Factorio Dedicated Server: Building Your Industrial Empire

As multiplayer sessions grow, the computational demands intensify, and here lies the brilliance of a Factorio Dedicated Server. A dedicated server, distinct from a player-hosted game, is an independent machine optimized for running the game, ensuring seamless multiplayer experiences.

Typically, the server requires a minimum of 4 GB RAM, though the exact specifications can vary based on the size and activity of the game.

In this article, we will run through how to set up a Factorio dedicated server through a hosting provider, compare it to hosting on a personal computer, and delve into optimizing the performance of your Factorio dedicated server.

Takeaways
  • A Factorio Dedicated Server allows players to host their own customized game worlds, providing full control over the gameplay experience
  • Running a dedicated server enhances multiplayer gameplay by offering a stable and reliable environment for collaborative factory-building and industrial automation
  • Players can optimize the performance of their dedicated server to ensure smooth gameplay and reduce lag, providing a seamless experience for all participants
  • Hosting a Factorio Dedicated Server enables players to explore a variety of gameplay styles, from competitive challenges to cooperative mega base building
  • Dedicated servers with carefully curated mods can add new dimensions to the game, introducing unique challenges and enhancing the overall experience

What Are the System Requirements and Technical Considerations for Hosting a Factorio Dedicated Server?

Below are the minimum and recommended system requirements for hosting the server:

Minimum System Requirements for Factorio Dedicated Server

To efficiently run a Factorio dedicated server, the following minimum hardware specifications are advised:

  • CPU: Dual vCore 3GHz+
  • RAM: 2 GB for server operations alone; however, 4 GB is recommended if you plan to run the game simultaneously on the same machine
  • Storage: 2-5 GB of available space, accounting for the game files, saves, and potential mods

Factorio’s server is compatible with several 64-bit operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and various Linux distributions.

For a smooth hosting experience, a stable high-speed internet connection with an adequate upload bandwidth is crucial, especially as the number of players increases.

Recommended System Requirements for Factorio Dedicated Server

For optimal performance and to manage larger player loads on a Factorio dedicated server, the following hardware specifications are recommended:

  • Storage: 10 GB to accommodate game files, mods, and multiple save instances
  • RAM: 8-10 GB to ensure swift data processing and to avoid potential lags
  • CPU: More than 2 cores, ideally a modern quad-core processor for efficient multitasking

Meeting these recommended requirements ensures a smoother gameplay experience, reduced latency, fewer in-game hitches, and a more stable connection for all players.

Network Considerations for Factorio Dedicated Server Hosting

A stable and fast internet connection is paramount for hosting multiplayer sessions, as it ensures seamless data exchange between players, reduces in-game lag and maintains the overall game’s synchronicity.

Interruptions or slowdowns can lead to desynchronizations, frustrating gameplay hitches, and potential player disconnects.

When choosing an appropriate internet service plan, prioritize plans with high upload speeds, and consider dedicated or business lines for enhanced stability.

Bandwidth Requirements for Factorio Dedicated Server

Bandwidth needs for multiplayer hosting increase proportionally with the number of players and the intensity of server activities, such as complex automated factories in Factorio.

For small-scale sessions hosting 1-5 players, a few Mbps of upload bandwidth may suffice; however, for larger servers hosting 20-50 players, it’s advisable to have upwards of 10-20 Mbps of dedicated upload bandwidth.

Always review bandwidth limits from your ISP to ensure they can accommodate peak player traffic, avoiding potential throttling and avoiding any unexpected additional costs.

Disk Space and Storage Considerations

Disk space requirements for a game server encompass the game’s core files, regular save files, and specific server configurations. In the context of Factorio, the base game and configurations only take up to 3 GB.

However, save files, especially from complex maps or prolonged gameplay, can rapidly consume space, leading to the recommendation of at least 10GB for optimal performance.

How Can You Set Up a Factorio Dedicated Server on Your Computer or Through a Hosting Service?

Here’s a step-by-step instructions for setting up the server on a personal computer or choosing a hosting provider:

Step 1: Setting Up a Factorio Dedicated Server on Your Computer

Here is how to set up Factorio dedicated server on your PC:

1. Visit Factorio’s official website or Steam to download the dedicated server package

2. Extract the downloaded files to a specified directory on your machine

3. Navigate to the extracted folder and run the server executable to initialize the server

4. To configure server settings, locate and edit the `server-settings.json` file using a text editor

5. Manage server access by adjusting user permissions in the server settings and utilizing a whitelist or blacklist as needed

Step 2: Choosing a Hosting Service for Factorio Dedicated Server

Several reputable hosting service providers specialize in dedicated servers for Factorio, including OVHcloud, DigitalOcean, and others highlighted in our guide.

