It seems like an easy question at first, but once you’re in the position of buying your own Game Server it can become a costly decision. How do you go about deciding how many slots to purchase initially? Well heres some guidelines and common mistakes I’ve come across over the years:
- Too Big! – Most people who plan on purchasing a public Game Server assume they need 18 or more slots. Bigger is better after all right? No! Start small, somewhere between 12-16 slots will be sufficient. You can upgrade your server if you start filling these slots. Game Server Providers love selling huge public servers because most of the time you WILL NOT be able to fill them easily. Start small and work your way MEGAGAME up.
- Dust Is Fun! – Choosing a proper map for a server is crucial to making your players happy. If you’re running a 32 slot Counter-Strike server and playing de_dust theres going to be some bitter people. If the map doesn’t have enough spawn points it’ll kill off a random number of people at the beginning of the round. If the map does indeed have enough spawn points it can just be too crowded. On the other side a too large of a map can become a snore if it’s a 1v1 and finding the other player becomes playing a game of find the needle in the haystack. Choose wisely.
- Mr. Robot – Take into account if you plan on using bots to try to boost traffic to your server. If 4 slots are taken by bots and it’s a 12 slot server you’re only leaving 8 slots for real humans. Try to keep the server slots in proportion to the amount of bots you plan to use (if any).
- Stress – If you’re running a 32 slot server that’s full all the time it can become stressful and costly. It only takes one or two annoying players to make everyone in your Game Server angry. Also you’ll most likely need help from other admins to maintain order in the server and to keep it populated. Other side effects of owning a big popular Game Server is it might end up lagging and the performance will twindle. If this becomes an issue you might want to invest in two smaller sized Game Servers (two 32 slot Game Servers instead of one 64 slot).