

That concludes our reviews of the best game server hosting choices. Now that you know the top names in the industry and what to look for in a game host, you are ready to begin your journey. Feel free to check out any of the platforms above more closely and try hosting your favorite game.

FAQ

Does a game server need a graphics card?

Usually, no. A server takes care of things like location tracking and various other calculations. This is mostly reliant on the available RAM and the CPU. Meanwhile, all the graphics rendering is done client-side, meaning there’s no need to have a powerful GPU on the server.

How much do gaming servers cost?

It really depends on the game, the number of mods, the number of players accessing the multiplayer game server, and the hosting provider itself. A basic Terraria or Minecraft server might go for $5-$10 per month, but other games might cost a tad more.

A high-end server that hosts multiple games and numerous players costs as far as several hundred dollars. It all depends on what you need.

What is a dedicated game server?

A dedicated game server is a machine running server gaming software. It essentially controls the game and lets players join remotely from their own machines. If you’ve ever played an online multiplayer game, chances are it was hosted on a game server.

It’s simply a computer that facilitates the multiplayer mode without letting any of the players abuse the system. If you’d like more info on this, you can check out the in-depth explanation above.

Can you make money hosting game servers?

There are some strategies for monetizing online game servers. For example, if you have a popular server, you can charge for access, premium content, or in-game items. You can also run ads or sponsorships. Users might even donate money to you if they like what you’re doing.

That said, it’s tough to cover hosting costs and earn a lot of money over that. It can make a nice side income, but it’s tough to get rich without a gargantuan server network.

What hardware do you recommend for the best dedicated gaming server?

It depends on what you want to play. Something like Minecraft can run in a basic virtual machine with 1GB-3GB RAM, so you might not even need a whole computer. If you want to rent out a full machine, though, you can certainly get dedicated game server hosting with Intel Xeon series E3 or E5 or AMD Ryzen 3000 series.

Around 32GB-64GB RAM is standard for such a server, though you can certainly add more. Keep in mind such high-end setups would cost you at least $90/month, if not more.

Where can I host a game server?

There are plenty of providers offering hosting for game servers. The solutions usually let you set up a game of your choice in a few clicks. Most of them are suitable for beginners.

You can manage everything from a user-friendly control panel. This allows you to focus on the game instead of dealing with the server administration. If you want to find out more, check out the best game server hosting choices above.