Best game server hosting of 2024

Best game server hosts: quick menu

An image of Tech Radar's Best Game server hosting

(Image credit: Tech Radar)

1. Best for beginners: ShockByte
2. Best value game server hosting: ScalaCube
3. Best premium Minecraft game server host: ScalaHosting
4. Best for experienced users: Hostinger
5. Best game variety: NodeCraft
6. Best for hardcore gamers: PingPerfect
7. FAQs
8. How we test

The best game server hosting providers have changed hosting your own game server from being unwieldy, expensive, and simply unattractive to being super easy, cost-effective, and painless. Whether you’re looking to create a simple Minecraft server for you and your mates, or you want an advanced Rust server for the online community you’ve cultivated on Twitch right down to voice servers and all, there’s a solution for you here. 

To an extent, the best dedicated servers can help on this front, but we’ve narrowed things down specifically to game server hosting. 

Through extensive research and hands-on time, we’ve focused on a handful of game server hosting providers, all of which offer exactly what you need. That includes budget options but also premium choices that are ripe for a long-term plan of yours. 

If you’ve previously sought out the best Minecraft server hosting or the best Palworld server hosting, some of these names will sound familiar. However, we’ve made sure that all the game server hosts listed below work with many games with it often very simple to switch between them.

Consider these the Swiss Army knife of game server hosts. While checking them out, we considered factors like price, RAM, bandwidth, storage, ease of use, and general performance. We wanted to make sure you get the best bang for your buck at all costs. 

Best game server hosting services 2024 in full

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Best for beginners

(Image credit: Shockbyte)
Simple to use and uncomplicated

Specifications

DDoS protection: Yes
RAM: Up to 16GB
vCPU: Up to 6
Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Simple to use
+
Great high-end plans
+
100% uptime guarantee

Reasons to avoid

-
Support system can be a little slow
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Dark interface

ShockByte is one of our favorite game server hosting providers. It’s very simple to use and keeps up with modern trends like ensuring it offered Palworld servers early on into the launch of the game. All plans offer DDoS protection, unlimited bandwidth, NVMe storage, and 100% network uptime. There’s also 24/7 support although I have found in my time with it that support tickets can take a little while to be responded to. Fortunately, a comprehensive FAQ section and many tutorials ensure you don’t need assistance often.

Seemingly every game you can think of is supported here although you’ll need to commit to which game rather than switch around as you wish. One of the more popular options is Minecraft and as expected, it’s simple to pick from a drop-down menu to find the server type with a separate section for installing plugins and mods. 

The interface is a little dark, presumably to match a gamer aesthetic but at the time of writing, a clearer and more welcoming control panel is on its way. The open beta seems promising and should make an already good service even better. As it stands though, ShockByte is still simple to use. Creating a server takes moments and you can easily access the server from any location. Having used it for months, the uptime promise is accurate too. I’ve never had a problem which is high praise indeed. 

Depending on the game, plans can be very cheap with Minecraft proving cheapest. Shockbyte is also good at suggesting which plan works best for which situation so it’s perfect if you’re not sure of what you need. If you need to go high-end, options are fairly comprehensive here too.

Best value game server hosting

Website screenshot of ScalaCube Minecraft Server Hosting

(Image credit: ScalaCube)
Straightforward and even includes free options

Specifications

DDoS protection: Yes
RAM: Up to 32GB
vCPU: Up to 8
Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
 Free Minecraft server option
+
Easy to use control panel
+
Very cheap plans available

Reasons to avoid

-
Can get very expensive
-
Online only support

If you’re starting out, dabbling with game server hosting, or simply don’t need much, Scalacube could be the ideal route for you. It offers a free Minecraft server which promises to be free forever. Granted, it only allows two players on it but if you’re new to server hosting and just want to see what’s involved, it’s a perfect entry point.

Overall, Scalacube is a pretty good entry point. It skims past the technical details of your server focusing on the information that actually matters to you like player slots. Once set up, the control panel easily brings up all the servers you own with a free one easily upgradeable when you need to do more with it. It’s simple to pick your location with many areas around the country included, with the focus clearly on appreciating that you might know games but not necessarily server hosting.

A clearly laid out panel means it’s simple to see how CPU usage is going, and how much storage you have spare. More importantly, you can easily install relevant plugins and mods, along with setting up tasks. Crucially, it’s all laid out in a very easy to figure out way. While some services might be a little complicated in their layout, Scalacube makes it accessible.

Granted, over time, Scalacube can get expensive. Some of its most premium packages are, well, premium in price. Also, adding on extras such as being able to create your own Minecraft launcher or a dedicated IP all soon add up. Despite that though, I found Scalacube to be the better value proposition here. It’s simple to use and a good entry point for those who are testing the water. Appropriately, it’s highly scaleable. 

