Dedicated Server Setup

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Dedicated Server (Windows)


First of all you need the HLDS Update Tool. This is what we use to update/download the server. You will also need Empires Dedicated Server from the Download Page.

If you want to use SourceMod, make sure you download it before going any further.


  • First we need to download the SDS (Source Dedicated Server). To download we open up hldsupdatetool.exe and download the tool to an arbitrary location on your machine, for example:
  • When you have finished installing the update tool open the install folder in a command prompt and type:
hldsupdatetool.exe -command update -game "orangebox" -dir C:\HL2DS  
  • If that doesnt work or your stuck or having trouble getting orangebox then you can go HERE for a more indepth tutorial on how to get it.
Tip Tip: Make sure you replace C:\HL2DS with your install path if it's different.

This will download all files necessary to host an orange box server (and Empires). And remember to "Go get yourself a cup of coffee." as valve said, this will take some time

  • Install the Empires Dedicated Server files to "C:\HL2DS\orangebox\empires" (use your own install path).
  • Create a shortcut of srcds.exe and place it where you want then go to properties of the shortcut. Add the following to the end of the shortcut target:
-game empires +maxplayers 14 -port 27015 -console +map emp_canyon -autoupdate

It sould look like this;

srcds.exe -game empires +maxplayers 14 -port 27015 -console +map emp_canyon -autoupdate
Tip Tip: You can adjust your port and maxplayers via the shortcut or the server.cfg file.
Tip Tip: More command-line options are available at the Valve Developer Community Wiki.


Next, edit your mapcycle.txt and server.cfg files to your liking.

Warning  Warning: When editing your server.cfg remember to change your rcon_password and hostname directives!
rcon_password "pass"  //Your rcon password
hostname "Servername" //The name of your server

These are the most important settings to change, there are more in the cfg so test around what is best for you.


You should now be able to double-click your server shortcut, which will start up your dedicated server.

Dedicated Server (Linux)

Linux server is unsupported. Valve's version of Source 2007 engine for Linux is too slow to handle any decent amount of players.

Tip and Tricks

Modularise server.cfg settings

As the server.cfg (amongst others) can be overwritten during upgrade and you may wish to have your server run in different "modes" such as password protected clan match/practice, increase resource rates for "tank wars", etc it's best to treat your server.cfg as "read-only" and any default settings you wish to have place them in a unique filename e.g. myserver.cfg then add a single line to the end of server.cfg "exec myserver.cfg"

This way server.cfg will then run myserver.cfg and override any server.cfg settings. For example to set your server's hostname you'd add the following to myserver.cfg

hostname "My Empires Server"

In addition to myserver.cfg you can then create modified files to accommodate your various server "modes" which can either be called via

rcon exec tankwars.cfg

Or if you want this mode to automatically survive a map change/server restart, add another line to server.cfg below your "exec myserver.cfg" entry.

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