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 AWS’s proven computing environment, 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. You can further reduce latency by positioning game servers in regions that are as close as possible to your players. Amazon GameLift supports regions in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia so you can choose where to best deploy game servers for your players.

  • Q. How do I make suggestions or give feedback?

    Please visit our GameDev Forums, or contact us.

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.

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.

    With Amazon GameLift’s autoscaling feature, you can minimize any delay in providing extra capacity to meet player demand, or conversely, quickly scale down to avoid paying for capacity you don’t need. To use autoscaling, you can define a set of rules that are based on real-time measures of game server capacity and player demand. For example, you could tell Amazon GameLift to scale down whenever the number of unused instances exceeds a certain number for a period of time or scale up whenever the number of available instances falls below a pre-set threshold. 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?

    Amazon GameLift is currently available in the following regions: US East (N. Virginia and Ohio), US West (Oregon and N. California), Central Canada (Montreal), EU Central (Frankfurt), EU West (London and Ireland), Asia Pacific South (Mumbai), Asia Pacific Northeast (Seoul and Tokyo), Asia Pacific Southeast (Singapore and Sydney), and South America East (São Paulo). Please refer to the AWS Global Infrastructure Region Table for the current information on product and service availability by region.

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

    US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), EU Central (Frankfurt), EU West (Ireland), Asia Pacific Southeast (Sydney), and Asia Pacific Northeast (Seoul and Tokyo). When choosing one of the above regions to host a FlexMatch matchmaker, we recommend that you pick a region as close as possible to the player population that the matchmaker will service. We also recommend placing the matchmaker’s game session queue in the same region as the matchmaker. Learn more about FlexMatch region availability in our Amazon GameLift Developer Guide.

Storage

Operational Limits

Amazon GameLift Spot and FleetIQ

  • Q. What is Amazon GameLift Spot and FleetIQ?

    Amazon GameLift Spot instances offer access to spare AWS computing capacity at savings of up to 90% compared to On-Demand prices. However, Spot instances can be interrupted by AWS with two minutes of notification when AWS needs the capacity back. You can use this notification period to migrate or shut down games running on those instances. You can achieve cost savings while maintaining high game server availability with the use of FleetIQ, a new feature of Amazon GameLift that places new sessions on game servers based on player latencies, instance prices, and Spot interruption rates.

  • Q. Why should I use Amazon GameLift Spot instances?

    You get the same high-performance hardware as Amazon GameLift On-Demand instances, but save up to 90%. By accepting a small decrease in server availability as compared to using only On-Demand instances, you can save a lot of money.

  • Q. How much will I save using Amazon GameLift Spot?

    Amazon GameLift Spot prices fluctuate based on the current supply and demand for each instance type in each region. Spot instance prices are set by Amazon and adjust gradually based on long-term trends in supply and demand for Spot instance capacity. However, Amazon GameLift Spot prices never exceed Amazon GameLift On-Demand prices. In the Amazon GameLift console, you can view three months of historical pricing and savings data for GameLift Spot for every instance type and region.

  • Q. What are the best practices for using Amazon GameLift Spot instances?

    First, set up an Amazon GameLift Queue with multiple fleets based on different sizes of the same Spot instance family (e.g. C4.large, C4.xlarge, etc.) and across multiple AWS regions. To place a game session, FleetIQ will first use player latency data to select the region that will provide the lowest latency, then place the game session into the fleet with the lowest price and the lowest interruption frequency. The Amazon GameLift Queue should also include an On-Demand fleet in each of the configured regions. FleetIQ will prioritize game session placement into Spot fleets in a region first, then fall back to the On-Demand fleet if needed to maintain high availability. To see more best practices, visit the developer documentation.

  • Q. What happens when Amazon GameLift Spot instances receive a termination warning?

    When AWS occasionally needs more capacity, some Amazon GameLift Spot instances could receive a warning that the game servers must shut down within two minutes. When that happens, you can use the warning period to gracefully migrate or shut down active game sessions. To maintain an equal amount of available capacity for your game, FleetIQ will automatically start new servers in the same region by using alternate Spot instances types or by using On-Demand instances.

  • Q. Does Amazon GameLift guarantee termination rates when using Amazon GameLift Spot and FleetIQ?

    No. FleetIQ minimizes the chances of termination.

  • Q. How does FleetIQ minimize the chances of instances terminating while games are active?

    FleetIQ tracks Spot interruption rates and uses this data to automatically place games on instances with low interruption frequencies.

  • Q. How am I charged if Amazon GameLift Spot prices change while my instance is running?

    While a Spot instance remains running, you will be charged the price set at the beginning of each hour.

  • Q. Where can I see my usage history for Amazon GameLift Spot instances and see how much I was billed?

    The AWS Management Console makes a detailed billing report available which shows Spot instance start and termination/stop times for all instances.

Other

Getting Started for Free

Learn more about GameLift pricing

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