The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Hosting Your Own Custom Video Game Server
Hosting a custom video game server can be an appealing option for gamers who want more control over their gaming experience. However, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before diving in. Here is an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of hosting your own custom video game server.
There are plenty of dedicated game server hosting services out there that can help you open up your own custom game server hassle-free. However, this isn’t the only option. You can build your own custom server without having to purchase hosting plans from service providers.
Building one on your own has both benefits and drawbacks which you should be aware of before taking any further steps. Read on and familiarize yourself with what hosting your own custom video game server entails.
You own the hardware
When you rent a dedicated server from a provider, the hardware remains their property even after you pay an x amount of monthly fees. On the other hand, when you build a custom game server on your own, in your own space, you get to keep the hardware even after you stop operating your server.
Plus, reselling your hardware also becomes an option when you host your own custom video game server yourself which can help you recuperate costs once your server is no longer operational.
When you build your own custom game server, you’ll have total control over what hardware and software you’ll include in your setup. You can choose lower specifications if you’re only planning to host basic multiplayer games that do not require as much computing power or if you’re only planning to host a 20-slot server.
This will essentially help you reduce costs. You also have more freedom when it comes to addons and mods that you want to include in your server. Plus, you can choose any third-party security software to keep your server safe.
Having complete control over your custom server means you can create a gaming environment tailored to your preferences and values. You can set rules, establish a code of conduct, and even designate moderators to maintain order.
This level of control helps you foster a positive atmosphere and minimize negative experiences. Additionally, you can ban or kick players who are disruptive, abusive, or cheating, ensuring a fair and enjoyable gaming experience for all participants.
By choosing the hardware, network capabilities, and server location, you can optimize your custom server for peak performance. This allows you to fine-tune the server’s resources to match the requirements of the game and the expected number of players.
As a result, you can minimize latency, reduce lag, and avoid server overloads. A well-optimized server leads to more responsive gameplay, which can significantly enhance the enjoyment of players.
Hosting a custom server provides a platform for fostering a strong sense of camaraderie among players. By creating a welcoming and supportive environment, you can attract and retain like-minded gamers who share your interests and gaming style.
This can lead to long-lasting friendships and even collaborations in the gaming world. Additionally, a dedicated community can contribute to the growth and evolution of the game, with members offering suggestions, feedback, and creating custom content to enhance the experience.
Managing a custom server offers a unique opportunity to develop valuable technical skills and gain a deeper understanding of the game’s infrastructure. You will learn about server administration, networking, troubleshooting, and even game development. These skills can be applied to other areas of your life, such as your career or personal projects. Furthermore, being knowledgeable about the game and its backend can provide you with a sense of accomplishment and allow you to contribute more meaningfully to the gaming community.
Also Read: Building a gaming PC for streaming
You will need to know a lot about computers and server hosting in order to successfully create your own custom game server. You have to determine what specifications you’ll need in order to support the resource demand of your hosted game.
For example, if you’re planning to host an Arma 3 server, you’ll probably need a minimum of 2.4 Ghz for your processor, 2 GB for your RAM, and 32 GB of storage space (HDD/SSD).
No Customer Support
If you ever decide to build a custom game server of your own, you should accept that most of the time, you’ll have to do troubleshooting yourself. Or, you can always hire a team of technicians that can help you configure and maintain your server. Of course, this will incur additional costs.
Large initial investment
Building a custom game server will need a lot of funding for the purchase of hardware, software (anti-virus, firewall, server management tools, etc), regular maintenance, and future upgrades. An entry-level server will cost around $1000 to build. This excludes fees for regular maintenance.
Daily server monitoring
A rental dedicated server is monitored by the hosting provider to ensure that it stays up 24/7. This, however, isn’t the case with a custom game server that you built yourself.
You’ll have to do the monitoring yourself. You have to ensure that the incoming traffic isn’t too much for your server’s specifications and that the network is stable enough to allow smooth gameplay among your player base.
There’s also the risk of being attacked by griefers or getting infected with malware. You should be ready to deal with these problems anytime to keep your server up and running 24/7.
The expenses associated with hosting a custom server can be significant, particularly for high-performance hardware and fast, reliable internet connections. You may need to invest in a dedicated server, which can be costly to purchase, rent, or maintain.
Additional expenses may include electricity, cooling, and backup systems to ensure server uptime. Moreover, you may need to periodically upgrade your server hardware or internet plan to keep up with the increasing demands of the game or the growing player base.
Hosting a custom server can expose you to a range of security risks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, hacking attempts, or malware infections. These threats can compromise your server, disrupt the gaming experience for your players, and potentially lead to data breaches.
To mitigate these risks, you’ll need to invest time and resources in securing your server, including implementing firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular security updates. This can be a complex and ongoing process, requiring constant vigilance and a solid understanding of cybersecurity best practices.
Limited player base
Running a private server can restrict the number of players you encounter, particularly if the server is invitation-only or password-protected. This limitation can make it difficult to find players for less popular games, niche game modes, or specific time zones.
As a result, the server may not reach its full potential in terms of player engagement, and you may miss out on the diverse experiences that come from interacting with a wider gaming community. Additionally, a limited player base can make it challenging to sustain the server in the long run, as fluctuations in player numbers can impact the overall gaming experience.
Building your own dedicated server is a difficult task that will need a lot of time to prepare for, money, and technical knowledge. Making a mistake along the way can render your efforts and investments useless.
Before taking this path, you should make sure that you’ve done all the research needed and that you’re ready to commit to the impending responsibilities.
At the end of the day, spending your money on a hosting plan instead can be a smarter choice. No, you won’t get to keep the hardware, but you’ll be able to just focus on hosting your own server stress-free.