General

  • 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 with most multiplayer game genres.

    GameLift is designed for multiplayer games that have game sessions that begin and end within a specified time period. These can be multiplayer games in genres like first person shooters, MOBAs, fighting, racing, or sports.

    GameLift Realtime Servers, a new feature in preview, is ideal for those session-based multiplayer games that share small amounts of data amongst players and have low-complexity simulation. These attributes are typical of games in genres such as card games, mobile match 3, realtime strategy, role playing, or turn-based strategy games.

  • 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.

  • A fleet is a set of compute instances in one region running one build of your game server. There are two types of fleets: Amazon GameLift fleets and GameLift Anywhere fleets. The GameLift fleet represents hosting resources as a set of fully managed Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) virtual computing machines, called instances. GameLift Anywhere fleets represent hosting resources in the form of a set of customer managed servers. You can accommodate changes in player demand by increasing or decreasing the number of instances or customer managed hardware 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.

  • Use GameLift to integrate hardware anywhere in your environment (on-premises or cloud) into your GameLift game hosting. GameLift Anywhere introduces a compute type, Anywhere, used to register your on-premises or cloud hardware with GameLift in a GameLift Anywhere fleet. You can integrate Anywhere and Amazon EC2 fleets in matchmaker and game session queues to manage matchmaking and game placement across your hardware in one location.

  • Read the documentation to get started.

  • You’ll need to download the latest version of the GameLift Server SDK. You can download the SDK by using this link here.

  • You’ll need to perform a migration in order to enable GameLift Anywhere. Learn more about how to migrate your current GameLift project to use the updated SDK by clicking this link here.

  • You pay for each game session placed and per server process connection minute. A game session is placed when you make a successful API request to host a game session on hardware that can run the game server software build. A server process connection minute is defined as one connection minute by a single compute process on a GLA-registered game server. See pricing page for more details.

  • Yes. Amazon GameLift Anywhere includes a total of 3K game sessions places and 500K server connection minutes per month for a duration of one year per account in all control plane regions. See pricing page for more details.

Billing

  • 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. 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.

  • 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. Using FlexMatch in standalone mode will incur charges based on player packages and matchmaking hours consumed. See Pricing Page for more details.

  • Compared to running servers in a colocation environment, Amazon GameLift with Spot Instances and Autoscaling can save you up to 70% on compute costs. Watch our video to learn more or see a sample cost comparison below. 

    We start with the AWS 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 AWS services and regions, visit the Data Transfer Rates.

  • No. Please note that your GameLift Realtime Servers are run within the context of 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

  • 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 AWS 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.

  • 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), Europe (Paris), Europe (Stockholm), Europe (Milan), Asia Pacific South (Mumbai), Asia Pacific Northeast (Seoul and Tokyo), Asia Pacific Southeast (Singapore and Sydney), Asia Pacific (Hong Kong), Amazon Web Services China (Beijing) Region, operated by Sinnet, Amazon Web Services China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD, South America East (São Paulo), Middle East (Bahrain), and AWS Africa (Cape Town). Please refer to the AWS Global Infrastructure Region Table for the current information on product and service availability by region.

  • US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), EU Central (Frankfurt), EU West (Ireland), Asia Pacific Southeast (Sydney), and Asia Pacific Northeast (Seoul and Tokyo) and AWS China (Beijing) Region, operated by Sinnet. A matchmaker located in AWS China (Beijing) Region, operated by Sinnet will only place players into fleets in AWS China (Beijing) Region and can only be associated with a queue located in AWS China (Beijing) Region. 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.

  • AWS Local Zones allow you to use Amazon GameLift closer to more end-users, providing them very low latency access to the dedicated game servers running your session-based multiplayer games. AWS Local Zones are a new type of AWS infrastructure designed to run gaming-related workloads that require single-digit millisecond latency, like remote real-time gaming and augmented and virtual reality. Not every customer wants to operate their own on-premises data center, while others may be interested in getting rid of their local data center entirely. Local Zones allow customers to gain all the benefits of having compute resources closer to end-users, without the need to own and operate their own data center infrastructure.

  • Local Zones for GameLift are now available in 8 metros in the United States: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.

  • We support the following instance types in Local Zones for GameLift: C5d 2xlarge and R5d 2xlarge. 

Storage

Operational Limits

Amazon GameLift Spot and FleetIQ

  • Amazon GameLift Spot instances offer access to spare AWS computing capacity at savings of up to 70% 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • No. FleetIQ minimizes the chances of termination.

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

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

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

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 AWS 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, simply download the AWS SDK and CLI, and then refer to the documentation to get started.

  • Amazon GameLift FleetIQ is available in London, Ireland, Seoul, Mumbai, Oregon, Northern California, Northern Virginia, Ohio, Canada, Sao Paulo, Frankfurt, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney and Beijing (made available 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

  • Today we are launching 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, and AWS scale 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.

  • GameLift FlexMatch as a standalone feature will be available in Seoul, Oregon, Northern Virginia, Frankfurt, Dublin, Tokyo, and Sydney. Beijing (made available by Sinnet) will be available in the coming months.

  • FlexMatch in standalone mode will cost $20 per million player packages, and $1 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.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Other

Getting Started for Free

  • Sign up for an AWS account for instant access to the AWS Free Tier, which will give you the following benefits: 

    • 125 hours per month of Amazon GameLift c3.large, c4.large and c5.large (combined) depending on region for On-Demand instance usage, plus 50 GB EBS General Purpose SSD storage
    • 15 GB per month of bandwidth out, aggregated across all AWS services

    Try Amazon GameLift for free here »

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