Shockbyte Review – Quality Minecraft Hosting at an Unbeatable Price
Shockbyte is one of the most popular providers of game servers on the market right now. The company started off in Australia back in 2013 and gradually made a name for itself over the years thanks to its quality services. Initially, Shockbyte focused exclusively on offering Minecraft hosting and that remains a big part of its business to this day. However, over time the company branched out into other areas and is currently also providing servers for Rust and Ark: Survival Evolved, with Arma 3 and Hytale labeled as “coming soon”. Shockbyte’s goal as a business is pretty straightforward – provide the highest quality services at the lowest possible price.
Have the folks over at Shockbyte already reached their goal in 2019 or are they not quite there yet? We were very curious to find out so we took it upon ourselves to look into the current state of the company’s services and see what they have to offer to users. If you’re not sure whether you should sign up with Shockbyte or not you came to the right place because this review will give you an in-depth look at the provider and help you make an informed decision. With that in mind, let’s just jump straight into it, shall we?
Plans and Pricing
Shockbyte has some of the cheapest prices out there when it comes to Minecraft server hosting. A basic package will only cost you $2.5 per month and there are about a dozen other plans to choose from. The pricing system is very straightforward, with each package costing $2.5 more than the previous one. At most, you can expect to pay $40 per month for your server hosting, though most players would do just fine with one of the cheapest options. If the price is your primary concern, it’s worth noting that you can get an even better offer on your hosting by using our coupon code, which grants you a 25% discount on your first month of hosting.
A great thing about Shockbyte is that it doesn’t separate its hosting plans into standard and premium-like other providers do. Instead, you will receive access to all the available features regardless of which package you choose. The only noticeable difference between the various plans is that the more expensive ones include more resources than the cheaper variants. This system applies not just to Minecraft but also to Rust and Ark: Survival Evolved servers.
Different Prices for Other Games
The prices for these other games are a bit higher but that’s not surprising given that Ark and Rust are a lot more resource-intensive than Minecraft. Prices for Rust servers start at $10 per month and can reach up to $25 per month. Meanwhile, the prices for Ark: Survival Evolved servers range between $15 and $50 per month depending on which package you choose. All Rust plan comes with support for Oxide while the Ark: Survival Evolved ones feature auto mod installs.
In addition to monthly billing cycles, Shockbyte also supports quarterly, semi-annual, and yearly payments. Unfortunately, there is no discount for paying in advance for your hosting so you’re stuck with the full price. That is, of course, unless you decide to use the coupon code I mentioned earlier, which will give you 25% off your first month not just for Minecraft servers but also for Rust and Ark: Survival Evolved.
Ease of Use
I don’t know about you but I’m very apprehensive about signing up with a company that makes things too complicated for its users. Luckily, that’s not really an issue in the case of Shockbyte. The company is very user-friendly and its services are easy to understand. It helps a lot that the provider’s website is well put together and simple to navigate. The first thing you’ll notice when accessing the website is that Minecraft is heavily advertised, however, if you’re interested in renting a server for a different title, you can simply use the dropdown menu labeled “game server” in order to see all the available options.
Once you complete a purchase, you can expect your new server to be up and running pretty much instantly. Shockbyte works with Multicraft CP, a popular control panel that allows users to easily manage all aspects of their Minecraft servers with just a few clicks. If you’re new to server hosting, learning your way around Multicraft may take you a couple of days but once you get the hang of it, you’ll absolutely love what it has to offer. I know I do. The control panels for Rust and Ark: Survival Evolved servers are a bit different but they are based on Multicraft so you shouldn’t have any problems learning how to navigate them.
Installs Made Extremely Easy
Since we’re talking about ease of use, it’s also worth noting that Shockbyte offers 1-click installs for a wide variety of server types and mod installs. If you have a very specific plugin or mod that doesn’t have a 1-click install, you can find tutorials on Shockbyte’s website that will teach you how to install it as a custom JAR. Another thing I liked about the company is that it allows you to upgrade or downgrade your server at any time whenever you want. Shockbyte uses an automated system for this so you can do it from the control panel without having to contact customer support, which saves you a lot of valuable time.
Additional Features and Tools
Shockbyte offers a large variety of features and tools with all its hosting packages. The features differ a bit depending on whether you’re looking at Minecraft, Rust or Ark: Survival Evolved packages. Among other things, hosting plans come with support for plugins and mods that are specific to each of the three games. For example, Minecraft servers come with support for BungeeCord while Rust servers come with support for Oxide. And, of course, both the Java and Bedrock versions of Minecraft are supported.
