Counter-Strike


Counter-Strike pits counter-terrorists against terrorists. The game is very old but still played as there are still hundreds of servers that are full!


Counter-Strike screenshot


Counter-Strike can be run as a Windows service using FireDaemon Pro. This allows you to start and run the dedicated server automatically when Windows boots and before login. FireDaemon Pro also allows you to start multiple instances of the game server, monitoring them and automatically restarting those instances in the event they crash. FireDaemon Fusion can also be used to manage your Counter-Strike service, plus other Windows services via your web browser.


Counter-Strike Server Setup Under FireDaemon Pro

Please follow the steps below to set up a Counter-Strike as a Windows service with FireDaemon Pro


Step 1: Download and Install SteamCMD for Windows

SteamCMD is a command-line version of the Steam Client. Its primary use is to install and update various dedicated servers available on Steam using a command-line interface.


Create a folder on your system, for SteamCMD, C:\SteamCMD
  1. Download SteamCMD to this folder. A single ZIP file steamcmd.zip is downloaded.
  2. Extract the contents of the ZIP file into the folder. A single program file, steamcmd.exe, is extracted.
  3. Double-click steamcmd.exe. This will download SteamCMD and corresponding support files into the C:\SteamCMD folder.


Step 2: Download and Install FireDaemon Pro

  1. Download FireDaemon Pro installer
  2. Double-click installer and follow the installation wizard to complete the installation.
  3. For more information about installing FireDaemon, see the FireDaemon Pro Users Guide.


Step 3: Download and Install the Counter-Strike Dedicated Counter-Strike Server

Download the Counter-Strike server files via the Steam SteamPipe servers. Go to the directory where you installed SteamCMD and create a shortcut to "SteamCMD.exe". In the shortcut, edit the properties and in the target box, at the end of it (with a space before the following), put:

+login anonymous +force_install_dir "C:\CS" +app_update 90 validate +quit
SteamCMD Shortcut PropertiesThe game is currently 768MB.

If the server successfully downloads, the command window will close on its own. Otherwise, it will stay open and tell you what went wrong (most likely you don't have enough free disk space).

Step 4: Set Up Counter-Strike as a FireDaemon Pro Service

Double click the FireDaemon Pro icon on your desktop, then click on the New (i.e. +) button in the toolbar (or type Ctrl + N) to create a new service. Enter the information into the fields as you see below. Adjust the path names to suit your installation. Note the required parameters.


FireDaemon Pro Counter-Strike Service Program Tab

The most important field on the tab is the Parameters. The Parameters define the initial setup of your server. The full parameter list should be as follows:

-console -game "cstrike" -secure +map cs_office -autoupdate +log on +maxplayers 32 -port 27015 +ip 10.0.0.50 +exec server.cfg
  • "-console" enables text base server display. The server can only be automatically restarted in text based mode.
  • "-game" loads the mod.
  • "-secure" enables VAC (Valve Anti Cheat) protection of your server. You can remove this command if you do not want to use VAC.
  • "+map" loads a specified map on server startup. You can change "cs_office" to whatever map you want. This command should never be removed.
  • "-autoupdate" Enables auto update of the server. Valve has not implemented this in Windows so you will have to manually update Counter-Strike yourself. It’s here for the sake of legacy support if Valve ever decides to add it.
  • "+log on" Displays the output of information on the screen. You can turn it off (+log off), but keeping it on makes it easier to debug any errors you might encounter.
  • "maxplayers 32" This controls the maximum amount of players you want your server to have. You can only control the max players on server startup. This command should never be removed.
  • "-port 27015" This is the default server port for your server. You can change it to anywhere from 27015 to 27020. Changing it is generally used when you host multiple servers (as each server has to use its own port when using the same IP). This command should never be removed.
  • "+ip 10.0.0.50" should be the IP of your computer (If your computer is behind a router, then it will be your internal DHCP IP. If it's directly connected to the internet, then on the go here to get your IP). This command should never be removed.

Next, click on the FireDaemon Pro Settings tab:


FireDaemon Pro Counter-Strike service settings


Enter appropriate values in the fields on the Settings tab as follows:

  • (Optional) Logon Account: Enter the Windows account under which the game is to be run, e.g. the current user account.
  • Password / Confirm Password:  Enter the logon account's password twice.
  • (Optional) Interact with Desktop: If this setting is enabled (default), the game server's output messages can be seen in the console window on Windows Session 0. To switch to Session 0, it may be necessary to install FireDaemon Zero and ZeroInput. Alternatively, this setting may be disabled, in which case the game server's messages will be hidden.
  • (Optional) Priority: To allocate more CPU time to the game server, select a higher scheduling priority in this field.
  • (Optional) CPU Bindings: To run the game server on a specific CPU, specify the appropriate CPU in this field.


Next, click on the Lifecycle tab. Set Shutdown By to Forceful Termination and check "Console Program".


FireDaemon Pro Counter-Strike lifecycle settings


Lastly, click the Save and Close (ie. the tick) button on the toolbar. If the service's Startup Type is set to Automatic or Automatic (Delayed-Start), it will start immediately.


Step 5: Verify that Counter-Strike is Running Correctly

The Counter-Strike game server's status can easily be checked on the main FireDaemon Pro Services List - look for a Running Status value and a numeric Process ID (PID) value.


FireDaemon Pro Services list


If the service's Interact with Desktop setting is enabled, the game status can also be verified by switching to Windows Session 0 to view the game's messages.

Counter-Strike console