How to Setup a Steam Dedicated Server

If you are an avid PC gamer, you know that Steam is the number one source of PC games. Not only that, they offer a variety of discounts and seasonal offers that you will never be able to resist. It is most likely that you have hundreds of games in your steam library just waiting to be played. With that in mind, we also know that there are many Steam games that supports multiplayer and some of them even have a dedicated server support – meaning you can create your own dedicated server (we recommend Server Mania) to host games either for your friends or clan. But you might wonder, why use a dedicated server if I can host the game on my machine? One of the biggest reason about it is to enable you to dedicated all system resources on hosting a game which will eliminate lags and latency delays. Aside from that, there are plenty of other reasons, but the main idea here is to max out your resources to eliminate annoyances. Okay, enough of that, let’s see how to setup a steam dedicated server, right now!


One of the most important thing that you’ll need when you are creating your own dedicated server is the SteamCMD. This is a stripped version of the steam client and Is operated via command-line. One of the main uses of SteamCMD is to download and update dedicated servers using a command-line interface. If you are still using the deprecated HLDSUpdateTool, it’s time to move to SteamCMD.

To download steamCMD, follow the following steps:

Windows – create a folder for steamCMD and then, download it from and extract its contents to your created folder.

Linux – you will have to install the dependencies required to run SteamCMD by running sudo apt-get install lib32gcc1 for Ubuntu/Debian 64-bit or yum install glibc libstdc++ for RedHat/CentOS or yum install glibc.i686 libstdc++.i686 for RedHat/CentOS 64-bit.

After you installed the required dependencies, it is recommended to create a separate user to run it. Never run it as root if you don’t want to increase the risk of your system getting compromised. In order to create a separate user, run the following commands as root:

useradd -m steam
su – steam

Now that you’ve create the steam user, login as it and then create a directory for SteamCMD and switch to it by running the following command:

mkdir ~/steamcmd
cd ~/steamcmd

Then, download SteamCMD for Linux using wget and extract its contents, tar -xvzf steamcmd_linux.tar.gz.

OS X – for Mac OS X, open the and create the directory for SteamCMD using:

mkdir ~/steamcmd
cd ~/steamcmd

and then, download SteamCMD for OS X, curl -O and extract: tar -xvzf steamcmd_osx.tar.gz.

Running SteamCMD

On the first run, it will automatically update itself and you will be directed to a Steam> prompt. You can type help for more information. To run SteamCMD, follow the appropriate direction:

Windows – open command prompt and run SteamCMD. For example, if you created a folder in C:\steamcmd, then your command will be:

cd C:\steamcmd

Linux/OS X

Open the terminal and start SteamCMD using:

cd ~/steamcmd

Now that you’ve launched SteamCMD, you can proceed to login. You can either login anonymously or login with an account. To login anonymously, you can type login anonymously. However, some games require that you are logged in, therefore, you need to create a new steam account – this account will be exclusive for your dedicated servers only. Remember that a user can only login once at any time, either from the main Steam client or SteamCMD, that’s why you need a new account. To login with an account, use login <username> and then, enter your password.

If you have Steam Guard, check your email for the access code and enter it. This will only be required once or if you deleted the files where SteamCMD keeps login details. Once successful, you should see a message that says you have successfully logged in with your account.

Downloading App

To download apps/servers, start SteamCMD and login. Then, do the following:

  • Set your app install directory. Remember to use forward slash for Linux and Mac OS X and back slashes for Windows. Use:
    force_install_dir <path>
  • You can now install or update the app using the following command:
    app_update <app_id>
    or if you want the beta version, use:
    app_update <app_id> [-beta <betaname>] [-betapassword <password>]
    you can also add validate at the end of the command to validate files.
  • Once done, type quit to log off from Steam servers.

Congratulations! You now installed a dedicated server using the SteamCMD! You can use the CMD to manage your server installations by updating, validating or installing them using the command-line! Makes you feel like a pro-geek no? By the way, here’s the list of Dedicated Servers on Steam.

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