So you want to start a community? That\u2019s great! In this guide, I will be giving you some tips that might come useful. I presume you have found a game (which you enjoy playing) and a name for your community. Some subjects we will be talking about are your goals, the right mindset, preparation, timing, presentation, and communication\/advertising. Ready?.. set go!\n\n\n\nHave a goal for your community\n\n\n\nBefore you even do anything you should ask yourself \u201cWhat do I want to achieve?\u201d. Do you just want to set up a server where you and your friends can play on it? or are you aiming for a community experience (don\u2019t worry you can still have fun with your friends). If your goal is the first option then I still recommend continuing reading since a lot of communities started this way. Once you have got a clear goal in mind you can proceed to the next step.\n\n\n\nGetting the right mindset\n\n\n\nNow that you have a goal, try to get into the right mindset. The road to becoming a healthy community is a bumpy one and it might take you a while to reach\u00a0your destination. This means that ambition and dedication are a must, but be sure not to be overambitious as\u00a0explained here. \n\n\n\nAccept that you are going to put in a lot of time, energy, and possibly money in your\u00a0project. Besides that, expect setbacks since not everything will go as planned. The final important quality is to have is patience. Don\u2019t expect to have a full server on the first day of launch or a big member pool in your Steam group.\n\n\n\nPreparation is key for your community\n\n\n\nA very important step is preparation. A lot of times this step gets rushed or even completely skipped. With proper preparation, you will have more time to develop where it is needed instead of trying to patch things up all over the place. When it comes to the tasks that have to be performed, don\u2019t be afraid to delegate tasks if you are working in a team.\n\n\n\nWrite write write\n\n\n\nHaving everything written down only gives you benefits. Yes I know most of you don\u2019t like to write things down but trust me, you will be rewarded later on. By writing down everything you do\/plan, you clarify the information for yourself. This gives you new ideas and insights. Besides that, you always have the written information to fall back on.\n\n\n\nBe sure to write it in a way so you can present it to other staff members when needed. so don\u2019t get spamming notepad files with random checklists all over your desktop. Set Up an ordered (shared) folder on for instance Google Docs or Onedrive. This also gives you access to all your documents when you\u2019re not home (I am currently writing this guide at work)\n\n\n\nResearch and planning\n\n\n\nAlways perform research before you set anything up. See how the game is doing (player base), what hosts are out there, check with your friends\/contacts, see what the requirements are, and very important is to check your personal schedule (do you even have time to start this project?).\n\n\n\nOnce you have finished your research and wrote down what needs to be done, you can start planning. The planning is dependant on your experience and skills but always grant yourself some leeway. A lot can happen during the setup of your project.\n\n\n\nTIP: Don\u2019t underestimate the testing phase\n\n\n\nTiming is important\n\n\n\nBesides your personal schedule, be sure the timing is right to launch your server\/community. See if the game you want to host your server for isn\u2019t on a downward slope.\u00a0And for the love of Satan, don\u2019t launch your server around the time a big AAA game is set to release, this\u00a0WILL affect your community.\n\n\n\n*gets flashbacks from the player count on one of his servers right after GTA5\u2019s release\n\n\n\nCommunication, do not underestimate it\n\n\n\nAlright, so you have got all the preparation done and have started developing\/setting up your server. Now it\u2019s time to start creating awareness and shaping your community. It\u2019s a good thing to inform your new members on what you are doing and give them (bits of) information on what to come. When it comes to releasing information about future plans be sure that you will actually follow through on it. Nothing kills your project quicker than false promises\n\n\n\nHere are 4 platforms I suggest you should invest in:\n\n\n\n\nWebsite\nthis is your business card, although that sounds cringe, it is the first thing new members will check out. Here you provide all the information about your server\/community.\n \nBe sure to have your information well organised, use common english (no try hard business language or broken english) and use a pleasant and responsive template.\n\nSteamgroup\nA great way of seeing who your members are and vice versa. Steamgroups allow you to communicate, post announcements and events (please, don\u2019t spam them. Thank you) and provide (basic) information.\nTwitter\nGreat for posting quick updates, announcements, reaching out to other communities & players, exposure and collaborations.\nVOIP\nHaving a voice server (ie:Teamspeak or Discord) gives both you and your staff as members a place to hang out and play games. This is great to start community bonding before you even have a server up yet and a good way to get to know each other.\n\n\n\nFinding a host for your gaming community\n\n\n\nResearch research research, finding a good host that fits your needs is really important. Be sure to compare several hosting companies and see if you are looking for a VPS or want to rent a game server (depends on knowledge). For information on finding the right host check out this article I wrote last month.\n\n\n\nAdvertising your gaming community\n\n\n\nThis is a demanding job of its own. Attracting new players\/members is a long and tough process, so don\u2019t expect instant results. In your approach try not to copy-paste everything, be personal, not spam, and accept the fact that not everyone is interested in your community.\n\n\n\nBe sure not to invest all your time on one platform but use multiple ones (friends, social media, steam, forums, etc). Whenever someone comes to you with questions regarding your community, don\u2019t put them on hold so you can finish your game. Especially during the beginning of your community, you have to be helpful to all possible new members.\n\n\n\nA guide dedicated to advertising your server\/community will be published in the near future. This guide will include (in-depth) tips and things to take into account when advertising.