Feb 10 2019 05:33 PM
Feb 10 2019 05:33 PM
In my free time, I love flying digital airplanes in the battlefield simulator DCS World. Online play is great, too! But, playing online requires a server.
Hosting a server can seem daunting. Many people host on their personal PC (with poor performance) or pay a king's ransom to host on expensive hardware. Let's fix this with the Azure Cloud!
You can get a free trial or $100 free if you're a student.
This is where you'll pick the size of the virutal machine and the region.
For the size, I recommend: Standard D8s v3 (8 vcpus, 32 GB memory). I've hosted up to 25 people on a complex mission with this setup. My recommendations:
For the region: this is one of the amazing things about Azure. You can host the server in a location wich is best for the players. For example, I live the North West of the USA. But, I host my server where my online buddies fly: in the UK.
These instructions will help you make your first Virtual Machine:
DCS World takes a lot of disk space. And, the load and update processes are very disk heavy. So, don't skimp on the disk. I recommend a 256 GB Premium SSD.
Here's the instructions:
DCS World hosts on port 10308 for both TCP & UDP. You need to open this port in the Azure Firewall to allow users to connect to your server.
Use these instructions:
Use these details:
Find your VM in the azure portal. Start it, then connect using the Connect button. This will open Microsoft Remote Desktop. Enter your VM using the username and password you provided during creation.
Most servers choose to run the Open Beta. But, with the 256GB, you can fit both. Download and install from:
Your server does not need to "own" the pay modules: the base game can host all released aircraft with no DLC. The full install takes about 30 minutes.
Your VM (probably) doesn't have a graphics card. So, if you skip this step and just start hosting a server, DCS World will attempt to render 3d frames on the CPUs. This won't go well!
We can solve this by disabling 3d rendering. This replaces all 3d renders with a simple black frame. Perfect for a dedicated server. Credit to this forum post for teaching me how to do it!
Open notepad to make a new file. Add these lines:
options.graphics.fullScreen = true
options.graphics.render3D = false
Save it as:
Start up DCS World. Sign in (reminder: you don't need to own any DLC on the account you use for hosting!). Multiplayer -> New Sever. Follow the on-screen instructions.
I find that it takes 5 minutes for the first mission to load. From there on, it should only take about 2 minutes to stop and restart the server.
Don't forget to Stop your VM in the portal when you're done!
I hope you find this guide helpful. See you in the skies!
Apr 07 2019 12:27 AM - edited Apr 07 2019 01:20 PM
@SamKarim What type of costs have you seen running this? Obviously, mileage will vary but perhaps length of time and how many connections with the cost might help. You have me intrigued and thanks for bringing this great tutorial together. Now that the dedicated server has launched for DCS World 2.5, it would interesting to know if anything needs updating.
Aug 03 2019 03:39 PM
Have you been using this system with the newer web GUI and Dedi server ??
if so how does this work with maps etc.. like PG NTTR etc...
looking forward to hearing more and maybe some update on the cost you have run into like the last poster I'm interested in this...
Feb 23 2020 12:10 PM - edited Mar 07 2020 01:24 PM
I Looked as the Azure price calculator and plugged in the "suggested" specs.
Paying yearly (which give s 40% saving) costs 165GBP per MONTH. SOme folks clarly have more disposable income than I do!
Mar 07 2020 01:27 PM
I Looked at the Azure price calculator and plugged in the "suggested" specs.
Paying yearly (which gives a 40% saving) costs 165GBP per MONTH. Some folks clearly have more disposable income than I do!