If you are looking to host game servers with your friends or for your gaming community, then there are two main problems that need to be addressed.
First, you want game server hosting that has the stability and speed required to run your game server smoothly.
Second, you don't want to spend an arm and leg on a dedicated server that won't perform.
Let's face it, the last thing you want is everyone complaining that they are lagging and their shots aren't hitting. No one will play on that server and they will never come back, resulting in a dead server.
This is where we step in
Over the last 20 years of hosting game servers for internet and LAN parties, we know what to look for in a good server.
In fact, we run one of the most popular CSGO servers in the world right now so we know what we are talking about.
Ok, it's time to get a little into gaming servers.
There are many different hosting companies out there that offer them various price points and features.
But how can you know which is the best?
Well if we were talking about websites for running games what would be so hard about finding one with stable uptime each month?
What exactly do your go-to sites need when they're looking at game server hosts - stability!
So before choosing any particular host make sure you read reviews from actual server owners (like us) who may have encountered some problems during their own run of developing a successful online gaming community using said, service provider.
Let's look at the top 10 game server hosting companies.
Right off the bat is what we consider the best game server hosting. Good prices, good hardware, well established.
Founded in 2007, Streamline Servers is the go-to game server hosting provider for any serious gaming community who wants to save time and focus on what's really important – getting players!
Unlike a dedicated server, when you start a server with Streamline, generally it is an instant server setup. This is in part to their software as well as their hardware.
All of Streamlines' game server hosting services run on their own dedicated servers sporting i7 CPS and SSD storage.
We have used Streamline Servers as our Ark game server host in 2015 and their hardware was able to perform flawlessly. Also, one of the local gaming communities local here is also using Streamline for their 64-slot CSGO server which has really good performance.
When it comes to DDoS protection, you can count on Streamline for game hosting. They are backed by Corero DDoS protection and are able to mitigate most DDoS attacks around the world without having your gaming server go offline or your player's gameplay sessions get interrupted.
Their best game server hosting packages start at $2.50 per month, but they have a better discount of 20% for game server admins who decide to purchase 1 year in advance.
You can order game server customizations such as extra slots and subdomains from streamline's website if needed using their easy ordering system and get those added onto your current running game servers so it works as an all-in-one package.
While you can host a single gaming server, sometimes you might want to host more games.
Well, you're in luck as Streamline has dedicated server options that you can rent from them. These start at $80 per month but the benefit of dedicated hosting means you're able to start and shut down game servers as you please.
Dedicated servers are great for a community of friends who might not play the same games together all the time, or just want the flexibility of starting game servers as they wish.
One of the added benefits of hosting a dedicated server from Streamline over another server company such as Hetzner for example is you have that amazing DDoS protection to help keep your server lag free.
If you have never hosted a game server before, then Streamline is a good place to start.
Streamline also has excellent customer support agents ready to answer game server hosting support requests whenever you need game server help.
If you have ever played Minecraft, then no doubt you have heard about Shockbyte before. They are the go-to game server hosting provider for Minecraft servers.
After 6,000 reviews, they're rated 4.6 stars on Trustpilot, and for good reason.
Shockbyte game servers are known to be one of the best game server hosting companies on earth, and their excellent technical support is part of that reputation.
Their customized packages come with all sorts of features for those who want them--from mod packs so you don't need to download mods manually as well as other cool perks like scheduled tasks or stats programs!
They use Multicraft CP, one of the easiest-to-use Minecraft Control Panels on the market today, although it's heavily modified for Shockbyte's own website.
Their game server hosting packages start at $2.50 per month for a Minecraft game server which is very affordable, but you have to pay for a dedicated IP or server location separately.
If you get stuck at any stage, Shockbyte support staff are always happy to help no matter the game server you have. They have knowledgeable game server support staff on standby if you ever need any help.
They also have an extremely helpful blog with lots of guides and content on how to do almost anything related to Minecraft.
When it comes to DDoS protection, Shockbyte uses the OVH network for most of what they offer. OVH is one of the leaders when it comes to DDoS-protected servers, however, there are some routing issues with OVH in South East Asia. This means depending on your ISP, you may have worse ping than other game hosting companies on a different network.
Even though you can't rent a dedicated server, they are still a great choice for those who want to get their Minecraft server. Don't forget you can also read our full Shockbyte Review.
Host Havoc is a game server hosting company located in Ottawa, Canada. Since their launch in 2013, Host Havoc has become one of the leading game-hosting companies in North America.
Host Havoc started as an ambitious startup looking to bring people around the world great web services at affordable rates--with unparalleled customer care that never sleeps!
