Garry’s Mod continues to be one of the most popular online sandbox games around even after more than a decade since its original release. The game started off as a mod for Half-Life 2 but quickly took a life of its own and it’s easy to see why. Gmod doesn’t have quests, a story or any predefined goals to pursue. Instead, the game puts a wide variety of tools at your disposal and lets you use them as you see fit.
Gmod is one of those legendary sandbox games that everybody should try at least once even if you’re not necessarily a fan of the genre. And, if you have a few people to play it with, even better because the game is so much better with friends. Garry’s Mod has a very solid multiplayer component that lets you team up with people and get into all sorts of crazy antics. If you don’t feel like creating your own levels and starting from scratch, you can simply join one of the many existing multiplayer servers and jump straight into the action.
Given that this game has been around forever, it should come as no surprise that there are hundreds if not thousands of great servers to join. Having variety is always great but in this case, there might be a bit too much variety. If you’re a new player, you’ll often need to spend a lot of time testing servers until you can find one that’s just perfect for you. Alternatively, you could simply create a new server and experiment with things at your own pace.
But do you host the server on your computer or rent one from a hosting provider instead? There are pros and cons to both options so let’s talk a bit about them in the next section.
Renting a Garry’s Mod Server vs Hosting Your Own
These days, a lot of online titles allow you to quickly create public or private servers while you’re in-game. Well, Garry’s Mod is a bit different. Creating a Gmod server is a pretty complicated process that involves downloading third-party tools and modifying game files. Unless you’ve done it before, you’re definitely going to need to follow some fairly lengthy tutorials in order to pull it off.
In addition, hosting your own server means that you’ll need to allocate a portion of your PC’s resources to it at all times. Or at least, whenever the server is online, which should normally be 24/7 if other people are playing on it as well. That might not seem like a big deal if you own a powerful rig that runs all the time but hosting a server for any online game, even one as old as Gmod, eats up more resources than you might expect, especially if you’re playing with mods. And let’s be honest, you’ll definitely need to play with mods if you want to enjoy the full experience.
So what’s the difference between hosting a server and renting one? The main difference is that you won’t need to worry about any of the stuff I mentioned earlier if you decide to rent a server. Your hosting provider can take care of all the heavy lifting for you. That way, you can simply sit back and enjoy the game while still having administrator privileges and therefore, full control over what happens on your server.
Needless to say, though, this comes at a price. Renting a server means that you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription for it but you might be surprised at just how little it would cost you. Gmod servers are generally very cheap and well worth the investment.
A Few Things to Note About Hosting Providers
If you do decide to rent a Garry’s Mod server, it’s a good idea to sign up with a company that knows what it’s doing. Luckily, there are a fair number of good providers these days, including some that have been around for more than a decade and have supported Garry’s Mod since launch. But just because a company is very experienced, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit for you.
There are a few key factors to consider when choosing a provider. The first that pops to mind for a lot of people is, of course, the price. As mentioned before, Gmod servers are generally pretty cheap, however, there are definitely some expensive packages out there as well. The price of a server can vary greatly depending on how many players it can support. More players (or slots) equals a higher price so make sure not to overextend if you plan on playing with only a couple of friends.
Another thing to consider is the features you’re getting in return for your money. Most providers out there offer basic features like mod support, DDoS protection and debranding. However, certain companies include certain special features in order to sweeten the deal. These can range from things like free voice servers and server customization to money-back guarantees and everything in between. Think about what sort of features you need before renting a server.
Equally important as the price and features is the server’s location. You’ll want your server to be as close to you as possible so that you won’t have to worry about high latency while playing the game. Depending on where you live, it might not be possible to find a nearby server but at least try looking for one that’s relatively close.
Top 5 Garry’s Mod Hosting Providers in 2019
You should now have a pretty good idea of what to look for when renting a Garry’s Mod server so let’s talk a bit about some of the best providers currently available. All of the companies I’m going to cover down below have years of experience and have proven time and time again to be very reliable.
