Ever since Homefront has been released it has created quite a bit of ballyhoo. Though there are mixed feelings regarding the single player, the multiplayer has grasped everyone’s positive attention.
The best and most wanted feature that the multiplayer has to offer is dedicated servers, and it’s pretty well amped and trimmed in order to give good control to the admins and a memorable experience to the players.
Setting up and maintaining a dedicated server is no rocket-science, but it does require some experience and assistance. We’re looking to give exactly that to those who are looking for it.
Dedicated Server Setup
The first and foremost thing you would want to know about the dedicated servers for Homefront is that they do not require Steam to be running in the background. Yay! You’ll probably have messages like ‘Failed to Load SteamServiceStart’ coming up in the Server Console, but that’s nothing to worry about. This is because of the capability of the server to be able to run independently of Steam.
The place you will need Steam for is when you are initially trying to setup the dedicated server. For that, you must download the PC Dedicated Server Tool via Steam or the hldsupdatetool. We’ll also have a detailed look at the RCON; for now let’s try and setup the server with its help.
Start Dedicated Server
Launch the DedicatedServer.exe, which can be found in the Binaries folder. Once it has been launched, start a new profile, edit the settings, set the password and adjust the maplist to your likings and then save the profile. Click Start and your server process will launch. The Server Tool Console will also open up, displaying messages and the startup commands that it has passed.
This console can also be opened and closed via the Dedicated Server Tool’s ‘Main’ tab, and connects remotely to your server if you have specified the correct IP address and password.
Dedicated Server Playlist
This is the file you’ll need to tweak as an admin. DedicatedPlaylist is a file that contains settings read by the dedicated server tool, so changing the settings in it might be sort of a good idea… sort of. I say this because it’s important to know what to change, and what to keep as it is. Let’s have a look at some of the commands in the file that caught our interest.
Message=Welcome to my server.
Above is the message displayed when a player joins the server.
The name and passwords for the server.
When set to ‘True’, no one can purchase vehicles.
In-game demos are recorded when set to ‘True’
Keep ‘True’ to disallow players banned by VAC to join
Set friendly fire damage on and off
Set the time limit (in minutes)
Ground Control (FL) score limit
Team Death Match (TDM) score limit
Ground Control Battle Commander (FL,BC) score limit
TDM Battle Commander (TDM,BC) score limit
List of maps in the queue followed by the game modes.
If you wish to change the game mode for the maps, you can find the commands in the Dedicated Server Playlist. They will look something like this:
If you wish to change them to, say, TDM, you can edit them in this manner:
It is important to make sure to check the compatibility of each map with the desired gameplay mode; otherwise the server will fail to start. Also, make sure to edit all these settings BEFORE starting the server, or at least when the server is offline.
Dedicated Server Tool’s RCON features
Some of the more important RCON features of the Dedicated Server Tool are given below:
- Autobalancing via various metrics
- Player kicking/killing/banning/unbanning
- Setting a player to spectator mode
- Player team switching
- Map transitioning
- Console commands
Before executing any of the following commands, you must login as an admin using adminlogin <adminpassword>. Once logged in, these commands can be executed using admin command <paramlist>.
- admin forceteamswitch <playername>
(Forces a certain player to switch teams. If the player is alive, he/she will be killed first)
- admin kick <playername>
(Kicks the specified player from the server)
- admin kickban <playername>
(Bans the specified player from the server by Steam ID)
- admin unban <playername>
(Removes the specified player from the banlist)
- admin kill <playername>
(Kills specified player)
- admin makespectate <playername>
(Force the specified player to spectate)
- admin nextmap
(Cycle to next map in the queue)
- admin setautobalance <boolean>
(Change status of server-side auto-balancing)
If you need help in resolving any of the issues you come across while setting up your server, comment and we will try to help you out.