GameServer Health Checking

Health checking exists to track the overall healthy state of the GameServer, such that action can be taken when a something goes wrong or a GameServer drops into an Unhealthy state

Disabling Health Checking

By default, health checking is enabled, but it can be turned off by setting the property to true.


The Health() function on the SDK object needs to be called at an interval less than the threshold time to be considered before it will be considered a failure.

The health check will also need to have not been called a consecutive number of times (, giving it a chance to heal if it there is an issue.

Health Failure Strategy

The following is the process for what happens to a GameServer when it is unhealthy.

  1. If the GameServer container exits with an error before the GameServer moves to Ready then, it is restarted as per the restartPolicy (which defaults to “Always”).
  2. If the GameServer fails health checking at any point, then it doesn’t restart, but moves to an Unhealthy state.
  3. If the GameServer container exits while in Ready, Allocated or Reserved state, it will be restarted as per the restartPolicy (which defaults to “Always”, since RestartPolicy is a Pod wide setting), but will immediately move to an Unhealthy state.
  4. If the SDK sidecar fails, then it will be restarted, assuming the RestartPolicy is Always/OnFailure.

Fleet Management of Unhealthy GameServers

If a GameServer moves into an Unhealthy state when it is not part of a Fleet, the GameServer will remain in the Unhealthy state until explicitly deleted. This is useful for debugging Unhealthy GameServers, or if you are creating your own GameServer management layer, you can explicitly choose what to do if a GameServer becomes Unhealthy.

If a GameServer is part of a Fleet, the Fleet management system will delete any Unhealthy GameServers and immediately replace them with a brand new GameServer to ensure it has the configured number of Replicas.

Configuration Reference

  # Health checking for the running game server
    # Disable health checking. defaults to false, but can be set to true
    disabled: false
    # Number of seconds after the container has started before health check is initiated. Defaults to 5 seconds
    initialDelaySeconds: 5
    # If the `Health()` function doesn't get called at least once every period (seconds), then
    # the game server is not healthy. Defaults to 5
    periodSeconds: 5
    # Minimum consecutive failures for the health probe to be considered failed after having succeeded.
    # Defaults to 3. Minimum value is 1
    failureThreshold: 3

See the full GameServer example for more details



For a configuration that requires a health ping every 5 seconds, the example below sends a request every 2 seconds to be sure that the GameServer is under the threshold.

void doHealth(agones::SDK *sdk) {
    while (true) {
        if (!sdk->Health()) {
            std::cout << "Health ping failed" << std::endl;
        } else {
            std::cout << "Health ping sent" << std::endl;

int main() {
    agones::SDK *sdk = new agones::SDK();
    bool connected = sdk->Connect();
    if (!connected) {
        return -1;
    std::thread health (doHealth, sdk);

    // ...  run the game server code


Full Game Server

Also look in the examples directory.

Last modified July 23, 2024: Graduate Passthrough Port Policy to Beta on Autopilot (#3916) (205e87e)