In this article:
- What is a dedicated gaming server?
- Renting vs. your own dedicated server
- Step by Step: How to Setup a Dedicated Gaming Server for WOW
- Step by Step: How to Setup a Dedicated Gaming Server for Minecraft
If you want to enjoy a customised gaming experience, you’re not alone. While some people persist with gaming through centralised, default servers, others have no hesitation in seizing the initiative for themselves and choosing a setup that better reflects their system requirements and preferences.
Setting up a dedicated gaming server is an ideal way to take matters into your own hands, and establish control over how you want to play. Don’t settle for someone else’s vision - we’re about to show you how you can set up a dedicated gaming server of your own, for the ultimate personalised gaming experience.
So What Is A Dedicated Gaming Server?
Before we dig into the specifics, it’s important to clear up what a gaming server is and what it isn’t. A dedicated server is, as the name implies, a server that’s entirely turned over to the task of running and hosting your gaming. It combines the required software and hardware components to handle the resource load of the games, delivering a fluid playing experience for yourself and others to enjoy.
If you want to play multiplayer games online and invite your friends to take part, you’re going to need a dedicated server that’s up to the challenge. Setting up your server is reasonably straightforward, and with minimal technical skills (and the help of this tutorial), you shouldn’t find it too difficult to get it up and running.
One key advantage of a dedicated gaming server is that rather than playing in someone else’s game environment, you’re creating a gaming world where you have ultimate control. That means you’re free to deploy customisations, new characters, new game features and other factors chosen by you. And as long as your friends have access to an Internet connection, they can join in too, from anywhere in the world.
Can’t I Just Rent A Server Remotely?
You can, but where’s the fun in that? Remote solutions make it easier to eliminate problems like latency across the network, as well as providing a supported environment where help is at hand, should you need it. There’s also the issue of bandwidth, and for some, a remote server can look like a more attractive option.
However, it’s not without its headaches. Software updates are arguably the biggest bugbear, and you’ll usually have to wait several days before a remote hosting provider executes software updates - sometimes several days after new games have been released. It’s also much more stable to run your gaming server and means that if your local system runs into problems, you won’t be forced to reboot while others continue playing.
How Do I Set Up A Dedicated Game Server
So now, to the nuts and bolts. This can get a little technical, and depending on the specific game you’re setting up your server for, the precise instructions will vary. To walk you through the steps, we’ll look at setting up servers for two of the most popular games - Minecraft and WOW.
A quick note of caution - if you’re thinking about charging players for access to your server, it’s worth taking a moment to establish the legal position. As far as Minecraft is concerned, this is a no-go area, and you will find some other games are in the same boat. It’s better to check this out beforehand than to run into problems later down the line.
Setting Up A Dedicated Game Server For Minecraft
Setting up a server for Minecraft is more straightforward than for WOW, so it feels like a good place to start. The following is a description for Windows users - while Mac users can still set up a dedicated gaming server, the process is a little different.
Step 1. Check Your System Requirements
Before setting up your server, you need to make sure your system is up to the job. You’ll need 1GB of RAM allocation for every four players you intend to welcome into your network.
There’s a neat tool you can use to check out whether your system is up to scratch - head over to CanIHostAMinecraftServer.com, punch in the details and find out how many players your current system can support. If you need to add more RAM, this is your opportunity to do so.
Step 2. Install Java
You’ll need the latest version of Java installed or updated to your system. Check you have the correct version installed, or download and install it if you’re not already set up.
Step 3. Download the Server File
Create a new folder locally for server files. Head over to the Minecraft website to download the latest server file, which you’ll use to power your install - https://minecraft.net/en-us/download/server
Step 4. Install Your Server
Look for the .jar file you’ve just downloaded. This will do all of the legwork for you, installing everything you need to get up and running. Once that has run its course, find the eula.txt file - you’ll need to find the line that says “eula=false”. Change this to eula=true, and you’re good to go.
Once you’ve saved the file, your basic server is now set up.
Setting Up A Server For WOW
This is slightly more technical, although the broad process is the same. It starts with downloading the files you need to get your server up and running.
Step 1. Download Required Software
You need to download the AC Web Ultimate Repack from here, as well as the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack.
You’ll also need to export your current map data from the game. Open the WOW folder, and find the maps file. Copy the maps folder and the file ad.exe into the Map Extractor folder under Tools in the AC Web Ultimate Repack folder, and then run the executable.
Step 2. Setting Up The Databases
You’re looking for ascent-logonserver.conf, and specifically the section of code that starts with LogonDatabase Hostname.
Edit the information so it looks like the below:
LogonDatabase Hostname = “127.0.0.1”
Username = “root”
Password = “ascent”
Name = “logon”
Port = “3306”
Type = “1″
Step 3. Ascent Realms
Find ascent-realms.conf, and specifically the section of code that starts with <Realm1 Name=.
Configure the details so they look like the below:
<Realm1 Name = “YOUR SERVER NAME”
Address = “127.0.0.1:8129”
Icon = “RP”
Colour = “1”
Population = “1.0”
TimeZone = “1”>
Step 4. Configuration
Search for the file ascent-world.conf.
Under the Rates Health= section, there are some customisations available. Change the values to reflect your preferences for total control over your in-game world.
Finally, search for the realmlist.wtf file, open it up and delete the code from within the file. Replace it with set realmlist 127.0.0.1, and you’re good to go. In the SC Web Ultimate Repack folder, click on the Control Panel.exe file to kickstart your server. Click through the three buttons that appear to complete your server setup, and clear the way for the gaming to commence.
Wrapping It Up
So that’s all there is to it - in no time at all, you can be up and running with a customisable, dedicated gaming server that’s ready to handle whatever you and your fellow game warriors throw in its direction.
While the process is different for every game, it’s often possible to find specific tutorials that will walk you through different installations, or even helpful resources from the game developers themselves designed to smooth the process of setting up your game server.
Whatever your game of choice, setting up a dedicated server can be a good way to build your game world with your customisations, without any of the hassle or unreliability of playing on external servers.