What is a Game Server Control Panel?

Jeremy Laukkonen

A game server control panel is a tool that can be used to remotely monitor and adjust online multiplayer game servers. Many game service providers (GSPs) offer a game server control panel when a dedicated server is rented. This can allow the server admin to set the game up, monitor usage, and make any necessary adjustments. Some actions that an admin can typically take through a game server control panel include restarting the server, changing map rotations, and kicking or banning players. There are a variety of commercially available control panels, which can be either web based or make use of a desktop application.

Racks of servers.
Racks of servers.

Most online games offer tools that can be used by an admin if he is logged in and playing the game. This is typically achieved by opening a terminal window and then logging in as an admin so that the game will recognize the authority of that player. The admin can then typically enter further commands into the terminal to remove troublesome players, activate game mods, change maps, or perform a number of other useful functions. These tools are typically only available if the admin is actually logged in to the server, so a game server control panel is often used at other times.

Any time that an admin is not logged in to his server or does not have physical access to it, such as is often the case with rental servers, a web or application based control panel is often used. A web based game server control panel typically allows the admin to log in from a browser on any computer and gain access to critical information and tools. If the server crashes or needs to be updated, the control panel may allow the admin to perform these functions. A control panel can allow an admin to deal with troublesome players regardless of whether he is on the server himself. Various server settings can also typically be adjusted, such as map rotations, round timers, class limitations, and other items depending on the game.

Commercially available control panels often allow someone to admin a number of different servers through a single interface. Each game server control panel supports different games, though a wide variety of popular titles are often covered. If a new or less popular game is not supported by an existing control panel, a GSP or server admin will often be able to program an interface that adds the functionality. In other cases, an entirely new control panel may be created from scratch.

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