Windows

2 Ways to Host Counter-Strike 1.6 PC Server over Internet

Just like Friends (A TV show), which continued winning hearts of people over the years, CS 1.6 or Condition Zero (commonly known as Counter-Strike) stands no exception when it comes to the gaming world. It all started with the Half-Life series when Valve released it back in 1998.  Thereafter they went on with the counter-strike series which became a hit that time and continued gaining popularity till the date. What made this game really popular was its ability to let people play online or locally with their friends. To this day, players go crazy when they plan to play Counter-Strike with their friends.

The real problem arises when people are sitting at different locations and try to create a server and connect among themselves. In this case, the obvious choice is to connect over the Internet. But since everybody has a different ISP and thus different IP subnets, it becomes a bit difficult to get all of them on-board on the Internet channel as compared to the local area network.

I used to face a lot of challenges playing CS 1.6 with my friends online by creating my own server. In the end, I would give up and join the public servers. Later when I could successfully create my own server over the internet, I got so happy. I wanted these methods to be known by every Counter-strike player who is still sailing in the same boat as I was.

So, here are the 2 ways to host your own counter-strike server over the internet.

Counter-Strike CS 1.6 Poster

Counter-Strike CS 1.6 Poster

Pre-Requisites

  • You should have one of these game versions of Counter-Strike on your PC.
    1. Counter-Strike 1.6 (Standard CS 1.6)
    2. Counter-Strike – Condition Zero
  • Half-Life Dedicated Server (HLDS) installed along with the game.
  • There are 2 methods to host the CS 1.6 dedicated server. Each one has it’s own requirement.
    1. The first method requires a virtual private network (VPN) application installed on the host and peer computers. Here is host PC is the one hosting the game and peers are players, who would be joining the game. In this guide, we would be using the powerful and free VPN Hamachi for the demonstration. The software is compatible with popular operating systems like Windows (except Server OS), Mac, and Linux.
    2. The second method requires you to have a router that would support the Port forwarding functionality.

Host Counter-Strike CS 1.6 / Condition Zero Server on Windows PC

As discussed earlier, we will be demonstrating 2 ways to achieve the results.

Method 1 – Using LogMeIn Hamachi VPN

Hamachi is a free VPN tool with which, you can create your own private networks and surf the web using a VPN tunnel. This is how it works – being a server PC owner, you create a private network with whatever name you want. You ask your friends to join that network using the ID and password (if any). Once they are connected to your network, you all share a private network and the rest of things would work similarly to how it’s supposed to work on LAN. Let’s get to the steps for creating a dedicated CS 1.6 server on your PC.

Step 1 – Download LogMeIn Hamachi from vpn.net

Download LogMeIn Hamachi VPN for CS 1.6

Step 2 – Install Hamachi on your Windows PC. Once the installation is completed, Hamachi shall create a network adapter that you can check by opening the Network and sharing center.

Hamachi Network Adapter Windows 10

Hamachi Network Adapter Windows 10

Step 3 – For Windows 7 users, if you don’t see Hamachi adapter installed or can’t get it working no matter what you do, then no worries, we have got you covered. Simply download Windows update KB3033929 and re-install the hamachi.

Step 4 – Open hamachi and turn on the VPN if it’s not already. Once that’s done then on the top side, you should see your VPN IP.

Hamachi Application Interface

Hamachi Application Interface

Step 5 – Create a new network and assign it a name and a password.

Hamachi Create a New Network

Hamachi Create a New Network

Step 6 – Hamachi will ask you to sign in or sign up if you are not a member. Once that is completed, you can create your own client-owned network.

Hamachi Create Network UI

Hamachi Create Network UI

Step 7 – Ask your friends to install hamachi and follow Steps 1 to 6. Once you all have Hamachi installed, tell them to join the network you created earlier, by providing Network ID and Password. Upon joining your network, their PC name would be visible under the network along with the green dot.

Hamachi Peer Joined Green Dot

Hamachi Peer Joined Green Dot

Note – There is a limitation on a number of peers connecting to a single network. As you can see in the image above, Network VirajCS has 5 members, and that is the max limit for a free LogMeIn account. But no reason to get sad! You can overcome that limitation by creating multiple networks and adding your friends into those networks.

Step 8 – Assuming that all your friends are connected to your network, ask them to copy your IP address which is located near the power button on the top of the hamachi UI. Your friends would need this IP to connect to your CS 1.6 server.

Step 9 – Run the CS 1.6 Dedicated Server or Half-life dedicated server exe file. Generally located on this path – C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Half-Life. Your game directory could be different depending on the path you chose while installing CS 1.6 or a standalone HLDS server.

