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Windows VPS Hosting


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Hi everyone,


I'm not sure if this is common knowledge or no one goes this path due to cost reasons where Hamachi is free. As I was reading the documentation, it clicked that this could be hosted from a Windows VPS, just the same as your own personal computer if you downloaded everything and completed the setup per the instructions. Only, unlike your personal computer. (At least I do not leave my computer running 24/7.) These servers are in data centers and if configured correctly will run 24/7 for as long as the service is paid for.


Step 1) Obtain a Windows VPS. (I went for a mid tier one from a local provider to me. Here is the specs:)

  • 4GB RAM
  • 1 @ 3.2GHz CPU
  • 2TB Bandwidth
  • 1 IPv4 IP Address
  • 20Gbps DDoS Protection

Step 2) Depending on the provider, they should do an automated install and email you with all the connection information to access the server from RDC (Remote Desktop Connection).

Step 3) Open Remote Desktop Connection on your computer. (You can use the search feature built into windows 10 if you'd like. It should have this program on all windows.) You will be prompted with a basic field of "Computer:", this is where you will put the service IP Address provided in the email from the provider. Then you should be prompted for Username and Password. Default for Username in most cases would be Administrator. Password may be automatically generated when they automatically deploy the server from their script. So make sure to note the password.  (The password can be changed just like your own personal computer through the account portion of the VPS.)

Step 4) Download of software/game. You will want to install Steam(Login to your account with Steam credentials.) - Skyrim on the VPS first, then complete the Harbor install like normal.

Step 5) (This is an optional step: I did not do this with my installation.) You can run Skyrim - Harbor like mentioned in the manual to make sure everything is working properly.

Step 6) Navigating to the directory with the folder "server". Should look something like this directory provided. (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition\server) You will want to make an .exe file here. So first make a notepad file in this server folder. Next is what to put in that notepad document, here is an example of what I do for mine. start Server.exe -premium -port 10578 -token "token/password here" or start Server.exe -premium -port 10578 -name "Public Server Name"

Note: You can't have a password and public name in the same file as per the manual.

Step 7) Once that is done, you're going to want to save this file. Top right of Notepad -> Save As. A window should pop up, at the bottom you're going to want to change the "Save as type" option to "All Files", then in the "File name" field. I do "Server Run.bat" which once saved, will create an automatic windows batch script within the folder to launch the server. Next, I always create a shortcut to this batch script. Right click "Server Run.bat" and find the create shortcut option and click that. Now you can move the shortcut that was created to the Windows Desktop for ease of access. (This is how you can avoid having to navigate to the server folder every time you would like to start the server.)

Step 8 ) Port forwarding the port needed for the server to be public. You'll want to open up a program called Server Manager -> Tools -> Windows Firewall from the VPS or you can open up the Windows Firewall directly by searching for it. You'll see an Inbound and Outbound Rules on the left side of the program. (In my case I did create a new port forwarding rule for both inbound and outbound.) You'll start by clicking Inbound Rules, on the right side you'll see and Actions tab appear. Click "New Rule...", then a configuration wizard will appear. Click port -> Next -> UDP -> Specific Local Ports: 10578 -> Next -> Allow the connection -> Next -> Next -> You can name the connection here if you'd like. If not, then tap finish. All done. (You'd do the same thing in the outbound rules section.)

Step 9) You can now double click on the batch file shortcut we made earlier on the desktop, "Server Run - Shortcut". (Would recommend closing out of everything windows wise so it's not sitting there using resources besides the window that comes up when launching the server.) There you go, the server is live. Based on your connection preference you'll need the IP address for the server for sure unless you'd like to manually search for the custom name you made for a public server. You'll need the token or password you set if you did decide to make a closed server for your friends.

Hopefully this helps someone that may be asking the same question, or if not, at least opens up another path to hosting a server for the future. For anyone with further questions about set up, here if the official guide link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zQKsZSSwDIe9zOuYRux0_BKXr6ojzXpYFsiYSk-ygxg/edit#

Edited by Izanarchy
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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice guide. I just want to point out that you do not actually need to install the game on your VPS or even Harbor. You can simply copy over the Server.exe file and run it. There is also the Docker container which can be used to host the server. There has been no update to the version from Harbor in a year now so you can also find the Server executable in this Google Drive link for players that need a manual installation or just the server.

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  • 1 year later...

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