Running a Dedicated Server

A few people have asked about running a decicated server from home. Its not hard to do, you just need to be aware that when you run one and want to play on it you will be running two copies of Doom so your PC had better be up to it. The dedicated server isn't so intensive as the main game because there are no graphics for it to worry about but it does have to deal with all the physics, the networking, etc.

The upload speed of you broadband connection will determine how many players can play with the server still running ok. You'll be able to figure out what the limit is when people start to moan about lag.


We recommend that you use a seperate install of Doom 3 to run your dedicated server. If you use your main install you'll find that you spend most of your time removing custom map PK4 files when you want to serve and putting them back when you want to play on other servers. It also stops the server overwriting your main config file.

This tutorial assumes you have Doom 3 1.3.1 and EMZ 1.31a installed in "C:\Program Files\Doom 3" and that your dedicated server will run in "C:\Program Files\Doom 3 DED".

  • Create the folder "C:\Program Files\Doom 3 DED"
  • Create the folder "C:\Program Files\Doom 3 DED\base"
  • Create the folder "C:\Program Files\Doom 3 DED\emz"
  • Copy from "C:\Program Files\Doom 3" to "C:\Program Files\Doom 3 DED"
    • doom3ded.exe
  • Copy from "C:\Program Files\Doom 3\base" to "C:\Program Files\Doom 3 DED\base"
    • game01.pk4
    • game02.pk4
    • game03.pk4
    • pak000.pk4
    • pak001.pk4
    • pak002.pk4
    • pak003.pk4
    • pak004.pk4
    • pak005.pk4
    • pak006.pk4
    • pak007.pk4
    • pak008.pk4
  • Copy from "C:\Program Files\Doom 3\emz" to "C:\Program Files\Doom 3 DED\emz"
    • emz000.pk4
    • emz001.pk4
    • emz002.pk4
    • emz003.pk4
    • the-emz-d3-131-data.pk4
    • the-emz-d3-131a-windows.pk4
    • the-emz-d3-131a-linux.pk4
    • the-emz-d3-131a-mac.pk4

If you want to run PunkBuster on your server you'll need the "pb" folder copied across too but to keep this tutorial as short as possible the files wont be listed here.

It is recommended that have the Linux and Mac files in your server's emz folder. If you don't have them there then players with those operating sytems will not be able to join your server. If you haven't got them in your EMZ folder them you will need to download the full EMZ install package - see the links on the downloads page. You don't have to do this, but why limit the people who can join?

You now have all the game files you need to start your server. Now lets move on to...


There are several things about your server that you want to be the same each type you start it. The name people see in the server list, the game type, frag and time limits, etc. It is usual to store these in a fixed configuration file that is run when your server starts.

A server configuration file is simply a text file with a .CFG file extension. You can create one in using notepad. If your server is going to be a Doom 3 only server you should save your config script to "C:\Program Files\Doom 3 DED\base". The name server.cfg is quite common and as good as any. If you want to include EMZ features and settings in your script you should put the file in "C:\Program Files\Doom 3 DED\emz".

This is just about as simple as a config script can get. It names the server, sets the frag and time limits and starts in Deathmatch mode on The Edge 2.

// Simple server.cfg
set si_fragLimit "10"
set si_timeLimit "10"
set si_gameType "deathmatch"
set si_map "game/mp/d3dm4" // The Edge 2
set net_LANServer 0 // Allow Internet players to join


A more complere example of a server.cfg file can be downloaded here.


The last step is to create a desktop shortcut for starting your server.

  • Right-click on "C:\Program Files\Doom 3 DED\doom3ded.exe"
  • Select "Send to... Desktop as shortcut"
  • Right-click the new shortcut on the desktop and select "Properties"
  • Add +set fs_game emz +exec server.cfg to the end of the text that is already in the Target box. If you are running a standard Doom 3 server with no EMZ just use +exec server.cfg.

Now you can start your server using the shortcut. You should get the blue server console window and a whole load of text will scroll up while the server starts.

Job Done! Once you see the "Sending Heartbeat..." message your server is up and running. You can type "help" and press ENTER in the console command box for some basic help details. To shut it down hit "Quit" or close the server window.

If you plan to add custom maps to your server make sure that you always put them in the "base" folder and read the auto download tutorial to make it easier for people to join your server.

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