When I’m playing on my dedicated Team Fortress 2 LAN server, I am unable to access my load out, because my server cannot connect to the item server:

WARNING! The server you are playing on has lost connection to the item server. As a result, your loadout will not be available on this server.

I am sure it’s not a problem with my TF2 client or with the item server, because when I play on any random public TF2 server on the internet, I can access my loadout just fine.

I’m running it on Debian GNU/Linux with the following startup command:

./srcds_run -game tf -autoupdate -steambin /home/tf2server/hlds/steam +map koth_king

When I start up the server, I notice the following in my server’s output during startup. No idea if it’s relevant.

Initializing Steam libraries for secure Internet server
*   Unable to load Steam support library.*
*   Unable to load Steam support library.*
*   This server will operate in LAN mode only.*
*   This server will operate in LAN mode only.*

Furthermore, when I connect to the game, I see the following output on the server side:

Sending CMsgGameServerMatchmakingStatus (state=ServerMatchmakingState_NOT_PARTICIPATING)
NULL ISteamGameServer in ConnectClient. Steam authentication may fail.
Client "Mr. Marlon" connected (
Cannot verify load for invalid steam ID [I:0:0]
WARNING: ClientActive, but we don’t know his SteamID?

What could be the problem and how do I solve it?

  • What is your startup command? For example mine looks like this: ./srcds_run -game tf -autoupdate -maxplayers 32 +map mvm_mannworks +ip 192.168.xx.xx I'm assuming you are running it on a linux machine since it is dedicated? If not what OS?
    – Grant
    Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 9:26
  • Also have you opened the necessary ports on your router for the server? Open 27000-27015 TCP/UDP and point it to your server.
    – Grant
    Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 9:39
  • @Grant: I had the +ip argument earlier, but had to remove it because it made me unable to connect to the server at all. Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 10:38
  • @Grant: If you mean that I should open 27000-27015 TCP/UDP to incoming connections form the internet, then no, I haven’t. Is that really necessary, though? We successfully had a TF2 server running here before without having inbound ports open and it was able to connect to the item server just fine. Or do you mean something else? Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 11:02
  • @Mr.Marlon: Your previous server install was probably using Upnp automatic ports forwarding, thus allowing you to not open them manually. About the maybe-relevant information, yes it is. While in LAN mode, you cannot connect yourself to the server from the internet. And the server cannot access Steam ID database, so that's why you won't get your loadouts. Could you upload the server error-file? We need to know why the steam-library can't load, since it's probably the thing you need to connect the server to the SteamID system.
    – Lysarion
    Commented Sep 1, 2012 at 11:28

2 Answers 2


Found the solution: In /home/tf2server/hlds/gameserver/orangebox, put a file called steam_appid.txt whose sole contents are


Source: http://forums.srcds.com/viewtopic/18494

This also fixes « TF2 dedicated LAN server not found in game’s server browser ».


Open up 27015 TCP/UDP on the router and forward to the server ip address. Without these ports open valve servers can not connect to your server and pull information. Let alone no one else will be able to view/connect to your machine with that port closed.

  • Re “Let alone no one else will be able to view/connect to your machine with that port closed.”: My client is on a different machine than the server in the same LAN and I’m able to connect just fine. Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 7:47

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