General

  • Q. What is Amazon GameLift?

    Amazon GameLift is a managed service for deploying, operating, and scaling dedicated game servers for session-based multiplayer games. You can deploy your first game server in the cloud in just minutes, saving up to thousands of engineering hours in upfront software development and lowering the technical risks that often cause developers to cut multiplayer features from their designs. Built on the proven computing environment of Amazon Web Services (hereinafter referred to as “AWS”), Amazon GameLift lets you scale high-performance game servers up and down to meet player demand. You pay only for the capacity you use, so you can get started whether you’re working on a new game idea or running a game with millions of players.

  • Amazon GameLift works best with multiplayer games that have game sessions that begin and end within a specified time period. Typically, these are multiplayer games in genres like first person shooters, MOBAs, fighting, racing, or sports.

  • Q. Does Amazon GameLift work for latency-intolerant games, such as first-person shooters? Does Amazon GameLift add latency to my game?

    Amazon GameLift is designed to work for latency-intolerant games. Amazon GameLift introduces no additional latency during gameplay.

    When joining a game session, your game client communicates with the Amazon GameLift service to reserve a player slot and receive connection details. This step may take up to several seconds. However, once the player connects to a game server, all player-to-server communication is done directly between your game client and game server. Latency experienced during gameplay will depend upon the player's internet connection and their physical distance to the game server.

Billing

  • Q. How much does Amazon GameLift cost?

    You pay for the compute resources and bandwidth your games actually use, without monthly or annual contracts. Please see our pricing page for more information.

  • Q. When does billing of my Amazon GameLift games begin and end?

    Billing begins when you allocate Amazon GameLift capacity and Amazon GameLift launches your game’s server binary for the first time on each instance. Billing concludes when you stop instances. For Windows instances, which are billed per instance-hour, partial instance-hours consumed are billed as full hours. For Linux instances, which are billed per instance-second, there is a 1 minute minimum charge per-instance.

  • Q. Is there an additional charge for using FlexMatch?

    No, not directly. However, please note that successful matches with FlexMatch automatically result in the creation of new game sessions. Depending on how you’re managing game server capacity, creating new game sessions may trigger additional server instances, for which you’ll be charged standard Amazon GameLift instance prices.

  • Q. How is the 70% compute cost savings compared to colocation environments calculated?

    Compared to running servers in a colocation environment, Amazon GameLift with Spot Instances and Autoscaling can save you up to 70% on compute costs. Here is a sample cost comparison.

    We start with the AWS Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator  to estimate the cost of running game servers in a colocation environment.

    For this example, we calculated costs in the US East region (N. Virginia) using Linux as our operating system and 2 CPU cores and 3 GB of memory for our servers. At peak demand, we assumed we needed 2,500 instances running. These inputs result in a 3-year total compute cost of about $4.5 million, or roughly $125,000 per month.

    Next, we chose a comparable configuration with Amazon GameLift: a c4.large instance meets the 2 CPU cores with 3 GB of memory requirement.

    Now we’ll calculate the cost savings from using Amazon GameLift Spot instances. While Spot prices fluctuate throughout the day, a good rule of thumb is that Amazon GameLift Spot instances running Linux are on average 70% less expensive than the same On-Demand instances. The On-Demand price for a c4.large instance in the US East (N. Virginia) region is $0.127 per hour. Using our rule of thumb, we arrive at a Spot instance price of $0.04. Running 2,500 instances 24 hours a day for an entire month (assuming a 30 day month) comes to $229,000 per month for On-Demand instances, but only $72,000 per month for Spot instances. So Spot instances give us a 42% savings over colocation.

    However, based on the variability from player traffic, most games don’t need peak capacity 24/7. To automatically handle changing capacity needs based on your current player demand, Amazon GameLift autoscales the number of instances up and down throughout the day. While it’s hard to know what daily demand will look like for all games, we estimated that the hourly average runs at 50% of peak capacity. With auto-scaling, that brings the cost down just under $36,000 for the month.

    Compared to the $125,000 we calculated for the colocation solution, that saves us $89,000 or 71%. Note that this calculation does not include the cost of data transfer. Data transfer fees are generated for traffic between your game servers and your game clients. Inbound data transfer is free. For outbound data transfer rates to other AWS services and regions in China, visit the Data Transfer Rates.

Development

Instances and Fleets

  • Q. Which instance types does Amazon GameLift support?

    Please see our pricing page for a full list of Amazon GameLift instances.

  • Q. How many server processes can I run on an Amazon GameLift instance?

    Up to 50. The number of server processes depends on the performance requirements of your game servers and the instance type you choose for your fleet. When you set up a fleet, you will select an instance type and configure the fleet to concurrently run an optimum number of server processes. Running more processes on fewer instances can help you decrease costs. You can also configure your fleet to run multiple server builds or game configurations on each instance.

