Help and FAQ
Report bugs or request direct support.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Send us your questions. Most relevant and frequent ones will be listed here.
- Is Overcast similar to the likes of Unity Multiplayer or Photon Cloud?
- What kind of multiplayer games can be run in Overcast?
- How reliable is the Overcast service?
- Which regions are supported in Overcast?
- Do you offer advanced tier options beyond the standard ones?
- Is the current Overcast beta reliable enough as a production environment?
Is Overcast similar to the likes of Unity Multiplayer or Photon Cloud?
Not really. Photon Cloud is more of a match-making and message relaying system with no server authority, while Overcast offers cloud-based SmartFoxServer hosting, which is a fully server-authoritative solution. Each SmartFoxServer can be customized, extended with server side code and connected to local or remote storage, web services and more.
As regards Unity, until new information is provided, we know they are going to provide a cloud-based orchestration service, meaning that they manage the instantiation and scaling of multiple Unity engines acting as game servers. This however does not include lots of features such as lobbies, match making, user profiles, buddy lists and chatting, user privileges, kicking/banning, etc.
For a quick overview of the features offered by Overcast, check this page.Top
What kind of multiplayer games can be run in Overcast?
SmartFoxServer 2X is able to tackle the vast majority of multiplayer game types with success as evidenced by our long time presence in the market and vast showcase of games made with it.
From turn-based to real-time strategy, from large MMOs to fast action shooters, SmartFoxServer 2X has all the necessary tools to handle your multiplayer requirements efficiently.Top
How reliable is the Overcast service?
Overcast is built upon the Amazon AWS cloud services, therefore it provides similar guarantees of uptime and reliability. You can visit https://aws.amazon.com/it/compute/sla/ for additional information.Top
Which regions are supported in Overcast?
During the initial phase we are supporting: United States (North Virginia), Europe (Frankfurt), Asia (Singapore). If you have special needs, you can contact us to activate new regions.Top
Do you offer advanced tier options beyond the standard ones?
Yes, if your game/application has specific hardware requirements (e.g. large memory usage, or high core count CPUs) we can offer a customized solution.
For inquiries you can .Top
Is the current Overcast beta reliable enough as a production environment?
Yes, the Overcast environment is already stable and usable for production. The beta state indicates that we’re still working on adding secondary features and enriching existing ones according to our road map and customers’ feedback.Top
- What are the costs of the Overcast service?
- How do you charge the cost of the service?
- What if I terminate a server before the end of the prepaid billing period? Do I receive a refund?
- Are my credit card details stored securely?
- How do I update my credit card?
- What if a payment doesn't succeed, for example due to additional card authentication required?
What are the costs of the Overcast service?
In Overcast you pay for the servers you are running. The price of a server depends on the tier and billing plan you select during the launch process. The tier price is based on the assigned vCPU, memory, internal storage and data transfer quota; in case of servers executing SmartFoxServer, it also includes the license fee. The tier price also varies from region to region. The billing plan determines how many months you pay in advance and the applied discount on the base tier price.
A few additional costs may include the storage of server snapshots for backup and cloning purpose, or data transfer exceeding the quota included in tiers.
All the prices can be found on this page.Top
How do you charge the cost of the service?
Before launching the first server in Overcast, you will need to enter a credit card as payment method. Whenever you launch a server, your credit card is charged according to the tier and billing plan selected for the server.
At the end of the period associated with the selected billing plan (1/3/6/12 months), the same billing plan is renewed and the tier cost is charged again. In case the monthly data transfer quota included in the selected tier is exceeded, the cost of the exceeding data transfer amount is billed on a monthly basis.
If server snapshots are stored for backup or cloning purpose, their cost is billed on a monthly basis according to their size and storage hours.Top
What if I terminate a server before the end of the prepaid billing period? Do I receive a refund?
Prepaid billing plans already come with a significant discount (typically 10%-40%) on the base server price, in exchange for a commitment to the entire billing period. Subscription can be cancelled earlier, but no refund is provided.Top
How do I update my credit card?
You always have to enter all your credit card details, whether it's a new card or you just need to update the expiration date of a previously entered card.
Visit the billing page by clicking the icon in the main menu. Then go to the Payment Method tab and click the button on the page. Enter your credit card details and confirm with the Save card button.
What if a payment doesn't succeed, for example due to additional authentication being required?
Sometimes, some credit card issuers require an additional "on session" authentication to be performed by the card owner. In such case or in case of other payment issues, the reason of the error and instruction will be provided on screen and by email.
You will usually just need to visit the billing page, which clearly shows the pending transaction and a Pay button. Click it and follow the provided instruction. In case the error persists, please .
- Do I need a SmartFoxServer license to run it in Overcast?
- Is SmartFoxServer limited to a certain amount of CCU when running in Overcast?
