How to activate Halo PC Console commands

I told someone I would post this a few weeks ago. Well as you can see it took me a little longer than I wanted to get this done. This information came from several different sources. If you follow the steps you will have the console command active when your hosting a game. This means you can easily kick or ban users that you feel are being a nuisance. The list below also offers a wide range of other options for game host to put to use. If you want control of any Halo PC game your serving. This step by step is a must.

I did a search and didn't see anything on this. Google has some info. It's were I found the following.

“First thing you need to do is be able to access the console. To do this you first need to make a shortcut on your desktop to launch halo.

Second you need to right click on it and bring up the properties.
You will need to add, (-console) at the end of your target line, do not type the ( )
So it should look something like this “C:Program FilesHalohalo.exe” –console
Your target line might vary depending on how and where you installed it, don’t change anything just add –console

Now launch halo buy double clicking your shortcut, when in the game hit the ~ key and type your commands.

Console Commands:
sv_ban name/#
sv_kick name/#

sv_ban – Ban and kick player # or player name (case sensitive)
sv_map –
sv_players – List the players in the game, with ID #s and red or blue (0 or 1)
sv_banlist – Lists the current ban list, with the Row #. This # is what you type in to unban.
sv_end_game – End the current game.
sv_map_restart – Restart current map/variant.
sv_status – Server status readout.
sv_kick – kick that person, no banning.
sv_unban – Unban the # found in the banlist.
sv_mapcycle – not working??
sv_password – not working??
sv_mapcycle_del – not working??
sv_name – not working??
sv_mapcycle_add – not working??
sv_mapcycle_timeout – not working??
sv_map_next – not working??
sv_maxplayers – not working??
sv_public – not working??

Can anyone help me figure out the cheats? I've found several (of what seem to be) console commands but cant figure out how to enable the use of them. I've found the following console commands in the halo executable:


I can't figure out how to use them, perhaps they need to be enabled with some command such as “set “. I also found the console command “developer_mode”, but can't figure out how to use this either. I've tried things such as “set developer_mode true”, “cheats_load 1” but it always says “can't execute command”. Maybe someone else can play around and tr

To show FP/S, type 'rasterizer_fps 1' in the console.

Alternately, you can hit control+f12, but it throws a nasty graph on the screen.

-connect x.x.x.x:2303 -password
is that the proper string to enter to server with passwords set?”

I originally posted this at the link below.

Forums » PC gaming GAMES » Halo Console commands

Additional information that will be of use.

These commands all work in version 1.06 as well

Microsoft Halo PC Dedicated Server Readme File
December 2003, v1.03

© Microsoft Corporation, 2001-2003. All rights reserved.

Welcome to Halo for the PC Dedicated Server!

This file contains information to help you setup, run and troubleshoot the Halo Dedicated Server. The Halo Dedicated Server is definitely an advanced feature, not designed for the casual user. This document is written assuming the reader is familiar with running dedicated game servers, as well as having advanced computer knowledge.


You can download a .rtf file of this document here.

Dedicated Server Features
System Requirements
Running Halo Dedicated Server
init.txt configuration file
Running multiple instances
Using Remote Console
Controlling Team Killing and Banning undesirable players
Console Commands
Getting Help
Known Issues and Workarounds
Versions History
A. Dedicated Server Features
With the v1.03 update, the following new features / bug fixes are introduced:

Enhanced functionality to reduce online team killing and facilitate the banning of users.
Optimized map loading functionality, significantly reducing the time to load large map cycling configuration files.
Extended sv_players functionality.
Teams are now persisted for the next game when map cycling occurs.
It's now possible to restart the current game without requiring the server to map cycle.
User can now specify their data folder directories using -path.
The Halo Dedicated Server v1.02 includes:

Stand-alone application.
Flexible multiple instances support.
Client RCon (Remote Console) functionality.
Command line execution.
Kicking and banning players.
Pre-defined / custom game type and map rotation support.
Password protected servers.
B. System Requirements
Halo Dedicated Server requires a personal computer with the following minimum requirements:

Multimedia personal computer with a 733 MHz or higher processor.
Windows 98 SE, Windows Me, Windows 2000 Service Pack 1, or Windows XP.
128 Megabytes (MB) of RAM.
380 MB of available hard disk space.
Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device.
Broadband internet connection.
These differ from the retail version of Halo for the PC by not requiring:

8X CD-ROM drive.
32 MB 3D hardware-transform-and-lighting-capable video display.
Sound card and speakers or headphones.
DirectX 9.0b.
To run an optimal Halo Dedicated Server, a personal computer with the following requirements is recommended:

Personal computer with a 1.4 GHz or higher processor.
Windows XP or Windows 2003 Server (with all service packs installed)
256 Megabytes (MB) of RAM or more.
380 MB of available hard disk space.
Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device.
When running multiple instances on a server, these requirements have to be adjusted to account for the additional resources required.

