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What is a Private Game Server?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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A private game server is a computer server that acts as a host for other computers to connect to it as clients for use in playing a personal computer (PC) game. This is often used for multiplayer games, especially those that may have a single-player component but allow for multiplayer experiences as well. The use of such a server can provide players with a private experience, often preferred by members of clans, or gaming groups. A private game server is typically legal to operate, as long as players have all purchased the game legally and are using the game in accordance with the license provided with it.

There are a number of companies that can provide gamers with a private game server, and these are often rented at a monthly rate. Many PC games can be played with multiple people at once. When this is done, one machine must typically act as a host for the game being played, and the other players connect to that server as clients. Using a computer to act as a server that is also running the game for a player can be problematic; the use of a private game server often alleviates that strain on client machines.

When one player’s computer is used as a server, rather than using a private game server, the player on that machine may experience performance issues due to processor requirements needed for acting as a server. It is also possible that the host player may have better functionality with the game, since the other players are communicating remotely with the server, while the host player is directly using the server. To avoid these potential problems, a private game server can be used that is separate from any of the player computers. This type of server can be rented from a number of different companies, with prices ranging a great deal depending on the server size needed and the game being played.

The use of a private game server is typically legal, though this can depend on the copies of the game used on client computers and how the server is being used. As long as all of the copies were purchased legally, they can typically be used with a game server. The end user license agreement (EULA) provided with a PC game usually indicates how the game can be used for multiplayer purposes, including the use of a private game server. Games that charge fees based on the use of a server, such as massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, often do not allow the use of private servers, and connecting to such servers may violate the terms of use for a game.

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