What is Amazon GameLift? - Amazon GameLift

What is Amazon GameLift?

You can use Amazon GameLift to deploy, operate, and scale dedicated, low-cost servers in the cloud for session-based multiplayer games. Built on AWS global computing infrastructure, Amazon GameLift helps deliver high-performance, high-reliability game servers while dynamically scaling your resource usage to meet worldwide player demand.

Uses of Amazon GameLift

Amazon GameLift supports these use cases and more:

  • Deploy your own custom multiplayer game servers for hosting in the cloud.

  • Run low cost hosting resources using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Spot Instances.

  • Automatically scale the amount of hosting resources that your game needs based on usage.

  • Manage your Amazon EC2 compute resources all in one place using Amazon GameLift FleetIQ.

  • Match players in multiplayer games with Amazon GameLift FlexMatch.

  • Iteratively test your game server and client builds with Amazon GameLift Anywhere.

  • Use your own hardware while managing it all in one place with Amazon GameLift Anywhere.


To try out Amazon GameLift game server hosting, see Getting started with Amazon GameLift.

Get started with Amazon GameLift solutions

Amazon GameLift hosting for custom servers

Amazon GameLift replaces the work required to host your own custom game servers. Auto scaling capabilities help you avoid paying for more resources than you need. Auto scaling also helps make sure that you always have games available for new players to join with minimal waiting.

For more information about Amazon GameLift hosting, see How Amazon GameLift works.

Key features
  • Use Amazon GameLift management features, including auto scaling, multi-location queues, and game session placement.

  • Deploy game servers to run on Amazon Linux or Windows Server operating systems.

  • Manage game sessions and player sessions.

  • Set up customized health tracking for server processes to detect problems and to resolve poor-performing processes.

  • Manage your game resources using AWS CloudFormation templates for Amazon GameLift.

Amazon GameLift hosting with Realtime Servers

Use Realtime Servers to stand up games that don't need custom-built game servers. This lightweight server solution provides game servers that you can configure to fit your game.

For more information about Amazon GameLift hosting with Realtime Servers, see Integrating games with Amazon GameLift Realtime Servers.

Key features
  • Use Amazon GameLift management features, including auto scaling, multi-location queues, and game session placement.

  • Use Amazon GameLift hosting resources and choose the type of AWS computing hardware for your fleets.

  • Take advantage of a full network stack for game client and server interaction.

  • Get core game server functionality with customizable server logic.

  • Make live updates to Realtime configurations and server logic.

Amazon GameLift FleetIQ for hosting on Amazon EC2

Use Amazon GameLift FleetIQ to work directly with your hosting resources in Amazon EC2 and Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling. This provides the benefit of Amazon GameLift optimizations for inexpensive, resilient game hosting. This solution is for game developers who need more flexibility than what fully managed Amazon GameLift solutions provide.

For information about how Amazon GameLift FleetIQ works with Amazon EC2 and EC2 Auto Scaling for game hosting, see the Amazon GameLift FleetIQ Developer Guide.

Key features
  • Get optimized Spot Instance balancing using the FleetIQ algorithm.

  • Use player routing features to manage your game server resources efficiently, and provide a better player experience for joining games.

  • Automatically scale hosting capacity based on player usage.

  • Directly manage Amazon EC2 instances in your own AWS account.

  • Use any of the supported game server executable formats, including Windows, Linux, containers, and Kubernetes.

Amazon GameLift FlexMatch for matchmaking

Use FlexMatch to build custom rule sets to define multiplayer matches for your game. FlexMatch uses rule sets to compare compatible players for each match and provide players with the ideal multiplayer experience.

For more information about FlexMatch, see What is Amazon GameLift FlexMatch?

Key features
  • Balance match creation speed and match quality.

  • Match players or teams based on defined characteristics.

  • Define rules to place players into matches based on latency.

Amazon GameLift Anywhere hardware hosting

Use Amazon GameLift Anywhere fleets with Amazon GameLift game session management, including matchmaking, to host your custom game servers anywhere you want to. Anywhere fleets are particularly useful as test environments for rapid, iterative game development. Set up an Anywhere fleet for your own local workstation or a set of cloud-based hosting resources. For production hosting, you might use a hybrid approach with Anywhere fleets for on-premises hardware supplemented by Amazon GameLift managed fleets.

For more information about testing with Anywhere, see Set up local testing with Amazon GameLift Anywhere. For more information about setting up an Anywhere fleet, see Setting up Amazon GameLift fleets.

Key features
  • Perform fast, iterative testing as you develop your multiplayer games.

  • Use Amazon GameLift tools to manage game servers that are hosted on your own hardware.

  • Take advantage of available hardware that is closest to your players, anywhere.

Accessing Amazon GameLift

Use these tools to work with Amazon GameLift.

Amazon GameLift SDKs

The Amazon GameLift SDKs contain the libraries needed to communicate with Amazon GameLift from your game clients, game servers, and game services. For more information, see Development support with Amazon GameLift.

Amazon GameLift Realtime Client SDK

The Realtime Client SDK enables a game client to connect to the Realtime server, join game sessions, and stay in sync with other players. Download the SDK and learn more about making API calls with the Realtime Servers client API (C#).

Amazon GameLift console

Use the AWS Management Console for Amazon GameLift to manage your game deployments, configure resources, and track player usage and performance metrics. The Amazon GameLift console provides a GUI alternative to managing resources programmatically with the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI).


Use this command line tool to make calls to the AWS SDK, including the Amazon GameLift API. For information about using the AWS CLI, see Getting started with the AWS CLI in the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide.

Pricing for Amazon GameLift

Amazon GameLift charges for instances by duration of use, and for bandwidth by quantity of data transferred. For a complete list of charges and prices for Amazon GameLift, see Amazon GameLift Pricing.

For information about calculating the cost of hosting your games or matchmaking with Amazon GameLift, see Generating Amazon GameLift pricing estimates, which describes how to use the AWS Pricing Calculator.