FIX: Counter Strike not connecting to server errors

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Affiliate Disclosure

  • CS: GO is one of the most popular FPS games in the world, and it is owned by Steam.
  • The article below will guide you with tips on what to do when you have CS: GO connectivity issues.
  • For more information about this amazing game, visit our dedicated CS: GO Hub.
  • Hardcore gamers may also be interested in our Gaming page as well.
Counter Strike not connecting to server errors
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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is among the best multiplayer blasters for Windows. However, it’s not immune to server connection issues.

When Counter-Strike does not connect with the server, a Matchmaking Failed or VAC Disconnect error message might pop up. As a consequence, players can’t play CS: GO online when errors like those arise.

If you’re getting a similar server connection error for Counter: Global Offensive, check out some of these potential resolutions for it.

How can I fix Counter-Strike not connecting to the server?

1. Is the Counter-Strike server down?

Counter Strike’s server might be currently down. To check, open Counter Strike’s page on Downdetector in a browser. That page tells you if Counter-Strike is currently down or not. If it is, wait for the CS outage to get fixed.

Downdetector page counter strike not connecting to server

2. Verify the integrity of the game’s cache

Steam’s Verify Integrity option can often resolve Counter-Strike server errors.

  1. To do that, open the Steam client software.
  2. Click Library at the top of Steam’s window.
  3. Right-click Counter Strike: Global Offensive to select Properties.
  4. Select the Local Files tab shown directly below.
    Verify Integrity option counter strike not connecting to server
  5. Click the Verify Integrity of Game Files option.

3. Turn off Windows Defender Firewall

CS: GO server errors can be due to Windows Defender Firewall blocking the game connecting with the server.

  1. To turn off WDF, press the Windows key + S hotkey.
  2. Input firewall to search for the WDF applet.
  3. Click Windows Defender Firewall to open the Control Panel applet shown directly below.
    Windows Defender Firewall applet counter strike not connecting to server
  4. Click the Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off link.
  5. Select the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall options, and click the OK button.
    Turn off Windows Defender Firewall option counter strike not connecting to server


4. Turn off third-party antivirus utilities

Users with third-party antivirus utilities might need to disable, or even uninstall, those utilities to stop them from blocking CS: GO. Avast, Kaspersky, BullGuard, Norton Security, and Bitdefender are some AV software that incorporates firewalls.

You can usually disable AV utilities like those by right-clicking their system tray icons and selecting disable/turn off settings on the context menus.

Some antivirus software might also include additional options to toggle their firewalls off & on.

Disable Auto-Protect option counter strike not connecting to server

However, some users might need to completely uninstall their third-party antivirus software to stop them blocking CS: GO. You can uninstall AV software via the Programs and Features applet, much the same as other software.

The How to Uninstall Programs post provides further details on how you can uninstall software.

Looking for a solid antivirus tool? Check out this article for our top picks!

5. Repair Steam service

  1. To fix VAC server connection errors, try repairing Steam. First, make sure Steam is closed.
  2. Press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  3. Input this command in the Open box:

"C:Program Files (x86)SteambinSteamService.exe" /repair.

  • Note that users who haven’t installed Steam at its default Program Files directory will need to change the SteamService.exe file path in that command.
    Steam repair command counter strike not connecting to server
  1. Then press the OK button.

6. Switch to Google DNS server

  1. Switching to Google DNS server can resolve CS: GO server errors. Right-click the Start button to select Run.
  2. Input ncpa.cpl in the Open box, and click the OK option.
  3. Right-click your net connection there to select Properties.
    Network Connections applet counter strike not connecting to server
  4. Double-click Wi-Fi Properties to open the window shown directly below.
    Wi-Fi Properties window counter strike not connecting to server
  5. Select the Use the following DNS server addresses radio button.
  6. Enter in the Preferred DNS server box.
  7. Input in the Alternative DNS server box.
  8. Select the Validate settings upon exit checkbox option.
  9. Press the OK button.

Those are some of the more likely fixes for Counter-Strike not connecting to server errors. In addition, try removing superfluous third-party programs from Windows’ startup.

The Add or Remove Startup Apps in Windows 10 post provides further details for how users can configure the system startup.

By following these steps you should be able to fix any Counter-Strike -related issues and play uninterrupted again.

Let us know which of the methods you used by leaving us a message in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • A CS: GO packet loss is what happens when data between the game and the server is interrupted by connectivity issues. For more information on CS:GO packet losses, check out this in-depth guide.

  • If you have low FPS in games like CS: GO, you can either adjust the video settings to a lower level or use a dedicated game booster.

  • There are plenty of reasons why your CS: GO client may have issues updating. For more information on the matter, check out this article that we’ve covered.

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