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Setting Up A CS:GO Dedicated Server

Last updated: April 9, 2021

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To date I have tested 52 different providers to see who can really deliver the best CS:GO Server Hosting.

If you have outgrown your shared Counter-Strike: Global Offensive server (that you probably found using my guide on the home page) then you may now need a dedicated server.

You would need to rent a dedicated server or VPS from a hosting company as well as be fairly techy and hands-on to create and manage it.

CS:GO Player

You can also set up a dedicated server on a spare Windows computer you have lying around. Although this method will have terrible performance if you try and play with anybody other than those on the same local network as you.

What You Need

To create your own CS:GO dedicated server you will need to make sure your target machine has the following:

  • At least 8GB of RAM
  • A CPU that can keep up with the fast-paced nature of Counter-Strike games
  • At least 20GB in free storage space
  • Windows Server 10 operating system or newer
  • A Steam account that owns a copy of CS:GO

How to set up your dedicated CS:GO server

Lets get down to the actual setup of your CS:GO server now that you have checked the minimum requirements needed.

1. Download SteamCMD

Most of the Steam-based games require you to download a command-line tool that automates the process of downloading and installing the needed server files.


Download SteamCMD and place it into a folder somewhere convenient, such as your desktop or the root of a hard drive.

2. Extract SteamCMD

Using an unzipping programming (like Winzip) decompress the SteamCMD.exe file you downloaded in step 1.

3. Run SteamCMD to start downloading the CS:GO server files

Double click the steamcmd.exe file that was unzipped from step 2 to launch a window and begin the self-updating procedure for SteamCMD.

Once completed, the window will wait for you to enter a command. This is where you want to tell the program to download the latest CS:GO server files, using these commands:

force_install_dir "C:\MyCSGOServer"
login anonymous
app_update 740 validate

Don’t forget to replace the first line’s folder location to reflect your folder location from step 1.

4. Generate a CS:GO Auth token

This step is quite rare for a Steam game but adds another layer of security for the developers and allows them to track what is going on among the third-party servers.

Steam CS:GO Server Auth Requirements

If you do not do this step then other players outside of your own local network can’t connect to your server.

Head over to the official tool to get yourself a CS:GO Auth token. This token is valid for one game server only.

Make a note of this token in a safe place, maybe even a text file in the dedicated server folder from step 1.

5. Launch your server with a batch script

The server files that you have downloaded in the previous step do not contain a way to launch your server with a simple double-click, you need to create a file that will launch it using your desired options manually.

The easiest way to do this is to open Notepad (or any other text editor) and create a file with the following contents:

srcds -game csgo -console -usercon +game_type 0 +game_mode 1 +mapgroup mg_active +map de_dust2 +sv_setsteamaccount AUTH_TOKEN

Be sure to save that text document with the name start.bat in the folder that contains the rest of your CS:GO server files.

Also, make sure you change the AUTH_TOKEN text at the end of the line to the Auth token you got given in step 4.

6. Test your server

Here we go! If everything has gone to plan so far then once you double click the start.bat file created during step 5 your new CS:GO should launch. HomePage

If you are struggling to get your server to work then maybe check out the CS:GO server hosting providers I have tested on the home page. For a small monthly payment, all of this can be done for you and ready in minutes for you to connect to.

7. Change the game type

The server code you added to the start.bat files configured your server to start as a “Competitive” server.

If you want to change the game rules/type then try changing the instructions in the start.bat file to be:

For a Casual style gameplay server:

srcds -game csgo -console -usercon +game_type 0 +game_mode 0 +mapgroup mg_active +map de_dust2 +sv_setsteamaccount AUTH_TOKEN

For an Arms Race style server:

srcds -game csgo -console -usercon +game_type 1 +game_mode 0 +mapgroup mg_armsrace +map ar_shoots +sv_setsteamaccount AUTH_TOKEN

For a Demolition style server:

srcds -game csgo -console -usercon +game_type 1 +game_mode 1 +mapgroup mg_demolition +map de_lake +sv_setsteamaccount AUTH_TOKEN

For Deathmatch rules:

srcds -game csgo -console -usercon +game_type 1 +game_mode 2 +mapgroup mg_allclassic +map de_dust +sv_setsteamaccount AUTH_TOKEN

8. Connect to your new CS:GO server

Now you have a working CS:GO server you need a way to find and connect to it in-game.

Start by finding your IP address by going to Google and typing “what’s my IP address” or click here.

Open your Steam client and browse to the View->Servers menu section, then click Add Server.

Here you can enter your external IP address and (as long as your ISP has given you one and you have unblocked the ports on your router) your server should appear to you ready to save to your favorites.

Launch CS:GO and go to the server list page, you should now be able to find your server in the favorites list ready to connect to.


My Hosting Review Process:

1. Find 52 popular CS:GO Server Hosting providers

2. Buy a basic package and set it up

3. Run speed tests on server

4. Compare the features vs. cost

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