Given that Minecraft is Shockbyte’s main focus, it should come as no surprise that the company went all out with the features for the blocky sandbox adventure game. Purchasing any of the available Minecraft packages will grant you full FTP access, a free subdomain, a free MySQL database, automatic backups, and unlimited bandwidth. The servers are also MCPC & MCPE compatible, come with a Java version switcher, custom JAR support, task scheduling, DDoS protection, and more. The features included with the Rust and Ark: Survival Evolved packages are fairly similar, with a few additions that are specific to these games, such as server console and custom maps support.
Freebies Included with All Hosting Plans
In addition to all of that, you can also expect some other nice freebies by buying a Minecraft hosting plan. First off, you get a free 45-day trial to Enjin, a popular platform that comes with a site builder, forums, mobile apps and more, all designed to help you advertise and grow your Minecraft community. Then, you also get a 30-day trial to Buycraft, a webstore solution for Minecraft that can be used to monetize your server. Finally, every hosting plan includes a 30-day trial to Minetrends Lite, a special analytics tool that gives you detailed insights and statistics regarding your Minecraft server and its player base.
A couple of other features worth noting are free server migration and free dedicated IP. At the time of this writing, these are only included with Ark: Survival Evolved packages. You can get a dedicated IP for your Minecraft server, however, it would cost you an extra $5 per month in addition to the regular hosting price. There is no server migration for Minecraft plans but there is a server management service that costs $15 per month. Definitely a bit pricey but likely worth it for users who are not very tech-savvy. Subscribing to this service means that you won’t have to deal with configuring mod packs, plugins or custom JARs because Shockbyte’s tech team would take care of everything for you.
Specs and Slots
The cheapest Minecraft package supports a recommended number of 20 slots and will give you 1 GB of RAM to work with. For every $2.5 you pay, you will get 1 GB of RAM and the recommended number of slots will increase by 20. So, for example, the $7.50/mo package comes with 3 GB of RAM and 60 slots, the $10/mo one comes with 4 GB of RAM and 80 slots, and so on. I mentioned the “recommended” number of slots because technically all plans support an unlimited number of players.
|Hosting Plan||Available RAM||Number of Slots|
|Dirt Plan||1GB||20+ Slots|
|Sand Plan||2GB||40+ Slots|
|Cobblestone Plan||3GB||60+ Slots|
|Iron Plan||4GB||80+ Slots|
|Gold Plan||5GB||100+ Slots|
|Redstone Plan||6GB||120+ Slots|
|Diamond Plan||7GB||140+ Slots|
|Emerald Plan||8GB||160+ Slots|
|Obsidian Plan||9GB||180+ Slots|
|Spartan Plan||10GB||200+ Slots|
|Zeus Plan||12GB||240+ Slots|
|Titan Plan||16GB||300+ Slots|
Unlimited Slots for All Servers
Shockbyte recommends a certain number of slots for each package based on how many resources it contains, but you can actually bring as many people as you want to your server, albeit the performance will begin to drop if you don’t pay attention to the recommendations. In addition to unlimited slots, you also get unlimited SSD storage with all plans. $2.5/mo for unlimited slots and storage is an absolute steal and don’t forget that you can shave 25% off that already cheap price by using our exclusive coupon code.
Rust Server Hosting
The entry point for Rust server hosting is $10 and includes support for up to 40 player slots. With the other two tiers, you get 60 and 125 slots, respectively. You can’t get unlimited slots here but the price per slot only sits at $0.4, which is pretty good.
If you’re looking to build a particularly large community around your server, I suggest going for Shockbyte’s customizable Rust plan. This plan will let you pick anywhere between 125 and a whopping 300 slots for your server. The only drawback is that the price per slot here is $0.5, so a bit more expensive than the regular packages.
Ark Survival Server Hosting
As far as Ark Survival Evolved is concerned, the entry package comes with 30 slots while the most expensive one can support up to 125. Both Ark and Rust packages come with a special feature that allows you to ramp up the CPU priority from normal to high or real-time in order to improve performance. Doing so will set you back an extra $4 to $10 per month depending on how much you want to ramp it up.
This, coupled with the fact that the price per slot for Ark packages sits at $2, means that you might end up paying quite a bit if you’re looking to build a large community around your server. Shockbyte’s prices for Ark servers are overall above average compared to other providers so make sure to use our coupon code to get 25% off your first month if you don’t want to invest too much right off the bat.
Performance and Reliability
Performance-wise, Shockbyte is pretty solid but your mileage with the service might vary depending on a couple of factors, the first of which is your proximity to its servers. The further you are from the server, the more lag you are likely to experience and unfortunately, Shockbyte only has a handful of server locations to choose from. Most users in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific shouldn’t run into any issues but if you’re located somewhere else, a bit of lag is to be expected.
