# Alternatives to port forwarding?

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My game relies on user-hosted servers. I think this is a good idea, because each server only needs to host 2-10 players at a time, and I don't have enough money or moderation to host all the servers myself.

However, I'm having problems with port forwarding--most of the players haven't hosted a server before, and explaining how to port forward is difficult since every router is different. So, is there a way to do player-hosted game servers without port forwarding? I've heard about NAT punchthrough and UPnP, but I'm not sure how easy these are to do and how well they're suited for games. P2P isn't an option because the game needs the physics engine to be synchronized between all the players, which requires a central server.

Thanks!

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Geri    367
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send them the folowing text: [color="#000080"]
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[size="4"]If somebody dont know, what is a port forwarding: we can host a server for your game. The server cost 10 euro/week.

[img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_EdoQZaiGj-g/TIY3DBpz2dI/AAAAAAAABXQ/vejotgj7IoU/s1600/stereotype-jew.gif[/img]
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hplus0603    11347

NAT punch-through is what most systems today actually do (this includes well-deployed systems like Skype or Xbox Live or Steam, AFAICT).

This means you need to host a single server yourself, that works as matchmaker and introducer to the two other systems. This will cost you at least something -- In the range between a $10/month virtual private server, to a$100/month self-managed dedicated server, depending on load.

But if you put up a server yourself anyway, are you sure you can't just connect everybody? How many players do you have, and how much traffic will games generate?