Windows dedicated server

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This is a setup guide that allows you to install a basic Team Fortress 2 Windows dedicated server. In the below example the server is installed onto the C drive in a folder called 'TF2server'.

Download and install the SteamCMD Tool

It is recommended you create a separate user to install and run game servers. It is also recommended you use the non-beta version of the Steam client, otherwise, it won't be able to locate Steam libraries.

  • Download
  • Unzip to a directory, for example 'C:\TF2server'.

Create a SteamCMD script

  • Create a file called tf2_ds.txt in the folder where you installed the tool. In this example, that is 'C:\TF2server'
  • Edit the file with this text, remember to replace "c:\TF2server\" with your own directory:
@ShutdownOnFailedCommand 1
@NoPromptForPassword 1
force_install_dir C:\TF2server\
login anonymous
app_update 232250

If you want to opt for the prerelease version of the TF2 dedicated server, add this line after the app_update ID, in the same line:

-beta prerelease

Create an updating batch file

  • Create a file called update.bat in the folder where you installed the tool.
  • Edit the file with this text:
@echo off 
steamcmd +runscript tf2_ds.txt

Start the download/update

  • Run the update.bat to start the download. This may take several hours as dedicated server content is very large.
  • You may need to run the file *multiple* times until the message "Success! App '232250' fully installed." or "Success! App '232250' already up to date." displays.

Create/Update server files

  • Create a file called server.cfg in 'C:\TF2server\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2 Dedicated Server\tf\cfg\' (Make sure it's not a text file!)
  • Edit the file with these details:
// The server name that players will see in the server browser and in the scoreboard
hostname "Your server's name"

// Leave empty if you do not want a password
sv_password ""
// Password to enable rcon access from the console
rcon_password "Your_Rcon_Password"

// Time per map in the rotation, in minutes. 0 to never rotate the map on a timer.
mp_timelimit 30
// Maximum number of rounds to play per map before forcing a mapchange
mp_maxrounds 10

// Allow clients to upload customization files (e.g. sprays)
sv_allowupload 1
// Allow clients to download files (e.g. sprays, custom maps, custom content, etc.)
sv_allowdownload 1
// Maximum allowed file size for uploading in MB (Optional)
net_maxfilesize 15

An example with more cvars (console variables) can be found in Example Server.cfg for TF2 dedicated server.

  • Create the files motd.txt and mapcycle.txt in 'C:\TF2server\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2 Dedicated Server\tf\cfg'
You may want to use the motd_default.txt and mapcycle_default.txt as references
  • Create a file called pure_server_whitelist.txt in 'C:\TF2server\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2 Dedicated Server\tf\cfg'
It is advised that you copy and paste the contents of the pure_server_whitelist_example.txt file into your file first, and then apply any modifications you may want

Create a file to run the server

  • Create a shortcut that references to the file 'C:\TF2server\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2 Dedicated Server\srcds.exe'. Name the shortcut an appropriate name,
  • Right click on the shorcut, select properties,
  • Set Target to:
"C:\TF2server\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2 Dedicated Server\srcds.exe" -console -game tf +sv_pure 1 +map ctf_2fort +maxplayers 24
  • Set Start in to:
C:\TF2Server\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2 Dedicated Server
  • Allow it to use networking when the pop-up appears.
  • Run the shortcut you have created to start your server.

This will start a pure server with 24 slots running on 2Fort by default. If you don't wish to apply pure server rules, you can remove +sv_pure 1. You can also change the value of maxplayers up to 32.

Connecting to the Server

  • Once you have run the server, scroll up in the console until you find a line of the form: Network: IP <your ip address>, mode MP, dedicated Yes, ports <your port> SV / 27005 CL.
  • Launch Team Fortress 2, and open up the developer console and enter connect <your ip address>:<your port>.
  • You should now be successfully connected to your server.

Other command line options

Some other common command-line options for TF2 are:

  • -ip - Bind to a specific IP address. By default, the server listens on all network interfaces.
  • -port 27015 - Bind to a different port (27015 is the default).
  • -strictportbind - If a server is already running on the specified port, the server will shut down instead of moving to the next available port.
  • +randommap - Use instead of +map to select a map at random when starts the server.
  • +servercfgfile - Which tf\cfg\ file to execute on map change, defaults to server.cfg.
  • +mapcyclefile - Which tf\cfg\ file contains this server's mapcycle, defaults to mapcycle.txt. Will also look in tf\
  • -replay - Executes replay.cfg and adds an additional slot for the replay bot, but removes it from the player count.

External links

See also