How to create a FREE CSGO server using Google Cloud for a year

CSGO players who want to play private matches with their friends or practice scrims Google Cloud is a great option.

Furthermore, Google Cloud is completely free for at least one year. And it has all the tools necessary to set up a custom CSGO server from scratch. Special mention goes to Reddit user u/k97513 who made this comprehensive guide possible.

Step 1: Creating the server

Go to Google Cloud, log in, and click “Get started for free“.

Fill out any additional information, and begin your one year trial, with $300 credit.

Click on “Compute Engine” on the left sidebar (You may have to open the menu):

r/GlobalOffensive - How to create a FREE csgo server using Google Cloud for a year

Select “Images” on the left-hand side, and search for ubuntu-2004

Select either option, although the newest release is recommended.

Once in the image details menu, select “Create Instance” at the top. This will bring you to a setup screen for your server.

Name your server, select a region closest to where you will be playing from, and choose a machine configuration. Generally, 2 vCPU and 8 GB (e2-standard-2) will be enough for a practice server, while you may want to upgrade if you’re planning on running 5v5s. Pricing for each configuration

Scroll down to “boot disk”, press “Change”, and enter 50 for “Size (GB)”. Unless you plan on uploading a lot of files and configs, 50GB should be plenty for your server.

Click “Create”, and your server should be created!

Step 2: Setting up server connections

Configuring the IP address

Click on your server from the VM Instances page, and bring up the server details.

Scroll down to Network Interfaces, and take note of the Primary Internal IP.

r/GlobalOffensive - How to create a FREE csgo server using Google Cloud for a year

Click on “View details”

Select “External IP addresses” on the left-hand side

Change the type of your IP address to “Static”, and take note of the external IP address

r/GlobalOffensive - How to create a FREE csgo server using Google Cloud for a year

Configuring the firewall to allow connections to the server

Select “Firewall” on the left-hand side

Click “create firewall rule” at the top

Name your firewall rule

For “Targets”, select “All instances in the network” (provided you don’t have any other servers)

For “Source IP ranges”, enter to allow any IP addresses to connect

Check “tcp”, and enter 27015-27030,27036-27037

Check “udp”, and enter 4380,27000-27031,27036

r/GlobalOffensive - How to create a FREE csgo server using Google Cloud for a year

Click “Create” to create your firewall rule.

Return to your server page by selecting “Compute engine > VM instances” from the top-left menu.

Step 3: Setting up the server

Click on your server, and select “SSH” to open the terminal. You may need to allow pop-ups.

Wait for each of the following steps to complete before going onto the next. You will know when it is complete when the bottom of your terminal shows [email protected]:~$

Paste the following into the terminal to update the repositories:

sudo -- sh -c 'dpkg --add-architecture i386; add-apt-repository multiverse; apt-get update; apt-get -y dist-upgrade'

Paste the following into the terminal to install linuxGSM:

wget -O && chmod +x && bash csgoserver

Type ./csgoserver install, and press “enter” when prompted to begin the installation. The server will begin installing the CS:GO server, along with any other dependencies. This process will take approximately 20 minutes.

After installation, you may be prompted for a game token. Leave the field blank for now, and press enter.

Step 4: Starting the server

Go to Steam Game Server Management, and create a new game token with app ID 730. Copy your Game Login Token.

In the terminal, enter nano to open a text editor

Paste the following into the file, and remember to replace [YOUR CODE] with your game token, and [YOUR IP] with the internal IP you noted earlier.

screen serverfiles/srcds_run -game csgo -usercon -strictportbind -ip [YOUR IP] -port 27015 +clientport 27005 +tv_port 27020 +sv_setsteamaccount [YOUR CODE] -tickrate 128 +map de_mirage +servercfgfile server.cfg -maxplayers_override 16 +mapgroup mg_active +game_type 0 +game_mode 1 +host_workshop_collection +workshop_start_map -authkey -nobreakpad

Press CTRL + S and CTRL + X to save and exit the text editor.

In the terminal, enter sh to start the CS:GO server.

Congrats! Your vanilla competitive CS:GO server is now running! To connect to your server, use [YOUR EXTERNAL IP]:27015. You can add this IP address to your favorite community servers, or connect directly using connect IP in your CS:GO console.

Shutting down the server when you’re not using it to save some of the free credit is always a good practice.

To exit the CS:GO server console without shutting down the server, press CTRL + A and then D to disconnect the screen.

To return to the CS:GO server console, type screen -r into your terminal.

To shut down the CS:GO server, type quit into the CS:GO server console.

Step 5: Backing up your server

A good rule of thumb is to backup your server anytime you make changes to it.

To backup your server, go to your server’s details page.

Click “Create machine image” at the top

Name your backup, and click “Create”.

In the future, you can create a new server from that backup or revert to a previous image in case anything goes wrong.

Step 6: Updating your server

You will need to update the server whenever CS:GO is updated in order to play on it. To do so, simply enter ./csgoserver update into the terminal.

Step 7: Server config

You will usually want to set up a password and RCON (remote connection) password for your server.

In the terminal, enter nano serverfiles/csgo/cfg/autoexec.cfg

Paste the following into the file (replace the passwords with your passwords):

hostname "CSGO Server"
rcon_password "YOUR_RCON_PASSWORD"
sv_password "SERVER_PASSWORD"
sv_cheats 0
sv_lan 0
exec banned_user.cfg
exec banned_ip.cfg
sv_minupdaterate 128
sv_mincmdrate 128
exec gamemode_competitive

Press CTRL + S and CTRL + X to save and exit.

Step 8: Using plugins (with PracticeMode as an example)

You will need to restart your CS:GO server after installation, so installing any plugins with the server turned off is recommended.

Additionally, You can install SourceMod and MetaMod by using ./csgoserver mods-install. (Thanks u/goodpostsallday)

Installing MetaMod

Download the latest Linux build from the MetaMod Website

Upload the file to your server using the terminal’s built-in upload, found from the top-right cogwheel

r/GlobalOffensive - How to create a FREE csgo server using Google Cloud for a year

In your terminal, type ls to view all files. You can highlight any text in your terminal and it will be copied to your clipboard, useful for pasting long file names.

To extract the MetaMod file, enter tar xvzf [FILENAME] -C serverfiles/csgo/. Make sure you use single quotes (‘) if the file name has any spaces.

Installing SourceMod

Download the latest Linux build from the SourceMod Website

Upload the file to your server, and extract it using the same method as above

Installing PracticeMode

Download the latest zip release (not the source code) from the PracticeMode github

Upload the file to your server and extract it by entering the following into your terminal: unzip [FILENAME] -d serverfiles/csgo/

Setting up PracticeMode

Find your steam ID, formatted as STEAM_NUMBERS:NUMBERS:NUMBERS, by using status in console while connected to the server, or a third-party website.

In your terminal, enter nano serverfiles/csgo/addons/sourcemod/configs/admins_simple.ini

Press the down arrow until you reach the bottom of the file

Type the following to grant yourself full administrator privileges:


To grant anyone else permissions to use PracticeMode, type the following:


Using PracticeMode

To start PracticeMode while in a server, type .setup into the game chat.

For a full list of commands and features, visit PracticeMode Info

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