Thanks to Covid-19 and the restrictions that followed, many people have found themselves at home with a lot of time on their hands. Similarly, school-age children have noticed that their Minecraft game servers have been filled with a lot of new gamers. Co-incidence? Surely not!
As many people struggle to find a way to occupy their minds, many have turned to video games, and some for the very first time. As a result, dedicated servers to big MMO games (massive multiplayer online games for the uninitiated) are now reaching numbers that they never had before. So, how can those who are hosting game servers able to keep up without breaking the bank?
What is a game server?
Firstly, it’s important to know just how these massive online multiplayer games work. Let’s take everyone’s favorite blocky game Minecraft as an example. At any given time, so many gamers are connecting to the game to have a shared experience, and all of them have to be able to experience the same events and visuals of the game at the same time. This is done through the game server — the “central hub” through which all gamer’s data is uploaded to, and downloaded in real-time (otherwise known as streaming).
Anything slower is considered as lag, which is why it’s important for the game server hosting to have an outstanding connection to the internet. Furthermore, video game creators are reliant on gamers having the same exciting experience without exceptions, and so the hosts have to be powerful enough to handle the demand. Game developers are always on the lookout for servers that give the best performance, with little need for downtime (with international gamers, all day can be counted as peak times) and a configuration that is easy to setup.
How to find the best utilities.
For hosts who are hoping to set up their own dedicated servers, there is more to consider than the internet speeds at their physical location. Simply put, the relationship between the gaming industry and the average electricity provider is not too good. Video game server hosting requires a lot of electricity. Therefore, it’s paramount that the utility companies you select (especially the energy companies which will be literally powering your dedicated server are just as reliable as you aim to be.
That reliability may even be more important than the electric rates themselves. No one in their right minds will want any extra costs, but if a lower rate also means that you are prone to power outages or a complete change of the local power lines being imminent, then you should consider that cheap electricity rates are not the best choice.
Remember, downtime on any of your servers means that a lot of people will be unable to play the most popular multiplayer games — something which will not go down well on the Mumble boards! When you compare electricity online (using a site like iSelect) look beyond the energy costs and more towards the quality of service in the area. You’ll end up paying a lot less in the long run, as you’ll be providing constant service of your own.
How popular is video gaming?
According to recent surveys, console-less gaming is growing in popularity. MMOs tend to be played on PCs and laptops, although consoles can be used to access massive multiplayer servers. However, as consoles tend to be the choice for more linear or narrative-based games, then the trend away from the traditional video games shows that more gamers are heading towards needing more dedicated servers and fast.
If you build a reputation of providing a smooth and reliable service with little interruption and ease of access, you’ll be successful as a host. You may need to spend a little on utility companies at first, but you’ll make it back as you grow your hosting service.