That said, my number 1 pick might not be your number 1 pick so just because a company is ranked lower on my list that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worse than the ones I ranked higher. Different people have different expectations so don’t dismiss any of these options because they are all worth looking into.
1. Nitrous Networks
Nitrous Networks is a reputable provider that has been in the business for almost a decade now. The company’s servers are known for their performance and reliability. Although the company charges more than its competitors for some games, its prices for Garry’s Mod servers are actually on par with those of most other providers.
Nitrous Networks offers support not just for mods but also for all the popular game modes, add-ons, and map packs. Free DDoS protection and debranding are both included along with full FTP access and a phpMyAdmin control panel. The company doesn’t offer automatic game updates or server backups, but does include a number of other nice features. Some of the highlights include free web hosting, free MySQL database, free Mumble voice server, and a 1-month subscription to Tebex Premium. Location coverage is pretty average, with servers being available in five countries across Europe and North America.
The cheapest server (10 slots) at Nitrous goes for $4.90 per month while the most expensive one (80 slots) will set you back $39.20 per month. In addition, the company also offers a different type of package that comes with a fixed number of 32 slots and costs $12.13 per month. By comparison, a 32-slot server with the regular package will cost you $15.68 per month. The special package has a better price per slot but the number of slots can’t be changed and you would also be missing out on the free month of Tebex Premium by choosing this package, so there are pros and cons to it. Nitrous Networks accepts monthly, quarterly, semi-annually and yearly payments.
Nitrous Networks offers 24/7 customer support but works exclusively with a ticket system, which is a bit disappointing. However, you can find an FAQ page and a knowledge base with useful Garry’s Mod tutorials on the official website.
- Free web hosting
- Free MySQL database
- Free voice server
- Good Prices
- Few support channels
- No automatic server backups
Low.ms is a relatively new entry on the market that managed to quickly make a name for itself thanks to its great services. The company primarily focuses on offering a lag-free experience for all its customers regardless of which game they are playing.
Excellent performance is the name of the game here as all servers are hosted on cutting-edge hardware. Performance aside, you can expect pretty much all the important features, including debranding, DDoS protection, full FTP access, and TCAdmin control panel. You also benefit from automatic game updates, automatic server backups, and mod support complete with 1-click installs and Steam Workshop integration. In addition, you can take advantage of a couple of special features like game switching and location switching. Location coverage is pretty good, with 11 data centers to choose from across the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
Prices start at $4.90 a month for 10-slot servers and can reach up to $31.36 for 64-slot servers. Low.ms offers server customization but you’ll need to pay a pretty penny for the best options, especially if you want to add dedicated CPU threads to your server. Low.ms allows customers to pay on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or yearly basis.
Low.ms offers 24/7 customer support via email and tickets. Live chat is not available at the time of this writing, however, the company says that this option will also be added at some point in the future. In the meantime, you can reach out to Low.ms on Discord in addition to the aforementioned channels.
- Game switching
- Good location coverage
- Good prices
- Good performance
- Expensive server customization
3. Crident Networks
Unlike most of the big server providers out there, Crident Networks doesn’t offer servers for all the popular games, choosing instead to focus on a few key titles. Another thing that makes the company stand out from the crowd is that it offers a wide selection of packages to choose from for each of the games it supports, including Garry’s Mod.
Crident’s list of features is pretty extensive. For starters, you have the basic ones like DDoS protection, FTP access, custom control panel, FastDL, and mod support complete with 1-click installs and Steam Workshop integration. Then, you have a lot of advanced features like free MySQL databases, dedicated IPs, remote off-site backups, and automatic backdoor scanner. The location coverage is pretty decent as well, with servers being available in six different countries across Europe, Australia, and North America.
Crident Networks uses a different pricing model than most of the other hosting providers out there. Instead of having a single package where users pay per slot, the company offers six different packages, each of which was designed to cater to a specific type of user. For example, the cheapest package costs $6 per month and is recommended for 2-8 players. Meanwhile, the most expensive package goes for $65 per month and can support between 70 and 128 players. Certain packages are customizable and can be upgraded or downgraded at any time. Although this payment system is pretty interesting, it’s not necessarily better for everyone, especially those who need a fixed number of slots. Crident works with monthly, quarterly, semi-annually and yearly billing cycles.
