• 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 , 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.

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • 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. Both Windows and Linux instances are billed at per instance-second and have a 1 minute minimum charge per-instance.

  • 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.

  • 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 Amazon Web Services 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 Amazon Web Services services and regions in China, visit the Data Transfer Rates.


Instances and Fleets

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Amazon command line interface (CLI) or through the Amazon GameLift console.

  • 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.

  • Within China, Amazon GameLift is currently available in Amazon Web Services China (Beijing) Region, operated by Sinnet, and Amazon Web Services China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD.

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


Operational Limits

Amazon GameLift Spot and FleetIQ

Amazon GameLift FleetIQ - Major Update Now Generally Available

  • The update to Amazon GameLift FleetIQ allows developers to onboard low-cost game server workloads to the cloud at their own pace, using their own tools, and independent of adopting any other managed GameLift features. What’s not changing is the ability to do this while experiencing up to 70% cost-savings compared to existing on-premises deployments. Gradually move live games or launching new games to the cloud with the cost savings of EC2 Spot instances possible only with GameLift FleetIQ. In addition, it supports any runtime or OS that runs on EC2 today, along with many instance types and regions. Designed to integrate with your existing game backend incrementally, save on cost, speed your time to market, and deliver a reliable player experience.

  • No, GameLift FleetIQ is part of GameLift. It is a feature of GameLift that places new sessions on game servers based on player latencies, instance prices, and Spot interruption rates.

  • This update to the GameLift FleetIQ feature is still part of GameLift. This feature update greatly enhances the flexibility in how game developers can adopt and use GameLift. Until now, the game servers that GameLift managed were not directly accessible to game developers from their own EC2 console. With these updates to GameLift FleetIQ, game developers now enjoy the benefits of the FleetIQ algorithm to find low-cost Spot instances, with those EC2 instances being placed into their own Amazon Web Services accounts. With instances in their own accounts, customers can incrementally migrate server workloads to the cloud at their own pace, partially or completely, while maximizing cost savings and minimizing game session interruptions.

  • Last year we asked customers what would make GameLift an even better alternative to on-prem deployments. Cost-savings and low latency were already a given—but increased flexibility was a common theme. Specifically, they wanted the ability to use existing tools without GameLift’s game server management layer and more control in moving game sessions to the cloud.

  • To use GameLift FleetIQ during the preview period, simply download the Amazon SDK and CLI, and then refer to the documentation to get started.

  • Amazon GameLift FleetIQ is available in the following public regions: London, Ireland, Seoul, Mumbai, Oregon, Northern California, Northern Virginia, Ohio, Canada, Sao Paulo, Frankfurt, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney and Amazon Web Services China (Beijing) region, operated by Sinnet.

  • With general availability for the GameLift FleetIQ update, only pay for what you use. GameLift FleetIQ charges a fee derived from EC2 instance charges under GameLift FleetIQ management. For full details, learn more on the pricing page.

  • The new update to FleetIQ runs on the same hardware as EC2, but uses EC2’s spare capacity called Spot to save customers money (up to 70% cost-savings compared to existing on-premises deployments) from FleetIQ replacing Spot instances that are more likely to have game session interruptions with instances that are less likely. This update can also prevent instances hosting games from being scaled-in by the standard Auto Scaling group.

Amazon GameLift FlexMatch - Update Now Generally Available

  • We launched an update to GameLift FlexMatch that enables game developers to use FlexMatch standalone from GameLift game servers. In standalone mode, game developers can use FlexMatch to form player matches and then place them into any game server solution they want. FlexMatch as a standalone feature will be charged by player packages submitted and matchmaking hours consumed. FlexMatch remains free of charge for developers using GameLift servers.

  • Previously, GameLift FlexMatch was only available to those who host their games on GameLift’s game servers. Today, GameLift FlexMatch is available to anyone, regardless of whether they host their games peer-to-peer, on-premises, or on cloud compute primitives.

  • Game developers who have existing game server commitments on-premises or on other cloud platforms have told us that they value GameLift FlexMatch’s match quality, flexible rules but want to leverage their existing game server capacity.

  • To use FlexMatch in standalone mode, a game developer sets the FlexMatchMode parameter in the CreateMatchmakingConfiguration API to STANDALONE and subscribes to an SNS topic. When FlexMatch forms a match, it will publish an event notification to that SNS topic, which the developer’s session management system can then use to route players to their game servers.

  • Within China: Amazon Web Services China (Beijing) Region, operated by Sinnet, and Amazon Web Services China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD.

  • FlexMatch in standalone mode will cost ¥ 133.33 per million player packages, and ¥ 6.67 per matchmaking hour. FlexMatch counts a Player Package each time you submit a player’s request to play a game session. This package also includes player attributes used to evaluate a match. Matchmaking Hours is calculated as the duration FlexMatch is executing a matchmaking evaluation, rounded up to the nearest 1 microsecond. See pricing page for details.


  • An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a supported and maintained image provided by Amazon Web Services for use on Amazon EC2. Amazon GameLift uses Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 2016, Amazon Linux and Linux 2 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 Amazon Web Services, including launch configuration tools and many popular Amazon Web Services libraries and tools. Amazon Web Services provides ongoing security and maintenance updates to all instances running the Amazon AMI. Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 will end on October 10, 2023, see Amazon GameLift Windows Server FAQ for more details. Support for Amazon Linux 1 will end on December 31, 2023, see Amazon GameLift Linux Server FAQ for more details.

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

  • For more information about securing Amazon Web Services resources, see the Amazon Web Services Security Center.

  • 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.

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