Host Havoc Review: The Best Game Hosting Company?

Reviewed bywritten by jacob tuwiner Jacob Tuwiner
Pros
  • 99.9% Uptime
  • Servers around the world
  • Best game server hosting support
  • Great control panel
  • Easy plugin/mod support
Cons
  • Pricier than their competition
  • High minimum server slot count
  • No free trial
Type
Dedicated
Mods
Yes
Support
Great
Platform
PC
cPanel
TCAdmin
DDoS
Free

After hosting servers for a variety of different games, including Rust, ARK, Battlefield, and even TF2, I’ve dealt with my fair share of hosting companies.

Trying more than a dozen hosting companies has given me a strong sense of what I like in a hosting company, what I don’t like, and what I hate.

I can honestly say that Host Havoc is my favorite game hosting company on the market for survival games. But it’s not all good, and for some of you, the downsides of Host Havoc might be a dealbreaker.

In this Host Havoc review, I’m going to share the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Let’s dive in!

Host Havoc Company Background

Host Havoc was established in 2013 by their President, Clay Berndt. Originally, they only offered private hosting services.

However, in February of 2014, Host Havoc started offering public services, and by July of the same year, they reached more than 100 active customers. At this point, they were only operating in Canada, Clay’s place of residence.

Just about one year later, in June of 2015, Host Havoc reached a total of 500 customers, and they knew it was time to expand.

They did so in September of 2015, starting with the US market. In January of 2016, they reached 1,000 active customers, and just one year later, they increased their customer base by five times.

Recently, in July of 2019, they switched to 100% NVMe hardware, the fastest storage solution on the market. This upgrade is one of the reasons why their servers are so darn fast, as we’ll talk about in the performance section below.

The company focuses on honesty and high-performance for the best price. Everyone at the company is a gamer, so they understand their customers’ needs and pain points.

Since they love to play the games, they support and have experience operating the servers themselves, and it translates to a level of understanding that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

Here’s a quote from Clay:

As a community owner, I was sick and tired of poor performance and multi-hour response times. We knew there was space for a new contender in this extremely competitive market. And thus, Host Havoc was born. It's amazing to see how far we've come over the years.

Host Havoc Locations

host havoc locations

If you’re going to buy a server with Host Havoc - or any server company, for that matter - it’s essential you live close to one of their server nodes.

Host Havoc has 11 locations across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia, including:

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • New York City, New York
  • Montreal, Canada
  • London, UK
  • Strasbourg, France
  • Nuremberg, Germany
  • Sydney, Australia

Their servers are all over the world. Considering this review is written in English, odds are they have a server near you if you’re reading this.

Types of Host Havoc Servers

Host Havoc offers primarily game hosting services, in addition to web hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers.

I’ve only experimented with their game servers, which is why this review primarily focuses on the gaming side of things. However, I didn’t think the review would be complete without mentioning their other offerings.

Let’s talk about each one:

Game Server Hosting

host havoc locations

Host Havoc is probably best known for their game servers. That’s why most of the advertising on their homepage is dedicated to video games.

They support more than 25 popular games, including Minecraft, Arma 3, ARK, 7 Days to Die, CS:GO, Rust, Garry’s Mod, Space Engineers, Terraria, and more.

They base their pricing on the number of slots you choose, and the price per slot varies from game to game.

I’d say one of Host Havoc’s main drawbacks is their high minimum server slots, which isn’t ideal for someone wanting to play with just a friend or two. But we’ll talk about that in more detail below.

Web Hosting

web hosting

When most people think of web hosting providers, BlueHost and Siteground typically come to mind. But Host Havoc has web hosting as well.

I’ve only experimented with their game servers, but they have the same satisfaction guarantee with their web hosting as their game hosting.

All of the same features included with their game servers are also included with their web hosting servers like free DDoS protection.

Rather than pricing with slots, they have three pricing tiers with varying levels of disk space, bandwidth, subdomains, email addresses, and more.

Their web hosting also makes use of cPanel, the industry-standard in web hosting control. You won’t find an easier way to manage your websites. The biggest web hosting service providers like BlueHost and Siteground use cPanel as well.

VPS Hosting

vps hosting

Next, Host Havoc offers VPS hosting or Virtual Private Servers.

VPS servers are a budget-friendly middle-ground where slow shared server hosting and expensive dedicated server hosting meet. You won’t get the best performance, but it won’t be the worst either, and it’s more affordable than going all out on a dedicated server host.

They have a bunch of different options based on the requirements you need. All of their VPS servers come with an easy-to-use control panel, full root access, and OS selection, no hidden contracts, DDoS protected, and more.

I’m not an expert on VPS hosting - for more information, check out this guide from BlueHost on VPS servers.

Dedicated Hosting

dedicated hosting

If you’re running a website with lots of traffic, or any other application for that matter that’s going to need a lot of server performance and reliability, dedicated server hosting is the way to go.

Host Havoc offers two dedicated server hosting options, both with similar price and performance.

You can even use these dedicated servers to host a game server. Host Havoc allows you to easily link your regular game server control panel to their dedicated server.

