Counter-Strike 2 is a dynamic multiplayer game that thrives on its matchmaking capabilities and dedicated servers, essential for delivering the complete 'Counter-Strike' experience. Engaging in Counter-Strike 2 gameplay enables you to select from official servers featuring diverse game modes such as casual, competitive, and practice. Alternatively, for a more varied gaming experience, you can opt for community servers. These offer an expansive array of gameplay scenarios, including (but not limited to) private competitive games, zombie escape, and the famous surfing game mode.
You may wish to create your own Counter-Strike 2 server which allows you to customize your gameplay experience and choose how the player interacts with the game.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through every essential step to set up your own Counter-Strike 2 server. We'll cover everything from server requirements and configuration to additional tips for getting your CS2 server up and running seamlessly.
What is Counter-Strike 2?
Counter-Strike, a groundbreaking game that initially emerged as a modification for the iconic Half-Life in 1999, has been under the active development of Valve since its acquisition. Over the years, a multitude of versions have been released, each featuring innovative additions and comprehensive graphic enhancements.
The most substantial update to date, Counter-Strike 2 (CS2), provides an exceptional gaming experience for CS:GO players. This update introduces a novel CS Rating system, displayed on a global leaderboard, that adds an extra layer of competition and engagement.
One of the standout features of CS2 is the remarkable improvement in graphic details. Players will notice significant upgrades in aspects such as smoke behavior and lighting, creating a more immersive gaming environment. Additionally, the game's maps have been entirely rebuilt from scratch or updated using the advanced Source 2 game engine, providing a fresh look and feel to familiar terrains.
Furthermore, CS:GO players can rejoice knowing that their hard-earned skins and weapons have not only been transferred over but also updated with high-resolution details. This feature ensures continuity and enhances the visual appeal of the game, allowing players to enjoy their personalized equipment in finer detail.
Overall, Counter-Strike 2 is not just a game update; it's a complete transformation that enhances every aspect of the player's experience, making it a must-try for all CS:GO enthusiasts.
What is a Counter-Strike 2 Server?
A Counter-Strike 2 server is a dedicated host that runs a copy of the Counter-Strike 2 game, facilitating multiplayer gaming sessions with other players across the globe. These servers are versatile in their usage, ranging from hosting massive tournaments to creating a private, immersive world for you and your friends. By setting up your own Counter-Strike 2 server, you gain absolute control over your gameplay, dictating the rules, player selection, and game modes.
START YOUR COUNTER-STRIKE 2 SERVER HOSTING TODAY WITH ICELINE HOSTING
Counter-Strike 2 servers can function on various platforms such as Windows, Mac, and Linux, along with dedicated servers rented from established game server providers. The process to set up a CS2 server is straightforward, requiring only the game client and basic computer knowledge. However, maintaining the server demands regular updates and troubleshooting to ensure seamless gameplay.
If you're considering running your own Counter-Strike 2 server, it's essential to understand the setup process, the types of servers available, and how to configure your server effectively. This article will guide you through these aspects, along with providing insights into server maintenance, enabling you to run a smooth and efficient CS2 server.
Hardware & Software Requirements for CS2 Server
To host a Counter-Strike 2 server on your PC/server will need to meet certain requirements, both hardware and software.
- CPU: Core i5-2400 / Ryzen 3 2200
- RAM: 8GB
- GPU: 2 GB GeForce GTX 950 / Radeon R7 265
We suggest sticking to the provided hardware specifications for superior performance while hosting a server. Nonetheless, any up-to-date PC/server that satisfies Counter-Strike 2's basic requirements should experience no trouble running a server.
The hardware necessities may fluctuate based on your server's player capacity and the number of mods installed. Moreover, a consistent network with robust upload/download speeds is crucial to uphold your server's functionality.
In addition to hardware requirements, you’ll also need to install software in order to host a Counter-Strike 2 server. The following software is required:
- CS2 Game Server Files
- Steam Account with Counter-Strike 2 purchased
- Windows or Linux Operating System
Initial Deployment Steps
To establish and launch a Counter-Strike 2 server, you have two options: utilize a game server provider (which comes with a pre-configured CS2 server), or manually configure the Counter-Strike 2 server on a VPS or home PC.
