Whenever I play a certain game online, I always join the same server.
Instead of starting the game through Steam, clicking "Join Server" selecting "History" then selecting the server, would it be possible to wrap all that into a single link that I can just click once and automatically load in?

  • 1
    Might want to specify the game in your question. While you have a game in the tags, the question addresses all games. Due to how each game is made, this won't be a universal option and that will likely cause the question to be closed for being too broad. Focus on a specific game, and we'll see if it's possible. – user66184 Apr 28 '15 at 23:33
  • The game is Space Engineers. I put it as a tag, is there another way to add the specification? – Mod Swap Apr 28 '15 at 23:38
  • I recommend putting steam as a tag, since my answer works for all steam games. – user28015 Apr 28 '15 at 23:44
  • Great! Works perfect - way simpler than I thought it was going to be! – Mod Swap Apr 29 '15 at 0:03
  • @ModSwap, making an executable for that would be out of our league. You're best making a program that runs the steam protocol addresses, shown below. Alternatively, if you have programming no skill at all; follow the instructions below and create the steam protocol command as a shortcut (.lnk) instead. – aytimothy Apr 29 '15 at 0:05

You can always join a Steam enabled game via this command:


So to join a Server on you would type:


Now, to get this into a shortcut, rightclick on your desktop and create a new Shortcut. In the upcoming dialog, enter the above command into the box after you replaced IP_ADDRESS with the address of the server, and PORT with the port number of the server):

Screenshot of Dialog

In the next Box, enter the name of the game or whatever you want:

Screenshot of Dialog

That creates a shortcut that will directly launch the game that the server belongs to and will connect you to it. Steam needs to be running for this.

While the screenshots where taken on Windows 7, it should be the same on Windows 8. This also works for all Steam Games that use Steamworks for Multiplayer.

Free Bonus DLC:

To change the icon of the created shortcut, rightclick it, select "Properties" in the upcoming menu, then select the "Change Icon" button. Then navigate to the .exe or .ico of your game and select it. In the next window that pop ups you can select a different icon for your shortcut taken from this .exe.

Screenshot of how to select an icon

Literal answer

To create a literal .exe out of this, put this code into a .cpp file:

#include <windows.h>

int WINAPI WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance, HINSTANCE hPrevInstance, LPSTR cmdLine, int nCmdShow)
    ShellExecute(NULL, L"open", L"steam://connect/", NULL, NULL, SW_SHOW);

Then compile it with the free version of Visual Studio with this command:

cl /DYNAMICBASE "shell32.lib" /D"WIN32" /D"_UNICODE" /D"UNICODE"  SpaceEngineers.cpp  

Then you can use this .exe to launch Space Engineers. Remember to replace the with the address you want to connect to, and 27016 with the port that the server runs on.

  • 1
    Why the downvotes? Can I have a reason? I can delete the answer if you think its wrong, but I am sure its not. – user28015 Apr 28 '15 at 23:52
  • 1
    I think people are thinking it's wrong, even though the steam connect:// protocol is able to distinguish the game the server is running. Maybe explain that it actually works; about the Steam Server browser and its protocols. But this doesn't work for all games. – aytimothy Apr 28 '15 at 23:56
  • Also, mind if I replace all your images with their Windows 8.1 counterparts? – aytimothy Apr 29 '15 at 0:08
  • @aytimothy Not at all – user28015 Apr 29 '15 at 0:09
  • 4
    Brogrammer. Now that's a title I can stand behind. Gotta update my business cards now >=\ – user66184 Apr 29 '15 at 0:53

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