So you are planning on getting a server or looking to migrate to a new host? Great! Before clicking the “Place Order” button do some research first. Be sure to compare several companies with each other and look up reviews (genuine reviews that is, some companies promote false reviews for a good rating). Here are some of the things that you will need to look for, no matter which game server you will be hosting.
Good customer service
No matter what you experience is with setting up and managing servers, you will be contacting the customer service in the future. Therefore the company will need to have good customer services. Their response needs to be (fairly) quick and on point. Nothing is worse than having to wait 3 days for a copy-paste reply with an answer that is 100% off topic.
The most important thing for your players is server stability. Players don’t want to experience lag nor do you for that matter. So you will have to look at the server location, server specs and some sort of DDoS protection (although you can never secure your server 100% against DDoS attacks). Whenever you are in doubt or want additional information contact the host. This is also a good way to test out their customer service before you place your order.
We all like to save money where we can, but never drop core features for a lower price. The (monthly) price is always dependent on your requirements and services that you will be hosting. When you are looking for a server to host a specific game I would stick to just a game server. However, if you are planning on hosting a game server with multiple add-ons that require a lot of server power and management I would suggest investing in a VPS/Dedicated server (depending on your budget).
Control Panel/Server Access
You want to have full control over your server if possible. However, when you rent a game server this has a limit. Therefore you will need to find a host with a good control panel which has built in functions like game updates, install mods, command line editor, web console etc. If you feel some core features are missing from your CP (control panel) contact your host and ask if they can enable them (again this is a good way to test the customer support).
If you have a VPS/Dedicated box you will have almost full control by logging in with external desktop. With this, the performance is dependant on the server stability and your knowledge of Windows server/Linux.
Over the years we have gotten to experience several different hosting companies and the following two have stuck with us. Note that these are our picks for the services we have tried out and would love to hear your feedback and picks!
Host Havoc (Game servers)
This mid-sized company based in Canada has provided us with multiple game servers in the past (EU hosted). All of them performed perfectly and whenever we had questions they were lightning fast with their helpful response.
NOTE: We have only tested their game servers and customer support. Not their Dedicated server and VPS services!
Based in Germany this big international company is still providing us with a VPS to this day. They are by far the cheapest provider out there. However, their customer service is very poor, so if you plan on getting a VPS/Dedicated server be sure to do your homework when it comes to Windows server/Linux.