Taryn Hill edited this page Nov 9, 2016 · 47 revisions
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[This page pertains to versions of OpenRA released in 2016 or later.
For releases up to release-20151224, please have a look at an older version of this page]

OpenRA has a separate dedicated server which:

  • Is a console program (i.e. does not use a GUI).
  • Sets the first client that joins as admin; if the admin leaves, admin rights are assigned to a client who joined the server earlier then any other client.
  • Spawns a new instance once a game has finished.


On Unix (Linux and Mac) take the shell script and on Windows take the launch-dedicated.cmd script as an example and adapt it to your needs. It enables the dedicated server mode by changing settings via command-line parameters. Please note that must be run from the same directory as OpenRA.Server.exe.

You can also run OpenRA as a Docker container using the OpenRA Docker files provided by the community.

You can also run a server on a RaspberryPi.

If you want to setup multiple auto-updating release, playtest or bleed game servers which run in separate screen sessions, have a look at ihptru's script.

Forwarding ports

To enable players to connect to your server over the internet, you have to make sure to configure your firewall appropriately. With regular home routers, this usually means enabling port-forwarding. The server uses TCP port 1234 by default. For the necessary steps to enable port-forwarding on your equipment, consult the user manual of your router. Unfortunately there are far too many different router models out there, so we cannot give you any more help than that.


You can:

  • Use Server.EnableSingleplayer=true to allow people to play just by themselves against bots on your server.
  • Specify a password for your server with Server.Password=PASSWORD
  • Create a blacklist containing IP addresses which are forbidden to join the server by using Server.Ban=IP1,IP2,IP3,...,IPn
  • Configure a timeout after which started games have to be completed using Server.TimeOut=value, where value is a digit in milliseconds (1000 milliseconds = 1 second).

On Linux, you can find a complete list of server options in the openra.6 man-page.

Message of the Day

You can add a MotD on your server. Create the file motd.txt in the OpenRA Support Directory:

  • Windows: My Documents\OpenRA\motd.txt
  • Mac OSX: ~/Library/Application Support/OpenRA/motd.txt
  • Linux: ~/.openra/motd.txt

Synchronizing maps

In contrast with older releases, it is no longer necessary to have maps locally installed on your server for people to play them. Just install OpenRA and start a server. People will be able to play all maps that are available on the Resource Center.


Search for dedicated server related bug reports.