Online games are highly popular nowadays. All of them work through servers that provide games with the perfect connection to communicate with each other. Did you know that you can create your own server for Counter-Strike, Minecraft, and many other games? Read on to find out how to do it.
What is a gaming server?
A gaming server is a running application that can process requests from a 'client', in this case, from a video game that the user has installed on his PC or game console. Gaming servers do not render graphics but simply transmit data so that gamers can enjoy the game simultaneously.
The big video games have many public servers. The closer the gamer is to the place where the server is located, the more efficient the process is and the less you notice the 'lag', that is, the difference in speed that bothers you so much when you are in the middle of a game.
Unlike web servers, gaming servers are constantly updated, hundreds of times per second, so that all connected users are synchronized at all times, both in image and sound. This also improves the security of all connected devices and the game itself.
The list of games that use servers and that allow players to create their own is enormous. Among the best-known titles are Counter Strike Global Offensive, Minecraft, DayZ, Fortnite, Killing Floor, GTA 5, DOTA 2, Call of Duty, Team Fortress or PUBG, all of them with millions of users playing constantly.
How to create a gaming server?
Each game requires a different power and speed, as they change the level of graphics, sound quality, the maximum number of gamers and complexity of actions, among other factors. At the time you create your own server using your computer, it is key to have a good RAM memory, free space on the hard disk, a powerful microprocessor and a good Internet connection if you want everything to work well and other players can connect through the ports you have open.
If you want to create and configure a server for games with many players, you will have to look for a private provider and rent a shared hosting (server) or, otherwise, your games will not have optimal performance and will be congested. However, if your plan consists of creating a gaming server to play with a group of your friends, there are more or less simple ways to get it for free: you will only need to find a good managed hosting provider, check that it is compatible with your favorite game and configure it to get the best experience.
Shared hosting allows you to create game servers and they are ideal if you don't want to break your head with the configuration. Another advantage of shared hosting is that it automates many processes and is easier when installing mods or extensions with new characters, scenarios and objects. The disadvantage of this option is that it is usually paid, although prices are not usually very high.
These are some of the best shared hosting options:
Nodecraft is an easy-to-use provider that adapts well to each client's circumstances, as it has plans that are adjusted according to your computer's RAM and the number of maps you can enjoy at the same time.
Game Servers is one of the best known and also one of the cheapest providers. This option works well for small games, as its price changes according to the maximum number of players you can host. Its disadvantage is in the security: it has no protection against distributed attacks (DDoS).
Low.ms is also a very popular gaming server provider in the gaming community. One of its main advantages is that it allows managed control in most games.
How to create a free server using your PC?
If you want to save money and create your own game server using your computer, you should know that there are several ways to achieve this easily.
Large platforms usually make it much easier. For example, with the games for Steam, you can create your server from your PC simply by downloading SteamCMD, with which you can run the server yourself and use it in any game on that platform.
There are games that offer their own server programs for download. In other cases, it is necessary to follow some specific points that are not always quick or easy. Below, we explain the essential steps you have to follow to create your own server in two essential and very popular games: Counter Strike and Minecraft.
Create a server on Counter Strike
To create your own server in Counter Strike: Global Offensive using your computer, the first thing you need to do is to download the CS:GO Dedicated Server program.
Then you will have to install SteamCMD. With SteamCMD you can download the files from the server that you need and validate them. When you register your server account, please note that you will have to validate your phone number and that you will not be able to limit your account.
During the process, you will have to register and deploy your server, configure it and open the ports through which you want your friends to access the game. If you have doubts or want to know very specific details (for example, if you use Linux), you have all the answers on this page for Valve developers. There you will find all the information you need at every step of setting up your dedicated server on Counter Strike.
Create a server in Minecraft
With a Minecraft server on your PC you can create a whole virtual world open 24 hours a day on the Internet. In addition, you will be able to set standards and mods (extensions) of all kinds. The disadvantage when creating a server in Minecraft is that there's a huge difference between how difficult it is to do it for free and how easy it is to create it with payment options.
If you're willing to spend money to get it, you'll have to use Minecraft Realms, which is available in two versions (one for Java and one for Bedrock Engine). This option allows you to create your own server with very simple steps and directly through the Minecraft website. If you're thinking about it, here's a tip: you have a 30-day free trial.
It is possible to create a free Minecraft server in both versions of this game (Java and Bedrock) but it implies, first of all, to have your own hosting. The main edition is the JAVA PC version. You can follow the steps below:
1. Make sure you have Minecraft: Java Edition updated on your PC and the latest version of Java installed.
3. Create a folder on your PC to host the server (you can create it on the Desktop directly) and name it whatever you want (for example, Minecraft Server).
4. Move the server file you downloaded in step #2 to the new folder and open it.
5. Among the files that appear in the folder, select the file eula.txt and look for the line that says eula=false (press Control + F to locate it quickly): you have to change that line and write eula=true.
6. Close the window and save the changes.
7. Re-open the server file (new files will be installed and your server will become active).
8. Create a text document in the server folder, name it start_server and open the document.
9. In that new document, paste this in the first line:
java -Xms1024M -Xmx1024M -jar server.jar
10. In the same document, on the second line, write pause.
11. Save the document by clicking on File > Save as... > Type > All Files. In the section to write the name you will see that the extension .txt is selected: change it to the extension .bat and click on Save.
12. Go back to the folder you created and delete the file start_server.text (only the one with the extension .bat should remain)
Congratulations! You now have your own server to play Minecraft with whoever you want. Inside the server.txt file you can change lines and set the enemies or the game mode you prefer, among other options. If you want to open ports on your router so that friends can enter the server, you should follow these steps. Check your firewall settings so that they don't cause any problems when you play.
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