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Tickrate/Maxupdaterate and lots of other questions
Finally found this forum and it was a lot of help to me, however. I've got lots of questions since my Linux-based Counter Strike server simply doesn't work the way I want it to.

I realize that some of my questions already may have been answered in other posts so hopefully you won't be too upset about it since I really have been searching the net for hours and hours.

Ok, here we go...

1.) I've got an ADSL-connection with 768kbit/s upstream and 8Mb/s downstream. I realize that the limiting part for how many players there can be on my server is the upstream. Also, I do understand from other posts on this forum that I have to lower sv_maxupdaterate and sv_maxrate if I want that 16 players receive an equal amount of bandwidth and that without lagging. Now, I did that... I lowered sv_maxrate to 4096 and sv_maxupdaterate to 10 (had it at 8, 12, 16, too), however, lots and lots of clients which connect to my server have pings well above 100. Like 120, some even 130. Others have pings of 60 which is completely acceptable, but the majority of all players start out at 100 and above (the ping often goes down to 90 after a while). So... I suspected that the upstream of my ADSL-connection is fluctuing a lot so I did a continous measurement of the upstream during a whole day. Result: Rock solid 95% of my theoretical max upstream is almost always acchieved (93% at least, which means 713kbit/s). Is there anything I can do? I did try -pingboost 1, however that did nothing except increase CPU-usage to appx 20% at all times. Checking stats on my server has 160FPS at all times, has that got something to do with anything?

2.) Lot's of folks talk about the Server Tick Rate. I know that the default is 33, but I do not know what this means? Will decrease/increase the tick rate responsivness? And if this is the case, how do i do it? I failed to find the server cvar for the tick rate.

3.) Very few people ever join my server to play. This isn't surprising as the server yet has to become more popular in my town's gaming community, however, I do see an extraordinary amount of "Bad/No/Old Challenge"-messages in the server console. Most of them on network ports which are closed in the firewall. Is bad/no/old challenge meaning that people attempt to connect, but can't? If this is the case, do I have to open more firewall ports?

4.) Back to the firewall issue. My firewall is configured pretty much at a paranoide level. The server only has very limited access to the Internet (basically only port 27011 for the master server connection as well as ICMP/DNS/HTTP connections are allowed outbound). Also, until yesterday I only opened port 27015 UDP inbound. After searching the internet (there is lots of unreliable information about which ports srcds actually uses) I also opened all of these ports: 27000 thru 27015 UDP, 27020 thru 27039 TCP, 27040 thru 27041 TCP, 1200 UDP and 27015 TCP. Didn't make much difference in how many people connect and how high their pings are, but it was worth a try. However, I am wondering which ports are ACTUALLY needed for a srcds server to operate correctly (both inbound and outbound).

5.) I read lots and lots about cmdrate and other settings which help tune the server, however, I failed to find reliable information whether these settings do any good on a source dedicated server and how I calculate appropriate values for these settings.

6.) Is it possible to start srcds as another user than root? I changed permissions so that another user than root actually can execute/access the srcds folder and all folders recursively. However, I do fail to start the server with that user. Does srcds_run require to be executed as super-user?

I DO realize this is a huge posts with lots and lots of questions, I hope you guys can help.

THANKS a lot in advance,
Daniel (aka Snittarn)
mmmkay, for every question I answer, there is probably someone that can answer it better or get more in depth

1. You should be figuring for about 55 kbps/player slot. When I figure for max # of players on a server, I divide the amount of available bandwidth by 80 kbps, that way I have some a little extra on reserve for whatever reason. Also, pingboost 1 helps me out. I've noticed a 5-10 ms drop in players pings. The compromise is that it uses more cpu to lower pings slightly. ALso remember that where the player is playing from can affect their pings as well. I'm in Hawaii, and yet, I see people joining my server from Europe of all places.

It could also just be the network, your server is on. If there are only a few players in the server and pings seem ok, but as more players join everyones pings start getting bad, then maybe you should think about lowering the max players. If only some peoples pings are bad, then it's probably just the clients.

2. Higher tickrates increases accuracy of bullet registration on the server by processing more frames per second. This, as a few people may think, does not mean that the players themselves will see better frame rates; however, they may see more of their shots actually counting. Tickrate is set in the command line

./hlds_run -game cstrike ...... -tickrate <34-100>

3. That is probably people looking at your server using hlsw or some server query tool.
adding sv_enableoldquerries 1 to your server.cfg or autoexec.cfg should take care of that.

4. See goofy's sig for which ports need to be forwarded.

5. errr, theres cmdrate cvars for the server? I thought that was a client variable. If there is a server version, then idk.

6. yes, and it is actually reccomended. Nowadays, when I set up a server, I'll create a user "srcds" with a home dir of


then setup the server in


where server1/ is the root cs directory

make your steam binary and all the files in there owned by srcds.
United Strike Marine Corps
USMC-CO| θ (theta)

1. I changed it to sv_maxrate 6144 (1.5x4096) and left the sv_maxupdaterate at 12. Let's see if there are any changes...

2. Alright, I'll leave it at 33.

3. Are there any downsides to enabling "old queries"?

4. What's goofy's sig?

5. Oh, sorry. Just read it somewhere.

6. Alright, i chown'd everything again, recursively and it seemed that I missed chowning mani-mod to srcds-user. Now it works to start it as srcds.

Snittarn Wrote:4. What's goofy's sig?

search for any post made by goofy666 and look at his signature
United Strike Marine Corps
USMC-CO| θ (theta)
Quote:3. Are there any downsides to enabling "old queries"?

Just thought I would mention, that from what I've read recently enabling oldqueries is a bad thing. Apparently the change to the query method was made for security reasons. Unfortunately I don't have anything definitive to point to, other than the fact that Valve made the change and must have done so with good reason.
News... Some people where able to connect to my server (namely those which I excplicity asked to connect to my domain name), however, the Bad/no/Wrong challenge messages out-post "normal" log-messages with like 10-1. All I see for page-scroll and page-scroll at end is bad/no/wrong challenge messages.

Also, increasing max_rate did nothing much to the majority of users which actually manage to connect, BUT: people living in Europe and particularily in Scandinavia have acceptable latencies. (between 40 and 90). Which means that it's perhaps lots of persons overseas which try to connect and therefore get high pings.
Snittarn Wrote:4. What's goofy's sig?
In case you haven't found it yet, look below Smile (or click here).
May the Source be with you...

Want to know which ports to forward on your router for a Source DS? Click here!

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