We all love video games, especially with our friends. Add in funky customization options, private lobbies, and Mods, and it sounds like a party.

To keep the party running smoothly, the person hosting the game often must invest in a gaming server everyone playing can use. Additionally, the server must be strong enough to track other players’ movements and activity and sync the game so that everyone sees the same information at the same time.

As you may have guessed, there are expenses associated with building a game server, and you may be interested to know how much it costs to build a game server. 

The answer is, it depends. 

This article will take a closer look at different factors affecting gaming server prices and options for gaming servers for avid gamers.

What factors affect the price of a gaming server?

The cost of a game server depends on several different factors, including the following:

  • Game type. The complexity of the game plays a role in how much the gaming server will cost you. Games with extensive and complex worlds will require more RAM. For example, Minecraft, CounterStrike, and Rust will use a lot of RAM. Games that require more RAM will result in a higher server rental fee.
  • Players. How many concurrent players are invested in the game will also factor into whether or not you need a gaming server and how much the gaming server will cost you. The more players you plan on joining your server, the more CPU power you will need.
  • Storage (SSD or Hard Drive). The amount of storage you need also factors into the costs. The cost of Solid State Drives (SSDs) are relatively inexpensive today, the standard for most hosting companies, and offer higher read and write space. Hard drives, however, may offer more storage space for how much you pay.
  • Network. The network of the host and clients can play a role in cost. However, most hosting companies factor all client networks into the standard price package.
  • Website security software. The last thing you want is someone using your game for malicious purposes. When purchasing a server plan, it’s smart to opt for a plan, or purchase an add-on (like Sitelock from HostGator), that includes automated malware removal and defense against attacks. The costs are minimal but still account for part of what you’ll pay.
  • DDoS protection. Another type of security to consider is protection against attacks targeted toward specific websites and networks toward specific targets. At HostGator, DDoS protection comes free with a dedicated server.
  • Server type (VPS or Dedicated). When setting up a game server, you have different hosting options, including a VPS and a dedicated server. The costs associated with each hosting experience differ slightly, and what you end up using will depend on your gaming needs.
  • Hosting plan. Once you decide on a server type, you also have different plan options that offer different amounts of RAM, CPU processors, and disk space. Again, the costs of the plan you select will vary depending on your needs and gaming community goals.

When you factor in what game you’re playing, how many players you plan on joining the game at one time, your operating system, storage needs, network, plans for security, and more you’ll be able to get an accurate idea of how much it will cost to build a gaming server. 

Now, let’s take a closer look at server options for gamers.

What type of server do gamers need?

One of the most popular ways to build a gaming server is to rent space from a credible web hosting company, such as HostGator.

The ideal types of servers for gaming include a VPS or a dedicated server. Here’s a deeper dive into the differences of each server type, what you get with each type of server, and which gaming scenarios require what type of server.

VPS servers (hybrid servers) for a small group of gaming friends

A VPS server is an isolated server environment that’s hosted on a larger dedicated, but partitioned server.

In other words, a VPS works as its own independent server, offering each user root access and full control over their environment, but lives in a compartment on a dedicated server.

If you opt for a VPS, you have the same control you would have as if you were to rent a dedicated server. The main difference is you don’t have the ability to access the complete power of the dedicated server.

In terms of gaming, a VPS is an affordable and powerful server option for people who want to play with a small group of players at the same time.

If you don’t plan to scale your gaming operation and only want to make sure you and your gaming friends have enough power to play without interruptions, then a VPS is best for you.

A good way to gauge what type of VPS plan you need is to find out how many players you will have, how much RAM you need, and how much disk space you require.

Here’s a closer look at the VPS hosting plans from HostGator.

hostgator vps hosting plans

Dedicated servers for large gaming communities

A dedicated server is just what it sounds like. It’s a complete server that allows you to harness the whole power of the server for your game. 

When you select a dedicated server plan, no one else has shared access to a shared compartment or to any part of your machine. With a dedicated server, you’ll be able to run the server full-time, without interruptions, and host several players for whatever gaming purposes you want.

If you’re interested in growing a large community and hosting complicated games, then a dedicated server is a much better option for you than a VPS.

As with the VPS hosting options, there are dedicated hosting plans with varying degrees of CPU and RAM. The plan you need will depend on how many players you want to have play, how much RAM you need, and whether or not you plan to quickly scale your game.

Here is a closer look at the dedicated hosting plans from HostGator. The first thing you’ll notice is how much more CPU and RAM you get with a dedicated hosting plan over a VPS.

hostgator dedicated server hosting plans

Use HostGator to build your gaming server today

If you’ve been frustrated by lags in your game or want to create a robust online gaming community, there is no better time than now to look into renting a VPS or dedicated server.

As soon as you invest in a new hosting option, you’ll notice a better gaming experience for you, the host, and your players, the clients.

For a closer look at the features and benefits of VPS and dedicated hosting, check out HostGator’s hosting options now.

Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.