How to Run Digital Combat Simulator as a Windows Service with FireDaemon Pro.

DCS World

Digital Combat Simulator World (DCS World) is a free-to-play digital battlefield game.

DCS World screenshot

DCS World 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 DCS World service, plus other Windows services via your web browser.

DCS World Server Setup Under FireDaemon Pro

Please follow the steps below to set up a DCS World as a Windows service with FireDaemon Pro

Step 1: Download and Install DCS World Dedicated Server

  1. Download DCS World Server installer to this folder. A single EXE file DCS_World_Server_web_1.exe is downloaded. This file is under 5MB.
  2. Double-click DCS_World_Server_web_1.exe. This will install the web downloader and corresponding support files into the C:\Program Files\Eagle Dynamics\DCS World Server folder.
  3. After installation finishes, the web downloader will start and begin downloading the dedicated server files (the dedicated server is currently 93GB). The installation will take a long time because the download server has a slow download speed. It will take a few hours to possibly a whole day.

Step 2: Configure DCS World Server

  1. An account is required to run the server. So first run the server manually and register a new account. Open your Start menu->Eagle Dynamics->DCS World Server
  2. At the bottom of the window that appears, click "Don't have an account yet?" which will open a new browser window for you to create one.
  3. Enter your login information into the "DCS Login" window and checkbox "Save password" and "Auto login", then click "Log In".
    DCS Login
  4. Then close the "DCS.server" window by right-clicking its taskbar entry and selecting close from its context menu.

NOTE: If you get the error "Authorization error. Error code is: 500", it's because your server computer has the wrong time being reported. Sync the time by clicking the "Set time automatically" handle in Windows time settings. If your computer isn't keeping the correct time, then the bios battery on the motherboard is likely dead and needs to be replaced. If you get any other authorization errors, you can find solutions to them here

Step 3: 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 4: Set Up DCS World 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 DCS World 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:

--server --norender
  • "-server" runs the server.
  • "-norender" stops graphic rendering.

Next, click on the FireDaemon Pro Settings tab:

FireDaemon Pro DCS World service settingsEnter appropriate values in the fields on the Settings tab as follows:

  • (Required) Job Type:  You must set the job type to "Global Job".
  • (Required) 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.

FireDaemon Pro DCS World lifecycle settingsLastly, 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 DCS World is Running Correctly

The DCS World 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 listIf 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.

Step 6: Updating

From time to time DCS World Server will become out of date and it needs to be updated. Stop your FireDaemon service and manually run Start menu->Eagle Dynamics->DCS World Server. After updates are downloaded, kill the server and start your FireDaemon service again.