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Game Server Load Balancing

Bethany Hill
Feb 1, 2021 5:00:00 PM

Game server load balancing is a network methodology used to distribute network traffic between multiple game-servers. Different criteria can be used to distribute the players' traffic between the game servers, like turn-based, weighted or persistent routing, to name a few. The game server load balancing device or software, called a load balancer, sits between the game servers and the players(clients), and is responsible for ensuring that each player gets routed to the most desirable game server.

Active health monitors ensure that the player traffic is only sent to the most desirable servers by monitoring connection metrics such as game server load, player latency, and game server health. The game server load balancer also plays a critical part in a disaster recovery plan, where traffic can seamlessly switch to a new server in case the server goes down for some reason. Additionally, the balancer can protect against security and DoS threats with active monitoring of anomalies.

Certain load balancers can automatically scale resources based on monitoring metrics to prevent a situation where the player load saturates the game servers. Scaling is particularly useful during launch events or other ad-hoc times where it is hard to predict the expected traffic.

Check out our blog post: Cloud Infrastructure Best Practices for Video Game Launches to learn more about how to stay online, scale-up, and keep latency down.

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