Counter-Strike has transcended its game status and become a phenomenon. More than 10 million players plant bombs and rescue hostages each month, with varying degrees of success. With such insane player numbers comes a lot of opportunity for grief. Go with some of the best CS:GO server hosting providers, bring over your friends, and play the game your way!
Why run a custom server?
You might not be able to climb the ranks, but having your own server comes with many benefits. You can load any of the thousands of maps available on the Steam Workshop and do anything from surfing to playing the guitar S.T.A.L.K.E.R. style. A private server is also an excellent place to practice aiming, grenade throwing and skirmishing against bots. If you get the right people together, a private server can also be a refuge from the rampant toxicity and cheating you’ll experience in public games.
Player limit: 64 | Mod support: Yes | Moneyback guarantee: 7 days | DDoS protection: Yes | 24/7 support & knowledge base: Yes | Control Panel: Custom
DatHost aims to provide the ultimate privately-hosted CS:GO experience. While it caters to other popular games, its features are specific to Counter-Strike. These make DatHost the first choice for everyone from casual groups of friends to pro teams looking for a proper scrim.
Ease of access is a top priority for DatHost, as you’ll experience during the setup process. You only need to select the 8, 14, or 20-player preconfigured options or rent servers for up to 64 players. During the setup, you can specify which game mode you prefer – ideal for practice sessions and custom maps!
Slots on DatHost are expensive, but you can bring the price down if you lower the tick rate to 64. Dedication will get you far with this provider since they offer a 10% discount if you pay quarterly and a hefty 20% for an entire year. Moreover, none of our other picks offer a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Exceptional server coverage is another reason you’ll want to go with DatHost. They boast 25 worldwide locations. While most of these are unsurprisingly in North America and Europe, Asia has a strong presence too.
Player limit: 127 | Mod support: Yes | Moneyback guarantee: 24 hours | DDoS protection: Yes | 24/7 support & knowledge base: Yes | Control Panel: TCAdmin 2
Whereas DatHost takes pride in simplicity, our next pick lets you plan everything down to the smallest details. GTXGaming is the best CS:GO server hosting provider for players who plan on stressing their servers and need the hardware to do so.
Get nine buddies onboard, since ten is the minimum number of slots GTXGaming supports. In return, the basic package ends up costing about half of what DatHost charges. The difference sounds huge, but selecting some of our second pick’s more enticing bonus options will quickly close the gap.
For example, you’ll want to fork over another $2 to upgrade the tick rate to 128 – a must if you’re competing at the professional level. CS:GO is undemanding, so other options like extra RAM allocation or better CPU support aren’t necessary. They’re nice to keep in mind once you switch to Counter-Strike 2, though.
Sticking with GTXGaming for three to six months nets you 5% or 10% discounts, respectively. Make sure you’re happy with your selected configuration and test the server’s stability as soon as it’s running since you only get a day to ask for a refund.
GTXGaming matches our winner in server coverage, offering 25 locations primarily centered on Europe and the USA.
Player limit: 100 | Mod support: Yes | Moneyback guarantee: 72 hours | DDoS protection: Yes | 24/7 support & knowledge base: Yes | Control Panel: TCAdmin 2
Host Havoc regularly occupies the top spots on our hosting provider lists. It’s a bit lower this time since nothing beats DatHost’s dedication or GTXGaming’s in-depth configuration. However, Host Havoc is still hanging in there due to world-class server stability and customer support. Sometimes having the lowest ping and most reliable uptimes trumps everything else. For that, Host Havoc is king.
If you were hoping for lots of options during server setup, you’ll be disappointed. Conversely, Host Havoc offers an excellent, no-fuss experience for newbie admins who want to start running their server ASAP.
You start by choosing the number of players. Host Havoc is good for custom maps since 20 slots is the minimum buy-in, and you can purchase as many as 100 slots. At $0.50 a pop, it’s among our cheaper options too. Knock another 5% off if you choose to pay quarterly.
User reviews praise Host Havoc for their dedicated customer support and nearly flawless uptimes. The control panel is intuitive and powerful, allowing you to add mods, load different mas, and change core parameters with ease.
