How to set up a Palworld dedicated server

Discover how you can use Meshnet to configure your own Palworld server and play on it with your friends.


Palworld is an open-world adventure survival game. It is set in an unusual environment — a world populated with various creatures called “Pals”. Each Pal serves a distinct purpose and can be used for multiple different tasks, from peaceful crafting to intense battles.

Setting up a multiplayer Palworld server can be done quickly, as the game provides all of the necessary tools. However, allowing connections from people outside of your network requires port forwarding. Opening ports can leave your home network vulnerable or may not be possible at all due to the increased popularity of carrier-grade NAT (CGNAT) usage.

With the free Meshnet feature, you can create a virtual device network with devices located all around the globe. Once the devices are linked, they behave as if they were physically on the same local area network (LAN) and can directly connect to each other. This setup allows you to run your Palworld server without opening ports or paying for third-party hosting.

This page showcases how you can host a dedicated Palworld server on Windows and Linux and play on it with your friends with the help of Meshnet.

Configure your Palworld server

Depending on your setup, you can choose from three distinct methods of running the Palworld server.

Method 1: Using Palworld dedicated server

For a quick server deployment, you can use the Palworld dedicated server tool which is installed along with the game. To start the server:

  1. Open Steam and, at the top, select the Library tab.

  2. Choose Palworld dedicated server from your library and click Launch.

  3. In the dialog that opens, select the Play Palworld dedicated server option and click Play.

Once the server is initialized, a command-line window should appear on your screen. When you see it, you can proceed to connect to your server. For details, see the Connect to the Palworld server section.


To see the Palworld dedicated server tool in your Steam library, launch the Palworld game at least once.

Method 2: Using SteamCMD

This method uses SteamCMD, a command-line version of the Steam client. It is used to download and manage servers for multiplayer Steam games. When using this approach, ensure that your server device has sufficient storage space, as SteamCMD will need to download all of the game’s files on this machine.

Installing SteamCMD

Begin by downloading and installing the SteamCMD utility on the device that will be hosting your server.

  1. Create a new folder on your PC where you want to install SteamCMD. For example: C:\steamcmd

  2. Download the SteamCMD for Windows from the Valve Developer Community website.

  3. Extract the contents of the downloaded ZIP file to the folder you created.

  4. Double-click the steamcmd.exe file to launch the app.

  5. If the Windows security alert box appears, select both the private and public network options and then click the Allow access button to allow incoming connections through the firewall.

The SteamCMD tool will automatically install and, upon completion, will be ready to accept commands.

Once you see this output, you can close the SteamCMD command line window.

Launching the Palworld server

With SteamCMD set up, you can proceed to download and install Palworld server files.

  1. Open Command Prompt.

  2. Using the cd command, navigate to the directory where you installed SteamCMD. Example

    cd C:\steamcmd

  3. Download the required Palworld server files by running this command:

    steamcmd +login anonymous +app_update 2394010 validate +quit

    Once the server files are fully downloaded and installed, the "Success!" message appears.

  4. Navigate to the Palworld server’s directory using this command:

    cd .\steamapps\common\PalServer

  5. Start the server by running the following command:


You should now see a command-line dialog displaying information about your server, indicating that it is up and running. For further details, see the Connect to the Palworld server section below.


If your SteamCMD folder is not located on the C drive, you need to modify the directory change command. Add /<letter> between cd and the path, where <letter> is the corresponding letter of the drive.


cd /d D:\Apps\steamcmd


If you have specified a different download directory for SteamCMD, you will need to adjust the command in Step 4 according to your chosen location.

Method 3: Using Docker

Lastly, you can choose to deploy your server as a lightweight Docker container. This option allows you to run the server while saving system resources and can be easily integrated into a pre-existing Docker setup.

Installing Docker

To use this method, you must have Docker and Docker Compose installed on your device. Instructions on how to download and install these tools can be found on the Docker website:


Docker Compose comes pre-installed with Docker Desktop.

Preparing the Docker Compose file

To begin the setup, you need to declare the instructions for the Palworld server Docker image in a dedicated Docker compose file.

  1. Open PowerShell.

  2. Create a new palworld_server folder and navigate to it using the following command:

    mkdir palworld_server; cd palworld_server

  3. Create a docker-compose.yml file and open it using Notepad by running:

    notepad docker-compose.yml

    When prompted to create the file, click Yes.

  4. In Notepad, paste the following instructions for the Palworld server Docker container:

          image: thijsvanloef/palworld-server-docker:latest
          restart: unless-stopped
          container_name: palworld-server
            - 8211:8211/udp
            - 27015:27015/udp
             - PUID=1000
             - PGID=1000
             - PORT=8211
             - PLAYERS=16
             - MULTITHREADING=true
             - RCON_ENABLED=true
             - RCON_PORT=25575
             - ADMIN_PASSWORD="<password>"
             - COMMUNITY=false
             - ./palworld:/palworld/

  5. Replace the <password> placeholder with a secure administrator password for your server.


  6. Press Ctrl + S to save changes.

  7. Exit Notepad.

Deploying the Palworld server

Now, you can use the instructions specified in the compose file to start your Palworld server. To deploy the container, while in the palworld_server directory, run the following command:

docker compose up -d

Docker will pull the Palworld server image from Docker Hub and deploy the container. Once the container is up and running, you can connect to the Palworld server, as described in the next section.

Connect to the Palworld server

To connect to your newly created Palworld server, take the following steps:

  1. Copy the Meshnet IP address of the device hosting the Palworld server from the NordVPN app.

  2. Launch Palworld.

  3. Select Join multiplayer game.

  4. In the address field at the bottom of the screen, paste the copied Meshnet IP address, followed by :8211, and click Connect. Example

Your server should now load, and you can enjoy playing Palworld with your friends over a secure Meshnet connection.

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