Miniaturised survival game Grounded doesn’t have dedicated servers, but the latest update offered up for public testing contains a new feature that’ll help. It’s called “Shared Worlds”, and it allows Grounded worlds to be stored in the cloud so that anyone that world is shared with can host the game.
Previously, players would create what’s now referred to as a “Standard World”. In a Standard World, the creator of that world is its owner and host, and they invite friends in to play with them. When the owner of a world goes offline, the world goes offline with them.
With a Shared World, one of the other players can now re-host the world while the original owner is offline, so folks can continue playing. Any progress made in that world is then synched, so that the next person who hosts it – whether a different player or the original owner again – can carry on from its most developed state.
It’s a little of the functionality of a dedicated server, then, but with player-hosted servers. (Actual dedicated servers are seemingly still being considered.)
The public test patch notes say that previously created Standard Worlds can be converted into Shared Worlds. You can be the owner of three Shared Worlds and have 50 Shared Worlds shared with you at any given time. You can also download Shared Worlds and convert them into Standard Worlds, if you want to continue playing them solo.
Note that, even within the context of Grounded’s early access, Shared Worlds are considered in beta and “could require online shared saves to be reset / lost as bugs are ironed out.” If you’re going to use it at this stage, backup your saves.
Or you could wait for it to leave testing. Grounded is due to his 1.0 on September 27th.