Hosting a Gaming Servers – Cloud vs Local?

The latest figures from Statista suggest that there are currently around 2.8 billion gamers around the world. Gaming has evolved in line with advances in technology and it is now more popular than ever. For gamers, there are various ways to access games, challenge opponents and optimise the experience. In this guide, we’ll discuss cloud versus local gaming servers and explore potential alternatives, including colocation.

Setting up a gaming server

Setting up a gaming server is an increasingly popular option for people who are passionate about gaming. A dedicated gaming server can offer a host of benefits over cloud gaming but it may not always be the best solution for every gamer. It’s wise to weigh up the pros and cons of every option on the table before making a decision about your own server preferences.

Local gaming server advantages

If you choose to use a local gaming server, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Enhanced control: when you play a game and you don’t have access to your own server or a dedicated local server, you are restricted by the rules. If you choose to use a gaming server, you can enjoy greater freedom and flexibility and embrace the opportunity to play popular games without the shackles on. As well as having an influence in terms of the rules of the game, you can also decide who plays.
  • Optimised performance: one of the major draws for gamers is gaining access to optimised performance without investing in expensive hardware and cutting edge devices. With a dedicated gaming server, you can elevate the experience regardless of what kind of laptop or computer you are using.
  • Player additions: when you control your own gaming server, you can regulate who joins to design a bespoke guest list and eliminate the risk of playing with people you don’t want to be partnered up with.
  • Customised gaming options: when you have a gaming server, you can decide which games to play and which to restrict. This is an advantage for adult gamers who have favourite titles, as well as parents or carers who want to ensure that their children can only access appropriate games.

Using a local gaming server is a popular option for fans of games, including:

Cloud gaming

Cloud gaming has gathered pace in recent years. The aim is for the cloud, rather than hardware devices and local servers, to do the heavy lifting. A remote server takes over the legwork, providing access to games in a similar way to streaming services for TV shows and films. The key difference is that gaming via the cloud is an interactive experience. Every movement you make is sent to the cloud server.

Advantages of cloud gaming servers

The main advantages of cloud gaming include:

  • Saving money on hardware and device upgrades: with cloud gaming, you don’t need to worry about paying for the latest new devices or hardware to enjoy new releases or optimise your performance. This makes gaming accessible to a wide range of people.
  • Access to a broad spectrum of games: when you utilise a cloud server, you can access a raft of games, rather than being restricted to the titles that are compatible only with PCs and Windows. You can use an array of operating systems to play games on multiple devices.
  • Instant play: if you’re desperate to play a new game or act on a recommendation from a fellow gaming enthusiast, the last thing you want is to have to wait for a game to download. With cloud gaming, you’ll be ready to play instantly.
  • Easy integration: if you like to play games through a smart TV, for example, you can integrate devices seamlessly with cloud gaming.
  • Security: in some cases, cloud security is more robust than local servers unless individuals invest in monitoring and dedicated server management services, which will add to the cost.

Best of Both Worlds with Colocation

There are advantages to both set up a local server and cloud gaming but there is also a new kid on the block ‘Colocation Server’.Some data centres are now offering the ability to set up a bespoke hosted server that is kept inside the data centre but you are able to visit and work on the hardware in person. This is option is growing in popularity as a colocation hosted server offers the same level of control and independence of a local server while also eliminating the cost and hassle of running your own data facility. You can benefit from the flexibility offered by cloud and local servers as well as being able to visit the data centre. If you have concerns about security, costs or resources, or you want more control than the cloud offers, it’s worth exploring the benefits of colocation for gamers.


Gaming is incredibly popular. When you play games, you have a choice to access games via a cloud gaming service or to use a local server. There are advantages and disadvantages of both options and it’s always beneficial to consider the pros and cons when deciding how to play.