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What is a Game Server, Dedicated Server, Listen Server, and Peer to Peer

Updated on April 29, 2013

What is a Game Server: Article Summary

This hub will contain the definition of game server and give answers to the types of game servers such as what is a dedicated server, what is a listen server and what is a peer to peer game server or P2P game networking. It will also include the game server browser meaning and examples.

Definition of a Game Server

Game server is a kind of server, which is used to host online games locally or globally. Its primary use is to satisfy the concepts of the online games it has. For example if the game needed many players and it already have signed up players, the game server main function is to connect those players in enable all of them to communicate with each other according to the game they are playing. The game server is the one, which collects responses from the players and should deliver a counter response for every response that the player sends to another co-player. Hence, it is the one that process the players’ response and inputs; it is also the one that is responsible for delivering the proper games graphics and interfaces to the players who is playing a certain game. Game server has its own types and those types have its own limitations and different capabilities. These game server types named as follows: dedicated game server, peer to peer game server and listen game server.

What is a Dedicated Game Server

A dedicated game server is a type of game server that supports large number of players and multiple kinds of games. Dedicated game servers give its client an opportunity to install and modify the number of game he wants inside the server. Usually, nowadays dedicated servers are used by the companies, which have produced games that has a massive number of players internationally. The other reason why the companies often choose dedicated server is because of its superiority compare to other game servers. In general, dedicated game servers are flexible when it comes to its client’s needs.

What is a Listen Server

A listen server is the server used mostly for the games which are being published locally with local intended users. It is the second most efficient game server after the dedicated server. Though listen game server almost behaves like the dedicated game server, but it is not efficient when it comes to large number of players accessing the game because of its bandwidth limitations, aside from that, listen server do not support players that have computers with low memory and CPU usage.

What is a Peer to Peer Game Server: P2P Game Networking

A peer to peer game server is also known as P2P game networking and has its own set of advantages and disadvantages in network gaming. But compare to the other two above, peer to peer is less popular in an online game for the clients who hosts games with more than 5 players. However, it is best for those clients who host games that have less required players for practical reasons like bandwidth cost, without sacrificing the players’ fast interaction with the game.

What is a Game Server Browser

A game server browser is an application that is mainly used to search for game servers and players worldwide. It is also provides the IP addresses of the game servers that is being search by the surfers. Some examples popular and most common game server browsers are in the table below.

Game Browser name
1. Server Browser
2. Q Tracker
4. Game Viewer,
5. XFire

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