C. Installation
Halo Dedicated Server is released in two different self-extracting files:

This self-extracting file includes the Halo Dedicated Server binary files. When we release updates to the dedicated server, these will be the only files you need to update.

This self-extracting file includes the multiplayer maps required to run Halo Dedicated Server. You only need to download these once. If you already have the full retail Halo game installed on your server, you do not need to download the maps at all; the server will use the maps that were installed by the game.

This is the 1.03 update required to use the Halo PC dedicated server. After installing the 1.02 file, run this update.

To install: double-click these files and follow the on-screen instructions.

D. Running Halo Dedicated Server
Browse to your Halo Dedicated Server installation directory.
Double-click haloded.exe.
This will open a console window and you will have access to the Halo Dedicated Server console command line.

With v1.03, we are introducing the possibility for server administrator to specify their data directory using the -path command line argument. This allows storing custom game types and data files in any folder on the disk drive.

Important note: with this new command line argument, the default path for these data files is changing from the dedicated server installation directory to the user's “My Documents” folder. This is important for server administrators who prefer to set per-user read / write access permissions to the Halo Dedicated Server program files directory. If you will not be using the -path command line argument, you will have to move your current ban list to the default directory.

E. init.txt configuration file
Halo Dedicated Server uses init.txt file (located in the installation directory) to pre-set some of the server options and setup map cycling. Any console command can be invoked in the init.txt file (see Console Commands below for a list of available console commands).

For example, to launch a server with the following parameters:

Name: “Halo_DS”
Listed on the GameSpy Master Server list? Yes
Maximum number players: 12
Password: “halo”
Timeout between maps rotations: 15 seconds
Create the following init.txt file:

sv_name Halo_DS
sv_public 1
sv_maxplayers 12
sv_password halo
sv_mapcycle_timeout 15

To setup map cycling, you need to create a game entries map cycling list (a game entry is a map name and a game type). To do so, simply use the sv_mapcycle_add command in the init.txt file.

For example, to have the following maps and game types cycle:

Timberland CTF
Danger Canyon Assault
Gephyrophobia Slayer
Blood Gulch Crazy King
Add the following lines to the init.txt file:

sv_mapcycle_add timberland CTF
sv_mapcycle_add dangercanyon assault
sv_mapcycle_add gephyrophobia slayer
sv_mapcycle_add bloodgulch “crazy king”

Then, to start the dedicated server, use the following command: sv_mapcycle_begin .

Every time you launch haloded.exe, it will look for init.txt for initialization (unless you specify a different file using -exec . See below for more details on -exec ).

For the previous example, the final init.txt file would look like this:

sv_name Halo_DS
sv_public 1
sv_maxplayers 12
sv_password halo
sv_mapcycle_timeout 15
sv_mapcycle_add timberland CTF
sv_mapcycle_add dangercanyon assault
sv_mapcycle_add gephyrophobia slayer
sv_mapcycle_add bloodgulch “crazy king”

The default game types available are the following:

crazy king
team slayer
team oddball
team race

Classic game variants are also supported as default game types (check out the retail version of Halo for a list of all classic game variants).

You can create custom game types (using the full retail version of Halo) and include these game types on your server rotation. This would enable you, for example, to include a Rockets only game on your server rotation. To do so, follow these steps:

Launch the full retail version of Halo.
Under Multiplayer, choose Edit Game Types.
Create a new game type (refer to the Halo documentation if you need help to do this).
Save your new game type.
Quit Halo.
Open your Halo save games folder (by default, this would be “My DocumentsMy GamesHalosavegames”).
You will see the name of the custom game type you created as a folder directory.
Make sure this folder is available on your server (in the same location on disk).
Use the name of your custom game type in your mapcycle.txt file.
With this release, the dedicated server is dependent on access to your save games folder. This will be addressed in an upcoming release.

