Do i really need the engine source code to create a dedicated server?

I want to create a dedicated server for my game but the engine source code is taking too long to build so my question is do i really need it? And if i do is it normal to take more than 5 hours to build?

Yes, if you want to make “dedicates server only” build of your game, such build requires diffrent set of module builds which launcher simply can’t provide, is already packed with editor-less development and shipping build copy of the engine as well also optionally Android and iOS builds. For extra builds you need ot have a build it yourself, as there many different configuration in which you can build it and Epic can;t simply ship all of them in launcher version.

Main reason why it does not come dedicates server only" build, is because any build of the engine with WITH_SERVER flag on (this includes editor it self) can run as dedicated server, you simply run the game with -server in command line as described here:

So you don’t need to make dedicated server build, or else you want to distribute build of your game that does only and absolutely only that, which might be useful if it’s paid game and you want to distribute server for free and games now days don’t provide this kind of build now days, as lot of developers decide to host servers themselves.

And yes it is normal for engine to build 5 hours as it a huge code base, depending on CPU you have, my 8-core Ryzen 1700X build it in around 30 minutes (editor build which is bigger then editor-less), 4 core Ryzen on same clock would be twice as longer. So question would be what CPU you have? Lot of PC gaming sites say to that cores don’t matter… but as you can see they can be useful in game development. Also does time includes packeging overal

1 Like