5 Outstanding Arma 3 Server Hosting Providers 2019

A lot of FPS games try to depict modern warfare in a realistic manner but very few manage to do it as successfully as Arma 3. I didn’t really understand the hype for this game at first but after trying it out for myself, I definitely get why so many people are in love with it. Arma 3 is arguably the best military simulator out there and offers a nearly endless amount of content thanks to its sandbox nature.

An even bigger selling point of Arma 3 is its fantastic mod support. A lot of people would tell you that playing the game with mods is pretty much mandatory and they’re not wrong. Arma 3 has some of the best mods out there, a few of which went on to become standalone games. A prime example is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which popularized the Battle Royale genre as we know it today.

In short, mods are an essential part of the Arma 3 experience and you can find many servers out there that support them. But what if you’re new to the game and don’t know which mods are actually worth playing? Well, you could go for a trial-and-error approach and try a bunch of modded servers until you find one you like or you could simply set up your own. Creating your own Arma 3 server is easy and will let you learn things at your own pace without having to worry about other players.

Arma 3 tends to eat up a lot of resources so you’ll need a pretty powerful rig if you plan on hosting your own server. That goes double if you also want to install large mods or allow other people to join your server. Sounds like too much trouble? It certainly can be but it’s also a very rewarding experience. However, there is a better alternative to hosting your own server and that’s simply to rent one instead.

Renting an Arma 3 Server vs Hosting Your Own

Hosting an Arma 3 server can be a bit of a headache. The recommended specs for the game include an i5 CPU, 6 GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GTX 660 GPU or AMD equivalent. Those requirements may not seem that demanding in this day and age but keep in mind that you’ll need a PC with similar specs or better just to run the game at decent settings. Actually hosting a server will eat up even more resources and, of course, you’ll need a significantly better rig if you want to host a modded server.

Unfortunately, the problems don’t end there. I found Arma 3 to be poorly optimized even in 2019 so you’ll have a difficult time getting smooth frame rates unless you own a very powerful PC. This goes without saying but if your system struggles with running the game, then hosting a server is not a very good idea because it will affect everybody else’s experience as well.

I know I ranted quite a bit about Arma 3’s technical issues but that’s something that you’ll need to keep in mind before deciding to host your own server. The good news is that you won’t have to worry about most of those issues if you simply rent a server instead. Sure, your performance may still fluctuate due to the very nature of the game but at least you won’t need to spend any extra resources just to make sure that things are running smoothly for everybody on the server.

You also don’t need to worry about maintenance because the hosting provider will take care of everything for you. Naturally, you do need to spend a bit of money to rent a server but probably not as much as you might expect because many providers offer affordable packages.

A Few Things to Note About Hosting Providers

I had to learn the hard way that some hosting providers are much better than others, which is one of the main reasons why I wanted to write this article in the first place. The first thing to keep in mind is that going with the cheapest possible option is often not a very good idea because you might be missing out on key features, such as mod support.

Meanwhile, going for a very expensive server could be a bad investment in the long run if you don’t plan to build a community around it. It’s very important to plan things out a bit in order to figure which of the many hosting providers out there are capable of fulfilling your specific needs and how much you are willing to pay for their services.

The server size is another important thing you’ll need to consider. Providers use the term ‘slots’ to indicate how many people can play on a server at any given time, with one slot being the equivalent of one player. Providers generally offer servers that can support anywhere between 10 and 200 players. If you’re new to Arma 3 you’ll probably want to go with a smaller server at first, especially if you want to play alone or with only a few people. However, if you want a more intense experience with loads of people running around, you’ll definitely need something a lot bigger than a 10-slot server.

Before we move on to the next section I also want to mention a couple of things about location coverage. Some providers have servers all over the world while others focus solely on the US or EU. Make sure to pick a provider that has servers close to your location so you won’t have to worry about high latency.

Top 5 Arma 3 Server Hosting Companies in 2019

Before we get to the good part it’s worth noting that lists like these are always subjective. What works for some players might not work for others. Players who are mainly interested in the price will probably have a different list compared to players who want as many features as possible. That’s why I tried to make the list balanced and include a little something for everybody.

Although this is a ranked list, any of these five companies would do a great job at hosting your Arma 3 server. Also, companies tend to change their offers every once in a while so it’s possible that some of the information below could be a bit inaccurate depending on when you’re reading this. As of right now, though, the following are what I believe to be the top 5 Arma 3 server hosting companies in 2019.

1. NFOServers

After browsing through several forums I found that a lot of Arma 3 players swear by NFOServers, and with good reason. This is a provider that has been in the business for quite a while (2002 to be precise) and is generally considered to be very reliable.

Features:

NFO guarantees very high performance by constantly upgrading its hardware and including unmetered INAP bandwidth with every package. Servers can be accessed via a custom-made control panel that includes a variety of useful features, including a built-in FTP link. DDoS protection and debranding are included for free, as are automatic game updates and server backups. The company also offers free web hosting and a free 15-slot voice server (Murmur or Mumble). The location coverage isn’t great, with servers only being available in the US and Germany.

Pricing:

Renting an Arma 3 private server from NFO will set you back anywhere between $19.43 for a 24-slot server and $64.79 for an 80-slot server. The price per slot isn’t too high all things considered but the fact that the smallest server you can get comes with 24 slots might be a turn off for some people. The prices go up a bit if you want to make the server public and for an extra 10$ per month, you can have your server’s CPU run at a higher priority. NFO is very flexible when it comes to its billing cycles, allowing you to pay every month, every two months, every three months, every six months or once per year. Discounts are available to those who pay in advance up to a maximum of 15% off for yearly purchases.

Support:

NFOServers offers multiple support channels but agents are usually only available between 6 AM and 1 AM Pacific Time so not quite 24/7. You can contact support agents via email, ticket or the NFO forums. The company also has a dedicated IRC channel and an extensive knowledge base on its official website.

Pros:

  • Very good performance
  • Free web hosting and voice server
  • Flexible payment system + discounts

Cons:

  • Poor location coverage
  • No 24/7 customer support

2. GameServers

GameServers is one of the first names that springs to mind whenever someone talks about hosting providers that specialize in video games. The company has been around since 2000 and offers servers for pretty much any title you can think of. They’re not the cheapest option out there but the company does offer good value for your money.

Features:

GameServers makes it easy to set up and customize a new Arma 3 server in just a matter of minutes. The server can be accessed via a custom control panel and you can also take a more hands-on approach by using an FTP client. The company offers mod support but doesn’t include 1-click installs or an auto-update feature so you’ll need to take care of those things yourself. Location switching is free and you can also expect DDoS protection and debranding but server backups and game updates are not done automatically. On the bright side, the location coverage is very impressive as the company has servers in countries all over the world, including Germany, Canada, South Africa, Russia, Japan, and the US.

Pricing:

Prices at GameServers start at $15.95 per month for 8-slot servers and can reach up to $127.95 per month for 64-slot servers. A bit more expensive than other companies but you can get some nice discounts by paying for multiple months in advance. The maximum discount is 15% and is applicable if you pay for one year in advance. Users can choose to pay for their subscription every month, every three months, every six months or once per year. Speaking of discounts, you can also add any type of voice server to your package for half the regular price.

Support:

GameServers doesn’t have a live chat system but it does offer 24/7 customer support via email and tickets. The GameServers forums and FAQ page are not working as of this writing so you’ll mainly need to rely on emails and tickets if you need help with your server.

Pros:

  • Very impressive location coverage
  • Flexible payment system + discounts
  • 50% off voice servers

Cons:

  • High prices
  • No automatic backups

3. Streamline Servers

Streamline is another popular hosting provider that offers good performance and reliable services. The company is over 10-years-old at this point and offers servers for dozens of different games, including of course Arma 3.

Features:

Streamline Servers offers good mod support, with Epoch and Exile available right off the bat as 1-click installs via the built-in mod manager. Servers can be accessed through a TCAdmin control panel or FTP for a more hands-on approach. Free DDoS protection and debranding are included along with free game server migration and a free MySQL database. Location switching is not available while game updates and server backups need to be done manually. Streamline does offer a daily server backup feature but it will cost you $3.75 per month. The company offers excellent location coverage, with servers being available in 22 locations all over the world.

Pricing:

Prices at Streamline start at $11.30 per month for a 10-slot server and can reach up to $113 per month for 100-slot servers. I also have to mention that Streamline offers customizable servers that allow you to add more RAM, tweak the CPU speed or set its priority for an extra monthly fee. There are four billing cycles available – monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually. Discounts are available as well and can reach as high as 20% off for yearly payments.

