There are eleven live publically accessible servers that run the City of Heroes game. These servers are: Champion, Freedom, Guardian, Infinity, Justice, Liberty, Pinnacle, Protector, Triumph, Victory, Virtue
There are also four European servers that are only accessible when using the European City of Heroes or City of Villains game client. They are: Defiant, Union, Vigilance, Zukunft (future)
In addition, there is a test server called the Training Room in which patches and other changes are tested before being rolled out to the live servers.
Although any player may play on any server, the servers may be divided into geographic divisions based on where the servers are physically located. They are as follows:
East Coast Servers
The east coast servers are physically located in Virginia. They are:
West Coast Servers
The west coast servers are physically located in California. They are:
The Training Room server is also located in California.
The European servers are physically located in Frankfurt, Germany. Any European City of Heroes player may log into any of the four servers, but they are generally split by language as follows:
- Defiant, English
- Union, English
- Vigilance, French
- Zukunft, German
Within the U.S., the servers are functionally identical. They all have the same maintenance schedule and their server statuses are all listed together.
However, there is one difference that rarely occurs: Changes that are triggered at a specific time are time-zone specific. For example, when the Heart of Light Badge was triggered, players on the East Coast servers received the badge at 12:00 EST and players on the West Coast servers received the badges at 12:00 PST (three hours later).
Changes that are rolled out as part of maintenance patches are not affected by time zones; players all receive these changes as soon as their respective server comes back up.
Some of the servers have a reputation for having a majority of a certain type of people that play on them. These are informal nicknames for the servers, and in no way affect the gameplay mechanics.
- Freedom - the most populated American server and a favorite of French-American and French Canadian players. Historically, this server was originally named Prime during the beta-test and was renamed upon release. Freedom is also the unoffical PVP server.
- Virtue - the second most populated server since the launch of City of Villains. Also, this server has a reputation as "the unofficial role-playing server."
- Liberty - shares the reputation of "unofficial friendly server" with Triumph.
- Pinnacle - jokingly referred to by its players as "the drunk server," because it often used to come back up last after updates.
- Triumph - considered to have the smallest population of the eleven US servers and shares the reputation of "unofficial friendly server" with Liberty.
- Victory - has a reputation as "the unofficial Euro server" and "the unofficial GLBT server" because of perceptions that this server has the largest concentration of these two groups. Also the server where the original beta-testers of City of Heroes were able to reserve their character names from that period. Currently becoming know as the "Badge Server" due to the high-concentration of active badge collectors on the server
- Justice - During the beta-testing period, Australians coordinated to make this server "the unofficial Australian / New Zealand server." As a byproduct of this decision, Justice commonly sees more players active through until maintenance, as the timezones for NZ (UTC+12) and Australia (UTC+10) mean that the maintenance window happens locally around 11:30pm (Sydney time). As such it attracts Australian players for the last 5 hours of activity (6pm-11pm AEST). Because standard maintenance windows are announced by Admin message and a different message is broadcast for Issue and special event releases, Australian players are often the first to experience them. Unfortunately, this usually results in very low initial attendance as the server maintenance window, usually used fully (2 hours?) results in 1:30am players and a high drop off rate.
- Champion - often known as the "community server" for its friendly atmosphere and active forums. Recent events have caused Champion to be called the "Hami Drama" server.
- Guardian - Known as the "red-headed step-child server" due to its frequent down times that neglected to be brought to attention in the past. The server hasn't had a problem lately though.
- Union - The "unofficial roleplay server". Shares friendly rivalry with Defiant, though people tend to own alts on both servers due to only two English-speaking servers.
- Defiant - The "unofficial... something server". Nobody quite knows what. Shares friendly rivalry with Union, though again, people generally have alts on both servers due to lack of English-speaking servers unlike the American servers.
- Vigilant - The "dead French server". Everyone supposedly tends to play on Union or Defiant due to more support from GMs and help on official forums.
- Zukunft - The "dead German server". Again, everyone supposedly tends to play on Union or Defiant due to more support from GMs and help on official forums.
- The FAQ entry on the City of Heroes support site that gives the locations of the U.S. servers