A server is a place where players gather to play online.
Types of servers
Local / global
A local server operates only in local network (LAN), while a global server operates over internet. This page describes mostly global servers.
In-game / permanent
Players can create servers in different ways in case they don't want to visit already existing ones.
Players can create an in-game server from the game by clicking "Create server" after they pressed "Online" and "Global Networking". They can configure their server as they want. By changing the
server_config.xml they can change more things than in game. However, once the server owner quits, the server shuts down.
Permanent servers are the servers that can be used when the human behind the host account is not available, and thus more popular. Most popular servers are permanent. Permanent servers can also be configured.
Anyone can host a permanent global server by following these instructions.
Ownerless / with a crowned player
One of the important settings of the server is whether it has a crowned player. A crowned player is the one who came earliest to the server among the current players. (A crowned player is also called a server owner, though in this case there appears a confusion with the actual server owner who runs the executable.)
Ownerless servers have no crowned players, there is a countdown, and the race starts when either all players press the "Ready" button or the countdown ends. It is usually impossible to change the gamemode or difficulty on such a server, or kick an annoying player. All ranked servers are ownerless.
If the server has a crowned player, that player is the only one responsible for kicking annoying players, starting the game, or changing the gamemode (if the server is configurable). The only drawback is that an inadequate crowned player can sometimes abuse the server by not starting the race for a long time, kicking players for no reason, or changing the gamemode or difficulty without asking others. Note that the crown goes to all possible users if they use splitscreen multiplayer online, so there can be more than one crowned player.
Private / public
If players only want particular people to join there server, they can create a private server (i.e. with a password). A list of private servers can be found by clicking a checkbox in the server selection screen.
Otherwise, a server is public and can be found in the main list of servers. Players are not expected there to kick other players just because they don't know each other.
Ranked / casual
A ranked server is a racing-only server which contributes the results of the races to the STK Ranking. All other servers are also called casual (though this adjective is not really applicable for non-racing servers as other gamemodes have no ranking).
A player needs a permission to host a ranked server from administrators. For that, the owner should install the most recent version of STK without modifications (or the most recent git version without modifications) and all required assets, and should be trusted enough by the administrators (for example, to not change the code). This also implies that the owner should not be on a top position in ranking.
Servers and STK administration
If you own a global public server, please make sure it is not behind a firewall and port forwarding is set up correctly (if needed), and the required ports are open. Otherwise your server will be probably hidden by STK administrators.
The following servers or server groups are the most popular ones:
- Addons Ranked
- banano.cc (CH)
- Bretagne servers
- Chicago servers
- Frankfurt servers
- HK servers
- London servers
- Poland servers
- Rocker's servers
- STK Latinoamérica
- Sweden Ranked Race
- Switzerland servers
Some of these servers are Ranked servers.
These server groups were popular, but are no longer active: