How to run Team Fortress 2: Source as a Service with FireDaemon Pro.

What is Team Fortress 2: Source?

Team Fortress 2 is a first person action game. The dedicated server component can be run as a Windows Service using FireDaemon Pro, which allows you to start the dedicated server automatically at boot prior to login, start multiple instances of the dedicated server 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.

Team Fortress 2: Source 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 anonymous +force_install_dir "C:\TF2" +app_update 232250 validate +quit

The target box should now look something like:

C:\SteamCMD\steamcmd.exe +login anonymous +force_install_dir "C:\TF2" +app_update 232250 validate +quit

Now click the shortcut you created and let it run to download the Team Fortress 2 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.

Team Fortress 2 uses one configuration file to store its settings. By default the configuration file is not included. See the end of this HOWTO for an example configuration file, and go ahead and edit the configuration file to your preferences.

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. For the purposes of this HOWTO, the path is C:\TF2\srcds.exe.

Working Directory: The directory containing your srcds.exe file. For the purposes of this HOWTO, the path is C:\TF2.

Here’s the full parameter list you should have:
-console -game tf -secure +map ctf_2fort -autoupdate +log on +maxplayers 24 -port 27015 +ip +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 “ctf_2fort” 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 Team Fortress 2 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 optionally it off (+log off), but keeping it on makes it easier to debug any errors you might encounter.
  • “maxplayers 24” This controls the maximum of amount of players you want your server to run. You can only control the max players on server startup. This command should never be removed. Team Fortress 2 can only handle up to 24 players, to get 32 players something special needs to be done, more information on this at the end of this tutorial.
  • “-port 27015” This is the default server port. 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” should be the IP of your computer (not, go here to get your IP). This command should never be removed.
  • “+exec server.cfg” This simply executes your server.cfg file on server startup. If you run multiple servers from the same installation, you can specify other config files (eg. server2.cfg)

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 can optionally run your Team Fortress 2 server 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 Team Fortress 2 doesn't respond to it.

Now click OK to finish setup and start Team Fortress 2!

Example Configuration File

Below is an example server.cfg file:

hostname "Team Fortress 2"
rcon_password ""
fps_max 600

sv_allowdownload 1
sv_allowupload 1
net_maxfilesize 64
pausable "0"
// Voice Comm
sv_voiceenable "1"
sv_alltalk 0

sv_pure 1

sv_allowdownload 1
sv_downloadurl ""
sv_filetransfercompression 1

// Quickplay:
tf_server_identity_account_id ""
tf_server_identity_token ""

mp_timelimit 60
mp_friendlyfire 0
mp_tkpunish 1
mp_autokick 1
mp_fadetoblack 1
mp_falldamage 0
mp_logmessages 1
mp_weaponstay 1
sv_region 0
sv_lan 0

// bandwidth rates/settings
sv_minrate 0
sv_maxrate 0
sv_minupdaterate 10
sv_maxupdaterate 33
sv_mincmdrate 10
sv_maxcmdrate 33
sv_client_cmdrate_difference 1
sv_client_predict 1
sv_client_interpolate 1
sv_client_min_interp_ratio -1
sv_client_max_interp_ratio -1

//sv_timeout 300
sv_timeout 21600

decalfrequency 60

log on
sv_logbans 1

sv_rcon_banpenalty 60
sv_rcon_maxfailures 10
sv_rcon_minfailures 5
sv_rcon_minfailuretime 45

// TF2 Specific
tf_playergib 1
tf_stats_track 1
tf_stats_verbose 0
mp_maxrounds 3
mp_enableroundwaittime 1
mp_bonusroundtime 45
mp_stalemate_timelimit 300
mp_idlemaxtime 360
sv_cacheencodedents 1
mp_autoteambalance 1
mp_autoteambalance_delay 60
mp_autoteambalance_warning_delay 30
mp_teams_unbalance_limit 1
mp_chattime 10

// TF2 Clan CVARS
// mp_clan_ready_signal "go"  //Text that team leader from each team must speak for the match to begin
// mp_clan_readyrestart 1 //If non-zero, game will restart once someone from each team gives the ready signal

// Exec Configs
exec banned.cfg
exec banned_ip.cfg
exec banned_user.cfg
exec listip.cfg
mapchangecfgfile server.cfg
mapcyclefile mapcycle.txt

Valve recommends that Team Fortress 2 servers be 24 players at maximum. You can host more, but you should be aware that your server will be penalized in the quickplay pool.