Serverless website but need to use digitalocean for websockets - works on localhost not deployed


I have a game hosted on vercel, now i needed for multiplayer. Everything works on localhost, connected to the server on digitalocean. But it does not work when deployed to vercel even though they are talking to the same ip (on digitalocean) I suspect that localhost and digitalocean can talk to eachother since both are http. Vercel is https, so the requests might not go through? In the browser console i receive "WebSocket connection to ‘wss://’ failed: " (No failed explanation, its just empty)

So my question is:

  1. Is my assumption correct? If so
  2. Can i add SSL to a digiocean IP or does it need to be a domain? if so
  3. Can that domain be for example while is used on vercel?

Help greatly appreciated ❤️, preferably some in depth guide as i am not a pro with these kind of things

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Vercel don’t suport websocket client because works as serverless functions returning a bunch of code in each received request, and don’t keep connections alive (necessary for websocket works).

Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
Site Moderator badge
March 28, 2023

Hi there,

Indeed this sounds like a mixed content problem.

Are you running your web sockets service on a Droplet? If so, as you mentioned, it is best to use a subdomain like and follow these steps:

  • Add an A record for your subdomain to point to your DigitalOcean server IP address.
  • After that use a free SSL certificate using Let’s Encrypt:

  • Then you could add an Nginx reverse proxy to the SSL Nginx server block generated by certbot as described in the tutorial above:
location / {
    proxy_pass http://localhost:3001;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header Host $host;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

    # WebSocket support
    proxy_http_version 1.1;
    proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
    proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";

Let me know how it goes!



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