You may not believe it, but the simplest, most buttery-smooth gameplay you'll experience on the latest survival hotness comes from a V Rising dedicated server. Of course, that might not be the way you want to join over 500,000 other players online. Here I'll look over how to host your own server and how to play multiplayer in V Rising. (That is of course if you're of the "more than Valheim with vampires" crowd, not the "why is Dracula doing home improvement" crowd.)
To set up a V Rising server, you'll either act as a local host, host a server on your gaming PC, or set up a dedicated server using your own hardware. You can also rent a dedicated server, which for V Rising officially comes from GPortal, though there are other providers.
Hosting locally in V Rising
Local hosting means you're setting up and hosting the game locally from your computer, essentially inviting others to make a character and play on your own personal game file. It's the simplest option for two to four people who only play at the same time, together, one of whom has good internet—let that person host. Here's how to local host and play solo or with friends in V Rising:
- Click "Play", then go to "Private Game".
- From here, you can pick a PvP or PvE ruleset, set player caps, clan size caps, and tweak all the advanced server settings for a custom ruleset. You can also add a password here, so only the people you invite can join.
- Click "Start", "Make a Character", and load. Your friends can now join.
When you close or leave a local hosted game it won't continue without you, the host. Everyone else will get kicked.
To join a server, open the "Play" section in-game and head to "Online Play". Now, click the "Find Server" field up top and enter the name of the server you'd like. Otherwise, you can directly connect to a hidden server by using the button on the bottom row of the screen—you'll need IP information from the server host for that.
V Rising dedicated server requirements
You can put up a V Rising dedicated server on any PC. You might put it on a secondary computer, but some will put it on the same machine from which they play. Putting your server on the same machine you play from is generally not the best idea, but a powerful PC with a good internet connection can do it with just a few hiccups—generally what will suffer most is other players' connection quality.
A machine with an Intel i7 and 8GB of RAM from 2013 did very well for me on a fiber connection averaging 650mbps up and down, with as many as seven players connected at a time. Your old gaming PC or media build, then, might be ideal for the job. For their part, Stunlock Studios says you should have Windows 10, 5GB of disk space, a Quad Core processor with at least two full or physical cores, and 16 GB of memory. I tried to set up a server on a much weaker dual-core, 4GB of memory PC from 2006, but it flat-out crashed every time no matter what weird hacks I attempted to get it running.
To get this all set up you'll need to know how to do port forwarding and you'll need to know your server machine's IP. To do that you'll need administrator access to your router.
How to set up a V Rising dedicated server
With your server PC chosen, either install Steam or, for an advanced twist, use SteamCMD to download Steam AppID 1829350 without installing Steam and skip the next step.
In Steam, go to "Tools" in the library and search for "V Rising". You should see "V Rising Dedicated Server." Now Install that and open the folder to which you installed V Rising Dedicated Server. You can do that quickly by right-clicking the V Rising Dedicated Server in your library, going to "Properties", then "Local Files", and clicking "Browse".
Now find the batch file named "start_server_example." Make a copy of that file and name it something memorable, probably whatever you want the name of this server to be in your file system.
Next you need to configure the server's settings. Navigate to VRisingServer_Data/StreamingAssets/ from the VRisingDedicatedServer folder. The default full location for this is C:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\VRisingDedicatedServer\VRisingServer_Data\StreamingAssets\. Once there, copy the entire "Settings" folder. "ServerHostSettings.json" and "ServerGameSettings.json" files.
Navigate to the local windows user settings for the server. This is where files for your server are stored so that your settings can't be overwritten during an update. The default is C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\LocalLow\Stunlock Studios\VRisingServer\. Paste the entire "Settings" folder here. Next, make an empty folder here called "Saves". Now open the "Settings" folder.
Now, right click and "Edit the ServerHostSettings.json file". After "Name" replace "V Rising Server" with your server name. Leave the quotation marks intact when editing this file, so it now says something like "Name: Cool Fun Vampires Only", on that line. You should also name the game world on the "SaveName" line to help keep track of your saves. If your server will be private, set a password in the currently blank "Password": "" field. You may also want to add a description with rules, especially if your server will be public. If you don't want your server publicly listed, change "ListOnMasterServer" from true to false. This file is also where you change things like how frequently the server saves the game state, in seconds, under "AutoSaveInterval", and how many saves it keeps, under "AutoSaveCount".
Still in "ServerHostSettings", you also choose your game setting presets. These are described in V Rising itself, but you can find the files for them and the names to choose from for the "GameSettingPreset" field at the default location of C:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\VRisingDedicatedServer\VRisingServer_Data\StreamingAssets\GameSettingPresets. If you want to make your own custom settings divorced from the regular rules, you can edit the "ServerGameSettings" file right above the "ServerHostSettings" file and tweak it all there. Go ahead and close "ServerHostSettings" now.
Now, back in your "Settings" folder, open the "adminlist" file and add your SteamID to the first line, as well as the SteamID of others you want to be administrators for the server, one per line. This will allow them to use the "adminauth" command on the in-game console to enable admin powers like kick and ban. You can then close that file.
You can find the list of server settings and what they do, as well as how to set various overrides for where saves are made, on Stunlock Studios' Github.
Now go ahead and make backups of every file you've edited. It's just good practice, in case you delete something later or an update surprise breaks it.
Next, open the ports on your server PC to allow connection. Go to your router software to do that and follow your router's own unique instructions, opening ports 9876-9877 UDP by default. Make sure the server is allowed through your firewall, if you have one, and make sure that those ports are also open on the firewall.
Now go all the way back and double click your custom-named batch file in the "VRisingDedicatedServer" folder. It'll take a few minutes the first time it starts up, but you should now be able to open the game client and join the server. If you left "ListOnMasterServer" as true, it might take as long as half an hour for the server to show up in the public list. Either way, you should be able to join your server directly using the external IP of the server PC with the affix :9876, something like XXX.XXX.X:2457.