They have highly experienced professional staff located across the globe to maintain their tried-and-true 24/7 support operation and provide reliable service with lightning speed for all of your hosting needs.
Not only do they offer game server instances, but they also offer web hosting, Intel and Ryzen VPS hosting, as well as dedicated servers. You can run your entire gaming community from Host Havoc with one easy-to-manage bill.
They have a wide selection of games on offer from the usual CSGO, Minecraft, and 7 Days to Die, but they have some more obscure offerings such as Hytale and Dark light.
Like the other game server hosting platforms we mentioned above, Host Havoc also has awesome DDoS protection.
The only thing we don't like about Host Havoc is all the servers they host besides Minecraft are hosted on Windows. For some games, this isn't that big of a deal, but for super competitive play in CSGO for example, you want Linux for the best possible hit reg.
They also don't have a large selection of server locations outside of the USA.
With that said, if you're not a professional gamer, this probs won't even matter to you. If you're looking to start a multiplayer game with a few of your friends, and you live in the USA, Host Havoc game servers is for you.
If you're the type of person who isn't technically minded, doesn't care what dedicated server hosting is, and just wants to play games with your friends, then Game Server Kings (GSK for short) is a great option.
Game Server Kings was created by gamers that were not really interested in hosting the major games that all the other hosting companies do, instead, they focus on more niche-specific games and Discord bots.
Even with their cheapest Discord bot plan, they offer 4 different database types which I thought was a nice touch.
Although their website says they are able to help you if a game server is not listed, when we asked support they said it was not available at this time. If that was something they did offer it would make them a more personal hosting company.
When it comes to hosting games, these guys specialize in Rust and it shows. Some of the biggest Rust networks in the world are hosted on their hardware.
Their best game server hosting packages start at $5 per game server, but they do offer a smaller package if you only need a few game slots.
Game Server Kings also has excellent customer service support agents ready to answer your game server hosting support requests whenever you need help with any kind of issue.
The biggest problem with GSK is they use the extremely outdated TC Admin software so managing your server is difficult.
Overall GSK is a great server host if you're not interested in a dedicated gaming server and just simply want to get up and running as fast as possible.
OVH is one of the leading providers of servers in the world. Their dedicated servers are available in 27 data centers throughout North America, Europe, OCE, and Asia.
OVH has a great service, which is an excellent alternative to traditional dedicated game server hosting. However, it's important for you to be proactive and self-sufficient when using this platform because sometimes things go wrong that can't be easily fixed by other people in the company. You are on your own.
It's for this reason that we only suggest using OVH if you're familiar with Linux or Windows servers and are technically minded. This is NOT for a beginner.
OVH dedicated servers are a great solution for people who need to run multiple games on the same hosting server.
Dedicated server prices start at $96 per month. But keep in mind, in a system like this you can run multiple game servers at the same time. That means if you're running multiple servers, then it might be a cheaper option for you.
You also get full KVM access to the dedicated server so you can edit the boost clock in the bios settings, change boot order and even install another operating system with ease.
On top of this, OVH is perfect for game hosts because their dedicated hosting has the GAME firewall. This means their DDoS protection is great without much intervention on your end.
This is where the good things I have to say about OVH end.
First is their support. It's pathetic and their wait times are even worse. Some people have reported having outages of up to 4 days on their tickets. Even if you get a ticket, the response takes at least 24 hours for some stupid reason.
There are also reports of customers with 40 dedicated servers, pretty much being told their issues are not worth fixing. If they are not going to fix an issue for a customer with this many servers, how do you think they are going to treat you with 1 server?
The final nail in the coffin is the control panel. It is very slow and dated. Even with the most recent update they did, it is still a pig in lipstick. It's still a pig.
OVH is more suited for advanced users as there is nothing about this platform that is beginner-friendly. Even when it comes to support you're usually on your own unless you can wait 24 hours between replies from their customer service.
Even with all the bad things, there is no denying this is the cheapest way to get into a DDoS-protected server. They also have every major server location you can think of. . Just make sure you have a backup hosting service if things go wrong.
If you're looking for a cheaper option than an OVH dedicated gaming server, then Vultr VPS hosting is the way to go.
Their pricing starts at just $5 per month and doesn't require any commitment on your part. Simply rent a server when needed with no long-term obligation!
Also as a total opposite to OVH, the control panel on Vultr is extremely easy to use for a new user, and the support is great.
Vultr's simple control panel software allows for easy management which comes complete with a clean dashboard and robust API so you can manage everything externally if you wish.
