Setting up an Atlas Nitrado Server

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Atlas offers a great, expandable world, which also means that its server infrastructure differs from some other games hosted at Nitrado. This article will guide you through setting up your server grid.

Atlas Server Grid

The world of Atlas consists of a grid of servers. Every server is responsible for a specific area, and every area will typically contain multiple islands to explore.

The Nitrado default map is of the size 2 times 2, so you would need 4 servers to cover all that area. But: You don’t have to! You can freely decide which parts of the map you want to cover with your servers and expand bit by bit.

We’re also aiming to provide a wider range of default maps as quickly as possible.

Server Types

Each Atlas grid is composed of multiple servers, that can even belong to different Nitrado accounts! While configuring your Atlas grid you will encounter three server types: Main servers, expansion servers, and home servers.

Main Server

Every Atlas (which is one shared game world) needs exactly one main server. The game name of this Nitrado server will be “Atlas” or “Atlas (Main Server)”. This is the server where you can adjust the settings of the entire grid in one place, instead of accessing every server in the grid manually.

Expansion Server

As the name suggests, expansion servers expand your grid with more playable space. The game name of these servers will be “Atlas (Expansion Server)”. By default, expansion servers inherit all settings from their main server (including admin password, harvesting multipliers, and so on). However, you can also override these settings on each expansion server if you want to create areas with different rules.

Home Server

Players can only enter the map in certain areas. These areas are typically ports from where you venture out into the wilderness. Which areas are home servers is defined by the grid configuration file (see below). That means when you assign your servers to grid areas, at least one of these areas must be a “home server” so that players can join the map.

Setting up your Grid

Setting up your grid is a three-step process:

  1. Create and upload your grid configuration file (ServerGrid.json) and map images or keep the default 2x2 map
  2. Add expansion servers to your main server or start off with just the single main server
  3. Assign your servers to areas in the grid

Creating ServerGrid.json

You can skip this section if you want to use the default 2x2 map.

There is a map editor freely available at GitHub. This tool can be used to freely place different islands across the map and to build a completely individual world.

Tip: Even if you want to start out small, we recommend to create a somewhat bigger map right at the start. This makes it easier for you to expand later.

While editing your configuration, you can ignore these values and sections:

  • WorldAtlasId
  • MetaWorldURL
  • ip
  • port
  • gamePort
  • seamlessPort
  • DatabaseConnections

These values will be automatically adjusted by the Nitrado server system on server start.

On save, the editor will create a file typically called “ServerGrid.json”. This file contains the definition of your game world. On your Atlas main server, use the “Upload server configuration” button to upload your config.

Warning: Changing ServerGrid.json

Please be aware that changing your map afterwards may have negative side-effects. If you move islands, the structures and players on them will not move with them. If you place an island where a ship currently is located, this ship will most likely be stranded.

We recommend to only edit parts of the grid that have not been played on yet.

Uploading your Map Images

The Server Grid Editor also lets you export images of the map. These map images will determine the graphics shown in the spawn selection screen and on other in-game maps.

There are two types of images: “Cell” images, one for each server in the grid, and one big image that contains the whole map. The cell images need to be named “CellImg_0-0.jpg” (replacing the 0-0 with the respective coordinates in the grid), and the main image needs to be named MapImg.jpg. Both image types can be exported from the server grid editor.

To upload these images, select “Upload Map Images” in the web interface of your grid’s main server.

Warning: Map Image Cache

To prevent re-downloading of the same files again and again, the game client “caches” the image files of a grid, in the folder ATLAS/ShooterGame/Saved/MapImagesCache. That means after you’ve changed the map and the image files, your players will still see the old map. Delete the content of that folder to clear the cache and force the client to download the new images again.

Adding Expansion Servers

You can skip this section if you want to start with a single main server.

The main server and its expansion servers are grouped using a code that is called an “Atlas Code” or an “Atlas Cluster Shared Secret”. You find this code in the dashboard of the main server. Treat it like a password.

Expansion servers have a setting in their respective web interface to enter the code and make them part of the grid. If these expansion servers are on your own account, there’s an even easier way of adding them: At the bottom of the “Configure your cluster” section of the main server web interface, you will find a list of all unassigned Atlas expansion servers on your account, and can add them to the grid with a single click.

Warning: Expansion Servers Across Data Centers

Please note that it is not officially supported to have expansion servers hosted in other data centers than the main server. For an optimal experience, please make sure to run all servers in one Nitrado location.

Assigning Servers to the Grid

In the “Configure your cluster” view, you can click the grid spaces to assign servers to them. You will need to pick at least one “home server” as indicated by the house icon. All other servers in the grid should be reachable from at least one home server. Otherwise it would be impossible to travel there. Server areas that can’t be reached from a home server are colored in red.

If there are errors in your configuration, a text box below the grid editing widget will inform you about the steps needed to correct them.

Warning: Rearranging Servers

For every player in the grid, the grid will save their last server and position. Even if you join through an arbitrary home server, the game will place you on your last server.

This also means that, if a player was on a server that is now offline or doesn’t exist anymore that player will not be able to join the grid anymore. So please be very careful when removing servers from the grid.