Ecosystem

Note: The content on this page pertains to Game Server Hosting (Multiplay) available on the Unity Dashboard. If you’re using Game Server Hosting (Clanforge), see the Game Server Hosting (Clanforge) documentation.

Game Server Hosting is a scalable game server hosting platform that removes the complexity of running and operating infrastructure at scale so your development team can focus on creating engaging player experiences.

The high-level components that comprise the Game Server Hosting service consist of the scaling system, fleetsClosedA fleet is a collection of servers that host a game or application in specific regions. Accounts can have one or more fleets, each with its own regions, builds, build configurations, and settings., buildsClosedA build contains the files necessary to run your game or application on a server., build configurationsClosedA build configuration manages how a build is run by dictating the query protocol, the application executable path, the application executable path, the configuration variables, and the launch parameters., and serversClosedA server, also known as a game server, is an instance of a build executable running on a machine within a fleet.. Visit the links below to learn more about each component.

The primary interaction point with the Game Server Hosting service is the Unity Dashboard. However, there’s also the Game Server Hosting (Multiplay) API, the Game Server Hosting SDK, and the Game Server Hosting CLI.

The bigger picture

So, where does Game Server Hosting fit into a typical game? Typically, a game developer or studio has expertise in areas directly related to game creation, such as gameplay, animation, and level design.

However, successfully managing the hosting and scalingClosedScaling is the process of adjusting the number of servers in a region in response to demand. of multiplayer games can be challenging, especially when you account for the time pressures of shipping your game. This can make multiplayer games difficult to implement, especially if you don't have enough servers to meet the player demands of a game.

Game Server Hosting solves these issues for you by offering multiplayer game hosting and a scalable operating infrastructure so your development team can focus on creating engaging player experiences.

Game Server Hosting integration

Most games require several components to host a multiplayer game sessionClosedA session of multiple players connected to the same game server to play a game together., including a game clientClosedA game client is software that an end-user, or player, interacts with to join a match on a game server., server, and matchmakerClosedA multiplayer networking feature in games that groups players into a game session..

Game Server Hosting handles the game server and hosting component, while the developer usually handles the game client. One of the main integration points of Game Server Hosting is with a matchmaker, such as the Unity Matchmaker.

Other integration points include a lobby service (such as Unity Lobby) or a build service (such as Unity Cloud Build). See Game Server Hosting (Multiplay) integrations.

Matchmaker integration flow

MatchmakersClosedA multiplayer networking feature in games that groups players into a game session. group players together before the game starts to give players the best game experience possible, considering player data (such as skill level) and location.

Note: It’s common for matchmakers to group players into a lobbyClosedA lobby is a service or component that allows you to group players into a room or "lobby" before joining a game session., such as the Unity Lobby, before requesting a server from Game Server Hosting.

Players using a game client to join a multiplayer game must connect to the game server hosting the game. But the connection usually isn’t as straightforward as a game client connecting to a game server, at least not in a production environment.

Typically, the player uses the game client to join their friends in a group or squad, then the matchmaker places them into a lobby (possibly along with other players). The players wait in the lobby while the matchmaker asks Game Server Hosting to find the best game server for the players.

After the matchmaker asks Game Server Hosting for a game server through an allocation request, Game Server Hosting queues the request while it finds the best serverClosedThe best available server is an available game server that best meets the requirements for an allocation request. for the request. When Game Server Hosting finds a server, it prepares the information from the allocation requestClosedAn allocation is a request for the best possible game server for a game match., then sends the game server information to the matchmaker.

The matchmaker sends the server information back to the game client so the players can join the game session on the server.

The players connect to the game server and play the game together until the game sessionClosedA session of multiple players connected to the same game server to play a game together. completes.