Planetary Annihilation Custom / Dedicated / LAN / Local Servers

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Titans-icon.png Planetary Annihilation Titans & Classic Custom / Dedicated / LAN / Local Servers Wiki

Custom server support was integrated into Titans & Classic PA from build 94684 so that players do not require any mods to view, host, join, spectate or reconnect to custom servers.

There are three ways to host custom server games:

Custom servers can enable the new multi-threading improvements.

Servers do not require a GPU.

Also see:

Gold-rank-icon.png Local Servers

A PA server is included in every install on all platforms for local, dedicated or offline games.

Your computer specs and settings > server > local server determines when a local server is used for single player games.

  • auto (based on your computer specs)
  • on
  • off

Playing PA with a local server on the same computer requires a mid-top spec CPU and plenty of free RAM.

eg minimum 8GB and ideally 16GB.

The minimum specs for using local servers with Titans are:

  • quad core
  • 8GB RAM for dedicated GPUs
  • 12GB RAM for integrated GPUs

Failing to connect to a local server is usually caused by:

  • firewalls
  • antivirus interfering with network connections
  • corrupt files
  • broken mods

Gold-rank-icon.png Hosting a LAN Game

LAN games can be played on the same physical network either online or offline.

The host creates a game on their personal super computer using: start menu > multiplayer > custom > host game locally checkbox > public (top right)

This will automatically broadcast a beacon on the LAN.

Players join using: start menu > multiplayer > custom.

The game will be listed under the local region.

If online you must be logged into different accounts or if offline different usernames must be used.

Game invites are not used with LAN games.

Gold-rank-icon.png Hosting a Local Server Over the Internet

You'll need high quality broadband or fibre to host a server over the internet.

At least 5 Mbit/s upload is recommended and ideally 10+ Mbit/s for bigger games with specators.

Larger games with more players and spectators will require more bandwidth.

Install the Public Local Servers mod from Community Mods to publicly host games on your personal super computer.

Read the forum post: https://forums.uberent.com/threads/wip-client-lobby-public-local-servers.71996/

The host can create a game using: start menu > multiplayer > custom > host game locally checkbox > public (top right).

Preferred approach is to start the server manually.

WARNING: Do not use palobby.com as your region.

NOTE: Hosting in the public server browser will be advertising your public IP address.

To avoid exposing your public IP address use game invites to PA friends with the public checkbox disabled.

PA Friends Only Games

Using game invites to PA friends when logged in (preferred):

  • leave the public checkbox on left disabled and send game invites to PA friends

Players must be logged in and online to accept your game invites.

OR using the server browser (exposes public IP address):

  • enable the public checkbox on left and change to friends on top right (logged in and online only)
  • enable the public checkbox on left, change to public on top right and set a password (offline OR logged in and online)

Players join using: start menu > multiplayer > custom (look for the game name and region you specified with the correct filters).

PA friends are only available when logged in and online. They must be added in PA. ie not steam friends

Public Games

  • enable the public checkbox on left and change to public on top right

Players join using: start menu > multiplayer > custom (look for the game name and region you specified with the correct filters).

Gold-rank-icon.png Port Mapping / Port Forwarding / Pinholes

You'll need to figure this out yourself... don't ask for help about your specific router.

Your local PC hosting your local PA server on TCP port 20545 will be using a private IP address not accessible from the internet. eg 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x

Port mapping / port forwarding / pinholes open a port on your public IP address so that your local PA server can be accessed via the internet.

eg assuming your public IP address is 45.33.44.0 and the private IP address of your local computer with PA is 192.168.1.100 then you want to port map external TCP 20545 to internal 192.168.1.100 TCP 20545.

NEVER use DMZ unless you know what you are doing and have a very secure firewall setup.

http://www.howtogeek.com/66214/how-to-forward-ports-on-your-router/

Gold-rank-icon.png Manually Starting a Local Server and Saving Local Replays

To manually start a local server in lobby config mode create a desktop shortcut to the server executable in your Planetary Annihilation Installation Directory with the following command line parameters:

--allow-lan
--game-mode PAExpansion1:lobby (for Titans) OR --game-mode lobby (for classic PA)
--server-name "local" (local name in server browser)
--enable-crash-reporting
--mt-enabled (for multi-threading)

Customise with the following additional command line parameters:

--max-players 12 (depending on the specs of your local super computer)
--max-spectators 5 (depending on the specs of your high speed internet)
--output-dir "path-to/your/planetary-annihilation-data-directory" (to save local replays)
--replay-filename "UTCTIMESTAMP" (to automatically name replays using a UTC timestamp)
--replay-timeout 300 (timeout before replay is written even if players are still connected)
--headless (no window)

Once the server is started in lobby config mode you can manually connect to it via the multiplayer server browser to configure a game.

Gold-rank-icon.png Hosting Dedicated Servers

Recommended specs are:

  • 4+ cores / 8 threads ideally 8+ cores with great single thread performance
  • 16+ GB RAM ideally 32 GB RAM
  • gigabit network

Servers do not require a GPU.

Currently hosting on 32GB 3.5 GHz quad core / 8 threads E3-1270v3 1TB SSD with 1Gbit/second network on Ubuntu SoftLayer bare metal servers.

E3-1270v3 info:

Setup Guide:

Server Hardware

Now is a really bad time to buy server hardware. Next generation CPUs will be available in late 2017 and early 2018.

AMD is finally applying some top end pressure to Intel across desktops and servers. If that continues we'll see big improvements in 2018.

Many data centres will be refreshing their hardware in 2018 which will be good for PA servers. ie they are waiting for Xeon's based on 10nm Cannon Lake. We may see some earlier refreshes using Purley Xeon's based on 14nm Skylake at the end of 2017.

The E3-1280v6 launched in March 2017 is currently the best server CPU for PA.

The best data centre location for all players globally is US West or US Central on a tier 1 network transit point. Typical outbound bandwidth is a minimum of 1-2 Mbit/second per player / spectator. eg 32 players + 5 spectators can easily consume 50 Mbit/second.

Soft Layer bare metal servers have performed the best so far in terms of raw server / network performance, fast deployment, central data centre locations and network transit capability.

In general you want to rent server hardware... not buy it.

Gold-rank-icon.png Multi-threading Improvements

Multi-threading improvements in build 99377 or newer can be enabled on local, custom or dedicated servers.

Local servers are enabled using settings > server > local server multi-threading > on.

On the command line use --mt-enabled.

Multi-threading is enabled for:

  • multiple planets
  • navigation updates
  • physics updates
  • AIs

Gold-rank-icon.png Custom Servers Feed

The custom servers feed filters out and returns error codes for the following:

  • bad data (400)
  • old builds (426)
  • private IP addresses 10.0.0.0/8 / 172.16.0.0/12 / 1192.168.0.0/16 (412)

Platinum-rank-icon.png Free Uber Shared Public Servers

Uber servers are free shared public servers hosted in three regions:

  • USA
  • Europe
  • Australia

Shared servers are limited to:

  • 10 players
  • 3 spectators

Core servers are hosted on SoftLayer bare metal in each region.

Overflow servers when those are busy are hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 instances in each region.

As shared servers performance can be impacted by other games on the same server.

During steam sales there are often lots of new players hosting massive maps and hoarding units so it's very much luck of the draw.