Our biggest gripe with Host Havoc for CS:GO is its North American exclusivity, which is weird since they offer better coverage for other titles. At the time of writing, you can only rent CS:GO servers in the US and Canada.
Player limit: 64 | Mod support: Yes | Moneyback guarantee: 48 hours | DDoS protection: Yes | 24/7 support & knowledge base: Yes | Control Panel: Custom TCAdmin variant
PingPerfect isn’t as well-known as some of our other suggestions. That shouldn’t stop you from choosing it over others, especially if you appreciate GTXGaming levels of customizability. It’s also among the best CS:GO server hosting providers if you’re in the USA due to data centers on both coasts and in between.
Not much about PingPerect’s presentation stands out. They tout 24/7 uptime and excellent customer support like the others. You get free web hosting as part of the deal, which is ideal if you want to maintain your clan’s website alongside playing the game on reliable servers.
The initial setup has lots of settings to tweak. Servers support between 10 and 64 (counter)terrorists. Initial rates are reasonable but go up as you invest in more goodies. You can leave PingPerfect branding on to mitigate the cost slightly, but that’s about it.
Some extras are worth paying for, like the upgrade to 128 ticks. CS:GO is so old & optimized that hosting it on the fastest NVMe drives hardly matters. Newcomers to CS:GO hosting might want to drop the $6.50 for a one-time server setup from PingPerfect’s pros. Otherwise, normal is the way to go.
Not sure whether hosting of any kind is right for you? PingPerfect has a leg up on most competitors by offering a free two-day trial. That’s also how long you have to refund any regretted purchases.
Player limit: 32 | Mod support: Yes | Moneyback guarantee: 5 days | DDoS protection: Yes | 24/7 support & knowledge base: Yes | Control Panel: Custom
Game Servers provides just what the name suggests, plus voice chat servers too. They’re among the oldest and most dependable hosting companies, having started almost 20 years ago. CS:GO players will be intrigued by the unparalleled server location choices and 128-tick default.
We’ve seen cheaper hosting options. However, the price premium comes with a well-deserved reputation for server stability and a friendly staff that goes out of their way to help when you hit a wall. It’s also nice when hosts go out of their way to create a custom panel that makes server management more approachable for the less technically minded.
Game Servers is the only provider on the list that distinguishes between public and private servers. Going public will cost you 30% extra on top of already pricey slots. Still, it’s a small price for a chance at notoriety.
Slots range from 10 to 32. Getting more players on board doesn’t help the bottom line, but signing up for longer does. Game Servers isn’t among our more generous choices, but 15% for a year does add up.
Once you’ve settled the specifics, it’s time to pick a location. That’s where Game Servers shines. It covers the globe thoroughly, with almost thirty locations to pick from. Some are on backorder, but unless you’re from South America or Africa, chances are the next one over will have a minimal impact on ping.
Player limit: 1,000 | Mod support: Yes | Moneyback guarantee: 72 hours | DDoS protection: Yes | 24/7 support & knowledge base: Yes | Control Panel: Custom
While the best CS:GO server hosting companies aim to please, few offer attractive deals for small groups of friends. Enter GPORTAL, another well-known contender that stands out because of how many – and how few – slots it offers for its servers.
From the signup to managing your server via their custom control panel, everything about GPORTAL is straightforward and intuitive. We especially like that you can rent a server for only four people if you’re short on cash but want to regularly get good practice with teammates.
Similarly to PingPerfect, GPORTAL lets you experience hosting for three days. It’s more expensive per day than a monthly sub but great for getting your feet wet. A month of server time for 10 people will set you back around $12, making GPORTAL one of our middle-of-the-road suggestions. Spending a year getting to know every stone in Dust 2 will bring the price down by 20%.
Everything about GPORTAL sounds fair and straightforward, so why is it last? It shares Host Havoc’s server availability problem. Only centers in Germany are available, so look elsewhere if you’re not European. They offer servers in other geographical locations for games like V Rising, so this might change.