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Best VPS for gaming 2024

Creating a game server is all fun and, well, games until you have to pick a hosting service. Whether you’re into Rust, Minecraft, Valheim, CS2, or all of them, the sheer number of solutions makes finding the right one extremely difficult.

But don’t fret just yet. Instead, let’s start with this: a VPS (virtual private server) is one of your best options for game server hosting. And, to simplify things, we’ve looked into 48 hosting providers.

The result? We’ve shortlisted the 5 best game server hosting services in 2024 based on supported games, ease of use, performance, pricing, and more. Let’s go through them.

5 best game server hosting services

How to choose game server hosting?

The right game server hosting is crucial for an enjoyable gaming experience. Here’s what to consider when choosing the best VPS for gaming:

  • Ease of use. An easy setup with clear instructions is what you want. Better yet, pick a provider with a dedicated control panel created for hosting gaming servers. The panel should be intuitive and easy to navigate.
  • Number of supported games. Opt for providers that support a wide range of popular game servers, including Minecraft, Palworld, CS, Rust, and Terraria.
  • Number of server locations. Choose a provider with servers geographically close to your potential players for better performance.
  • Performance. For smooth and lag-free gameplay, latency – the delay between your input and the server’s response – should be below 50ms. You can usually find the ping or latency displayed on the screen or in performance settings.
  • Resources. The providers’ hardware – CPU, RAM, and SSD storage – must be able to handle the demands of the game and anticipated traffic.

Top game server hosting – detailed list:

To find the best gaming VPS, we looked into 48 hosting providers and picked the 5 best ones based on criteria like ease of use, compatibility, servers, performance, resources, and more. Let’s take a closer look at the ones that made the cut.

1. Hostinger – overall best game server hosting provider

Hostinger banner
Gaming VPS price:From $5.99/month
Supported game servers:Minecraft, Palworld, Rust, Valheim, Terraria, and more
Uptime guarantee:99.99%
Best deal:Get up to 71% OFF Hostinger VPS!

Hostinger is the best game server hosting provider as it offers top-tier services, including a proprietary Game Panel, from just $5.99/month.

Setup options. We found the setup with Hostinger’s Game Panel, through which you can add and customize your servers effortlessly, to be fast and easy. You simply purchase a VPS plan, fill out the information for setup, head to Game Panel, create a new instance if necessary, and hit Start to launch. For step-by-step guidance, Hostinger also has many tutorials tailored to different games.

Game setup

Resources. Resources vary according to plan. Hostinger’s entry plan, Game Panel 1, costs 5.99/month and provides 4GB RAM, 1 CPU cores, and 50GB NVMe disk space. While the resources are on the modest side, they should be sufficient for vanilla servers, basic modded servers, and smaller communities. Its most popular plan, however, is Game Panel 2, which offers 8GB RAM and 2 CPU cores.

Performance. We tested Hostinger’s capabilities using a Minecraft server. During our test, we saw lightning-fast speeds and low latency rates. Much of this is due to Hostinger’s winning combo of NVMe SSD storage and AMD EPYC processors. Plus, its strategically positioned servers in countries – the US, Brazil, India, the Netherlands, France, and Lithuania – on four continents helped to fuel performance by minimizing latency.

Pricing. Hostinger’s four Game Panel plans include mod support, automatic backups, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Impressively, they all support over 100 games, including Minecraft, Palworld, CS 2, DotA 2, Rust, and Terraria. The cheapest plan is Game Panel 1 at $5.99/month.

To learn more about Hostinger’s capabilities, check out our Hostinger review.

2. InMotion Hosting – best game hosting for Minecraft

Inmotionhosting banner
Gaming VPS price:From $6.00/month
Supported game servers:Minecraft, Rust, Valheim, Ark, CS, and more
Uptime guarantee:99.9%
Best deal:Get up to 67% OFF InMotion Hosting VPS!

InMotion Hosting pulls gamers in with its specialized Minecraft server hosting that lets you run your preferred server version, plugin, and mod from its powerful admin panel.

Setup options. Setting up a Minecraft server – from purchase to panel configuration to game server instance setup – took us just about 5 minutes. Detailed guides on how to use your Minecraft server are also available.

Resources. Grass Server is InMotion’s cheapest plan at $6.00/month. It offers 2GB RAM and is recommended for up to 10 players. However, it supports only selected plugins and isn’t suitable for Modpacks. A more accommodating option is the Gold Server plan, which is recommended for up to 20 players and comes with 4 GB RAM.

Performance. When we tested InMotion, it demonstrated great speeds thanks to its Intel Xeon processors and NVMe SSD storage. With its data centers in the US and the Netherlands, players in these regions will see the best speeds with minimal latency.

Pricing. InMotion has eight plans for Minecraft server hosting, the cheapest being Grass Server at $6.00/month. All plans include 24/7 customer support, DDoS protection, and a 7-day money-back guarantee. Minecraft server aside, InMotion also provides advanced solutions for game server hosting that support Rust, Valheim, Ark, and more.