- Can I customize SmartFoxServer’s listening ports?
- One of my server has become unresponsive, what do I do?
- How do I restart one of my servers?
- How do I associate a custom DNS name to one of my server(s)?
- Are my servers allowed to talk to each others?
- How do I migrate an existing server to a higher tier?
- Is there a limit to the number of applications that can be created in one account?
- Is there a limit to the number of servers per application?
- Are applications limited to one Region?
- What OS is used to run servers in Overcast?
- Is TLS/SSL encryption enabled out of the box for SmartFoxServer instances?
Do I need a SmartFoxServer license to run it in Overcast?
No, everything is included in the price of the server tier you’ve chosen.Top
Is SmartFoxServer limited to a certain amount of CCU when running in Overcast?
No, there are no CCU limits in SmartFoxServer. The only limits are the hardware resources available to the cloud server itself (vCPUs, RAM) which may restrict the maximum number of CCU. If you find yourself running short on resources, or you just need to extend the data transfer quota included in the tier price, consider moving your server to a higher tier or even a custom one. Check the pricing page form more information.Top
Can I customize SmartFoxServer’s listening ports?
No, port values are fixed and they cannot be changed. Because every server is behind a firewall it would make it very complex to manage hundreds of servers each with different firewall settings. The ports allowed for SmartFoxServer are:
- TCP/UDP 9933 (SFS2X native protocol)
- TCP 8080 (HTTP and WS)
- TCP 8443 (HTTPS and WSS)
One of my server has become unresponsive, what do I do?
If you cannot log in the server instance via its administration tool, you should restart the machine. See the next entry to learn how.Top
How do I restart one of my servers?
Once logged in the Overcast website, choose your application and from the server list click the icon next to the server you want to restart. Next click Restart.Top
How do I associate a custom DNS name to one of my server(s)?
In Overcast you can associate a second-level domain name with each one of your applications. In turn this lets you assign third-level domain names to the servers grouped under an application. You can find detailed information in the Overcast documentation.Top
Are my servers allowed to talk to each others?
Yes. All the servers created in the same application and belonging to the same geographical region are also connected to the same local network, and therefore they can talk to each others. You can find each server’s private IP address by selecting the instance from the server’s list and checking the details.Top
How do I migrate an existing server to a higher tier?
You can create a snapshot of the current server. This will take all the content stored in the local drive and store it in the cloud. Then you can create a new server instance with a higher tier and specify the previously created snapshot as the source for the new server.
To create a snapshot, log in the Overcast website, choose your application and from the server list click the icon next to the server you want to migrate. Click on Take snapshot, then follow the steps on screen.
To create a new server from the snapshot, log in the Overcast website, choose your application and click on the icon. Follow the steps on screen and when in the 2nd screen, choose the snapshot from the related drop down.Top
Is there a limit to the number of applications that can be created in one account?
Each account is allowed to create 5 applications. If you need more, please explaining the scope of your project.Top
Is there a limit to the number of servers per application?
Yes, every application instantiates a private subnet with 250 addresses, which is also the limit of servers that can be created in one application.Top
Are applications limited to one region?
No, servers can be created in any of the available regions.Top
What OS is used to run servers in Overcast?
All servers run under a Linux Ubuntu distribution.Top
Is TLS/SSL encryption enabled out of the box for SmartFoxServer instances?
By default, no. TLS/SSL requires a valid certificate which can only be obtained for a web domain that you own.
If you decide to associate a custom domain name to your server(s) you can then obtain an SSL certificate for it and deploy it to SmartFoxServer via it’s AdminTool.Top
- What is the advantage of using a SFS2X Cluster compared to multiple standalone servers?
- I am not familiar with SmartFoxServer 2X, can I learn how to use the SFS2X Cluster?
- Does my previous knowledge of SmartFoxServer 2X apply in the SFS2X Cluster?
- Are all client API supported in the SFS2X Cluster?
- Our application requires lots of RAM/CPU/Disk space. Can your support special hardware needs?
- Are there any scalability limits in an SFS2X Cluster?
- My game requires many chat Rooms, can I run them in the Lobby Node?
- Are MMOs supported by the SFS2X Cluster?
- Does the SFS2X Cluster support multiple regions?
- If the Lobby Node is the main entry point for all players doesn’t it end up as a bottleneck?
- What happens if the Lobby Node crashes?
- Why doesn’t the SFS2X Cluster provide multiple Lobby servers?
What is the advantage of using a SFS2X Cluster compared to multiple standalone servers?
The SFS2X Cluster provides load balancing and orchestration which automates the process of scaling the system horizontally and distributes players on the available Game Nodes. Also, the SFS2X Cluster provides new API for match-making and cluster-wide operations (such as invitations, room creation, quick joins etc.) which would require lots of extra work to implement manually using standalone servers.Top
I am not familiar with SmartFoxServer 2X, can I learn how to use the SFS2X Cluster?