CS 1.6 HLDS Steam Directory

CS 1.6 HLDS Steam Directory

Step 10 – While starting the server, select Network mode as Internet if you are using a steam client and LAN if it’s a non-steam client. Keep the default port number 27015.

CS 1.6 Condition Zero HLDS Start Screen

CS 1.6 Condition Zero HLDS Start Screen

Step 11 – Once the server is started, you should see the hamachi IP as your server IP. If that’s not the case then either Hamachi client is not running, powered on or there could be some issue with the network adapter. This is all you need to do on a server-side.

CS 1.6 Condition Zero HLDS Running

CS 1.6 Condition Zero HLDS Running

Step 12 – Ask your friends to launch CS 1.6 / Condition Zero and press the console key ~ (usually located below Esc key). Type this command in the console and hit enter. Replace 25.XX.XX.XX with your Hamachi IP address.

Connect 25.XX.XX.XX:27015

If your friends get this error – LAN Games Restricted to Class C Clients while connecting, then in that case, just change the network type to LAN if it is set to Internet earlier and vice versa.

And there you go fellas! Now, go get that sniper and beat the hell out of your opponent. Happy fragging!

Method 2 – Router Port Forwarding

Port forwarding or virtual server is yet another old school yet effective method to host CS 1.6 dedicated server. If a server PC has good hardware configuration and fast internet connectivity, then port forwarding is a way to go because you can play online with your friends with very low latencies. Basically, port forwarding allows remote computers to connect to a specific computer or service within a private local area network (LAN). For a faster connection, some peer to peer applications (such as BitTorrent), may also require that you set the port forwarding setting. Let’s not get into that now. We will have a separate guide on that sometime later.

As mentioned in Pre-requisites, you should have a router that supports port forwarding functionality.

Step 1 – Open the router configuration page by hitting http://192.168.1.1. The address could be different for your router depending upon the manufacturer. You can visit portforward.com and select your router model to know the exact IP address for accessing router settings.

Enter the default username and password if you haven’t changed it before. In this case, I am using ASUS RT-AC68U router, for which the default username is admin and password is password. You can find default credentials for your router on portforward.com.

ASUS RT-AC68U Router Login Page

ASUS RT-AC68U Router Login Page

Step 2 – Find the port forwarding settings. Mine is located under WAN –> Virtual Server / Port Forwarding.

Step 3 – Add a port forwarding profile as below. Find a setting called external port or similar and enter 27015 or whatever port you will be using for running the Counter-Strike server. You can use port numbers from 27000 to 27015. Select protocol as UDP.

While entering the internal IP, you’ll have to enter your local area network IP assigned by the router. If you don’t know how to find the internal IP address, then please go through this guide. Once you enter the internal IP, save the profile you just created and reboot the router for settings to take effect.

ASUS RT-AC68U Port forwarding Settings Page

ASUS RT-AC68U Port forwarding Settings Page

Step 4 – Add a UDP port 27015 (or whatever port you have assigned in router port forwarding settings) in Windows firewall inbound and outbound rules. You can refer to this guide for the same.

Windows Firewall Rules - Port 27015

Windows Firewall Inbound Outbound Rules – Port 27015

Step 5 – To check if you have successfully opened the port. Go to any UDP port checking the website and enter your public IP address and port number you want to check.

Note – Port forwarding only works if your router’s WAN IP matches with your public IP. If your home router is behind any other router then the port forwarding needs to be configured on the primary router.  

Step 6 – Launch Counter-Strike CS 1.6 dedicated server with port 27015 (or the one you have set under router port forwarding settings in Step 3).

Half-Life Dedicated Server

Half-Life Dedicated Server – Port 27015

Step 7 – Once the server is running, you would see an internal IP in the Main tab. Now, we won’t be using this IP since it is limited to the local area network only. Thus, we would use a public IP assigned by your ISP. To get that, search “my IP” on google and that’s the IP you have to give your friends.

My IP Search in Google

Google Search – My IP

Step 8 – Finally, provide the IP to your friends in the following format. Replace XX with your public IP.

connect XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:27015

Step 9 – Ask your friends to launch CS 1.6 / Counter-Strike / Condition Zero on their PC and open console by typing ~ (usually located below the Esc button). Type the command mentioned in Step 8 and they are done.

Note – If you want to run game and server on the same PC then that might not work since by default, game and server both share same Port number viz, 27015. Try assigning different port for server and you can play the game on the same system.

Hurrah! That’s how it’s done. I hope that was quick and easy. Do let me in the comments if you face any issues while following the guide. I’ll be glad to help you out. Cheers!

Leave a Reply