F. Running multiple instances
Halo Dedicated Server supports multiple instances running on one computer. Obviously, each of these instances must be using a different network port. See below for instructions on how to launch multiple instances of Halo Dedicated Server. The maximum number of instances that can be run on a server is 8.

When running multiple instances, each instance will use its own init.txt file.

Here is an example on how to run multiple instances, assuming Halo Dedicated Server is installed in the E:HaloPC folder:

E:HaloPChaloded.exe -exec e:halopcinit1.txt -cpu 0 -port 2301
E:HaloPChaloded.exe -exec e:halopcinit2.txt -cpu 1 -port 2305
E:HaloPChaloded.exe -exec e:halopcinit3.txt -cpu 0 -port 2307

Three command line arguments are specific to running Halo Dedicated Server with multiple instances:

Specify which init.txt file to use for this instance of the dedicated server. The name of this file can be any name.

When using a multi-processor computer (SMP) server, it is possible to instruct Halo Dedicated Server to run on a specific CPU. To do so, use the -cpu n command line argument (where n is a given CPU, 0 being the first one).

Different instances must, obviously, use different ports. -port is used to specify the port for the instance being launched. If a port is not specified the server will automatically choose an open port though the chosen port is not reported.

G. Using RCon
By default RCon (remote connection) to a server is disabled. To enable it, you must specify an RCon password. You do this using the following console command:

sv_rcon_password password

Once RCon is enabled on a server, any client can send it commands using the following console command:

rcon password command argument

password is the RCon password to the server the client is connected to.
command is one of the server console commands (see Console Commands below).
argument is the argument to the server console command.

H. Controlling Team Killing and Banning undesirable players
Halo Dedicated Server v1.03 introduces a new system to control team killing in online games.

At its core, the system is very simple. It's also very flexible and allows server administrators to tweak servers to reflect settings they deem appropriate to provide the best game experience to their users. Here's how it works:

Every time a player kills someone on their team, they are awarded a “team killing point” (let's call them TKP). If a player is awarded a certain number of TKP, they isare automatically kicked and banned from the server. To set the number of TKP required for a user to be kicked and banned, server administrators use the sv_tk_ban console command. For example:

sv_tk_ban 4

sets the number of TKP required for a player to be kicked and banned to 4.

When a player reaches the number of TKP necessary to be kicked and banned, they are automatically expulsed from the server. They will remain banned from the server for a period of time specified using the sv_tk_penalty console command. In addition to this, this period of time can also be set to take into account repeated offenses. This means if a player gets enough TKP to be kicked and banned for 5 minutes, then comes back and misbehaves again, their banned period can be larger. It's possible to set as many as 4 different levels of punition. Upon the fifth offense on the same server, a user is banned indefinitely. Of course, the server administrators can always consciously choose to unban the player.

sv_tk_penalty 5m 1d 0
sv_tk_penalty 5m 1h 8h 1d

The first example above will, for a server, set the first offense punition to 5 minutes, the second offense to 1 day and the third one to an indefinite ban (0 means indefinite). The second example will set the offense punition to 5 minutes, the second to 1 hour, the third to 8 hours, and the fourth to 1 day. On the fifth offense, the player will be indefinitely banned from the server.

Because team kills can be accidental, we also introduce a “cool down” period. If a player gets a TKP accidentally and doesn't kill another teammate for the duration of the cool down period, the TKP will be forgiven. For example:

sv_tk_cooldown 5m

will set this cool down period to 5 minutes.

The last aspect of the team killing system is that, once again, by accident, a rocket explosion or a grenade can kill three of your teammates. This poses the risk of registering three TKP instantly, improving the chances of improperly banning an accidental team kill. To address this, the concept of a “team kill grace” period exists. This period is the delay (in seconds) that must expire before a player can be credited with an additional TKP.

sv_tk_grace 3s

sets this period to 3 seconds. Once again, this means that if a player kills 4 teammates within a 3 seconds period, he will only be credited with 1 TKP.

Finally, as with v1.02, it is possible to ban players individually using their player index. The sv_tk_players console command has been updated to display players' TKPs and their cool down period timers.

I. Console Commands
The following commands are server specific console commands:


Clear the console text.

help [command]
Tell you about the command.

