Proper setup for Dedicated server testing?

It is difficult to determine what magic is happening with PIE vs a real multiplayer scenario.

For the life of me I cannot get a dedicated server to work properly with PIE.

I am building a mobile multiplayer game and want to use a dedicated server setup. The idea is the game is matched based and has 2 players. When 2 players join the server the game begins.

  1. Multiplayer Options: Number of Players: 2
  2. Multiplayer Options: Dedicated Server (checked)
  3. Advanced Settings: Editor Multiplayer Mode: Play As Client
  4. I click play and it launches two game instances and a dedicated server
  5. Game clients appear to automatically connect (“Join”) and therefore Join session doesn’t work

Let’s say that Unreal automatically joins dedicated server (i’m guessing) on PIE. Well, then how do I properly TEST a REAL multiplayer game so I can feel confident that when I push the dedicated server up to a hosting provider (which is a VERY long process) that I have it set up properly?

Again what I really need is a REAL testing scenario so I can quickly iterate my multiplayer features and then deploy with confidence that it will work online as it does locally. Any thoughts?