Dockers for Multiplayer Game Servers

Apr 30, 2024

Docker for Game Servers
Docker for Game Servers
Docker for Game Servers

The concept of utilizing Docker for game servers has grown in popularity exponentially for its potential to streamline deployment processes and enhance scalability. Docker, a prominent platform in software containerization, facilitates the encapsulation of applications in containers, ensuring consistent operation across various computing environments.

This blog post delves into the feasibility of running games on Docker for game developers, employing a Docker “container” as a server, the cost implications of hosting a game server, and the notable disadvantages associated with Docker.

Can Games Server Use Docker?

The short answer is yes, Docker can be used to containerize a game servers, which makes it both easier, faster and cheaper to host and operate.

Docker excels at encapsulating and isolating applications, providing each game server with its environment without the overhead of an entire virtual machine. This means easier management for game developers and server administrators, as Docker containers can be configured once and deployed anywhere, ensuring consistency across development, testing, and production environments.

Popular multiplayer games, especially those that require dedicated servers for online gameplay, can benefit from Docker's containerization. Developers can package the entire game server software within a Docker container, simplifying the deployment process across different servers or cloud environments. This approach reduces setup time and minimizes potential conflicts arising from differing system configurations.

Proof is the increased presence of container-base game server platforms, pioneered by Edgegap, who use containerized game servers to deploy and host game servers worldwide.

Can Anyone Use Docker as a Server?

Docker can be configured to function as a game server, offering a versatile platform for hosting multiplayer games. By containerizing the game server, Docker allows for rapid deployment, easy scaling, and efficient resource utilization. For multiplayer games that need to scale based on player demand, a containerized game server, when combined with a rapid-scaling orchestration service like Edgegap, can dynamically manage resource allocation, ensuring optimal performance without unnecessary resource wastage.

How Much Does It Cost to Host a Game Server?

The cost of hosting a containerized game server can vary significantly based on several factors, including the game's requirements, server specifications, and the chosen hosting platform. Generally, the cost components include:

  1. Compute Resources: The server's CPU, memory, and storage requirements will influence the overall cost. Games with high computational demands will necessitate more robust and, consequently, more expensive server configurations.

  2. Bandwidth: Online games consume substantial bandwidth, especially with many concurrent players. The hosting cost will reflect the amount of data transferred to and from the server.

  3. Hosting Provider: The choice of cloud provider or hosting service can impact costs. Some providers offer specialized gaming server plans that might include additional features beneficial for game hosting.

  4. Maintenance and Management: While containers simplify deployment and management, ongoing maintenance, updates, and monitoring are crucial, which may incur additional costs depending on the level of automation and support services chosen.

All this management requires game developers to build a backend structure themselves, which can take weeks with self-managed solution, if not months if starting from zero, for even the most experienced backend developers.

Edgegap, with its automated game servers that fully manage the game server’s containers, then orchestrates them on the world’s largest edge network takes care of all the work for you. Meaning it takes you minutes, rather than weeks, to get your game online worldwide easily. Best of all, Edgegap’s pay-per-use means you only pay when player play as Edgegap is free during development.

What Are the Biggest Disadvantages of Docker?

While Docker offers numerous benefits for game server hosting, there are some disadvantages to consider:

  1. Performance Overhead: Although Docker's overhead is less than complete virtual machines, there is still a performance cost, especially regarding I/O operations. For latency-sensitive games, even minor delays can impact the gaming experience. This is where orchestration solves this issue by deploying game servers nearest users – helping you deliver sub-100 ms latency for 91% of your player base instantly.

  2. Complexity: Docker can introduce complexity in deployment and management, particularly for those unfamiliar with containerization concepts. Proper configuration and optimization are essential to harness Docker's full potential and avoid potential pitfalls. Edgegap automatically handles the containerization of the game server thanks to its plugin for major engines including Unity and Unreal. What can take hours to program now takes barely minutes with Edgegap’s plugins.

  3. Security Concerns: Containers share the host OS's kernel, which can pose security risks if not properly isolated. Ensuring robust security measures and updating containers are vital to mitigating these risks. Edgegap provides security solutions to overcomes these issues.

  4. Storage and Data Persistence: Managing data persistence for game states and player information can be challenging with Docker, as containers are inherently ephemeral. Implementing effective data storage solutions that ensure data persistence outside containers is crucial.


Game servers using Docker presents a viable solution for game server hosting, offering benefits in terms of deployment speed, scalability, and resource efficiency. However, weighing these advantages against the potential downsides, such as performance implications and management complexity, is essential.

By carefully considering these factors, game developers and server administrators can make informed decisions to leverage Docker effectively in the gaming realm.

Thanks to containerized game server platform that orchestrates game servers worldwide, all these challenges are solved from the onset. With Edgegap leading the way in simplicity, security, and performance. Learn how here.

Get Your Game Online, Easily & in Minutes

Get Your Game Online, Easily & in Minutes