The main differentiating aspect between a normal server and a dedicated server is that the dedicated servers are devoted to perform only one task, especially when it comes to hosting game servers like Gmod dedicated server.
Steam is a DRM, content delivery, and multi-player system. A steam dedicated server can be easily setup with the following steps using “HLDS Update Tool” –
• Ensure that the Windows user that you are signed in as has the authorization to overwrite the “HLDS Update Tool” executable.
• Download the HLDS Update tool as per your operating system.
• Install this tool in x:\HLServer.
• Go to command prompt
• Use directory traversal and navigate to the HLServer directory (cd \HLServer)
• Type in just ‘h’ or ‘HldsUpdateTool’ and then repeat tab through the files till you get the exe (./steam for Linux users). After a space, enter command update -game . Substitute with the game that you wish to host (it can be “dmc”, “cstrike”, “dod”, “tfc”, “ricochet”, “Counter-Strike Source”, “hl2mp” or “valve”). Type – dir x:\hlserver and press enter.
Ex: HldsUpdateTool -command update -game cstrike -dir c:\hlserver
• If everything works fine this far, the files required to run the server should now be installing.
• When this gets completed, create a shortcut of hlds.exe on the desktop and go into its properties. Put the shortcut in the start-up directory. This way, the server will be reloaded even if the computer crashes.
• Go to the end of the address in the target line, and then add -console -game +maxplayers +map ”. This way, every time you load the HLDS with the shortcut, you will be opening it in a console, implying more CPU power and less memory usage.
An important thing to remember is to throw shortcut in the start-up directory, because just in case your computer crashes, it will help in reloading the server.
Now, these steps aren’t too complicated for those who’ve dealt with gaming servers, and they will easily be able to do it. However, those who want to enjoy the fun of playing “Counter Strike” and other multi-player games without really worrying about technicalities, may be interested in steam dedicated server hosting.
Hence, it might be an enticing thought to give it a try to enter this niche hosting market for the new web hosts who’re looking for a lucrative vertical, where there’s very little competition at the moment.