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Command Line Parameters for Game and Servers

Note: Also known as "Launch Options" in Steam.

All command line parameters should be preceeded with a single dash (not a double dash like in gnu/Linux/whatever)

Example Command Lines:

hyperbol.exe -windowed -nomovies -width 1024 -height 768 -connect my.server.com:12129
hbds.exe -console -logtofile "c:\logfiles\server.log" -tcpconsoleport 7778 -highpriority -autoupdate
hyperbol.exe -showmovies

Command line options


  • Performs guided startup - in case the game is crashing when starting up. It will pop up a messagebox each step of the way.
  • Only use to find out what step is crashing

+connect or -connect <ip address or hostname><:port>

  • Connects to a server on a given port. This will try to log into Starport along the way.


  • Forces the game into Windowed Mode instead of fullscreen


  • Forces the game into Windowed Mode 1024x768 with medium/low detail settings


  • Disables sound and voice and music output

-width <xxx>

  • Sets the screen resolution width to xxx - example: -width 1024

-height <xxx>

  • Sets the screen resolution height to xxx - example: -height 768

-adapter <xxx>

  • Uses graphics card #xxx instead of the default. Example: -adapter 1


  • Servers only - Sets the entire process to high priority class

-logtofile <"filepath">

  • Dumps a tournament-ready machine-parseable log to the given file path.
  • If you don't specify a full path, it will be relative to the games folder.
  • Ex: -logtofile "c:\games\mylogs\log.txt"
  • Ex: -logtofile "data\log1.log"
  • If you don't specify the log file it will save it to data\server.log.txt

-automapcompile <filename>

  • Used internally by the map editor to do the map optimization. Do not use directly.


  • For servers, turns automatic updates via HLDSUpdateTool (from valve) on. YOu should have the HLDSUpdateTool installed. You should see the wiki page on this since it involves editing a config.


  • Causes your server to eat more resources even when nobody is connected. For no real gain. Normally servers use essentially no CPU resources and bots "sleep" until someone arrives. Used for stress testing.


  • Causes the executable to not attempt to relocate its working directory to where the executable is located.

-tcpconsoleport <port>

  • Causes the dedicated server to start a telnet listen on <port>.

  • Only local connections (ie, from localhost) will be accepted, and only one at a time.
  • IRC DCC compatible so you can dcc connect to it if its local.
  • If you have ssh'd into a server running TSHB you can do that too. It also works well with linux 'screen'


  • Starts dedicated server up in text mode instead of gui mode, for when running WINE on machines with no GUI


  • Restarts server automatically in case of crash. Since the server isnt crashing nowdays, not much use for this


  • Crashes the server the moment its about to start. Not very useful, but allows testing of dumps.


  • re-enables movie showing in case they were permanently disabled by a crash


  • Disables movies during startup


  • Enables the "multithreaded" flag on Direct3D. This will NOT make it go faster, since what this means is that Direct3D will attempt to be thread safe and do a lot more locking. You use this if wierd graphicsy stuff is occuring.

Command line options that work via the launcher (which is what steam uses)

All of the above command line options work through the launcher.  But if you use the launcher instead of hyperbol.exe or hbds.exe, you also get the following functionality:


  • Forces redistributables (directx, ogg, etc) to be installed on run


  • disables installation of redists (useful for WINE)