Starting a Counter Strike Dedicated Server

This guide is written for a Counter-Strike 1.6 server. It should also work for Source, but I can't make any guarantees.

First, if you don't already have the Steam client installed on your computer, head on over to, and download a copy of the installer. Once you have the installer downloaded, run it, and follow the onscreen directions until the install is finished. If you think it may be a long wait, feel free to create yourself a steam account while you wait (assuming you don't already have one).

With that done, open the steam client, and log in. You should see the main menu for steam on-screen. Click on the "Tools" tab at the upper right corner. Once there, double-click on the HLDS icon, and wait for the download to finish. 
Once HLDS is fully downloaded, run the program, click start server. Congratulations, you now have a bare-bones Counter-Strike server. Now we will work on getting it customized & ready for online play.

First, we need to import new maps. The default Counter-Strike maps are pretty good, but most people want to have a wider variety of maps available to play on. To solve this, we will import your Counter-Strike maps. Open yoir windows explorer, and go to C:Program FilesSteamsteamappsaccountnamecounter-strikecstrike, and copy your "maps" folder. Now, go to C:Program FilesSteamsteamappsaccountnamededicated servercstrike, and paste the copied maps folder. Boot up hlds again, launch the server, and on the Main tab, double-click the map-cycle field. If your custom maps are in the list, then you successfully loaded your custom maps. If not, repeat the last step untill you see your maps.

Next, we need to get an admin mod to make moderating your server a little easier. Open your favorite web browser, and do a google search for "download amxmodx". Find the amxmod website, download the latest non-beta version, and run the installer. Follow any onscreen directions, making sure to select the correct game for your server. Once the instaler finishes, boot up HLDS. Change the port of your server from default (27015) to something else (i used 27016) and start the server. Now open Counter-Strike, and hit ~ to bring up the console. Enter connect (without the ) and hit enter. You should load into your server, and see a welcome message from AMXmod. If you don't see the message right away, just wait a couple of minutes and hope for the best. If you still don't see anything, then close Counter-Strike, shut down your server, and run the AMX installer again. Reboot your server, and retry the last step untill you see the welcome message. Congratulations, you now have a Counter-Strike server that is ready for online play.