Utilizing a hosting service offers the advantage of a streamlined setup process, alleviating the user from intricate configurations.

Additionally, these services often provide consistent maintenance, ensuring server uptime, and offer dedicated support channels for troubleshooting and optimization.

Step 3: Comparing Hosting Service Plans

When choosing a hosting plan for your Factorio dedicated server, several key factors should guide your decision:

  • Player Capacity: Opt for a plan that can support your expected number of concurrent players without lag or latency
  • Server Locations: Consider server proximity to your player base for optimal ping and performance
  • Pricing: Ensure the plan aligns with your budget while meeting technical specifications

Reputable providers like OVHcloud offer a range of plans tailored to diverse needs, with prices starting from $44.51/month and scaling up to $170.28/month, ensuring you can find a balance between performance and budget.

Step 4: Accessing the Server Console and Admin Controls

To access the server console, navigate to your Factorio server directory and launch the server executable; the console interface will appear, allowing you to manage and monitor server activities in real-time.

For setting up admin privileges, locate the `server-adminlist.json` file within the server directory and add the desired player usernames; these players will then have elevated rights to control the server environment.

Once added, these admins can execute privileged commands directly from their in-game or server console to manage gameplay settings, users, and other server-related tasks.

Step 5: Server Backup and Maintenance

Regular server backups are crucial to safeguard against data loss; always schedule automated backups of your game saves and server configurations, storing them in multiple locations or cloud storage for added security.

To maintain optimal server performance, periodically clean up old save files, monitor resource usage, and consider server restarts during off-peak hours to refresh the environment.

Always consult the server’s log files for errors to resolve common issues, stay updated with the latest Factorio patches, and engage with the game’s community forums for troubleshooting insights and solutions.

Step 6: Troubleshooting and Support

Setting up a Factorio server can present challenges, including difficulty in port forwarding, potential desynchronization issues during multiplayer sessions, and complications in integrating mods or custom configurations.

To navigate these hurdles, users can rely on Factorio’s official wiki, which offers in-depth guidance.

Additionally, the Factorio forums provide a space for community-driven support, and direct queries can be addressed to Factorio’s official support channel.

What Are the Benefits of Running a Dedicated Server for Factorio, and How Does It Enhance the Gaming Experience?

Here is what dedicated servers bring to your Factorio gameplay:

Enhanced Multiplayer Experience

Compared to peer-to-peer connections, dedicated servers centralize game data processing, ensuring a consistent and stable gameplay environment.

Their robust infrastructure allows for the accommodation of a larger number of players simultaneously, without significant performance degradation.

Furthermore, they optimize low-latency connections, pivotal for synchronous gameplay, ensuring a fluid and immersive co-op experience for all players.

Server Customization and Control

Running a dedicated server offers players granular control over various server settings and gameplay dynamics.

This autonomy allows for the integration of mods and unique scenarios, enabling the creation of bespoke gaming environments.

As a result, players can craft a tailored and immersive experience, diverging from the standard gameplay to suit their preferences.

24/7 Availability and Accessibility

Dedicated servers operate continuously, ensuring that players can access the game environment at their convenience, irrespective of time.

Unlike peer-to-peer setups, there’s no dependency on the host’s presence or device availability.

This guarantees an always-on server, providing uninterrupted access and gameplay for all members.

Data Security and Backups

Dedicated servers offer enhanced data security, safeguarding player information and game progress from potential threats.

Their stable architecture minimizes risks of crashes or data corruption. Regular backups further fortify this protection, ensuring that player progress and intricate creations are preserved against unforeseen data loss events.

Community Building and Collaboration

Dedicated servers act as focal points, fostering the formation of tight-knit gaming communities where players can consistently converge.

They enable large-scale cooperative projects, allowing players to collaboratively design and execute grand in-game endeavors.

This communal space also serves as a showcase, where players can share and celebrate their in-game achievements, further strengthening bonds and collaboration.

Admin Control and Moderation

Running a dedicated server grants players extensive administrative control and moderation capabilities.

Server admins can directly manage player behavior, intervening in real-time to address disruptive actions.

Through enforcing set rules and guidelines, they ensure the maintenance of a respectful and positive gaming environment for all participants.

Long-Term World Preservation

Dedicated servers enable players to sustain and preserve their in-game worlds over extended durations.

This longevity facilitates long-term projects, allowing for intricate builds and progressive gameplay narratives.

