Gaming Off A NAS? - The Ultimate LAN Party
Hello there! Today I will show you one of my "how has no one thought of this yet" ideas. Gaming off of a NAS. The ultimate goal is to play my Steam games off of my DL360 G6's storage. If you want to know the exact specs of the server that is hosting this beast, check out my Whats In Your Lab.
Steam does not play nice with mounted network drives. At all. I thought this would be as easy as oh, just map the network drive and play, but steam actually crashed when I tried that, but persistence is key and after 3 attempts the drive finally mounted. After this problem was solved, I got really, really bad download speeds. Absolutely terrible. In the area of 0.5-1MB/s. This is unusual because I normally get around 10MB/s. I couldn't find a fix to this problem, so I just locally downloaded the games and then transferred them to the NAS. Another big problem was the disk was inconsistently being spun up and spun down. I solved the disk spin-up problem by going into my server settings and making the disk always spin at 100% speed. I do not recommend doing this, but I was using an old 250gb Laptop HDD so it didn't matter. After all the problems were solved, and I actually got into the game, we need to talk about performance.
Performance was "acceptable". Definitely not good, but it was ok for single player games. I definitely would not recommend this for eSports games. Textures stuttered, and PUBG just didn't load. That being said though, we get to the real reason why I tried this. The LAN party potential. With that in mind, and the true reason for gaming off of a NAS set, lets head to our new goal.
Five PCs at Once
If you want to know how to have a terrible experience gaming, this is the pinnacle of terrible. For starters, the laptop drive that I was using was already quite slow (ThePigsMud can attest to that) but trying to get five people to be able to play at once was a travesty in the making. The test game we will be trying is Evolve Stage 2.
First, we need to make sure that the network drive is mounted for all of the people that we want to have play the game. The host then needs to upload the game files to the NAS. After that, scan for new games and launch. Since steam is hosted locally, there should be no login issues (there weren't any for us) so just see if the game launches. It may or may not, depending on the day, wind speed, and temperature. Now comes the fun part. We all got in a party together and launched into a custom game. Wow, instantly the lag started once we got to the drop ship. One person was lagging so hard that they didn't even render the drop ship. The rest of us had blocky renditions of the ship for around 20 seconds, then the model updated. Once we landed, it was truly phenomenal. One by one our games crashed, with no end in sight. Eventually it was just one hunter and one monster, and once the hunter sighted the monster, their game crashed, and vice versa for the monster.
If you want to try it, its a fun little thing to do to test your r/homelab ability. But don't expect for anything to actually be playable when more than one person plays the same game at once. That being said though, for one person just trying to share game states in a game such as Dwarf Fortress, this seems to be a good solution.
Thanks as always for reading, and if you thought this is a good idea then hey, maybe give it a go!