How to Setup a CS (Counter Strike) Server

“How do I setup a CS server?” is a common question amongst Counter Strike fans interested in hosting their own games. The first thing to do is know your server requirements and shop around for the best deal on a dedicated server. Just one word of CAUTION though! The best looking deal isn’t always necessarily the best deal. That’s why we recommend Liquidweb and DedicatedNOW for reasonably priced dedicated servers, because not only are the prices reasonable, but their networks are top-notch and their customer service is amongst the best in the industry.

That being said, here are some basic requirements for running a CS dedicated server.

Some good guidelines for bandwidth were mentioned by Sebastian on the CStrike Planet forums:

While you may be able to run a CS server from home for 1-4 players, hosting more than that is going to require more bandwidth, so when deciding on a managed hosting company, we suggest that you specify bandwidth requirements during setup.

RAM Memory
I recommend a 2gb minimum. You can’t go wrong having too much, but it can affect your pocketbook. Your CS server will fail miserably if you do not have enough.

CPU Speed and Setup
At minimum, a dual core CPU is recommended for hosting more than 4 players. The more CPU power, the better, but CPU power is also an area that can hit your pocketbook pretty hard. More often than not, bottlenecks occur in the RAM memory dept.

Hard Drives
Minimum 7200 rpm SATA. For more complex configurations and high bandwidth servers, go with multiple 15k rpm SAS drive in Raid10.

Shop around for the best price on a server with these requirements. Our favorites are Liquidweb and DedicatedNOW, but don’t limit yourself to those two.


Start with the basic cvars. Extract and upload the server.cfg file to the cstrike/cfg file on your server. CStrike Planet has a good list of the cvar options here.


Follow Sebastian’s instruction’s on CStrike Planet for Linux and Windows installation of the source and program files:

Windows: CS Source

Windows: CS

Linux: CS Source

Linux: CS