When running a gaming community, figuring out which maps are played the most is an important part of adding new servers. At first our admins thought asking the community itself would be the best way–to see what the users we already have want to play. This lead to people fighting over which maps they liked the most and didn’t really give us any real data on what people wanted, and what we could keep full.

In discussions with the other community heads, I decided that we should gather data on overall map popularity, popularity by server slot size, by country, and some other for-fun stats like popularity by hours of the day, and percentage of servers full based on the current map. From previous experience, I turned to GameTracker for my data mining. We were only interested in the most popular servers, as we try to keep all our servers within the top-400 highest ranked.

I created a PHP cron script to grab the first 400 GameTracker results every five minutes and store them in a database. In order to include weekend data without skewing the results, I let it run for a full week. In the end, I gathered around 800,000 rows.

Below you will find graphs of the top 15 results for each data selection. Each instance of “users seen” represents any user playing a map within a 5-minute time-frame  These are not unique users, but rather how full the server was at the time of the query. Think of it as one point per player for every 5 minutes they played on a map.


Map Popularity– By number of clients seen

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Server Capacity– By map

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Map Popularity– By hour of the day

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Use My Data

There are many things that could be graphed with this, such as timelines of map popularity by day or hour, specific map popularity by country, weekends vs weekday comparisons, etc. I dumped the mysql table of the week’s worth of top-400 server data, which you can download below. If you use this, please let me know! I always love to see what others doing with my work. The data collected looks like this:
Rank, Server name, Players, Max players, Location, IP address, Map, Time of query

Download MySQL Data (22.7MB Zip)
Download CSV Data (22.6MB Zip)