If you have never used SFS2X before we recommend starting from the basics using a standalone SFS2X, be it in our Overcast Cloud or your favorite hosting provider. Starting off with a cluster-based application can be rather overwhelming since there are lots of basic concepts that need to be learned first.Top
Does my previous knowledge of SmartFoxServer 2X apply in the SFS2X Cluster?
Yes! If you are already familiar with SFS2X you will find yourself at home. The same concepts apply in the SFS2X Cluster and you will find new API that extend the already existing tools. We highly recommend taking a quick tour of the SFS2X Cluster’s features and architecture here.Top
Are all client API supported in the SFS2X Cluster?
NOTE: we do not plan to update the Flash/AS3 API to support the Cluster, given the platform was shut down in 2020.
Our application requires lots of RAM/CPU/Disk space. Can your support special hardware needs?
Yes. Our default offer provides a selection of server tiers suitable for building small to medium sized clusters but we can provide custom solutions for more demanding applications. E.g. if you need nodes with large amounts of RAM, CPU cores or disk space, we can offer a customized solution. Get in touch with us directly using our and tell us your requirements. We’ll be glad to help.Top
Are there any scalability limits in an SFS2X Cluster?
Typically a SFS2X Cluster runs in a dedicated App in the Overcast Cloud, which has a limit of 250 servers. Therefore the horizontal scalability is limited to 250 SFS2X instances. Considering that each Game Node can handle from several hundreds to tens of thousands of CCUs, there is plenty of room to scale to massive levels of traffic and concurrent players.Top
My game requires many chat Rooms, can I run them in the Lobby Node?
No, every Room that requires broadcast-type updates (chatting is one of them) should run on Game Nodes. The simplest way to do this is to treat these Chat Rooms exactly as if they were games. You can tag a Room with a dedicated Room Variable indicating that this is for chatting and then join users via the MatchMaking API as usual. You can also add more Room Variables to describe the topic of the Chat Room (if it is a requirement) and use that as another filter for searching/creating Chat Rooms during the match-making phase.Top
Are MMOs supported by the SFS2X Cluster?
Yes absolutely. All SmartFoxServer 2X classic features are supported in the SFS2X Cluster and as such, MMORooms can be deployed in the cluster. One interesting aspect of MMOs in the cluster is Load Balancing, which may requires a custom logic to map the various areas of the virtual world to the available MMORooms, distributed in the cluster. We discuss these concepts in a dedicated article in our documentation.Top
Does the SFS2X Cluster support multiple regions?
No. Every App in the Overcast Cloud is tied to a specific region, if you need to offer multiple low-latency entry points to your game the best approach is to create multiple SFS2X Clusters, one for each required region. In other words if your players are mainly from Europe and Asia we recommend deploying two SFS2X Clusters, one per region, in order to ensure fast response times for both areas. We have a detailed article on this subject in our documentation --link--Top
If the Lobby Node is the main entry point for all players doesn’t it end up as a bottleneck?
The Lobby acts as the main hub for all players but it is supposed to handle minimal traffic compared to Game Nodes where the main actions tales place (i.e. the actual games).
In the Lobby players don’t generate broadcast type events, and are usually connected only for matchmaking, managing their profiles and interacting with their friends from the Buddy List.
These activities generate small traffic and we expect a Lobby Server to be able to handle massive amount of clients without issues. Additionally the traffic in the Lobby can be optimized by disconnecting players from it when jumping into a Game. This way you don’t need all SFS2X Cluster users to stay connected to the Lobby. They can return to it when the game is over and they need to restart the match-making process.Top
What happens if the Lobby Node crashes?
When the Lobby Node is no longer reachable new clients won’t be able to access your SFS2X Cluster until the Lobby Node is restarted or replaced. However all other Users currently connected to any Game Node will continue their game as if nothing had happened. When the Lobby is restarted all Game Nodes will transparently reconnect to it and the SFS2X Cluster will be back online, ready for new players to join.Top
Why doesn’t the SFS2X Cluster provide multiple Lobby servers?
Since multiple Lobbies should allow players to interact with each other (buddies, invitations, match-making etc.) it would immediately raise the complexity of the system by orders of magnitude. With multiple Lobbies you would need to distribute the Users state across all Lobby servers, breaking the locality of data and making the systems much more difficult to scale and to develop for.
In particular the development of server side Extensions becomes much harder as developers need to learn how to deal with clustered data, cluster-wide synchronization and many other complex aspects of distributed systems.
We have intentionally avoided to create an overly complex system like that, as it immediately raises the entry level for developers, requiring significant experience with distributed systems and all the complexity that it entails.
To learn more about the SFS2X Cluster architecture, check this document.Top