Best TF2 Server Hosting

Reviewed bywritten by jacob tuwiner Jacob Tuwiner

Among the many games on the PC market, none other seems to stand out more than Team Fortress 2, or TF2 for short.

TF2 was released back in 2007 alongside Half-Life 2 and Portal, of which have all been critically acclaimed.

However, as the years have gone by, TF2 has had its fair share of hackers, griefers, scammers, and even data miners.

These bad actors have caused concern for the player base of the game.

Most of these problems reside in the many TF2 dedicated servers. But is there any way to avoid these types of situations?

Well, luckily, you can pay for TF2 server hosting if you want to have full control over your experience.

If you wish to start your server or become a part of one, TF2 server hosting gives the player the tools and power to be in control.

In this article, we’re taking a look at the best TF2 server hosting providers on the market.

Best TF2 Server Hosting

Logo Company About Buy
pingperfect logo PingPerfect
  • Top Pick
Rent a Server
gameservers logo Streamline Servers
  • Runner Up
Rent a Server
best hosting for space engineers gtx gaming GTX Gaming
  • Budget Pick
Rent a Server

Why Host A TF2 Server?

tf2

Hosting a TF2 server can be challenging but rewarding at the same time.

Instead of having players stuck to the competitive side of TF2, hosting a community server gives these players a chance to play the game differently.

In addition, you have total control over your server - you can choose everything from the map and game mode to the players who are allowed to join.

Your TF2 server can also generate income as well.

You can charge players for special in-game power ups and items, such as a VIP, which can give players exclusive access to abilities that average players cannot use.

VIPs are behind a paywall, which could directly go to you through the purchases those players have made.

Having to pay for hosting providers and constantly checking your server can be tedious, but in the end, it’s very beneficial.

How Much is a TF2 Server?

TF2 server hosting can range between $15 per month and $35 per month, on average.

However, the hosting provider does more than just host. These providers give your server access to DDOS protection, reliable uptime, universal access, dedicated support, and even modding capabilities.

Not only are you paying for the hosting support, you’re also paying for the extra services that come with it as well.

How We Picked

We picked the best server hosts for you based on total cost, performance, price to performance, customer support, and prior server host experience with other games.

Each host has its strengths, so we urge you to choose based on the categories and what you think you need.

For example, if you plan on hosting full clans of players ready to go at it 24/7, then maybe don’t get the budget option, and if you only have a couple of friends and wanna fight each other, then you probably should go with a cheaper server based around slot prices.

Top TF2 Server Hosting Companies

Logo Company About Buy
pingperfect logo PingPerfect
  • Top Pick
Rent a Server
gameservers logo Streamline Servers
  • Runner Up
Rent a Server
best hosting for space engineers gtx gaming GTX Gaming
  • Budget Pick
Rent a Server

Let’s say you finally want to step up your game and move beyond private servers.

Here are five of the best TF2 server hosting companies around:

Pros
  • Terrific performance
  • Great support
  • Competitive pricing for small servers
  • Servers all over the world
  • Lots of games
Cons
  • Some of their support documentation is lacking
  • Large servers can get a bit pricey
Type
Dedicated
Mods
Yes
Support
Great
Platform
PC
cPanel
TCAdmin
DDoS
Free

PingPerfect’s TF2 servers start at $0.44USD per slot. So if you’re planning to host a TF2 server with a slot count of 32 using PingPerfect, then it will cost you $14.08 a month, a bit cheaper than the previous service.

PingPerfect has DDOS support, Global locations, and free web hosting with all of their game servers.

Pros
  • Long established company
  • Wide variety of games
  • Largest network around the world
Cons
  • A bit pricey
  • Website looks a bit old
  • Support is eh
Type
Dedicated
Mods
No
Support
Eh
Platform
PC
cPanel
TCAdmin
DDoS
Free

This hosting company has been highly reliable for many different games such as Minecraft, CS:GO, Rust, and TF2.

GameServers charges $0.99 per slot for public servers and $0.79 for private servers. So if you’re looking to host a public 32 slot server, you’d be paying $31.95 a month.

GameServers has modding support, DDOS support, and DeBranding support as well.

Pros
  • Free voice server included
  • Very low prices
  • Includes free web hosting and MySQL
  • Highly reviewed
Cons
  • No mod support
  • Terraria servers max out at 30 slots
  • Not many server locations
Type
Dedicated
Mods
No
Support
Good
Platform
PC
cPanel
TCAdmin
DDoS
Free

This hosting company provides support for games such as CS:GO, Garry’s Mod, and of course, TF2.

