rFactor 2

rFactor 2

29 ratings
Setting up a Dedicated Server
By marrs
This guide explains everything you need to know to setup one or more dedicated servers for hosting races for rFactor 2 on Steam. The basic process involves first installing the dedicated server, then installing the tracks and cars you want and creating one or more “race events” with those that you can host. For every different server instance you can setup a profile, configure and open ports on your firewall and start hosting.
This guide explains everything you need to know to setup one or more dedicated servers for hosting races for rFactor 2 on Steam. The basic process involves first installing the dedicated server, then installing the tracks and cars you want and creating one or more “race events” with those that you can host. For every different server instance you can setup a profile, configure and open ports on your firewall and start hosting.

The whole process does take some time and some steps might not be immediately intuitive, but in the end this gives you a very flexible hosting setup. If you have any questions while following this guide, please provide feedback so we can improve it.
Downloading and Installing
For people that want to host a dedicated server, a special installation is now available. It does not require you to install and run a Steam client, or log into Steam, but it does provide you with a dedicated server that will register with Steam, so it's visible in the server list.

The installation goes as follows:
  • Download the SteamCMD archive from this link: http://media.steampowered.com/installer/steamcmd.zip
  • Create a new folder on your system for SteamCMD, for example C:\Racing\SteamCMD.
  • Put SteamCMD.exe from the archive you downloaded in that folder.
  • Open a shell (Windows+R to run a command, and then type “CMD”).
  • Go to the folder you just created: cd \Racing\SteamCMD
  • Run the following command:
    steamcmd +login anonymous +force_install_dir ../rFactor2-Dedicated +app_update 400300 +quit

Sit back and get a cup of coffee. Steam will download the full distribution for the dedicated server for you and install it in C:\Racing\rFactor2-Dedicated.

If you ever want to update your installation in the future, because a new version of rFactor 2 has been released, you can simply run the SteamCMD command again and your installation will automatically update to the latest version.
Setting up Shortcuts
Before you continue installing packages and creating events, it is worthwhile to setup a few shortcuts:
  • A shortcut to either the 32 or 64 bit version of the dedicated server to host a race. You can find those in the Bin32/Bin64 folder of the installation. Make sure to add:
    at the end of the line in "Target" to ensure that the dedicated server knows how to load all your content, otherwise the shortcut won't work! So the whole line in that "Target" field should be something like this:
    "C:\rFactor2-Dedicated\Bin64\rFactor2 Dedicated.exe" +path=".."

  • A shortcut to the module manager that can be used to install packages containing tracks, cars or race events. You can find it in the Bin32 folder of the installation and it's called ModMgr.exe
  • A shortcut to the package manager that can be used to create race events. It is located in the Support\Tools folder of the installation, a file called MAS2.exe.
Downloading Packages
The different tracks and cars that you can use to host races in rFactor 2 can be downloaded in different ways. Probably the most convenient way of doing so is through the same Steam Workshop that you are familiar with when playing rFactor 2. The biggest difference being that a server has no Steam account and therefore does not support the notion of being subscribed to content. However, that does not mean that you cannot download items from the workshop, but you have to do that differently.

Another way is to browse the internet and download from the various sites that provide content for rFactor 2. The content ISI provides can be found at http://rfactor.net/web/rf2/rf2dl/ but in general, how that works, depends on the site in question. That makes it hard to give a generic guide for that, which is why we will focus on using the Workshop here.

To download anything from the workshop, you do need a Steam account. You also need to know the Workshop ID of the item you want to download. If you browse the workshop, the URL will reveal this ID. For example: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=505225177

Open a command line and run SteamCMD to start the actual download of the item:

S:\Temp>steamcmd.exe +login USERNAME PASSWORD +workshop_download_item 365960 505225177 +quit

The command you are running will log into Steam, download an item from the workshop for a game with ID 365960 (which is rFactor 2) and the workshop item ID 505225177, and then quit. Now to find the item you just downloaded, go into the folder where you installed SteamCMD and then go to this path:


Again you see the ID of both the game and the workshop item in the path. That folder should give you the contents of the item. This is often a single package file, but could very well be a whole set of files. In the next section we will discuss how to install them.
Installing Packages
Once you have downloaded the packages you need, you can install them. The easiest way is to first copy the files you downloaded into the "Packages" folder of your installation. Then, using a shortcut you've setup earlier in the guide, run the module manager. The packages should now show up in the list and you can use the "Install" button to install them.