Choosing a GSP (game server provider) simplifies the deployment of a new CS2 server, as the provider takes care of server installation and configuration. However, if you possess the necessary knowledge, manually setting up a CS2 server can also be an easy task.
At Iceline Hosting, we're an official GSP that provides a variety of tools to simplify the deployment and management of your Counter-Strike 2 Server. Furthermore, our knowledgebase offers comprehensive tutorials that guide you in deploying your CS2 server on a VPS or on your home PC.
Why not purchase Counter-Strike 2 server hosting today and simplify your server deployment and management?
How to Setup a Counter-Strike 2 Server with Iceline Hosting
- First head to our website and go to our CS2 hosting page
2. Choose the plan that suits your server (we recommend the CS2 4GB plan)
3. Once you have selected your plan click "Get Started"
4. Follow the checkout process until payment is sent
5. Once you have paid for the server you will be able to view it within the billing area
6. Click on the product and you'll be taken to the product view page
7. Click "Go to panel"
You'll then be able to access your fresh new CS2 server through the Iceline Game Panel. Alternatively, you will also receive an email allowing you to set up your Iceline Game Panel account.
How to Setup a Counter-Strike 2 Server on Windows
Step 1: Download CS2 Game Server Files
The easiest method for downloading the counter-strike 2 game server files on Windows is using SteamCMD.
- First RDP or Login to your Windows server/device
- Create a folder called "CS2Server" where you wish to store the CS2 game server files
- Download SteamCMD and place it in the folder you created
- Create a .BAT file called "cs2_server_install.bat"
- Place and adapt the following code in the .BAT file you just created
@echo offstart "" C:\Users\UserName\Desktop\CS2Server\
steamcmd\steamcmd.exe +login YOUR_STEAM_ACCOUNT YOUR_PASSWORD +force_install_dir C:\Users\UserName\Desktop\CS2Server +app_update 730 +quit
Step 2: Setting up a Dedicated Counter-Strike 2 Server
- Create a new .BAT file called "cs2_server_start.bat inside your CS2Server folder
- Place and adapt the following code in the .BAT file you just created
start /wait /REALTIME cs2.exe -dedicated -usercon +game_type 0 +game_mode 1 +map de_dust2
3. The console window will appear and your server should start
Step 3: Configuring Port-Forwarding for Counter-Strike 2 Server
To configure your firewall to allow you to connect and play on your Counter-Strike 2 server you'll need to add some rules.
- First, open up "Windows Defender Firewall"
- Click "Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall"
- Click "Change Settings" and "Allow another app"
- Navigate to your CS2Server folder and select "cs2.exe"
- Ensure "Public" is checked for "cs2.exe"
Your port-forwarding should now be configured for your Windows Counter-Strike 2 server.
Connecting to Your Counter-Strike 2 Server
Once you've set your Game Panel account you will be able to see your server information such as the connection address, which will be necessary to connect to your Server.
Connecting to a CS2 server is really easy and there are multiple ways to do this, but the fastest ways to get into your newly made server are: through the Favorite Servers in the Steam Server Browser and Through the Console. Alternatively, there's also the method through the Public Server List which requires a bit of initial setup first.
Through the Favorite Servers in the Steam Server Browser
We'll use the Favorites tab from the Steam Server browser for this, adding a server to your Favorites tab allows you to save the server IP and password so you can join anytime in the future with just a click as long as the server is online. To add a Counter-Strike 2 server to your Favorites just follow these steps:
- Open the Steam Client and head to Servers.
- This will display a new window, click on the Favorites tab.
- Click on the Add Server button located at the bottom right corner.
- A new window will pop up, type your server IP.
- Click on Add this Address to Favorites
That's it! Now your server information will be displayed under Favorites and you will be able to join by just clicking twice on it, or by using the Connect button.
Through the Public Server List
To display your Counter-Strike 2 server in the public list you'll first need to register your server and generate a Steam Account Token, these private and not-sharable tokens will be used to verify that you own the game and to prevent fake CS2 servers from showing on the list. Just follow this initial preparation:
- Go to the Steam Game Server Account Manager website and generate a token.
- Once the token has been generated, copy it and head to your server's game panel.
- Click on your Server and go to the Startup tab.
- Locate the Steam Account Token variable and paste the token previously generated.