Nitrous Networks offers free web hosting and DDOS support as well. They charge $0.31 per slot for TF2 servers, one of the cheapest offerings on our list.

If you want to host a TF2 server on a budget, Nitrous Networks is the hosting company for you.

Pros
  • Long established company
  • Wide variety of games
  • Fastest servers
  • Great support
Cons
  • A bit pricey
Type
Dedicated
Mods
Yes
Support
Great
Platform
PC
cPanel
TCAdmin
DDoS
Free

This hosting company supports games such as Insurgency Sandstorm, Garry’s Mod, and TF2.

Streamline Servers allows you to mod your TF2 server and run as many plugins as you’d like, not to mention free DDoS protection and terrific support.

Pros
  • Great performance
  • Competitive pricing
  • Free game switching
  • Custom control panels
  • Worldwide support
Cons
  • Knowledgebase could be better
  • Support could be faster
Type
Dedicated
Mods
Yes
Support
Good
Platform
PC
cPanel
TCAdmin
DDoS
Free

This hosting company provides support for games such as ARMA 3, Conan Exiles, and TF2.

GTX Gaming offers game switching, allowing you to hop from one GTX Gaming server to another, whenever you want. They also offer Steam workshop support, and a fully customizable control panel.

GTX Gaming charges $1.00 per slot, which is pricier than others on our list.

But you get what you pay for - GTX gaming is one of the best TF2 hosting companies around.

Their lightning fast servers, incredible support team, and easy-to-use control panel make it worth the price.

Logo Company About Buy
pingperfect logo PingPerfect
  • Top Pick
Rent a Server
gameservers logo Streamline Servers
  • Runner Up
Rent a Server
best hosting for space engineers gtx gaming GTX Gaming
  • Budget Pick
Rent a Server

Free TF2 Server Hosting Companies

While there aren’t many options when it comes to free TF2 server hosting companies, the closest thing to getting easy access with proper hosting is serveme.tf. However, this host isn’t verified, or even free.

This service still requires some sort of pay, with in-game TF2 currency called “keys,” which are worth $2.49USD.

Even with this option, there aren’t many free TF2 hosting companies currently available.

Choosing the cheapest company to host your server is the best option to avoid extreme prices.

PingPerfect offers deals of $14.08 a month for a 32 slot server. This offer is a very cheap alternative if you’re looking to conserve money.

What is TF2?

According to Wikipedia:

Team Fortress 2 is a multiplayer first-person shooter game developed and published by Valve. It is the sequel to the 1996 mod Team Fortress for Quake and its 1999 remake, Team Fortress Classic. It was released as part of the video game bundle The Orange Box in October 2007 for Microsoft Windows and the Xbox 360.

TF2 is old, but it’s doing better than ever. With a 9/10 rating on Steam, this game isn’t going anywhere.

Hosting a TF2 Server: Easy Way vs Hard Way

You can painstakingly setup your own TF2 server and run it on your computer, or take the easy way out and pay for hosting.

Paying is usually the best option, especially if you want a legitimate, populated server - but let’s compare both options to see which is best for you:

Paying For Dedicated TF2 Hosting (Easy)

Hosting a TF2 server with a company is the easiest way to do it. You won’t have to worry about performance or connection issues, not to mention leaving your computer on all the time.

Pros:

  • You won’t need your computer to be constantly running.
  • An easier array of modding support will be available.
  • Less CPU usage.

Cons:

  • A required monthly payment for the service.

Hosting Yourself (Hard)

Hosting a server yourself could become quite tricky because it requires your computer to be always running.

Your PC will also find itself under heavy load when hosting a full server. While things will be fine for you and a few friends, once your server starts to fill up, things will start to lag.

Lots of players in a server is stressful on the CPU and your network, which already has to handle your game as well.

If you want to host a serious server and grow a real community, hosting it yourself isn’t really an option.

Pros:

  • Free

Cons:

  • Your computer needs to be on for the server to run uninterrupted.
  • Constant computer use takes a toll on RAM and CPU.
  • Your server isn’t always available
  • Worse performance and reliability
  • Can’t grow a community

TF2 Private Server Hosting

tf2 private server setup

Hosting a private server is best for beginners, only allowing players to join who have access to your server password.

Any player can create this kind of server. However, these servers come without any plugins or hosting attachments.

But what if you want to host a TF2 server with more than just the stock tools the game already gives you?

There are many ways to enhance your TF2 private server with plugins, commands, and maps. They give the players more options, allowing them to choose how they want to play the game.

