Set up an IAM service role for Amazon GameLift - Amazon GameLift
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Set up an IAM service role for Amazon GameLift

Some Amazon GameLift features require you to extend limited access to Amazon resources that you own. You can do this by creating an Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM) role. An IAM role is an IAM identity that you can create in your account that has specific permissions. An IAM role is similar to an IAM user in that it is an Amazon identity with permissions policies that determine what the identity can and cannot do in Amazon. However, instead of being uniquely associated with one person, a role is intended to be assumable by anyone who needs it. Also, a role does not have standard long-term credentials such as a password or access keys associated with it. Instead, when you assume a role, it provides you with temporary security credentials for your role session.

This topic covers how to create a role that you can use with your Amazon GameLift managed fleets. If you use Amazon GameLift FleetIQ to optimize game hosting on your Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, see Set up your Amazon Web Services account for Amazon GameLift FleetIQ.

In the following procedure, create a role with a custom permissions policy and a trust policy that allows Amazon GameLift to assume the role.

Create a custom IAM role

Step 1: Create a permissions policy.

To use the JSON policy editor to create a policy
  1. Sign in to the Amazon Web Services Management Console and open the IAM console at

  2. In the navigation pane on the left, choose Policies.

    If this is your first time choosing Policies, the Welcome to Managed Policies page appears. Choose Get Started.

  3. At the top of the page, choose Create policy.

  4. In the Policy editor section, choose the JSON option.

  5. Enter or paste a JSON policy document. For details about the IAM policy language, see IAM JSON policy reference.

  6. Resolve any security warnings, errors, or general warnings generated during policy validation, and then choose Next.


    You can switch between the Visual and JSON editor options anytime. However, if you make changes or choose Next in the Visual editor, IAM might restructure your policy to optimize it for the visual editor. For more information, see Policy restructuring in the IAM User Guide.

  7. (Optional) When you create or edit a policy in the Amazon Web Services Management Console, you can generate a JSON or YAML policy template that you can use in Amazon CloudFormation templates.

    To do this, in the Policy editor choose Actions, and then choose Generate CloudFormation template. To learn more about Amazon CloudFormation, see Amazon Identity and Access Management resource type reference in the Amazon CloudFormation User Guide.

  8. When you are finished adding permissions to the policy, choose Next.

  9. On the Review and create page, enter a Policy name and a Description (optional) for the policy that you are creating. Review Permissions defined in this policy to see the permissions that are granted by your policy.

  10. (Optional) Add metadata to the policy by attaching tags as key-value pairs. For more information about using tags in IAM, see Tagging IAM resources in the IAM User Guide.

  11. Choose Create policy to save your new policy.

Step 2: Create a role that Amazon GameLift can assume.

  1. In the navigation pane of the IAM console, choose Roles, and then choose Create role.

  2. On the Select trusted entity page, choose the Custom trust policy option. This selection opens the Custom trust policy editor.

  3. Replace the default JSON syntax with the following, and then choose Next to continue.

    { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "Service": "" }, "Action": "sts:AssumeRole" } ] }
  4. On the Add permissions page, locate and select the permissions policy that you created in Step 1. Choose Next to continue.

  5. On the Name, review and create page, enter a Role name and a Description (optional) for the role that you are creating. Review the Trust entities and Added permissions.

  6. Choose Create role to save your new role.

Permission policy syntax

  • Permissions for Amazon GameLift to assume the service role

    { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "Service": "" }, "Action": "sts:AssumeRole" } ] }
  • Permissions to access Amazon Regions that aren't enabled by default

    { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "Service": [ "", "", "", "", "" ] }, "Action": "sts:AssumeRole" } ] }