How-To Host a DayZ Mod Server

I get asked a lot about hosting a DayZ Mod Server.

The simplest method is to purchase one from a game hosting provider, but since Arma2 OA is so old, they are getting hard to find. The last one I used, vilayer, was good for a while and then they stopped responding to tickets. I couldn’t get arma2 updated, so I finally left and got a plain windows server and built it myself.

If you have your own host or hardware, you can jump right to the STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL.

The Dead Return is hosted at NFOServers and cost ~$30/month. Renting a new server will be more expensive because Micro$oft raised the rates on Windows and NFO has passed that cost directly to the Windows server renters.

If you want to create a server for a few friends to play, you could host it from your home. You’ll need:

  1. Windows Computer (haven’t tried linux, but it supposedly works)
  2. Good Internet Connectivity/Bandwidth
  3. Some coding/programming/db/operating system knowledge.

The test servers I have are nothing special and have handled 4 or 5 people simultaneously. Arma2 is old and can only run on a couple of cores and a few gb of ram.

  1. Test Server 1 ($129.99 + tax)
    • Intel Core2 Duo/E8400 @ 3.00 GHz w/4GB of RAM
    • 64 bit, running Windows 7
  2. Test Server 2
    • Intel Core2 Duo/E7200 @ 2.53GHz w/4GB of RAM.
    • 32bit, running Windows 8.1
    • Originally a media server, but graphics are not important.

You can get a similar computer from Microcenter  for less than $100. It’s much cheaper to run a server from your house that it is to rent one AND you’ll certainly have full control.

I don’t know the exact bandwidth needed, but if you get kicked for high pings from existing servers, then I doubt this will work for you.

You don’t have to be a programmer, but you’re going to need to setup some software, tweak some files and maybe change some settings. If you aren’t a programmer, you better be comfortable with that and more.

I’ve created a STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL. It’s been tested and updated as issue are found.

Previously, I started with: Pwnoz0r’s DayZ Private Server Pack. Just make sure its up to date. The latest version will be announced here : DayZ Mod Announcements & Info.

Once you get the vanilla server running, there are some basic vanilla customizations you can easily do yourself.

If you want to start adding maps and scripting and all of that, I suggest you start by understanding some code that’s already been written. I say this because there is a great list of the Arma II API, but its not well documented.

After that, google is your friend. I highly suggest  reading through the applicable forums on forums.dayzgame.com and OpenDayZ.net.  You might even find your way to a random GitHub repository. There is a little info on the DayZ Mod Reddit, but not too much. Don’t forget to join the DayZMod Discord too.

Some useful reading, mods, code and tools:

Finally, remember that DayZ Mod (Released 2012) is based on Arma II Operation Arrowhead (released in 2010) which is based on Arma II (Released 2009). A lot of the community has moved on to Arma III or DayZ Standalone or other games entirely. Plenty of the information out there is old, incomplete or not applicable to the codebase you are working on.  Dont be discouraged – If you dig in, ask some questions online (there are still a few people helping), then you’ll figure it out.

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