For example, you can create a custom’ Message of the Day’, which activates when a new player joins the server. This custom message can be unique to your server, setting it apart from others in the game.

Types of TF2 Servers

Not all TF2 servers were created equal. There are a ton of different types, but here are some of the most common:

Surfing

tf2 surf server

Surfing is one of the most popular TF2 community server types.

Surfing first became a thing when players of CS: Source realized that they could take advantage of the flexible aerial movement of the engine and put it to use.

This discovery was the beginning of surfing.

As Valve started to release more titles, more games got the surfing treatment.

Titles such as CS:GO, Garry’s Mod, and TF2 started to bring popularity to the game type.

Most video games to this day haven’t been able to replicate the same smooth motion that these titles have achieved, so this mode is unique to games that use TF2’s engine.

Surfing is highly dependent on the Source Engine, which allows players to maneuver across the map with aerial motion.

Avoiding obstacles and getting through to the end is the primary goal of this game type.

Typically, TF2 surfing servers use a rotation plugin, which has the players take a vote for their map of choice every hour or so.

Each surfing map could vary from one another, with difficulty and length being interchangeable.

This variability gives players the motivation to keep on trying until they reach the very end of a new map.

Surfing has quite the community, as many servers have been running for years on popular hosting companies such as PingPerfect and more.

Trade Servers

tf2 trade server

For the years TF2 has been around, it has been known as the very first “hat simulator.” And while this may sound like a funny term, it’s pretty accurate.

TF2 has its own economy, which mainly consists of the in-game currency such as scrap, rec, ref, and keys, keys being the highest level of value.

These levels of in-game currency are spent on the abundance of cosmetic and weapon items in TF2’s marketplace.

Players can join trade servers and trade their many cosmetic and weapon items based on their value.

For example, if someone has a hat that’s worth 3 keys and wants to trade it, their best bet is to find a trade server to join and attempt to make a profit.

Eventually, once a player is found, they will have to give that person 3 keys for the hat in return.

Trade servers in TF2 are some of the easiest ways a player can make a profit.

So if you’re looking for a community that is passionate about selling and trading in-game currency, maybe joining a couple of TF2 trade servers will be the best way to go.

Custom Maps and Mods

tf2 custom map server

Lastly, many community servers use traditional gameplay, but players game on a custom map with crazy mods and spawns, as opposed to vanilla games.

Once I joined a server that was in a Minecraft world, and another TF2 server had a Gears of War theme. It was pretty cool!

How to Host a TF2 Server

Hosting yourself is suitable for beginners to get the hang of handling a server, but moving beyond that requires more than just the options the game gives you.

Here’s how to host a TF2 server:

1. Boot up your TF2 application.

2. Once at the game menu, on the upper right corner, click on “find a game” (this should bring up a list of the many game modes you can play).

3. At the very bottom of the list, it should say, “create a server.”

4. A small tab appears that says “server” and “game”.

5. The server option gives you a selection of maps your server will run on (maps that you have downloaded will also appear on the list.)

6. The game option allows you to tinker with the primary setting of your server, such as the hostname, the maximum number of players, server password, time per map, win limit, and round limit.

7. Once done setting up your server, click “start”.

8. Your server should boot up like normal.

9. Invite some friends.

How to Make Your TF2 Server Private

Here’s how to make your TF2 server private:

1. At the TF2 menu, click “find a game,” then on the list that opens, click “create a server.”

2. A small tab that says “server and “game” should pop up, go to the “game” option.

3. Go down to where it says “server password”

4. Create a password

5. Once done, this will automatically set your TF2 server private

If you’re planning to create a server and make it public, make sure you don’t set a password because it won’t allow anyone to join unless they know the password you’ve set.

How to Join a Friend in TF2

Here’s how to join a friend in TF2:

1. Open your Steam application

2. Click on the friends tab in the bottom right (this should bring up a small window containing your friends list)

3. Find a friend playing TF2 then hover your cursor above the small down arrow next to the profile picture

4. Click “Join game”

After following these steps, your TF2 game should automatically boot up, joining whatever server that friend is on.

If you’re willing to explore the different game modes and maps in TF2 outside of your favorites, then maybe join a friend. You never know when you might find something new.

Conclusion

Hosting a TF2 server allows you to take back control of the game, so you and your friends can play the game your way.

No annoying trolls, bad maps, or boring game modes.

And although paying for TF2 hosting may be a pain, it’s worth it (for most people) in the long run, especially if you want to grow your server.

Hopefully this guide helped you! If you need more help choosing the best TF2 hosting for you, please feel free to contact me. I’ll be in touch ASAP.

Take care :)