10 Game Servers You Can Run on a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi offers a diverse range of gaming possibilities, including native games as well as emulated ones. However, if you're looking to take your gaming experience to the next level, why not consider setting up your Raspberry Pi as a game server? This allows you to host LAN parties and enjoy multiplayer gaming sessions wherever you are, all thanks to the compact size of the Raspberry Pi. To get started, you'll need an Ethernet cable, a suitable power adapter, and game server software. Here is a list of 10 games that you can host on your Raspberry Pi game server.

1. Host QuakeWorld LAN Parties on Your Raspberry Pi

You might already be familiar with Quake, the incredible multiplayer deathmatch game developed by id Software and released in 1996. However, there's another version called QuakeWorld, specifically designed for internet multiplayer gaming (unlike NetQuake, which is LAN-based).

The source code for QuakeWorld was released under the GPL license in 1999, making it available for installation on your Raspberry Pi. QuakeWorld is primarily meant for local network (LAN) multiplayer action and is not intended for use on public servers.

While it is compatible with a Model B Raspberry Pi, you'll get the best results with a Raspberry Pi 2 or a more recent model. QuakeWorld is lightweight and consumes less than 32MB of RAM, ensuring optimal performance. It can support up to 16 players, but the ideal experience is achieved with 6-8 players.

For optimal results, it is recommended to connect your Raspberry Pi to your router using an Ethernet cable rather than relying on a wireless connection.

2. AssaultCube Server

If you're looking for more online shooting action, you should check out AssaultCube. It's a free online multiplayer FPS game that offers realistic environments and is optimized for efficient bandwidth usage, making it an excellent choice for the Raspberry Pi. What's even more impressive is that AssaultCube can be played smoothly even over a 56Kbps connection, thanks to its low latency design.

AssaultCube not only supports multiplayer gameplay but also includes a single-player ‚Äúbot‚ÄĚ mode for those times when you don't have anyone to play against. There are several multiplayer modes available, such as Deathmatch, Survivor, Pistol Frenzy, Last Swiss Standing, Capture the Flag, Hunt the Flag, and One-Shot One-Kill. Each mode also has a team-based version to add more variety to your gaming experience.

The game comes with numerous pre-designed maps, and if you're feeling creative, you can even use the in-game map editor to create your own custom maps.

For more information about AssaultCube, you can visit the assault.cubers.net website, where you'll find detailed information about the game. If you're interested, you can download the game's code from GitHub and easily compile the game server on your Raspberry Pi within a few minutes.

3. Host a Minecraft Server on Your Raspberry Pi

Minecraft and the Raspberry Pi are perfect bedfellows. After all, Minecraft Pi Edition is included in Raspbian. But what about a Minecraft game server?

The results are best enjoyed on a Raspberry Pi 3 or later, but a Raspberry Pi 2 should also work. You'll find the best results from this Minecraft server will be enjoyed on your home network. It's not suitable for hosting Minecraft environments on the public internet.

However, within your home network, you'll have a Minecraft world ready to be built and rebuilt at your convenience! This can be accessed via the Minecraft games installed on a Windows PC, Android or iOS device.

To get started, check our guide to setting up a Minecraft server on Raspberry Pi.

4. Host Civilization Multiplayer With FreeCiv

FreeCiv is an open-source game that draws inspiration from Sid Meier's Civilization series. It offers both client and server versions, providing players with the opportunity to enjoy the game in various capacities. FreeCiv incorporates elements from CivNet, Civilization II, and other iterations of the Civilization franchise, creating a unique and engaging gameplay experience. As an open-source project, FreeCiv encourages community involvement and allows players to contribute to its development and customization.

Installation is as simple as:

sudo apt install -y freeciv-server freeciv-client-gtk

You can then start the server with:


Once you have set up the FreeCiv game server on your Raspberry Pi, it will be accessible for connection from any other device running the FreeCiv game client. This server-client setup is particularly beneficial for games like Civilization, which can often span a significant amount of time. By utilizing a dedicated server, you can ensure that the game continues running even if individual players disconnect or switch devices. For more information on configuring the FreeCiv game server, you can refer to the Server Manual available on the FreeCiv wiki.

5. Host Doom Multiplayer on Raspberry Pi

Quake has a network multiplayer option for the Raspberry Pi‚ÄĒso what about Doom?

Thanks to the Quake On LAN team (also behind QuakeWorld for the Pi), Doom On LAN is now an option. This uses the Zandronum port as a game client, which supports up to an immense 64 players. Several gameplay modes are available, and there's support for many mods.

There's also the addition of jumping and free looking (both unavailable in the original), as well as custom key bindings. As ever, the game will work best with a direct Ethernet connection to your router. Now all you have to do is find 63 other people to play with.

6. Set Sail With a Windward Game Server


About The Author

Muhammad Bilal

I am highly skilled and motivated individual with a Master's degree in Computer Science. I have extensive experience in technical writing and a deep understanding of SEO practices.

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