You will now need to set a Server Name and Tags for your server, these will be used to locate your server later on so make sure to choose something unique and recognizable.
- Head to the Startup tab from the game panel.
- Locate the Hostname and Tags variables and change them accordingly.
- Restart the Server.
With all the preparation done, you can now locate your server in the server list. Just follow these steps:
- Open the Steam Client and head to Servers.
- This will display a new window, click on the Internet tab.
- In the tags search bar, type your server name.
- Select your server on the list and click on Connect.
Through the Console
You can also use the Counter-Strike 2 console to connect to your server with a mere command, but there's a downside to this method as you will need to type/paste the command and server IP each time you want to connect to your server.
To be able to use the Counter-Strike 2 Console you'll first need to enable it on the Game Settings, just follow these steps:
- In-game, open Settings and select Game.
- Locate the Enable Developer Console option.
- Change it from No to Yes.
With just this change the console will be enabled for you, and you can press the (~) keyboard key (this can be changed to your liking) to open it at any moment. Now that the console has been enabled, you can follow these steps to connect to your server.
- Open Counter-Strike 2.
- Press the ~ key on your keyboard to open the console.
- Type connect "serverip"
- For example: connect 319.189.306.12:28140
- Press Enter
Just replace the serverip part with your server IP and don't add the quotation marks, as simple as that. Does your server have a password? No worries, you'd only need to use this command instead:
- Type connect "serverip";password "server password"
- For example: connect 319.189.306.12:28140;password Iceline
- Press Enter
Configuring your Counter-Strike 2 Server
Thanks to the Features from our Game Panel, it's really easy to configure your CS2 Server through the options available in the Startup tab.
Change the Server Name and Server Tags
You'll need to choose a server name and some tags if you intend to display your server publicly, just change the Hostname and Tags variable as you wish.
Change the maximum number of players.
For this you'd just need to change the Max Players variable to the number of your choice, make sure to keep this under the recommended value for your game plan so your server doesn't run out of resources.
Change the Default Server Map
You can use the Map variable to change the default server map which the server will run during startup, this can be set to any of the available cs2 maps, or your custom-added ones.
Change the Server Tickrate
The tick rate is the number of times the server updates in a determined period of time, for competitive games a high tick rate is essential to calculate the actions in-game correctly, and Counter-Strike 2 features 128 ticks as the default rate, but you can set this back to 64 if you like. Just edit the Tickrate variable.
Change the Server Game Mode and Game Type
Counter-Strike 2 features multiple game modes, you can select your preferred variation by changing the Game Mode and Game Type variables from the Startup tab. Check the documentation here to see the available options.
Managing Your Counter-Strike 2 Server
Expanding on the Features of our Game Panel, you will also be able to use the server console to run any available commands into your server, such as map "mapname" to change your current server map or sv_gravity to change the server gravity level.
Make backups for your Server
Through the Backups tab in the game panel, you will be able to create backups for your CS2 server at any given time, you can later restore these backups or download them to your computer. You can even create automated backups through a Schedule.
Set up Automated tasks for your server
Do you need to restart your CS2 server automatically every few hours or execute a certain command? Just create a schedule through the Schedules tab from the game panel. The Schedules works with the cron syntax so you can even use your custom time expressions if required.
Transfer your Server to a different location
Is your current server location not suitable for you or your community? Just transfer it to any of our available locations at any time thanks to the Transfer tab from our game panel.
Pick your preferred location and click Start Transfer, then just wait for the transfer to complete. Very simple!
Add sub-users for your server
Do you intend to manage the server with your team? Instead of risking your credentials you can just make them sub-users for your server through the Users tab and configure their permissions to your liking.
They can also get their own SFTP credentials if you give them SFTP permissions, and if you want to revoke this access at any moment just remove the permission and their SFTP credentials will no longer work.
Counter-Strike 2 Server Support
Are you having trouble configuring your server? Feel free to contact us through a Ticket at any moment or check our knowledgebase for any new guides and blogs, there are a few shortcuts available next to the Server's console which you could use to speed up this process.
You have reached the end of our tutorial. We have covered everything you need to know to deploy, configure, and manage your Counter-Strike 2 server. Make sure to check out our CS2 knowledgebase which offers a range of other helpful tutorials.