Dedicated server (U3)
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A dedicated server does not require the host to be an active player in the game for others to play on the server. The host can choose to play on the server, or just leave it running in the background while others play on it.
To host a dedicated server, port forwarding is required. However, using a dedicated server also allows for vastly increased versatility in the configuration of the server, as many server options become available through the various server configuration files.
Hosting dedicated servers
With Microsoft Windows, hosting a dedicated server is relatively straightforward and intuitive. Servers can be hosted via a game shortcut that uses the client-side game files for the server, or via SteamCMD as a separate installation of the game.