With a Vultr VPS, you can get ultra-low latency in games such as CSGO and this makes them perfect for competitive games.
The power of Vultr’s game server hosting solutions allows you to deploy high-quality game servers with a single click, that are deployed instantly.
You can deploy your virtual private server to multiple locations as Vultr has servers in data centers around the world.
Vultr is a server hosting company that supplies fast, reliable servers. They offer enterprise-grade hardware and the latest generation Intel CPUs to ensure 100% SLA with their customers.
The ability to connect your apps through isolated private networks, facilitating IPv6 network access as well as providing dedicated IPs per VM are just some of the features offered by this service provider; adding on top of these features an option to choose custom ISO images makes it all seem even better!
There are 2 main issues with Vultr.
The first is that it is a self-managed hosting service. So most games will need to be manually installed using something like Pterodactyl or LGSM. It is worth noting that they do offer one-click installs for games like Minecraft, but you still need to have some kind of knowledge to access server files.
The second is that their DDoS service is simply a NULL route. This means that if your server is attacked, you're simply going to lose connection to the server.
They charge you $10 extra per month for this luxury, otherwise, you risk having your service terminated.
The great thing about Vultr is if you use my link below, you can actually get $100 USD free credit to use on the platform and start your server for free!
We have a full review on Vultr that you can read here for a more in-depth look.
Nodecraft is one of the game server hosting providers that allows you to choose from a range of game genres. They offer game server hosting for Minecraft, Garry's Mod, Rust, and many PC games on the platform of your choice.
Nodecraft has a range of data centers to choose from and an impressive list of staff support workers, so there's never any downtime. They are mostly focused in the USA and Australia, but also have locations across Europe.
What is different about Nodecraft is you can actually "Save & Swap" game instances. This means you get the benefit of dedicated game server hosting where you can pick and choose the games you want to play if you get bored with your current game server.
This is a nice touch if you enjoy multiplayer gaming with friends, but don't want to have to buy new plans all the time.
Nodecraft uses a more modern control panel based on the foundations of AMP, a game-hosting panel.
While we don't like AMP as a panel, it seems Nodecraft has heavily modified its version of the control panel to make it usable.
With NodePanel 2, you can customize your own personalized gaming experience by tweaking settings like backups or FTP login ease for any of the supported games on Nodecraft's platform.
The best part about all this? It only takes a few clicks before you're online gaming!
Nodecraft is a well-versed game hosting provider with great server hardware and an in-house customer support team.
You can't go wrong when you choose Nodecraft.
If you have ever done a google search for anything Minecraft or online gaming, then chances are you have seen the Apex Hosting website before.
Apex Hosting is heavily focused on one game, and one game only, and that's Minecraft.
While they do offer other services, all of their content as well as one-click installers are geared towards Minecraft. Speaking of one-click mod pack installers, they offer over 15 pages of different modpacks you can easily install.
This is great if you don't want to learn how to set up a particular modded game host and just want to play.
Apex game server hosting is perfect if you're looking to host game servers that require Uptime, High-speed Internet Connection (More than 100Mb/s), and RAM(16GB+).
Apex Hosting offers a low-priced solution to hosting Minecraft servers, but their rates are still higher than those of other server hosts. But you get some added benefits such as a 7-day money-back guarantee if you're not happy with their service.
They have data centers across the world and have an extensive knowledge base covering every aspect of multiple games.
The downside of Apex is its customer service. There have been reports of people actually getting banned by their support staff for typing "dumb" into the support chat box. Not sending the message, simply writing it. This means the person could not get support for up to 72 hours.
Since then I have been unable to tell if they have resolved these issues as everyone I have spoken to has not had a problem with this game hosting company.
ScalaCube is most known for its free Minecraft server for every customer. And not just a basic video game server, but a 6gb instance with mod support!
While this is awesome, it does come with some limitations such as not being able to change the IP upload custom files, or set a server domain (after it is already set up). But that's a small price to pay for, well, FREE!
If you need access to these perks, their premium plans start at $2.50 per month and that is cheaper than most other game hosting providers on this list.
The same as Apex Hosting, ScalaCube also has a bunch of different modpacks you can install with one click but again, although they offer other games, their bread and butter are Minecraft servers.
We ran into a slight issue when we were deploying our server in that we had to reinstall the game server instance again. Apart from that, their control panel is easy to use in that you can edit files, set admins on your server, and more.
This is nice considering you don't need to go into the console to do everything when starting out.
Of course, they have all the things you have come to expect such as solid DDoS protection, and locations in North America, United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia.
All in all, ScalaCube is one of the top game hosting providers if you're looking to start a multiplayer server for Minecraft.
