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When starting Photon without a License, it will run with a 20 CCU limitation. You can also download a free License for 100 CCU from your dashboard. Find more information regarding Licenses below.

Free License

Photon can be used free of charge for up to 100 concurrent connections (players that are connected at the same time). You can use the free license even in commercial games and you can have any number of monthly active users.

Get your free license here.

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License Options

Once your project is growing past the 100 CCU limit of the free license, you can buy and upgrade your Photon licenses online.

Existing licenses can be upgraded for the cost difference to the new one. Please contact us for that!

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Using The License

Photon uses .license files, which are provided by Exit Games. New license files are simply copied into the folder where the Photon executables are. Other .license files have to be removed, so that only the .license file to be used remains in the folder.

PhotonControl and the Photon Server will read the files on start, so a new license currently requires a restart.

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Floating Licenses

Photon's "Floating Licenses" are not bound to hardware or IP. They will run on any machine but need to contact our Floating License Monitor. On start, this HTTPs call must succeed. The following hourly contact has to succeed once every 24 hours. If the Monitor is not available for that long, Photon will shut down.

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The License Monitor

Photon does not start without contacting the License Monitor, so we made sure that our License Monitor is highly available. To achieve this, we use different cloud services, which provide 24/7 availability.

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Troubleshooting: License Monitor Not Available

If Photon can not reach the License Monitor, it fails to start with an error message like this:

"Shutdown request from PhotonHostRuntime: On startup, license monitor must be available / reachable."

The License Monitor has these URIs, at least one of them must be reachable for Photon:

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1. Network / DNS Issues

To check, if you can connect to the License Monitor, you could use a tool like curl.


If both requests fail, contact your network administrator to resolve any network configuration / DNS resolution issues.

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2. Firewall Settings

Make sure that PhotonSocketServer.exe is allowed to establish outbound connections on port 443 (HTTPS) to the License Monitor URIs (see above).
Check your Windows Firewall as well as any hardware / software firewalls that might be provided by your hosting provider.

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3. Certificate Settings

Open in Internet Explorer.

If you see this error message, you need to install the SSL certificate as a Trusted Root CA on your server:

"There is a problem with this website's security certificate. The security certificate presented by this website was not issued by a trusted certificate authority."

Click the SSL sign in your address bar. Click "View Certificates".

Photon Server: License Monitor Connectivity from Internet Explorer

In the next dialog box, choose "Install Certificate":

Photon Server: Install Certificate

In the Certificate Import Wizard, choose the option "Place all certificates in the following store". In the next dialog box, choose "Trusted Root Certification Authorities".

Photon Server: Choose Certificate Store: Trusted Root Certification Authorities

Finish the wizard.

If you can access from Internet Explorer, restart Photon and verify that it can start with access to the License Monitor as well.

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