  • Q. How quickly can I add or remove new instances from my Amazon GameLift fleet?

    Amazon GameLift provides a truly elastic computing environment. Amazon GameLift instances enable you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. You can provision one, hundreds, or even thousands of server instances simultaneously.

    Seamlessly provide the capacity you need to meet changes in player demand with Amazon GameLift Target Tracking. Target Tracking is an autoscaling feature that allows you to simply set a percentage target for available game sessions, creating a buffer to accommodate fluctuations in player traffic. Amazon GameLift will add or remove capacity as required to keep this buffer of available game sessions at the target value you define and adjust to a fluctuating load pattern, minimizing rapid fluctuations in capacity. For more information, see the Autoscaling section of the Amazon GameLift Developer Guide.

    You can also manually control the quantity of instances from the fleet details page in the Amazon GameLift console.

  • Q. How do I select the right instance type for my game?

    The right instance type depends on your game’s server performance and the number of server processes you plan to run concurrently on each instance. The computational complexity of your game, optimization of your game and network code, and maximum number of players are the main drivers for the size of the instance that you will need. One of the advantages of Amazon GameLift is that you only pay for what you use, which makes it convenient and inexpensive to test the performance of your game on different instance families and types.

  • Q. What happens to my data when an Amazon GameLift instance terminates?

    Amazon GameLift retains activity metrics. When you terminate an instance, any data generated by your game server and stored on the instance is lost. However, you can instruct Amazon GameLift to retain and store these data files for up to seven days after the instance has been terminated.

  • Q. What is a fleet?

    A fleet is a set of Amazon GameLift instances in one region running one build of your game server. You can accommodate changes in player demand by increasing or decreasing the number of instances in your fleet. A fleet is configured to use a certain instance type, to deploy a build, and to run one or more server processes on each instance.

  • Q. How long does it take to create a fleet?

    It typically takes less than an hour to set up the resources necessary to run your game, measured from the time you upload your game binary to when it is fully deployed and accessible to your players. This time is dependent on the size of your binary and the number of instances you are deploying.

  • Q. Can I access fleets and instances in real time?

    Yes. You can remotely access an instance in a fleet that is in an activating, active, or error status. This is useful for debugging, inspecting player activity in real time, or connecting performance monitoring or benchmarking tools. You can modify your fleet’s port settings and protocols using either the AWS command line interface (CLI) or through the Amazon GameLift console.

  • Q. Does Amazon GameLift allow me to update a live production fleet, or revert to a previous fleet if there is a problem?

    Yes, Amazon GameLift makes updating production fleets simple with its alias feature. An alias enables you to direct traffic to fleets without having to change the client end-point descriptor. After creating a new production fleet, you can edit an alias to point from an older fleet to this newer fleet, routing all connecting players to the new fleet alias feature.

    Similarly, if you discover an issue with a fleet (e.g., you find an issue in your game code), you can edit an alias to redirect traffic from the new fleet to an older fleet.

  • Q. Which regions is Amazon GameLift available in?

    Within China, Amazon GameLift is currently available in AWS China (Beijing) Region, operated by Sinnet.

  • Q. In which AWS regions can I place a FlexMatch matchmaker?

    Within China: AWS China (Beijing) Region, operated by Sinnet. A matchmaker located in AWS China (Beijing) Region, operated by Sinnet will only place players into fleets in AWS China (Beijing) Region and can only be associated with a queue located in AWS China (Beijing) Region. 

Storage

Operational Limits

Amazon GameLift Spot and FleetIQ

Other

  • Q. What is an AMI?

    An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a supported and maintained image provided by AWS for use on Amazon EC2. Amazon GameLift uses Windows 2012 R2 and Amazon Linux to run your game server. An AMI is designed to provide a stable, secure, and high performance execution environment for applications running on Amazon EC2. It also includes packages that enable easy integration with AWS, including launch configuration tools and many popular AWS libraries and tools. AWS provides ongoing security and maintenance updates to all instances running the Amazon AMI.

  • Q. Can anyone access the Amazon GameLift console?

    No. Only your authorized users with the necessary AWS credentials can access the Amazon GameLift console. You can use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to securely share AWS credentials across a team. Please see Creating IAM Policies for Amazon GameLift for more details.

  • Q. Where can I find more information about security and running applications on AWS?

    For more information about securing AWS resources, see the AWS Security Center.

  • Q. How did we calculate a 41 ms global median latency when using Amazon GameLift?

    We worked with a customer to measure latency between player game clients and Amazon GameLift servers. Based on 236,000 unique players connecting between May 1 and May 10, 2018 to servers in 9 regions, median latency globally for Amazon GameLift was 41 milliseconds.

Learn more about Amazon GameLift pricing

Visit the pricing page
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