Using a dedicated server for gaming effectively gives you a significant boost in power and reliability, at the cost of a higher monthly payment.

Features Host Havoc Offers Their Users

Here are some of the features Host Havoc offers on their website:

Host Havoc features

That’s a lot of bold claims, but how do they hold up in the real world?

99.9% Uptime Guarantee

I’ve been using Host Havoc for some time now, and I can tell you, Host Havoc is no joke.

Let’s start with the 99.9% uptime guarantee. Host Havoc claims ‘high network availability’ because they house their servers in the industry’s best data centers with reliable uplinks.

Honestly, I’m not a big tech guy, and I’m sure you guys aren’t expert server admins either. Most of that jargon goes in one ear and out the other, at least for me.

But what I can tell you is their servers are reliable. I’ve never had a problem with a server crashing or going down in my nine months of hosting with them. Even when my server was nearing its capacity, things chugged along smoothly.

24/7/365 Support

Another one of their best features is 24/7 support. I have more information on their support below, but I’d also like to mention it here.

Host Havoc has - by far - the best game server support staff I’ve had the pleasure of using. They’re lightning-fast and responsive. Host Havoc has even been helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, which says a lot about their quality of service.

NVME SSD Storage

Their infrastructure consists of more than 80% NVME drives, which are the fastest storage solutions on the market. They’re more than 7x faster than SSDs, and 20x faster than traditional hard drives.

While some hosting companies cut corners using standard SSD drives and even old, slow mechanical drives, Host Havoc only uses the best equipment. I think that’s why their servers have performed so well for their other customers and me.

Instant Setup

Their game servers are setup instantly and automatically after purchase.

That is, you can connect to your server as soon as you pay for it and log in to your control panel.

However, that doesn’t mean your server is going to be finished immediately after purchase.

Sure, if you want a vanilla experience, it’s an instant deployment. But most people (if not all) will need to configure their server more than its initial state post-purchase.

For example, you have to add yourself as the owner in the server so you can fly, spawn items, ban people, change the weather, etc.

You’ll also have to add plugins to the server after being deployed.

I think what they mean by ‘instant setup’ is the server goes live after you click ‘purchase’, which is instantaneous, compared to all of the configuration and port forwarding that’s required when you host a server yourself.

So yes, in a sense, the server is deployed instantly, which is nice. But there’s still a lot more housekeeping work (or should I say, server keeping) to do!

Free DDoS Protection

All of their hosting services offer free DDoS protection, from basic UDP floods to Source Engine query attacks.

They protect against 35+ types of attacks and have defended more than 3000 individual attacks since their inception in 2013.

Knowing your server is safe from malicious intent and foul play from the beginning is a nice feeling, especially when you know it does not cost you a dime!

3 Day Money Back Guarantee

Although I would prefer a free trial rather than a money-back guarantee, Host Havoc is true to their word.

After accidentally purchasing two servers instead of one, I asked them for a refund, which they swiftly granted.

If you’re not 100% satisfied with your purchase within three days, they’ll give you a refund, no questions asked.

In my opinion, three days isn’t very long - I would’ve preferred.

Supported Games

games

Host Havoc supports more than 20 different games, including:

  • 7 Days to Die
  • ARK: Survival Evolved
  • Arma 3
  • Atlas
  • Conan Exiles
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • DayZ
  • Gary’s Mod
  • Minecraft
  • Rust
  • Space Engineers
  • Terraria
  • Unturned
  • The Forest

And more!

Setting Up Your Server with Host Havoc

Host Havoc makes it easy to deploy your server. It’s ready for gaming immediately after your purchase is complete, although this seems to be the industry standard these days anyway, so it’s nothing to write home about.

Once you log in to your control panel (more on that below), you can begin to configure your server to your liking. Host Havoc makes use of the TCAdmin control panel, one of the oldest and most popular control panels on the server hosting market.

I was testing Host Havoc with Rust. They make it easy to install uMod (Oxide) and plugins, without having to mess with the server files.

Simply copy/paste the plugin link on uMod into their plugins bar, click run, and you’re good to go. It’s that simple.

You can also download the plugin from uMod and install it in your server files, which are accessible in the control panel as well.

If you’re having any trouble configuring your server, Host Havoc also has a helpful knowledge base that will show you what to do, step-by-step. They have a separate section for every game.

Each section shows you how to install mods, plugins, make yourself admin, change the map, and more.

And if you’re still having trouble, their support team has your back.

Host Havoc Support

host havoc support

By far, one of Host Havoc’s best features is their outstanding customer support. They have overwhelmingly positive reviews on Trustpilot, many of which talking about how helpful their customer support is when you’re in hot water.

Here’s a quote from Max Smith on TrustPilot that outlines just how helpful Host Havoc is when you have issues:

Recently worked with Host Havoc, worked with Jeff in specific, been working with him over discord... He was very cordial and quick to answer my (question). He offered to speak with me over discord rather than using their ticket system. They typically do not do out of ticket related help but this seemed like a special case. I was impressed to say the least that HH is willing to put in that much time and effort (I've never seen something like that before in my 5 years of server hosting). My last host took hours to get a hold of, these guys are literally available at any hour of the day. Thanks again HH and Jeff for your help as of recent.