It consequently fosters a shared history and collective experiences among players, deepening community ties and enriching the game’s lifespan.

How Can You Optimize the Performance of Your Factorio Dedicated Server to Ensure Smooth Gameplay?

Here is what you need to improve overall performance:

Server Hardware and Resources

  • Utilize a powerful and reliable server machine with adequate CPU, RAM, and storage for smooth gameplay
  • Insufficient hardware can lead to performance bottlenecks, affecting the gaming experience
  • Opt for a dedicated server host with high-performance hardware for optimal performance

Network and Internet Connection

  • Maintain a stable and swift internet connection for real-time data exchange
  • Use wired connections to minimize latency and packet loss
  • Prioritize game traffic using Quality of Service (QoS) settings and avoid bandwidth-intensive tasks
  • Regularly monitor and test the network to maintain optimal connectivity

Server Tick Rate and Performance Settings

  • Adjust server tick rate for smoother gameplay with more frequent data refreshes
  • Low tick rates can lead to noticeable lag, especially with many players or intense scenarios
  • Optimize server performance settings, including entity update rate and simulation quality, based on hardware and network capabilities

World Generation and Map Size

  • Match world size and complexity to server hardware and expected player count for fluid gameplay
  • Avoid overly large or intricate maps on limited hardware to prevent performance issues
  • Pre-generate a significant portion of the map to reduce in-game lag during player exploration

Regular Server Maintenance and Updates

  • Perform regular maintenance, including software updates and optimization tweaks
  • Continuously monitor server metrics to identify and address emerging issues.
  • Promptly tackle potential challenges to ensure a consistent gameplay experience

Server-Side Mods and Scripts

  • Use server-side mods judiciously to prevent affecting server performance
  • Prioritize well-reviewed, updated, and optimized mods for minimal impact on stability
  • Test new mods in a controlled environment before full deployment to assess their performance effects

Server Population Management

  • Manage high player populations with player caps or queue systems
  • Increased players intensify CPU, RAM, and bandwidth demands
  • Implementing caps or queues helps balance and smoothen gameplay experience

Backups and Server Restarts

  • Periodic restarts clear memory caches, enhancing server responsiveness and stability
  • Refreshes can address unforeseen memory leaks or glitches
  • Regular data backups prevent data loss or corruption, safeguarding player progress and game states

Test and Monitor Performance

  • Test server performance with a smaller player group before scaling up
  • Utilize monitoring tools to gain insights into key performance metrics
  • Proactively identify and fix bottlenecks for a robust experience during player base expansion

Examples of Factorio Dedicated Server

“Factorio Factory Hub”

A dedicated server focused on collaborative factory-building, where players work together to optimize production lines and achieve automation mastery.

“Resource Rumble”

A Factorio Dedicated Server that challenges players to compete in resource management and production efficiency, testing their skills in maximizing output and minimizing waste.

“Rocket Race Royale”

A competitive Factorio Dedicated Server where players race to launch rockets into space, fighting against time and each other to be the first to achieve interstellar travel.

“Mega Mega Base”

Join this Factorio Dedicated Server for an epic adventure of creating massive mega bases, harnessing technology, and designing awe-inspiring industrial complexes.

Conclusion

When selecting a dedicated hosting provider, it’s imperative to choose a plan tailored to your gameplay needs, ensuring it delivers the performance pinnacle for optimal engagement.

Throughout this guide, we’ve endeavored to shed light on both the minimum and the recommended prerequisites for setting up and managing a Factorio dedicated server, be it on a personal computer or via a specialized hosting provider.

Armed with this knowledge, we hope you’re poised to harness the manifold advantages of a dedicated server, elevating your Factorio gameplay to unprecedented heights.

Next Steps: What Now?

Further Reading – Useful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there hosting services specifically for Factorio Dedicated Servers?

Yes, there are hosting services that specialize in providing dedicated servers for Factorio, offering ease of setup and management.

How can I optimize the performance of my Factorio Dedicated Server?

To optimize performance, limit the number of mods, ensure sufficient resources, and regularly update the game and server software.

Can I password-protect my Factorio Dedicated Server?

Yes, you can set up a password to restrict access to your server and keep it private.

How many players can join a Factorio Dedicated Server?

The number of players that can join depends on your server’s capacity, which can vary based on your computer’s specifications or hosting plan.

Can I host multiple worlds on a single Factorio Dedicated Server?

Yes, you can host multiple worlds (maps) on a single Factorio Dedicated Server and switch between them for different gameplay experiences.

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