Welcome to the first-ever Hytale community Forums! We're thrilled to have you with us. Please register an account, and feel free to invite as many of your friends as you like! You can also start up a friendly conversation anytime in our Forum Chat 😎
It is most likely that you're going to need to pay if you want to host a big server that's on 24/7.
Although you might be able to host a small lobby to let your friends join in. (Either that be intergrated in-game or some other program such as Hamachi)
But for now we don't have any official information on the matter so we'll just have to wait and see.