I tested their support with several different questions, all of which answered within 5 minutes, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most people focus on performance and price, but support is often overlooked, despite being one of the most critical factors to look for in a hosting company.

I can assure you based on my own personal experience - and the experience of countless others on Trustpilot - that Host Havoc has top-notch customer support.

Host Havoc Server Performance

Server performance is one of the most important things to consider before deciding on a hosting company.

Paying for a dedicated server only to lag your butt off is the last thing you want. And good luck growing your server if its performance is terrible.

Performance is especially the case as your server grows in size. Hosting a server with one person is entirely different from a server with one hundred people.

But even when I had the server filled to the max, performance didn’t seem to take a big hit. I live near Washington, DC, and my server node was in New York. Even with a full server, my ping didn’t go above 15ms, which is entirely satisfactory.

Rather than having to figure out your particular game’s server requirements, Host Havoc makes it easy, doing the work for you.

All you have to do is select the number of slots you’d like, and your server will be deployed instantly with enough power to accommodate all of the slots.

Host Havoc Control Panel Ease of Use

host havoc server setup

Host Havoc uses the TCAdmin control panel, one of the most battle-tested control panels around.

Developed by Balance Servers, TCAdmin is the control panel of choice for the most massive game hosting providers because of its robust functionality, dependability, and support for a vast number of games.

It may not be the best-looking control panel out there, but I’ll take reliability and functionality over looks any day of the week.

Using the TCAdmin control panel isn’t as easy as Pterodactyl, for example, but once you get the swing of things, it’s easy to use.

Although not the best looking control panel on the market, it’s pretty good.

More importantly, TCAdmin is a robust control panel that has a wide range of functionality and support, which, in my opinion, is more important than looks.

Even if you’re a brand new server owner, between Host Havoc’s knowledge base and support team, you will have things up and running quickly.

Host Havoc Pricing

host havoc pricing

Host Havoc prices their game servers based on slots, not on the server’s system specifications or anything like that. I assume the power of the server scales with the slot count to accommodate the higher demand.

Slots are priced differently depending on the game, and you get a bulk slot discount.

For example, a 30 slot Rust server costs $0.46/slot, an 80 slot server costs $0.24/slot, and a 400 slot server (extreme case) costs $0.18 per slot.

They’re giving a wholesale discount - the more you buy, the cheaper it is per slot.

While this is great for those hosting a large server, it isn’t the best for the little guy who just wants a primary Rust server for them and a few friends.

The lowest player count available is 30 slots, meaning you’re paying 30 x $0.46, which comes out to roughly $14/month.

Even though other server hosting companies like GTX Gaming also have a high minimum slot count for the game, they generally have a lower cost per slot.

Host Havoc is on the pricier side if you just want a small server.

Still, it’s important to note what you’re getting for the extra money:

  • Amazing support
  • Great performance
  • Ease-of-use

Overall, I’d say Host Havoc is a premium host for those with a medium to high budget.

What I Liked About Host Havoc

Overall, I love Host Havoc. Here’s why:

  • Terrific customer support
  • Great performance
  • Premium quality
  • Reliable control panel
  • Servers around the world

They’re a great company that focuses on excellence and putting the customer first, which is why they do so well.

What I Didn’t Like About Host Havoc

As great as Host Havoc is, there are some downsides.

The most obvious downside is their pricing, which is a bit high for those on a tight budget, and/or those who don’t want a high server population.

Because they have high minimum slot counts and the prices per slot are higher for smaller servers, Host Havoc probably isn’t the best idea for a small server if you’re on a tight budget.

Another obvious downside is their minimal game support when compared to their competition. Host Havocsupport 25 or so of the most popular games, which is excellent for most.

We went over their supported games in the list above. I imagine most of you will find that Host Havoc supports your game of choice.

However, some people play less popular games that Host Havoc doesn’t support. In that case, checking out GTX Gaming is probably a better option. They have more game support, and it’s cheaper, too.

The last thing I didn’t like about Host Havoc - and granted, I’m pretty picky with this one - is their 3-day money-back guarantee.

Don’t get me wrong, they honor the guarantee, and it’s nice to see the company stand behind their offering with a no questions asked guarantee like that.

But some of their competitors offer free trials, which is a whole lot better than having to pay upfront.

Even if they keep the money-back guarantee model, I’d prefer it to be at least one week-long, or even a month. It’s hard to get to know a company in just three days, not to mention any issues that may arise as a server grows larger.

Most people who buy a server will keep it for months or years to come, meaning if they can do as great a job as they advertise in the first month, they’ll have a lifetime customer.

I will admit that my last ‘thing I didn’t like’ was me being picky, and overall I’m glad they have a guarantee at all, which they do the honor.

Conclusion

In summary, Host Havoc is a dank hosting company that offers premium servers for large communities, fantastic support, and a robust control panel compatible with mods and plugins.

I’d recommend Host Havoc to anyone with a medium to high budget, who is serious about hosting a server with a large community.