Note: The content on this page pertains to Game Server Hosting (Multiplay) available on the Unity Cloud Dashboard. If you’re using Game Server Hosting (Clanforge), refer to 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 form the Game Server Hosting service consist of the scaling system, fleets, builds, build configurations, and servers. Visit the links below to learn more about each component.

The primary interaction point with the Game Server Hosting service is the Unity Cloud 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

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.

Managing the hosting and scaling 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 session, including a game client, server, and matchmaker.

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 Build Automation). Refer to Game Server Hosting (Multiplay) integrations.

Matchmaker integration flow

Matchmakers 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 lobby, 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 simple 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 server for the request. When Game Server Hosting finds a server, it prepares the information from the allocation request, 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 session completes.