Best premium Minecraft game server host

(Image credit: Scala Hosing)
Packed with features for a price

Specifications

DDoS protection: No
RAM: Up to 32GB
vCPU: Up to 8
Bandwidth: Up to 7TB

Reasons to buy

+
Limitless scalability
+
Highly configurable

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Excessive for some needs

If you’re serious about your game server hosting and looking for something fairly high-end, you need Scalahosting. Or at least Minecraft players need it. Its plans are fairly expensive but that’s because you get an awful lot for your cash. There’s a dedicated IP address included with each plan along with a free domain. More importantly though, there are dedicated system resources, daily backups, an automatic world check and repair, along with custom plugin ports. You’ll need to pay a little extra for 24/7 monitoring but otherwise, this is pretty extensive stuff. 

Scalahosting promises to keep all machines under 70% capacity so there’s enough backup resources for the busiest of days on your server, while AWS integration means there’s unlimited scaleability. Once the VPS is set up, you can also use it to host a website on the server, create email accounts, and do everything you’d expect from regular web hosting alongside your game server hosting.

Potentially, you could even branch out and create multiple hosting accounts on a single VPS, before giving them away or selling them to people you know. It’s pretty clear then why Scalahosting isn’t cheap. It’s potentially a solution to far more than your game server hosting needs. Not everyone will need or want so much, but if you’re a high-end user willing to invest in something built to last rather than just a server to enjoy with your mates -- this is it.

Best for experienced users

(Image credit: Hostinger)
If you know what you're doing with a VPS this is a great service

Specifications

DDoS protection: Yes
RAM: Up to 16GB
vCPU: Up to 8
Bandwidth: Up to 32TB

Reasons to buy

+
Extensive support for many games
+
Plenty of data centers around the world
+
Logical control panel (eventually)

Reasons to avoid

-
Setup can be confusing
-
Not as gamer friendly as others here

Hostinger is one of the bigger names in the web hosting and game server hosting world. It’s a curious service in that, initially, it can be confusing if you don’t already have experience in server hosting. That’s because you’ll need to pick a VPS plan over a web hosting service in a world where many other hosting companies specify that this is for gaming. 

Push through after a little research though and you’ll see that Hostinger offers highly competitive VPS plans. There are often sales making it even more affordable so it’s well-suited for small server setups with friends while you can also upgrade to something much more advanced if you have ambitious plans. With up to 32TB bandwidth available on select plans, it should cater for many needs.

Once you’ve picked a plan, you can delve into setting up a game server by jumping into the control panel. Interestingly, there’s AI assistant support, which directed me in the wrong direction for one thing but was spot on for another. There’s clearly a little work to be done here, as with a lot of AI support, but it’s still fairly simple for a novice to figure out where to look.

Once in the panel, things are much smoother sailing. I quickly set up a series of instances relating to all my gaming interests with extensive support for dozens of games. It only takes a couple of minutes to set up a server with the most extensive functionality coming from a Minecraft server. 

Here, there’s extensive plugin support already there along with a wealth of options for getting things set up just how you like them. It’s a similar case with other games like Rust with much older games such as Counterstrike 1.6 also supported. It’s not the prettiest of interfaces, but it works well and is fairly clearly laid out.

Uptime in our tests was very reliable with no issues. We had access to the maxed out KVM 8 plan with 8 vCPU cores, 32GB RAM, 400GB of NVMe disk space and 32TB bandwidth. As standard, all plans come with one snapshot, weekly backups, dedicated IP address, full root access, malware scanner, and AI assistant.

Read our full Hostinger review.

Best game variety

(Image credit: Nodecraft)
Perfect for when the game of the day changes

Specifications

DDoS protection: Yes
RAM: Up to 8GB
vCPU: N/A
Bandwidth: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Unlimited player slots
+
Plenty of game support
+
Keen to recommend what’s best

Reasons to avoid

-
Free trial is only 24 hours
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Short money back guarantee

Nodecraft feels instantly welcoming to less tech savvy users. Plenty of games are available and as you pick the game you want the server for, Nodecraft will instantly tell you if you’re picking too weak a plan to run it. There’s a 24 hour free trial too if you don’t mind handing over your phone number. It’s a nice idea for a brief taster session although I did find issues with getting it to recognize my phone number for doing so.

Options are pretty extensive once you start. Set up a Minecraft server and there are loads of plugins which can be installed at the tap of a button. Similarly, you can swap between different versions of the game with one click. Any time you want to set up an entirely different game server, you can choose to archive the current one then pick a different game. To an extent, you’re limited by the hardware on the server you’re paying for but you can still often make things work. In particular, that makes the free trial a great starting point as it shows you how easy it is to use Nodecraft. Within a few minutes, I had one Minecraft server set up and archived before opening up a Rust server. If you’re part of a gaming community which swaps around a lot, this is a huge advantage.

