Aug 23

Dedicated vs Shared Game Server Hosting – A Practical Comparison

game server hostingSo what is the difference between a Dedicated and a Shared game server? Price is not the only difference, but do you really need a dedicated server? After a closer investigation I realize that sometimes a shared server will do the job with great results.

It all depends host it self and then on the game

For the majority of the games, like Counter-Strike, Terraria, Starbound or even Garry’s Mod a shared host will do all what it is supposed to do. The only problem is the host itself and the limitations each of them adds with the server. For example a host will give a maximum slot capacity of 10 players, while in a dedicated server there is no such limitations. Other would be the RAM share, shared hosts share the RAM with all servers. For example if they have 20GB of RAM, it will be shared among all their customers, in contrast with a dedicated server where all 20GB will be yours to use.

Where to host my game server and how much will it cost?

You won’t have any issue running on a shared host popular games like:

  • Counter-Strike
  • Terraria
  • Starbound
  • Garry’s Mod
  • Minecraft
  • Arma 1&2
  • Americas Army – Proving Grounds

On the other hand games like:

  • Dayz standalone
  • Rust
  • Arma 3
  • Battlefield 1

Require more powerful hardware, that only a dedicated server can offer. The cost of a dedicated server is about $70 per month. Be aware, you must have the technical knowledge in order to setup the server correctly.

As about the shared hosts price will vary, anything from $5 to $50 depending the game. Nazeboo is a server hosting comparison site (very helpful if you have no time to make research). Picking the cheapest host is not always a great idea, but I let that on you.

The Best choice is always a dedicated server. Unfortunately not everyone can afford one, and not everyone knows how to set it up. Shared hosts are necessary and I’m glad they exist. Might not ever match up the power of a dedicated host but will satisfy your basic needs without any effort from your side.