Crident offers 24/7 customer support but only via tickets. However, the company does have its own forums as well as a dedicated Discord channel where you can reach them. There’s also a knowledge base on the official website but it only has a few articles so it’s probably not going to be very helpful.
- Free MySQL databases
- Dedicated IPs
- Off-site backups
- Good performance
- Some of the packages are pretty expensive
- The payment system isn’t for everybody
4. Host Havoc
Host Havoc is a good option if you’re looking for a Garry’s Mod server provider that doesn’t skimp on the features and doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for its services. The company is also known for having servers that are very easy to set up, which means you can start playing in no time.
Host Havoc servers come with most of the features I would consider essential, including free DDoS protection, debranding, and good mod support. Users also have full FTP access and can configure their servers with the use of a TCAdmin control panel. The company also includes a MySQL database and a live web console but doesn’t offer automatic server backups. As a nice little bonus, Host Havoc includes a free month of MistForums with every Garry’s Mod package. Host Havoc has servers in nine different locations across Europe, North America, and Australia.
Prices start at $10 per month for 20-slot servers and can reach up to $50 per month for 100-slot servers. That’s just $0.5 per slot, which is pretty reasonable, though the minimum number of slots is quite high. There’s not much to look at in terms of server customization but you can increase your CPU priority for an extra $4 per month. Host Havoc works with monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and yearly billing cycles. You can benefit from discounts from up to 12% by paying for several months in advance.
Host Havoc offers 24/7 customer support via all the usual channels, including tickets, email, and live chat. In addition, the company also has a great knowledge base on its official website complete with tutorials, FAQ section, and more.
- Free MySQL database
- Flexible payment system + discounts
- Great support
- Good prices
- No automatic server backups
- High minimum slots
5. Krypton Networks
Krypton is a less known hosting provider that specializes exclusively in Garry’s Mod and CS: GO servers, which is one of the main reasons why the company is not as popular as some of the others on this list. However, Krypton shouldn’t be dismissed because its prices are extremely affordable.
Krypton doesn’t have that many interesting features but you do get free DDoS protection, mod support, and a free MySQL database. Servers can be accessed via FTP or a custom open-source control panel known as Pterodactyl. There aren’t a whole lot of other notable features, though that’s not necessarily surprising given the bargain prices. As for as the location coverage is concerned, there are only three data centers to choose from, two of which are located in the US while the third is found in the UK.
The main selling point of Krypton Networks is undoubtedly its low prices. You can rent an 8-slot Garry’s Mod server for as little as $1.92 per month or you can go all the way up to a 128-slot server for just $30.72 per month. There’s also a special 32-slot package that goes for just $7.68 per month, which is definitely a steal. For a little bit extra, you can add more disk space to your server and it will only cost you a few more bucks. Krypton works with monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and yearly billing cycles.
Krypton offers 24/7 customer support via email and has a dedicated Discord channel you can reach them at. The company also has a knowledge base on its official website that contains a few useful tutorials along with a pretty lackluster FAQ section.
- Extremely cheap prices
- Free MySQL database
- Poor location coverage
- Few support channels
- Few notable features
Is renting a Garry’s Mod server better than hosting your own? In most situations, yes. Setting up your own server is a bit of a headache and making sure everything runs smoothly 24/7 isn’t worth the hassle for the majority of players. Renting does cost a bit of money but comes with a lot of benefits that you would probably not be able to access otherwise.
The only real problem with renting is finding the provider that’s just perfect for you. It’s sometimes difficult to find a company that can fulfill all your requirements but hopefully this article has helped you come one step closer to finding it.
It’s worth noting that certain providers periodically change their offers so some of the information found in this article might be slightly inaccurate depending on when you’re reading it. Make sure to do a bit of research on your own before you decide to seal the deal with any of the companies mentioned here.