Making adjustments throughout is easy enough and you can save up to five instances. Crucially, it’s welcoming. Nodecraft hides all the complex stuff in the background but when you do need support, there are fairly comprehensive FAQs as well as live chat during US hours.

Best for hardcore gamers

(Image credit: Ping Perfect)

PingPerfect

Specifications

DDoS protection: Yes
RAM: 64GB
vCPU: Up to 20
Bandwidth: Up to 10TB

Reasons to buy

+
Debranding options
+
High-end hardware available
+
48 hour free trial

Reasons to avoid

-
Little unwieldy to figure out
-
Can get very expensive

If you’re looking for game server hosting alongside establishing a large community, PingPerfect is a good place to go, providing you know what you’re doing. Its control panel isn’t the clearest to navigate but on the other hand, PingPerfect is certainly packed with potential. Notably, it has support for over 200 games with some old favorites thrown in there alongside more popular options of late. It’s not quite as straightforward as we’d like to swap between games but for a solid entry for one game, PingPerfect is pretty powerful. It promises great hardware across the board even if you go for cheaper packages, with the most high-end plans proving particularly speedy. 

Potentially best of all, PingPerfect offers a 48 hour free trial so you can easily check if things work for you. Performance is just as speedy here with no concessions. All you need to do is remember to contact support if you want to switch to a paid plan otherwise the server is deleted at the end of the 48 hours. That’s a minor bugbear but as long as you remember, you’ll appreciate that time to try out your new server.

Setup takes mere seconds with favorites like Minecraft offering just what you would expect like a mod manager, alongside one click backups and restores, as well as FTP access if you have more ambitious plans. It’d be tough to recommend to newbies given the way that PingPerfect is designed but it gives you extensive control. 

Pricing initially looks incredibly cheap but once you add on essentials like sufficient slots, it goes up a little. You’ll also want to have your server hosted on NVMe rather than SSD which adds to the price along with bumping up your CPU priority. So, again, PingPerfect isn’t super cheap but it’s ripe for a discussion amongst your clan mates about how far you want to take your server plans.

Adding to the community developing feel, PingPerfect also provides 1GB of free web hosting if you need it with 10GB of traffic per month. It’s convenient to have everything in one place, but count on spending a little time to get things just how you like it. If you’re a novice, you may end up in the support section a lot. Fortunately, it’s pretty extensive.

Best Game Server Hosting FAQs

Which server is best for games?

All the server hosting providers listed above offer game-specific features which make them ideal servers for gaming on. We’ve only picked the best although certain providers can be better for your needs depending on the game you’re hosting or if you’re looking for specific features.

Is it better to have a server for gaming?

Yes. You can choose to play on other people’s servers or even host a server locally through a spare PC you own, but nothing compares to using one of these dedicated game server hosting providers. Crucially, using your own server gives you more control over your experience such as by allowing you to set up your Minecraft server just how you like it. It’s far more satisfying to add your favorite mods than try to find a server that fits your dedicated needs.

If you instead choose to use your own PC as a server, you can run into issues. It can lead to security issues as it’s located on your home server but you may also have problems with your ISP and any bandwidth limits they may have in place. Simply put, owning a gaming server elsewhere simply takes out a lot of the hassle for you, right down to always having support to get in touch with.

How to choose a game server hosting provider

Once you’ve figured out that running your own game server is exactly what you want to do, you need to find the best game server hosting for your needs. We’ve picked them all out for you above, but it’s still useful to learn what makes a good game server host. Here’s what we considered and what you should think about too.

Hardware: It’s the big one. No one wants a sluggish server. That goes even more so for more demanding games like Palworld or Rust but it also applies to Minecraft which still has its moments if you have many mods installed or have a lot of players participating at once. Look at the CPU and RAM but also keep an eye on what kind of storage is used. Many of the best game server hosting providers will recommend what works best for you depending on your plans.

Pricing: You get what you pay for plays a role here but there are also some great cheaper game server hosting options too. Ultimately, we’re all trying to pay as little as possible so keep an eye on what’s available without spending more than you need to.

Easy configuration: We’ve included some game server hosting that’s more complex than others but we haven’t picked anything that is incomprehensible. After all, a convoluted setup is no good for anyone. Alongside that, we’ve still made sure to keep an eye on hosting which gives you full control of your server.

Support: Support is important. Even the simplest of servers will need assistance once in a while so it’s important to have customer support that’s easily accessible. That could be either through live chat, ticket, or even via phone.

How we tested the best game server hosting

We spent time with each of the hosts here. We checked out a mixture of the cheapest plans on a service while also looking at higher end packages. We also took a look at free trials where applicable as that’s where most people will start for themselves.

Besides trying out setting up a server and looking at the ease of installation, server location, and performance, we also evaluated customer support availability. Essentially, we looked at everything that you need to check for yourself.

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