Take a look at our comprehensive InMotion Hosting review to learn more about its features and performance.

3. ScalaHosting – Minecraft hosting with an extensive set of features

Scalahosting banner
Gaming VPS price:From $61.95/month
Supported game servers:Minecraft
Uptime guarantee:99.9%
Best deal:Get up to 49% OFF ScalaHosting VPS + save an additional 15% with any ScalaHosting plan!

Feature-rich, performance-focused, and user-friendly, ScalaHosting offers a well-rounded specialized Minecraft VPS hosting.

Setup options. In our experience, setting up with ScalaHosting was an easy process, suitable for beginners. You do it through its SPanel, where you create an account, allocate resources, and enable the server. From there, you click Manage, enable Minecraft Manager, hit Deploy, select Minecraft Edition, and confirm the deployment. Once done, you get a console where you can execute the server commands.

Resources. The cheapest plan, Zombie, costs $61.95/month and offers 4GB RAM, 2 CPU, and 80GB NVMe SSD. This is a very solid starting point, and ScalaHosting’s unlimited scalability means that you can always upgrade as your needs increase.

Performance. ScalaHosting is well equipped in terms of performance. With servers in the US, Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, and Canada, there’s a high chance you’ll find one near your players. Moreover, its VDS-based system eliminates the need to compete for resources with other users. Plus, by maintaining its machines at 70% capacity, ScalaHosting ensures enough backup resources to handle traffic surges.

Pricing. ScalaHosting’s four Minecraft server hosting plans offer 24/7 customer support, automatic 24/7 backups, a 7-day money-back guarantee, and SShield for DDoS, malware, and spam protection. The entry plan, Zombie, costs $61.95/month. Alternatively, it also offers cheaper regular VPS plans. However, be prepared for a significantly more complicated setup as they aren’t specialized.

You can learn more about ScalaHosting in our detailed ScalaHosting review.

4. Liquid Web – fully managed VPS for gaming

Liquidweb banner
Gaming VPS price:From $16.00/month
Supported game servers:No specialized game servers
Uptime guarantee:100%
Best deal:Get up to 74% OFF Liquid Web VPS!

Liquid Web doesn’t offer a specialized gaming solution, but its fully managed VPS hosting ensures that it’s still an attractive option for those looking for the best VPS for game servers.

Setup options. Brace for a rougher and more complex setup process, especially for beginners, as Liquid Web doesn’t provide specialized gaming solutions. That said, it does offer a step-by-step guide on how to set up a Minecraft server. Moreover, it also pledges to respond in less than a minute if you reach out by phone or live chat.

Resources. Liquid Web’s entry VPS plan is Essential. It's priced at $16.00/month and includes 2 vCPU, 2 GB RAM, 40 GB SSD, and 10 TB bandwidth. However, the Professional plan is better suited for gaming. While it’s double the cost of Essential, you get 8 vCPU, 8 GB RAM, and 150 GB SSD in return.

Performance. Liquid Web has a 100% uptime guarantee written into its Service Level Agreement, which it lived up to during our tests. Reliability aside, its data centers are in the US and the Netherlands. So, players in these regions can expect minimal latency.

Pricing. Liquid Web has four fully managed VPS hosting plans starting from $16.00month (Essential plan). However, these plans are all configurable, and you can opt for memory or CPU-optimized versions at slightly higher prices. Additionally, Liquid Web supports various operating systems, including AlmaLinux and Windows Server. All plans include 50 GB backups, DDoS protection, and a built-in firewall.

For more information, check out our Liquid Web review.

5. A2 Hosting – versatile game server hosting

A2 hosting banner 1
Gaming VPS price:From $2.99/month
Supported game servers:No specialized game servers
Uptime guarantee:99.9%
Best deal:Get up to 66% OFF A2 Hosting VPS!

A2 Hosting offers the flexibility of choosing between managed and unmanaged VPS hosting for those seeking the best game server hosting.

Setup options. A2 Hosting lacks specialized gaming solutions, so you can expect a more complicated setup process. However, it does provide a guide for Minecraft server setup using a VPS. Meanwhile, everyday ease of use depends on your plan. Managed plans are pricier but handle everything from backups to security to updates. In contrast, unmanaged VPS hosting requires more technical knowledge.

Resources. A2 Hosting’s cheapest unmanaged plan Launch 1 costs $2.99/month and includes 1 CPU, 1 GB RAM, 25 GB SSD storage, and 0.5 TB bandwidth. Meanwhile, its cheapest managed plan Takeoff 4 costs $35.99/month and offers 2 CPU cores, 4 GB RAM, 150 GB SSD, and 2 TB bandwidth. While not the most generous plan, it’s sufficient for basic modded servers and small communities.

