Setting up a L4D server can be very difficult if you don't know what you're doing. It took me a full day of research to figure this out. I couldn't find a one stop source guide on how to do everything and most of the info you come across is very confusing to say the least.
So, I decided to write an article that will explain how to set up a perfect working Left 4 Dead clan server. Most of the articles I found that talk about setting up a server were way off, confusing, asking you to edit files that don't need to be edited and things like this, it's really ridiculous that no one could just make it easy. I am doing this to make it easy. I will cover one thing at a time but I'll start with a list of things you will have to do...
1. You will need to edit your server.cfg file. You'll want to at least have your server playable before doing anything else.
2. You will want to edit your L4D launch options so that you'll be able to connect to your server through a L4D lobby.
3. You'll want to make 2 banners with your clan information, one will need to be 673 X 135 and one will need to be 1000 X 700. This will be for your clan banner and MOTD (message of the day).
4. You'll need to make some HTML pages to display your Clan Banner and MOTD. Then edit and link to the web-pages in your host.txt and motd.txt on your server.
1. Setting up your server.cfg file. Copy the stuff in the quote box into your server.cfg making sure to delete what ever else may be in it. The server.cfg file should be located in your left4dead/cfg folder on your server. You will need to edit the settings listed below by reading what each setting is and deciding if you want it or not.
Anything after // end L4D cvars you can probablly just leave as is, or at least that's what I do...
//note: 0 is disable, 1 is enable /
// this is your server name as shown in the server list
hostname "Clan Server Name"
// your server password. a pair of double quotes means it is not set and
anyone can join
// start rcon settings
// your rcon password to log into the dev rcon console or HLSW rcon console
// Number of minutes to ban users who fail rcon authentication
// Max number of times a user can fail rcon authentication before being
// end rcon settings
// L4D cvars
//This enables or disables the message of the day.
//Server difficulty set to expert, settings can be changed in lobby
//will make your server show up on steam group servers list (you'll need your steam group number)
//Only your steam group will have access to the server if enabled.
//People will only be able to connect from lobby, change to 0 to allow people to join a game in progress
//It's set up to allow both campaign and verses. You can decide which type of game to play in the lobby.
//This will allow you to connect to your server from the lobby. If you plan on having your group of people connect from the lobby you will have to use this cvars (obviously don't use uniquename, pick something unique).
// end L4D cvars
// start cvars for balancing un-even teams
// 0 is off and 1 is on. if 1 then should be used in conjunction with the
following 3 commands
// Time (in seconds) after the teams become unbalanced to attempt to switch
// Time (in seconds) after the teams become unbalanced to print a balance
// Teams are unbalanced when one team has this many more players than the
other (0 disables)
// end start cvars for balancing un-even teams
// start cvars for win conditions
// Max number of rounds to play before server changes maps
// Max number of rounds one team can win before a server changes maps
// end cvars for win conditions
// start client specific cvars
// force dead clients to first person mode disabling freelook. 0 is off 1 is
// enable or disable spectators on the server. 0 is off 1 is on
// 0 is off and clients can do harm to team mates. 1 is on and players can
kill or injure team mates
// footsteps on or off. 0 is off and 1 is on
// allow cheats to be used by the client. 0 is off 1 is on
// the amount of time in seconds that a client is booted for no input
// the maximun speed a client can move at
// Force clients to pass a consistency check for critical files before
joining server. 0 is off 1 is on
// the pause in seconds between a decal being sprayed
// end client specific cvars
// start cvars for communication
// allow players to use a microphone. 0 is off 1 is on
// toggles whether both teams can hear each others voice comms or not. 0 is
off 1 is on. recommend it being off
// players can chat for this amount of time (in seconds) after a game is
// end cvars for communication
// start download cvars
// allow custom decals to be uploaded. 0 is off 1 is on
// allow files to be downloaded from the server. 0 is off 1 is on
// Max download file size. Default is 15
//redirect download location
// end download cvars
// start bandwidth rates/settings
// bandwidth rates/settings
// end bandwidth rates/settings
// start server logging
// enable or disable server logging. on is on off is off
// Log server bans in the server logs
// Echo log information to the console. 0 is off 1 is on
// Log server information in the log file. 0 is off 1 is on
// log everything in one file
// end server logging
// start cvars for general operation
// is this an internet or LAN server. 0 is internet 1 is LAN
// server location. is the world, 0 is USA east coast, 1 is USA west coast,
2 south america, 3 europe, 4 asia, 5 australia, 6 middle east, 7 africa
// contact email for sysop
// enables or disables whether the server can be paused. 0 is off 1 is on
// forces all clients on the server to use content that matches what is on
the server. 0 is off 1 is on
// kicks clients that do not have content that matches what is on the server
// end cvars for general operation
// start execute ban files
// end execute ban files[-
Restart server when you're done...
2. L4D launch options Follow the instructions below and you'll be able to connect to your new working server. When you create a lobby you will be able to choose what game type you want and all other setting for the game as well. It will connect to your server as long as no one else is already playing on it. You may want to edit your config file again to make it exclusive to your steam group to keep unwanted players off your server. I normally make it public during the day when everyone is busy and change it to my steam group access only in the evening so that my clan can use the server.
1. On your server config put in :
(obviously don't use uniquename, pick something unique).
2. Open steam, click on games tab. Right click on L4D and goto properties. Then goto launch options. Put this in the end of the launch properties:
+sv_search_key "uniquename" -novid
(the -novid makes it so the game starts without the intro movies, which is optional).
3. From now on, all you have to do is load L4D and start a friends only game. You can immediately change it to open to the public after the lobby is started.
3.Custom banner and MOTD. If you want a custom banner and MOTD for your clan you'll need to have made the banner and MOTD first. one will need to be 673 X 135 and one will need to be 1000 X 700.
Here are the first ones I made...
4. Next you'll need to create 2 webpages. I named my webpages host.html and motd.html. Then add the code below to each one. You'll need to edit the image source in the code below to point to your banner and motd. The host.html webpage is for your custom banner image, and the motd.html webpage is for your custom message of the day image (MOTD).
<head><title>Left 4 Dead 411</title></head>
<img src="www.location_of_your_image.com/image.png" style="width:100%;height:100%;" />
You will then need to edit your host.txt and your motd.txt files which can be found on your server in your left4dead folder.
All you will do is edit the link in those files to your webpages.
This is what is in my host.txt file:
This is what is in my motd.txt file:
It's basically telling your server where to find your banner and MOTD images. It's also making sure everything is aligned properly. If you follow these instructions you will not have any problems setting up a perfect L4D clan server.
That is all there is to it. If something is confusing or if anyone can think of a better way to explain it, please feel free to modify this tutoral to make it better and easier for your adverage user to understand how to set up a Left 4 Dead server...