The last hosting service we're going to take a look at is PebbleHost. These guys are again, focused on the Minecraft hosting world.
PebbleHost has been a noticeable player in the already crowded game and voice hosting industry, but they have still managed to set themselves apart. Their servers are available for use by users from countries worldwide at an affordable price.
PebbleHost is a company that promises an efficient, smooth, and reliable gaming experience at an affordable service cost.
The reason why we like PebbleHost so much is the dedicated game server hosting. They have dedicated servers in data centers that start at $19.99 per month. Normally gaming servers cost at least $49.99 per month so this is refreshing to see.
Not to mention that, but they also offer that with DDoS protection, 99.9% uptime, 24/7 support, and more.
PebbleHost's easy-to-use control panel and powerful features make it a fantastic choice for hosting your server. You can easily set up, start, restart or even stop servers from the comfort of your own home!
The console also allows you to run other simple commands like track usage manages plugins and easily enjoy full FTP access.
When looking for a low-cost hosting provider, it is hard to beat the prices and perks that Pebblehost offers.
You can enjoy fantastic server hardware at any location of your choosing as well as an expert customer support team on hand 24/7 to help you out if something goes wrong with your account or website.
When purchasing dedicated game server hosting there are also some other factors to consider: cheap prices (which is important because if you pay more per month then you end up having very small profit margins), security, how good of a reputation they have, and their customer support service which is especially important for troubleshooting game issues as well as patching your server software.
Customer support service is something you should pay attention to when searching for game server hosting.
Their hours of operation should be 24/7 and all the game servers in their game server hosting packages must be covered by a game server hosting client area where you can purchase game server hosting time, renew game server hosting accounts or even manage game server plugins and other modifications from inside your account area at any time.
You might also want to look into how long they have been around in business if you are looking for a reputable company that will not disappear on you after 30 days with no product delivered unless it is stated openly beforehand.
This is one of the cases where, if they have been around for a few months, then it is best to stay away.
It's always good to talk with some of their existing clients before making the final decision as well.
The game server hosting packages you choose must be with the best game servers available. You want game servers that will not go offline unless there is an emergency and are being patched often to ensure maximum security, uptime, and gameplay quality.
The game servers should also have no more than a minimal number of game servers installed so your players can enjoy a clean game experience every time they connect to the game server from anywhere in the world.
Some game server hosts are known to oversell their servers, unfortunately, there is no way to tell if this is the case until after you have paid. With that said, some game server hosts will be happy to transfer you to another, less congested server if this is the case.
Game servers tend to cause technical issues so it's better to avoid them for now as you focus on other aspects of running your own games such as creating popular game websites or advertising for your new game server on social media sites or even TV ads if possible.
But if you do wish to game mod your game servers a game server hosting company can also provide some game mods for game servers that you can choose and install yourself or with the help of their customer support service.
We also know of a few "micro hosts" that claim to be running on a dedicated game server, when in fact they are running on a VPS-based server. This is a huge red flag.
Rest assured that everyone on this list is honest when it comes to their server types.
The monthly price is important because it determines how profitable your game will be in the long run.
The game server hosting packages must have affordable prices so you are able to pay for them every month without having constant financial issues and worrying too much about where to get money from next, because if you do then you won't be able to focus on marketing your games properly which means no new game players or even low traffic coming to your sites.
You want your game servers hosted somewhere that has cheap prices but don't be fooled by the game server hosting that has a lot of game servers for a very low price.
The game servers might be being shared between other game communities and game servers could suddenly go offline without warning which is not the best thing to happen when you need game servers online all the time during your game promotion periods.
The game servers you choose must also have features such as stats tracking, website uptime monitoring, and last but not least they should have a fast game server hosting support via email or ticket system.
You don't want too many emails coming in from frustrated players who cannot connect to your game server because it is down again. If you are using cheap game mods you also won't want to have a game server hosting support message blaming you for game server errors that are related to game mods themselves.
Can't decide on a good hosting provider?
If you’re looking for the best game server hosting that will do it all and save you money, Streamline Servers is one of the best options. We personally know of a few communities that use Streamline (including us) and they are in the top 10 CSGO servers in the world!
For the best-dedicated game server, then you can't go past OVH
Alternatively, OVH has some great prices on their servers as well but they are geared more towards businesses with multiple servers rather than someone who just needs a single hosting package. If you're technical and want to run a dedicated game server, then OVH is the choice for you.
If you want that full control self-hosting a game server has to offer, but don't want to spend lots of money, Then Vultr is our pick for the best game server hosting.