Guide to a good RP server

There are many ways and methods you can run your RP server, here are a few of the most basic and simple rules of thumb in order to maintain a stable, enjoyable, and usable RP server.

  1. Game Mode: Everyone loves using something they’re familiar with, chances are people are going to have RP’d before prior to joining your server. You’re going to want to use a platform that they’re familiar with. Probably the most popular and best-all-around RP Mod is DarkRP.

  2. Admin: Having a good team of Admin and higher ranked patrons is probably one of the most important rules. Don’t get the idea that just because someone is your best friend, or your GMOD buddy means that they’re the best choice for admin. Admin are generally people who:
    -Play and build according to the rules
    -Are intelligent and know how to execute different commands, moderate players, and communicate with others well
    -Have decent (preferably great) grammar skills

Won't screw around and / or abuse their powers as admin

-Are generally kind and personable to other players

These are some factors that should be applied when choosing suitable admin for your server. You want people to be comfortable around the admin, able to understand the admin, and you want them to respect the admin. Chances are if your admin is a doucher, or abuses his powers, people won’t stick around.

  1. Addons: We can all agree, addons have become what makes GMOD so great. On your server, you’re going to want to keep the addons slim. Narrow your server down, find out what it is you’ll be doing. Most likely on an RP server, you’re going to be building a store, a home, maybe even decking out a vehicle. Get only the most practical and usable addons you can find, people don’t want to sit around for eternity downloading some 900 Lua files with other stuff mixed in just to find it was something that served no purpose. Simplicity is the best route to go. I recommend:
    -Wiremod (SVN updated weekly)
    -PHX3 (SVN updated weekly)
    -Keypad 1.4 STool
    -ASSMod 2.20
    -PC Mod (Optional)

Chances are pretty good that the average GMOD user / RP player has all of these mods on the client side, meaning that download time for your files will probably be about 100 Lua files or less.

  1. MoTD: A MoTD can make or break a server. When making the MoTD (Message of the Day), consider simplicity (as before). I know when I join a server I don’t want to read a wall of text explaining what to do and what not to do. Make them quick, efficient bullet points. Something like the following would be acceptable:

*Hello! Welcome to ____ ! Please read the rules below before continuing:

-Play accordingly, based on your class
-No Killing / Random DM’ing
-No Prop Blocking / Spamming / Prop Surfing
-No offensive language
-Do not mess with other people’s stuff
-Do not ask for admin
-If you do not follow the rules or obey the admin, you will be banned
-Have fun!

Server Owner: ____
Server Admin: ____, ____, ____*

  1. Slots: Slots are another important factor when setting up your RP server. You want to form a tight, comfortable community in which people feel involved with one another, not ignored or isolated. Massive servers aren’t usually recommended for RP. Usually anywhere between 10 - 16 slots is suggested, where players feel like they can talk to one another and be acknowledged. Also, with less slots and people, you can bump your prop limits, allowing for a more expansive and creative gameplay experience.

  2. Moderating: Your server will eventually attract a few pests or hackers, you’re gonna need to be ready to eliminate them when the time comes. I personally suggest ASS Mod. ASS Mod has a large user base and a nice, usable UI that easily allows you to execute rcon commands, ban/kill/promote players, and disable entities/weapons/ and items from guest use. Also, the time will come when (even if it isn’t some sort of hacker / spammer) your server crashes. It happens, I recommend setting up a .bat file to save yourself the trouble of getting out of GMOD and restarting srcds.exe. Make a .bat file out of this code:

@echo off
echo Protecting srcds from crashes...
echo If you want to close srcds and this script, close the srcds window and type Y depending on your language followed by Enter.
title Watchdog
echo (%time%) srcds started.
start /wait srcds.exe -console -game garrysmod +map rp_downtown_v2 +maxplayers 16
echo (%time%) WARNING: srcds closed or crashed, restarting.
goto srcds

This code comes in handy when your server crashes, it automatically restarts srcds when it fails. You will want to change the variables in the code, right now it is set to play on rp_downtown_v2 with 16 slots, add the code from your srcds.exe shortcut and you should be good to go.

Note: If you do happen to choose ASS Mod, I highly suggest you don’t use the grammar addon as it completely ruins the “/” commands which are used for various DarkRP functions, such as changing classes.

  1. Maps and Server Name: Maps are important in hosting a good server. You will want to use maps that people already have downloaded or that are popular among other servers. I suggest the classic rp_downtown_v2, it’s moderately light weight and a very common and fun map. There are tons of cool, exotic RP maps, but many people don’t have them installed client side, if you MUST try some new maps, gradually introduce your new map. Make a schedule, every Friday you can try a new map for the entire day and get player feedback. If your players like the map, then maybe you can have it again next Friday, if you get more, fresh feedback, keep the map up until you feel like moving on. Let the players know in the MoTD of your schedule and methods of periodically changing maps.

The name of your server is what really attracts your users. You don’t want a server called “GMOD RP SERVER”, whereas you don’t want something like “Juicy_McGina’s Massive RPG Wonderland Server Version 3 {XOTC CLAN}, etc. etc.” Show only the essentials when making a server name. Something along the lines of “Juice_Layer’s Dark RP Server [Wire|PHX|Doors]” is simple, tells who owns the server, and tells what the key features of the server are.

  1. The Physgun: The Physgun is what determines if I like a server or not. I am more of an RP Build kind of guy, and I love to be able to position my items with the Physgun. It allows me to be able to construct a unique environment / shop and really just expands the possibilities of the playing experience in it’s entirety. Choose wisely as to whether you want a strict RP server or a slightly more lenient RP build server.

This basically covers it, through these rules I have found myself keeping a steady flow of players and a very strong RP community flowing through my server. I’m sure your server clientèle will increase as well as your server’s clout if you follow these rules.

This is useful, abit basic, but useful for newbies.

I like this! Thanks.

Nice work dude

Neat, i hope this keeps some of the crappy rp servers down.


Thanks for this startup guide. I am trying to set up a GMod RP server on my dedi, and the official wiki doesn’t have much info on this.

Got a few questions to ask (might not be RP specific though…):

Regarding ASSMod 2.20, the official GMod wiki (link) is stating this plugin is no longer in development, so should I still use it?

For my TF2 servers, I only use Metamod/SourceMod, and people in the SourceMod community, seem to be using it in GMod too, but outside of SourceMod community, I don’t see anyone recommend using it for GMod.

For example, instead of using ASSMod, I am thinking about using SourceMod for basic administration.

Suggestion for me?

This is rather a general GMod question.

Is there a way to automatically cycle through different maps, and maybe gamemode as well?

Mainly is because I got friends who like sandbox, while others want to host RP. I can host two GMod servers, but if I can host both on the same GMod server, it would be great.

I still don’t quite understand how to set up a RP server, is that (in sequence):

  • set the gamemode in server.cfg… to?
  • install the addons (plugins)
  • install the RP map

that’s it? What else? (besides number of slots, MOTD that is)

I read the official wiki (link), and it mainly mentions about defining player classes (which as a newbie, I don’t want to deal with that yet).

Thanks in advance!

This is a guide for an unserious RP servers (Or more, just DarkRP Servers). Please add a portion for Serious RP servers.