Another thing that will likely impact the performance of your server is the number of people playing at any one time. This seems pretty obvious but it’s worth mentioning anyway because Shockbyte offers unlimited slots with all Minecraft packages. Thanks to this feature, it may seem smart to buy a cheap plan and invite as many people as you can to your server because there is no limit. However, that would be a mistake. Realistically, each GB of RAM you have at your disposal will only support about 20 players. Going over that limit will slow things down for everyone so make sure to take that into account before purchasing a server if you want to avoid any potential issues.
Impressive Uptime Guarantee
Shockbyte offers a 100% uptime guarantee so you can expect your server to run 24/7 without any interruptions. Well, for the most part. The company is known for frequently upgrading its hardware and that means the servers will occasionally need to be restarted. When that happens, the maintenance period usually only lasts between 15 minutes to an hour, though the downtime can be a bit longer on occasion. Shockbyte does a pretty good job of letting users know about scheduled maintenance so they can prepare beforehand for server restarts.
I would consider Shockbyte’s coverage to be fairly average. The company has four locations to choose from, which isn’t great but isn’t too bad either. The available servers are located in North America, Europe, Singapore, and Australia. It would have been nice to have multiple locations to choose from in these regions but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Shockbyte allows you to choose the location of your server regardless of whether you’re buying a Minecraft, Rust or Ark: Survival package. Make sure to choose carefully, however, because some locations are more expensive than others.
If you pick NA or EU, there are no extra costs but if you go with one of the Asia Pacific locations you’re going to have to pay an additional $5 per month for your hosting. I found it particularly strange that Shockbyte charges more for servers in Australia given than this is an Australian company but there you have it. If you do have to go with one of the more expensive locations, make sure to use our coupon code to get 25% off your first month on any package.
If you read other Shockbyte reviews before coming here you may have noticed that one of the main things users take issues with its customer support. The overall consensus is that Shockbyte’s support team is solid but sometimes takes a long time to reply. That’s a fairly accurate assessment of the situation and there’s a good reason for that. Shockbyte serves a large number of clients each month but has a relatively small team, so its support agents are spread thin. The good news is that once you do get in contact with a support agent, you can usually expect your problem to be resolved swiftly and professionally.
Shockbyte can primarily be contacted via live chat and ticket (if you’re already a client). The company is also fairly active on Discord and all the usual social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. If you can’t get ahold of a support agent through the usual channels your best bet is to hit them up on Discord because the company has a sizeable community of users that might be able to help you fix any problem you may have.
A Vast Knowledgebase Available
If you’d rather try to fix things yourself rather than ask for assistance, don’t forget to check out the knowledgebase found on the official website because you can find a lot of helpful tutorials and guides there. The vast majority of them are about Minecraft, though. I would also suggest visiting the Shockbyte YouTube channel because the company frequently uploads videos that you may find more useful than the articles found on the website.
Shockbyte is overall a very solid hosting provider that I would recommend to anyone who is looking to rent servers for Minecraft, Rust or Ark: Survival Evolved. The prices are some of the best out there and the company offers a truly impressive array of features with all of its packages. The service is also very user-friendly, which makes it a great choice even for those who don’t have any previous experience with hosting their own servers.
No company is perfect, of course, and Shockbyte does have a couple of drawbacks, such as the limited location coverage. The customer support might also be a bit of a problem for some due to Shockbyte’s relatively small team. However, these are just minor gripes about what is otherwise a great service. Signing up is pretty much risk-free because you can get a full refund within 24 hours if you change your mind. The entry point is also very cheap so don’t hesitate to check them out and see if you like what they have to offer. If you do decide to sign up, don’t forget to use our coupon code to get 25% off your first month.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Shockbyte Really Offer Unlimited Storage?
The short answer yes but only as long as you comply with the company’s fair use policy. You can’t use the company’s servers to store things that are not related to its services, such as music or movies for example.
Where Exactly are Shockbyte’s Servers Located?
The NA one can be found in Montreal, Canada while the EU and Australia ones are located in Gravelines, France and Sydney, respectively.
Can Users Change the Location of Their Servers?
Changing the location of your server is possible but there is no way of making the change yourself. Instead, you’ll need to contact Shockbyte’s customer support team and ask an agent to make the transfer for you.
Can Users Change the Number of Slots?
You can upgrade or downgrade to a plan that comes with a different amount of player slots whenever you like. Although the slots for Minecraft servers are unlimited, it is recommended to upgrade to one of the higher tier plans if you want to invite a large number of people to your server.
What is Shockbyte’s Refund Policy?
The company only offers a 24-hour money-back guarantee so make sure to contact support fast if you change your mind about the plan you purchased.