Performance. Our tests confirm that A2 Hosting has some of the fastest speeds among the providers. As for latency, A2 Hosting strategically minimizes it with data centers in three different continents: North America (the US), Europe (the Netherlands), and Asia (Singapore).

Pricing. A2 Hosting offers six unmanaged plans starting from $2.99/month (Launch 1) and six managed plans starting from $35.99/month (Takeoff 4). The managed plans come with the Imunity360 security suite. All plans include 24/7 customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can find out more about A2 Hosting’s capabilities in our A2 Hosting review.

Compare best game server hosting

ProviderVPS plan for game servers PricePre-installed panelsvCPURAM (GB)Bandwidth
HostingerGame Panel 1$5.99/monthYes14Unspecified
InMotion HostingGrass Server$6.00/monthYesUnspecified2Unspecified
Liquid WebEssential$16.00/monthNo2210TB
A2 HostingTakeoff 4$35.99/monthNo242TB

How we tested and ranked game server hosts

At Cybernews, we use a detailed testing process that involves technical methods and expert insights to help you find the right hosting provider. Take a look at our How We Test Web Hosting page to learn more about our testing approach.

To find the best hosting service for gaming, we looked at 48 hosting providers. We started by selecting providers that offer VPS plans that are either designed for gaming or are suitable for it. This is important because VPS plans that aren’t designed for gaming complicate the setup process and therefore user experience. Based on this factor, we shortlisted 5 providers and tested them according to the following criteria:

  1. Server management features. As starting game hosting can be challenging, it’s essential that your chosen hosting provider offers an easy server setup and management process. We looked at whether these providers have a dedicated control panel for hosting gaming servers that provides essential server management features, such as server configuration, software installation, and monitoring tools.
  2. Performance. Poor uptime and traffic management can be detrimental to the gaming experience. To test how long these providers were available to users without interruptions, we used the Pingdom tool by SolarWinds. To see how well they handled traffic fluctuations, we used the k6 tool developed by Grafana Labs.
  3. Resources. As your game receives more players, you’ll need more resources to accommodate this increase in traffic without sacrificing performance. Therefore, we looked at the hosting packages each provider offers and their CPU core, RAM, and storage allowances.

We ranked these providers from 1 to 5 according to their game compatibility, setup process, ease of use, resources, performance, and affordability to make sure that our recommendations help you pick the best game server hosting provider for your needs.

Why host a game server

There are many reasons you should host a game server. Here are just some of them:

  • It allows full control over settings, rules, and gameplay mechanics for a tailored game experience.
  • It creates a space for like-minded players to gather, bond, and collaborate.
  • It affords better privacy with measures like password-protected servers and whitelisting to control access.
  • It enhances the gaming experience with the ability to install mods, custom maps, and user-created content.
  • It frees you from relying on official servers operated by game developers, which may be affected by things like server shutdowns and policy changes.

Can you host a game server for free

While you can host a game server for free, we strongly advise against it. First, most free VPS hosting plans offer limited resources, prioritize paid customers, and oversubscribe their servers to break even. All of this could negatively impact player capacity, performance, and responsiveness. Even worse, their weak security makes you vulnerable to various cyber threats.

Additionally, free providers often impose restrictions such as bandwidth caps, file size limits, and usage quotas or even make intrusive ads mandatory, ultimately disrupting your gaming experience.

Instead, we recommend trying reputable hosting providers by utilizing their free trials and money-back guarantees. Alternatively, you can try self-hosting on personal hardware. But, for this, you need spare hardware or a powerful gaming PC and technical knowledge. Your internet connection could limit the upload speed and bandwidth, too.

How to start game server hosting

To start game server hosting, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a reputable VPS hosting provider and purchase the right plan for your game hosting needs. We recommend Hostinger, now 78% OFF.
  2. Log into your account, select the purchased plan, and set up your hosting for gaming. Most reputable hosting services provide guidelines for this process. Typically, it involves entering details like the server name, control panel password, and preferred server location. Ideally, you should choose a server location closest to your players.
  3. Upon completion, you’ll receive access credentials such as SSH login details. Use them to connect to the server and access the provided control panel.
  4. Download and install the game server software. Depending on the game, you may download the software from its official website or repository (for example, SteamCMD) or use the one-click installation option provided by the hosting provider. For example, you just need to create new instances with Hostinger’s Game Panel.
  5. Launch your gaming server.
  6. Configure the game server settings, rules, and gameplay options according to your preferences.
  7. You can now start playing and invite other players.

Conclusion: where should I host my game?

VPS hosting stands out as one of the top solutions for game server hosting, whether your game of choice is Minecraft, Palword, Rust, Valheim, CS2, or something else entirely. However, it’s challenging to pick the best game server hosting solution that meets your needs amidst the hundreds of options.

Well, after rigorous testing and evaluation, Hostinger emerges as the best game server hosting. With its easy setup, powerful Game Panel, support for over 100 games, and great performance, it easily edges out its competitors. Plus, its affordability is the ultimate clincher.