Support:

Streamline offers 24/7 support but can only be contacted via its ticket system, so no emails or live chat here. However, the company does have a pretty good knowledge base on its official website that you can check out whenever you need help.

Pros:

  • Free MySQL database
  • Flexible payment system + discounts
  • Great location coverage
  • Customizable servers

Cons:

  • Few support channels
  • Paid automatic backups

4. HostHavoc

HostHavoc is a more recent player on the server hosting market, having been established only a few years ago in 2014. Despite its relatively young age, the company has slowly but surely made a name for itself thanks to its quality services and affordable prices.

Features:

HostHavoc offers full FTP access, phpMyAdmin control panel and an integrated Steam Workshop mod installer. This allows users to easily install a wide variety of mods with just a couple of clicks. The company also includes free debranding and DDoS protection along with automatic updates. Location switching is not available while server backups have to be done manually. HostHavoc’s location coverage is pretty average, with servers being available in four countries across NA and EU for the standard price. The company also has a data center is Australia but picking this option will cost you a bit extra.

Prices:

Renting a server from HostHavoc will only cost you between $20 for a 40-slot server and $60 for a 127-slot server. The minimum number of slots is quite high but the company does have one of the best prices per slot on the market right now. For an extra $4 per month you can also add CPU priority to your package and for an extra $3 (70% off the regular price) you can get access to BattleMetrics RCON. There are four billing cycles to choose from – monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, and annually, with discounts of up to 12% available for those who pay in advance for a full year.

Support:

HostHavoc offers 24/7 customer support via ticket and live chat along with a knowledge base that can be found on its official website. The company’s ticket system is very nicely put together, with support agents specializing in specific areas such as game servers, web hosting, sales, billing, and more.

Pros:

  • Very affordable prices
  • Great customer support
  • 70% off BattleMetrics RCON
  • Flexible payment system + discounts

Cons:

  • High minimum slots
  • No automatic backups

5. Nitrous Networks

Nitrous Networks is a veteran server hosting provider that strikes a good balance between price and performance. The company tends to be more expensive than some of its competitors when it comes to a lot of games, but its Arma 3 servers are actually pretty affordable all things considered.

Features:

Signing up with Nitrous comes with some nice benefits, including free web hosting, free Mumble voice server, and a free MySQL database. The company is also throwing in a premium website that you can use for free for the first 13 days. The server can be accessed via a phpMyAdmin control panel or an FTP client. Free DDoS protection and debranding are both included but location switching, automatic server backups, and automatic game updates are not. Mods are supported but there are no 1-click installs or a mod manager so you’ll need to take care of everything yourself. Location coverage is a bit lacking, with servers only being available in four countries.

Pricing:

Prices at Nitrous Networks start at $18 per month for a 30-slot server and can reach up to $60 per month for a 100-slot server. The fact that you can’t get a server with less than 30 slots is a bit of a bummer. However, a lot of companies charge more for 20 slots than Nitrous charges for 30 slots so you’re definitely getting a bargain. You can choose to pay monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually but there are no discounts for paying in advance.

Support:

Nitrous offers 24/7 customer support but works exclusively through a ticket system. The company’s official website does feature a knowledge base with some pretty useful articles, but only a couple of them are specifically about Arma 3.

Pros:

  • Good prices
  • Free web hosting and voice server
  • Free MySQL database

Cons:

  • Poor mod support
  • Few support channels
  • No automatic backups

Final Thoughts

Arma 3 is a complex game that can be very difficult to get into, particularly if you’re playing on a public server. So why not create a private one instead? Hosting your own server is definitely doable if you have a good PC and are willing to invest some time into learning how to set everything up. Generally speaking, however, I found that simply renting a server is a better option for most people.

As you can tell from my top 5 list, there are quite a few solid providers out there. Some of them are pretty cheap but may not offer all the features you might be looking for. Other companies charge a premium but offer quality services and tend to have global location coverage. As it’s usually the case with these types of things, every company has its own pros and cons.

As previously mentioned, you can rely on any of the companies I covered in this article because they are some of the best in the business right now. At the end of the day, though, it’s up to you to decide which provider is best tailored to your specific needs. My advice is to carefully check out all of their websites and see for yourself what they have to offer before you make up your mind.