A bit of background and equipment being used:

  • several laptops (all the same type);
  • a Router;
  • ethernet cables and wifi;
  • no Internet.

What I have managed so far with the same setup: Unreal 2004 - multiple players, NO INTERNET, wifi and ethernet connections to the router. This works great.

Now trying this same setup with Team Fortress 2:

Today I spent a few hours trying to run TF2 using the same methodology but failed. Main laptop is running Steam offline. I start TF2 and create a new server. Then on second laptop using wifi and running Steam offline, I try to find my server and the game - but cannot find it.

There has been a lot of other things I have tried, but I don't want to list them because maybe I missed something. Any help would be appreciated.

NOTE: I cannot connect to the network at work, which is why there is no Internet. That cannot be changed.

  • 1
    My first guess is lack of DNS. It could also be trying to access the anti-cheat servers. You could figure this out with a packet sniffer to see what it is trying to do.
    – chicks
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 14:51
  • Don't quote me on this, since TF2 does have certain processes for connecting to game servers; but this might be better off on SuperUser or Network Engineering
    – Ben
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


I was able to setup and connect to a LAN game that did not show up in the server browser's LAN tab. The key was to enter the connection command directly into the developer console.

  1. Find the local IP address on the server machine and write that down.

  2. Start your host TF2 server.

  3. On the client machines, enable the dev console in TF2:

    Options> Keyboard> Advanced> [✔]Enable Developer Console
  4. Press ` (the backtick\~ key unless it's mapped to something else) to open the dev console and enter:

    connect <IP Address>:27015

    Replace <IP Address> with the server IP from step one.

  5. Press [Enter] or click the "Submit" button and you should be connected.

  • If it does not connect at that point we will need more information about your setup. Considering how you've gotten other LAN games to work, I expect this will do the trick.
    – Booga Roo
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 9:05
  • Booga Roo - I did try prior to posting and it did not work for me.
    – netrate
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 20:57
  • @netrate If you're on Windows, can you confirm each machine has the TF2 firewall rules in place? This is most important on the server. Other platforms will probably have similar firewall configurations to check.
    – Booga Roo
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 5:48

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