Quit Halo for the PC dedicated server.

sv_ban [player name or index]
Ban the player with the given name or index. However, this doesn't kick them out of the game however.

sv_ban_penalty [time1] [time2] [time3] [time4]
Specifies the levels of punishment for repeat offenders. The first offense will be punished for [time1], the second offense for [time2], the third offense for [time3], the fourth offense [time4] and the fifth offense for an indefinite period of time (the administrator has to unban the user). The format of time is n s, n m, n h, n d or 0. n is a digit in the 1-9 range and 0 is infinite.

Show the list of the banned players.

Specifies the file to store and load the ban list to and from. Note: this file's name is restricted to banlist ## .txt where ## is a two digit number. This allows multiple instances to use different ban lists while still restricting the name of the ban list (for security purposes).

End the currently running game. This will proceed to the next game in the map cycling game entries list.

sv_kick [player index or name]
Kick the player with the given name or index out of the game.

sv_map [map name] [game variant]
Start a game with the indicated map and game variant. When the game is over, this game will restart itself. This command supersedes any map cycle the server has.

Show game list.

sv_mapcycle_add [map name] [game variant]
Append this game entry (map name and game type) to the end of the game list.

Start the map cycling with the specified game entries.

sv_mapcycle_del [index]
Delete the game entry from the map cycling game list (use sv_mapcycle to get game IDs).

sv_mapcycle_timeout n
Time in seconds to restart the next game in the game list after game is finished (this determines how long clients are sitting at the post carnage report screen).

End the current game and skip to the next game in the map cycling game entries list.

Restart the game.

sv_maxplayers n (Default value is 16)
Set the maximum number players. This should be done in the init.txt file, before map cycling begins.

sv_name [string] (Default value is “Halo”)
Set the server name (64 characters max). This should be done in the init.txt file, before map cycling begins. With the 1.03 update, the set of characters allowed for server names is no longer limited to alphanumeric characters.

sv_password [string]
Set password for server. This should be done in the init.txt file, before map cycling begins.

List the players and their indices for reference in banning and kicking players from the dedicated server. With v1.03, sv_players also shows the number of TKP per players and their cool down period (as appropriate).

sv_public [1, 0] (Default value is 1)
Determine if the server will be listed in the GameSpy Master Server list (1) or not (0). This should be done in the init.txt file, before map cycling begins. Note: setting this to false is equivalent to hosting a LAN game.

sv_rcon_password [string]
Set the RCon password. To remove the password, thus disabling RCon, specify an empty string “” as the password.

sv_status [1, 0]
Displays the current status of the dedicated server in the console.

sv_tk_ban n
Specifies the number of “team kill points” required for a player to be kicked and banned from a server. See section H for additional information about Controlling Team Killing and Banning undesirable players.

sv_tk_grace [time]
Set the grace period during which a player can only be credited with one TKP. For example, if set to 3s, a player can only be credited for one team kill every 3 seconds, preventing an accidental grenade explosion from crediting multiple TKP to a player.

sv_tk_cooldown [time]
Set the cool down period after which a player will be forgiven one TKP if they have not committed another team kill.

sv_unban [player name]
Allow the player with the given name to join the server again.

J. Getting Help
Get Halo Dedicated Server help on the Gearbox Software community forums which are located HERE.

Halo Dedicated Server engineers regularly browse these forums and answer frequently asked questions.


K. Known Issues and Workarounds

Console does not recognize Battlecreek , Derelict , or Chiron map names.
You must use the actual multiplayer map file name. Here is a table with the in-game name of the map and its associated file name:

In-game name File name
Battle Creek



Rat Race


Hang 'Em High

Chill Out


Boarding Action

Blood Gulch


Chiron TL34


Ice Fields

Death Island

Danger Canyon




Using sv_map, host is unable to launch a game using a game variant with spaces in it:
Sv_map takes multiple arguments. You need to add quotes around spaces in the second argument (game variant) in order for this to work. For example,

sv_map mapname “game variant”

Console is unable to clear the server password:
You need to enter an “empty” password to clear it from the console. Enter

sv_password “”

4 thoughts on “How to activate Halo PC Console commands”

  1. every time i do this,an error pops up saying “”the name “(says the name)” specified in the target is not valid. make sure the path and file name are correct”” help? i have tried it a few different ways and it does the same thing….

  2. I haven’t played this game in ages. My advice would be to try using the number by the name when implementing a ban or kick command. This normally takes less time to get the job done – which is a positive.

  3. If the error message is in regards to the file path of the game. The information above without the -screenshot included should work to activate the console command within the game. Keep in mind this will work with either version of the original Halo PC.

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