Previously you had two options when it came to playing Planetary Annihilation: you could either host a game on an Uber server, or you could run your own dedicated server (also known as custom server in PA parlance) in the cloud.
This guide will teach you how to turn your offline local server into a publicly accessible server anyone can join.
Please consider these minimum specs.
- Planetary Annihilation build 98721 or later
- 64-bit OS and CPU
- Quad core CPU
- 16GB RAM
- High quality Internet connection with good upstream bandwidth
- Port forward TCP port 20545 on your router to your computer
Mods can be obtained via the in-game Community Mod Manager (CMM).
Launching the server
- Navigate to your PA directory and enter the bin_x64 subdirectory. You should see a file in there called server.exe
- Right-click server.exe then navigate to Send To and left-click on Desktop (create shortcut).
- On your desktop right-click on the server shortcut and left-click Properties from the context menu.
- At the end of the Target line, after the final quote mark, add a space and then the following:
--enable-crash-reporting --game-mode PAExpansion1:lobby --allow-lan --server-name local --mt-enabled --headless
- Click OK to close the window and save your changes.
- Double-click your shortcut. You see see this:
More server commands are available, including ones which allow you to bypass the 10 player limit. See the Public Local Server topic for more information.
Joining the server
- Launch Planetary Annihilation.
- Navigate to Multiplayer – Custom.
- Join the server called “local” which should show as having 0/10 players and 0/3 spectators, unless you configured your server to use different values.
- Once in the lobby configure the game according to your desired settings.
- Your external IP is automatically detected and entered.
- Ensure that the port displayed in the top-left (default 20545) matches the port you forwarded your router to on your PC.
- Make the game PUBLIC.
- If you wish to allow anyone to join then check the Public box on the left-hand side, otherwise leave it unchecked and use the Invite To Game functionality on your friends list.
- Once you check the public box your external IP address will be visible to others
- Your final setup should look something like this (the IP has been redacted):
You can check that other players can see your server by visiting PA Lobby and confirming that it’s listed.
If you only wish to invite friends to your game then make the following changes:
- Set the game to FRIENDS and not PUBLIC
- Do not check the Public box on the left-hand side
- Sent game invites to your friends via the friends list
This will allow you to host a game for friends without exposing your external IP to other players.
mikeyh has put together an extensive wiki page on this subject which covers topics such as increasing the maximum number of players, or writing out replays.