Alien Swarm is a multiplayer alien game that is free to play. The dedicated server component can be run as a Windows Service using FireDaemon Pro, which lets you start the dedicated server automatically at boot prior to login, start multiple instances of the application and more. This HOWTO will show you how to set it up. You can also use FireDaemon Fusion to manage FireDaemon and other Windows services via a web browser.

Alien Swarm Dedicated Server Setup Under FireDaemon Pro

First download and extract SteamCMD. The download is small (< 2 MB).

Go to the directory where you installed SteamCMD and create a shortcut to "SteamCMD.exe". Next edit the properties of the shortcut and in the target box, at the end of it (with a space before the following), put:

+login USERNAME PASSWORD +force_install_dir "C:\Alien Swarm" +app_update 635 validate +quit

Replace USERNAME and PASSWORD with your Steam login info. The Target box should now look like:

C:\SteamCMD\steamcmd.exe +login USERNAME PASSWORD +force_install_dir "C:\Alien Swarm" +app_update 635 validate +quit

Now click the shortcut you created and let it run to download the server files. It might take a few hours to update everything. You should also run the shortcut every week or so to grab the latest server updates. Make sure to stop your server first.

Alien Swarm uses one config file, server.cfg, to manage server settings. In the swarm\cfg directory, create a file named server.cfg and edit it to suit your preferences. A sample server.cfg file is included at the end of this HOWTO.

Download and install FireDaemon Pro into the directory of your choice, typically C:\Program Files\FireDaemon.

Next start the FireDaemon GUI from the desktop shortcut. Click on the "Create a new service definition" button in the toolbar (or type Ctrl+N) and enter the information into the fields as you see below. Adjust the paths to suit your installation. Note the required parameters.

  • Executable: The path to your srcds.exe file. The path specified in this installation is C:\Alien Swarm\srcds.exe.
  • Working Directory: The directory containing your srcds.exe file. The path specified in this installation is C:\Alien Swarm.
  • Parameters: -console -game swarm +map lobby -maxplayers 4 -ip -port 27015 +exec server.cfg 
    • -console - Specifies to run the console version of the server.
    • -game swarm - Specifies which game to load.
    • +map lobby - Specifies which map to load.
    • -maxplayers 4 - Specifies the maximum number of players. This must be less than or equal to 4.
    • -ip - Specifies the IP address to connect to. Replace this with your (internal or external) IP address.
    • -port 27015 - Specifies which port to send traffic through.
    • +exec server.cfg - Specifies which server configuration file to load.

Now click on the Settings tab. If you DON'T want to see your dedicated server running, uncheck the Interact with Desktop check box & select “Hidden” from the “Show Window” dropdown. You may optionally run Alien Swarm as the user you installed it as. In the Logon Account field type your username (e.g. Administrator) and then enter the user's password twice in the Password and Confirm fields. You can change the Process Priority to allocate more CPU time to the dedicated server or specify which CPU or core the dedicated server will run on (in the case of multi-processor, hyperthreaded or multi-core CPUs).

Now click on the Lifecycle tab. Uncheck Graceful Shutdown as Alien Swarm doesn't respond to it.

Now click OK to finish setup and start your Alien Swarm dedicated server!

Sample Alien Swarm server.cfg File

 Below is a sample Alien Swarm server.cfg file. Save a copy and alter it to suit your server's preferences. 
hostname YourServerName
rcon_password “YourRCONpassword”
sv_password “” // only needed to make your server private.
sv_contact “”

hostport 27016
sv_lan 0 // enable LAN = 1; disable LAN = 0
sv_region 255
sv_allow_lobby_connect_only 0 //enable/disable Lobby connections 1/0

mp_disable_autokick 1 //disables autokick=1
sv_allow_wait_command 0
sv_alltalk 1
sv_alternateticks 0
sv_clearhinthistory 0
sv_consistency 1
sv_pausable 0
sv_voiceenable 1
sv_cheats 0
sv_forcepreload 1
sv_pure_kick_clients 0

exec banned_user.cfg
exec banned_ip.cfg

sv_log_onefile 0
sv_logbans 1
sv_logecho 0
sv_logfile 1
sv_logflush 0
sv_logsdir logs

sv_minrate 30000
sv_maxrate 60000
sv_minupdaterate 66
sv_maxupdaterate 101
sv_mincmdrate 66
sv_maxcmdrate 101