For hosting you need at least some kind of "Race Event" (which describes what cars and tracks you're hosting) and the corresponding cars and tracks. If you don't have a race event, you can also create your own. This is explained in great detail in a different guide.
Configuring your Firewall and Router
To make your dedicated server accessible for others, you probably need open up some ports in your firewall and potentially forward them from your router to the computer that is running the dedicated server.

The ports that the dedicated server uses can be configured in the Multiplayer.JSON file that can be located in the player folder in UserData. The following two settings configure the ports:

"HTTP Server Port":64297 "Simulation Port":54297

In addition to these two ports, Steam will use two extra ports (the ones directly after the HTTP server port) so for this example the following ports need to be opened:

UDP+TCP 54297 TCP 64297 UDP 64298 UDP 64299
Running the Server
In one of the previous sections you have already setup a shortcut to the dedicated server, so now all you need to do is launch it. A wizard will guide you through the final steps of selecting a race event, cars, tracks and configuring the many different options.

If you want to run more than one dedicated server on the same computer, you need to have a unique copy of the player folder for each. To set that up, start by going to your installation and then to the UserData folder. If you've already run the dedicated server before, you will see a "player" folder. If not, do that first. Then make a copy of the player folder, go in and change the ports (and possibly your router and firewall again). Then create a new shortcut to launch this dedicated server. In the "Target" field of this shortcut, add the following behind rFactor2 Dedicated.exe:


Assuming the copy of the player folder is called "player2". From now on, you can use this shortcut to launch this instance of the dedicated server. In theory you can add as many as you have ports, bandwidth, memory and CPU power for.
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Depco May 20 @ 4:22pm 
Im trying to DL content from then workshop through the SteamCMD program... it is not working at all. The command that are listed here are not doing what the instructions say. I am gettign errors in the CMD window
Mankiewicz May 10 @ 1:59pm 
after several hours trying to set it i have not achive the goal. instead what i got is doing the game unplayable. i cant launch rfactor2 anymore. it doesnt work
narrowsoul May 8 @ 4:08pm 
All of the guides on setting up race events seem to be related to running the dedicated server from the game rather than a steam dedicated server, so how is it done with a dedicated server like this?
GrimDad May 4 @ 2:36am 
Needs a steam tool server not this cmd crap.
PROM May 4 @ 1:58am 
I'm afraid this all needs rewiting and made clearer. We are not all computer whizzes. the section on shortcuts means nothing to me. Surely this can be coded into thhe server software withh easy setup wizards?
lockinvar May 1 @ 11:24am 
Hi Mars, for some reason I can't get my server to show up on the Steam matchmker list, the server shows up on the RF2 matcmaker list but not on steam, I followed the instruction above but still no luck, I even tried deselecting UPnP, but still the same, I would be gratefull for any help.

mogg31 Apr 22 @ 5:56am 
Gidday Marrs I can run the server ok and everything looks good, Matcher Status: Sever Listing Updated, but when I refresh RF2 launcher I cannot see my event


Br3jne Feb 20 @ 1:59pm 
Hi, i get this
core component ambient sounds v1.0b is missing
What to do ?
BR thomas
PROM Feb 6 @ 1:05pm 
Marrs I'm having a problem when running steamcmd where is says error no subscription. Is there anyway round this please?
Badun Jan 31 @ 9:41am 
I had the dedicated server having me pull my hair out. I tried everything Iknow about routers, ports etc. but Icould not get my setups to show up on the Steam matchmaking list......... until, I turned off 'Plex' (a multimedia server app), Plex uses upnp and has always worked a dream on my server setup, so it never sprung to mind as a possible problem. Anyways, after turning Plex off, my Rfactor 2 servers both showed up just fine. I restarted Plex, with the Rfator servers still running and they remained on the server list, so I think it was the Plex/router upnp screwing up and mixing things up with my manual port forwarding, I hope this helps other people out.