The Ultimate Guide to Dedicated Gaming Servers

Gaming servers are servers that are used to host games. If you have played an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game, then you have connected to a gaming server.

However, a lot of gaming servers can end up being limited. Instead of playing the kind of game you want to play, you’re stuck playing to the customized environment that’s required for massive server play.

Sometimes you just want a little more customization and control over your gaming environment. This is where dedicated gaming servers come in. 

Below we dive into what dedicated gaming servers are, why you would want one, and how to create your own for a few select games. 

What is a Dedicated Gaming Server? 

A gaming server is a dedicated server or server cluster with the requisite amount of hardware and resources to be able to run the game fluidly. Most games, like World of Warcraft and Minecraft, will not allow a person to charge people to play the game, as the game is the property of the gaming company itself. 

On the other hand, most private servers allow you to play a version of a game that’s different from the official version. So, if you want to add certain character customizations, or gameplay resections, then this is the best way to do it. 

You can, of course, simply setup a server to play with your friends. Which is what we’ll dive into below. 

Why Would I Do This?

Well, to put it simply, these games are fun. World of Warcraft is a strategy game and Minecraft is like Legos for adults.

The more people playing, the more fun it can be, but in order to have multiple people playing these games with you, you either need to have a LAN party and a server at your house, or you need a dedicated server – with that you can play with your friends no matter where they are, as long as they have their computer and an internet connection.

These rental servers seem like a good course of action, as you don’t have to take care of any of the technical elements yourself. But, sometimes remote hosting for gaming can be sort of a headache. Sometimes the server software will be outdated, or there will be lag issues during gameplay. 

If you’re looking to get the most from your online gaming experience, then setting up your own dedicated server is often the way to go. 

You’ve Intrigued Me… Now What Do I Do?

Setting up a dedicated server can get a bit technical, but the freedom of having your own online gaming environment can be quite tempting for some gamers. 

The steps for setting up your dedicated gaming server will be different based upon the actual game you want to play. We offer a few tips for getting your server setup for two of the most popular online multiplayer games, WOW and Minecraft.

Before we jump into creating your very own server it’s important to note that you shouldn’t charge people to play on your server environment. This will only get you into legal trouble. Create a private gaming server for passion, not profit.

That being said, let’s dive in. 

Setting Up a WOW Server

World of Warcraft is played by millions of gamers around the globe. By utilizing the power of a private server you can emulate the experience of playing online while customizing certain elements for your own enjoyment. 

1. Download Your Tools

Before you set up your World of Warcraft server and start customizing you need to have some basic tools. For starters, you’ll need to install a tool called AC Web Ultimate Repack. For the steps below we utilized this one

You’ll also need to install the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack, which you can install from here

2. Map Data

Next you’ll need to collect your current map data. You can get this from your existing WOW account. You need to currently have access to the game to make the private server work.

Open up the WOW folder and locate the file titled ‘maps’. Now you’ll need to go to ‘C:/AC Web Ultimate Repack/ Tools/Map Extractor enUS’ and copy the ‘maps’ folder and the ‘ad.exe’ to the folder. Then, run the ‘ad.exe’ program.

3. Configure Your Database

Now you’ll need to find the file called ‘ascent-logonserver.conf’, open it, and find the area that begins with, ‘LogonDatabase Hostname=’.

Now, make sure you change the information, so it looks like the text below:

LogonDatabase Hostname = "127.0.0.1"
Username = "root"
Password = "ascent"
Name = "logon"
Port = "3306"
Type = "1"

4. Configure Ascent Realms

Next, navigate to the file called ‘ascent-realms.conf’, and locate the portion that starts with ‘<Realm1 Name=’. Then, change the details, so they look the same as the text below.

<Realm1 Name = "The Name of Your Server"
Address = "127.0.0.1:8129"
Icon = "RP"
Colour = "1"
Population = "1.0"
TimeZone = "1">

5. Configure Your World

Finally, it’s time to start customizing certain elements of your world. To get started with this, navigate to the file called ‘ascent-world.conf’.

With this file open you can then adjust the values under the ‘<Rates Health=‘ section to customize the gameplay experience. 

6. Alter the realmlist.wtf File 

Now go back to the WOW directory and find the file called ‘realm list.wtf’. Delete the contents of the file and replace it with ‘set realm list 127.0.0.1’. 

You can then start your server by running ‘Control Panel.exe’ within your ‘SC Web Ultimate Repack’ directory. Once that runs, click on the first three buttons that appear and your server will be live, and you’ll be ready to game.

Setting Up a Minecraft Server

Running a Minecraft server is much easier than a WOW server, so if the tutorial above overwhelmed you, then give the Minecraft server a try. The steps below are for those who are running Windows machines. 

If you’re interested in setting up a server on your MacOS machine, then check out this post for the full tutorial

1. Check Your Machine

The first thing you’ll need to do is ensure your machine is setup to host a personal server. For starters you’ll need enough RAM. The common requirement is 1GB of RAM for every four to five players you’re going to host on your server.

To test your machine you can use the tool called CanIHostaMinecraftServer.com. This will tell you how many players your current system can support.

2. Update Java

You’ll need to have the latest version of Java installed for your server to work properly. Navigate to this page and install the latest version if need be. 

3. Download the Server

Next, you’ll need to download the server file from this website. Once you download the file it’s a good idea to create a folder on your site where you’ll store all of the necessary server files.

4. Install the Server

Now all you have to do is open the .jar file you downloaded and the program will install all of the necessary files for you. 

The final step you’ll need to do is locate a file called ‘eula.txt’, and change the value ‘eula=false’ to ‘eula=true’, then save the file.

Now your server is ready to rock. For a full list of Minecraft customization tweaks you can check out the guide here

Of course, the games highlighted above are only the beginning. Many gamers are also getting back into playing older games due to recent nostalgia levels rising, so now is a great time to take advantage of those gaming skills you cultivated as a child. 

If you can get over the technical hurdle running your own dedicated gaming server is a great way to play the exact version of the game, whenever you want to play it. 

Ready to run your own gaming server? You’ll need dedicated hosting. Get started with a dedicated server from HostGator.