<if anyone would so kind as to make me a banner, that would be very much appreciated.
As the old idling thread got locked. I decided to rewrite and make a new thread to discuss idling.
What you will need
These requirements are what you will need for the bare essentials of running your idle farm
1) A full version of Sandboxie. (The trial version will only allow you to have 1 idle account running)
2) A decent computer. It doesn't have to be amazing. The biggest factor is RAM, 4GB is a good amount.
These programs help a lot when setting up and utilising your idling farm. If you think any should be added to this list, post in this thread.
1) Notepad++ - Great program for editing text or batch files
2) Steam Item Manager - Very useful for automagically crafting all your weapons into scrap
3) Memory Cleaner - Running all those instances of Steam and TF2 can take up a lot of memory, this program clears that up
4) idle.cfg - This config will set TF2's settings to a low level and improve load times and performance. Put it in each accounts "steamapps/team fortress 2/tf/cfg" folder
5) idle_triangle - A small map to maximise performance and minimise memory usage. Put it in each accounts "steamapps/team fortress 2/tf/maps" and change "+map itemtest" to "+map idle_triangle"
You will need to configure your sandboxes to be able to run Steam and TF2 efficiently. You need to create a sandbox for each account you wish to idle.
1) Create a new sandbox and name it something relevant, like the account name you will be using to sign into this particular account
2) Right click the sandbox and go to Sandbox Settings
3) Navigate to "Restrictions > Drop rights > Drop rights from Administrators and Power User groups" and uncheck the tick box
4) Navigate to "Resource Access > File Access > Full Access" and add the harddrive or storage device that you will be using to store all the idle accounts data on
Building the farm
This is the bulk of guide and where all the magic happens, pay close attention and be sure to replace any words that are underlined with the information that is specific to you
1) Create a directory on your computer in which you will put all your idle related goodies, I will be using the main directory as "C:/idle"
2) Create a folder in your main directory for each of your accounts
3) Put in a copy of Steam.exe in each of your account's folders. You can copy all the files from your current main Steam account folder, but I prefer to do a clean install to avoid problems
4) Create another folder called steamapps in your main directory, this is where all the other account folders will access and use. This saves LOTS of storage space as having individual installations of TF2 for each account would be a lot of gigabytes
5) Now you will need the content files for TF2, if you already have these installed on your main account, you can copy and paste them from there. You will need the GCF files detailed below.
5) Open up the Start Menu and search cmd, right click the program that comes up "Run As Administrator"
multiplayer ob binaries.gcfsource 2007 shared materials.gcf
source 2007 shared models.gcf
source 2007 shared sounds.gcf
team fortress 2 content.gcf
team fortress 2 materials.gcf
team fortress 2 client content.gcf
base source shared materials.gcf
base source shared models.gcf
base source shared sounds.gcf
6) Navigate to one of your idle account folders by using "cd C:/idle/accountname"
7) Execute the command below, this will create a functional shortcut. Do this for each of your account folders.
8) For each account you will need a batch file. "Right click > New > Text document" in each of the account folders and enter
mklink /D steamapps "C:/idle/steamapps"
9) Save it as a bat file and name it "idle.bat"
start /low C:\"Program Files"\Sandboxie\Start.exe /box:accountname Steam.exe -applaunch 440 -textmode -novid -nosound -nopreload +map itemtest +exec idle -sw -width 640 -height 480
10) Now we will make a bat file which will launch all the other bat files. Create a new text file and enter a new line for each account, all in the same batch file
11) And you're done! Double click the bat file you made in the main directory and you will be asked to login to all the respective accounts. Using -username and -password in the bats to auto login creates a longer login process, doing it manually the first time, saves loading times in the future. There are some optional steps along with tips and tricks below you can follow.
pushd accountname && call "cmd /c ""C:\idle\accountname\idle.bat""" && popd
Utilising a server
This section will detail how to create a server for all your accounts to join. This can save load times and system memory.
1) Decide on an account which will host the server
2) Edit the accounts bat file and change it to
3) Now you need to find your local IP. To do this, open up cmd and type "ipconfig". Then get the IPv4 or IPv6 address. It will look something like 192.168.0.x
start /low C:\"Program Files"\Sandboxie\Start.exe /box:accountname Steam.exe -applaunch 440 -textmode -novid -nosound -nopreload +map itemtest +mp_idledealmethod 0 +sv_lan 1 +exec idle -sw -width 640 -height 480
4) Edit all your account bat files to this
Tips and Tricks
start /low C:\"Program Files"\Sandboxie\Start.exe /box:accountname Steam.exe -applaunch 440 -textmode -novid -nosound -nopreload +connect IPv4/6 +exec idle -sw -width 640 -height 480
There are some little things you can do to make your ~~idling experience~~ easier and more efficient. Any tips you guys have, let me know and I'll add them
1) When a TF2 update is released, launching all your games at the same time can corrupt and mess up the GCF files. To avoid this, simply launch TF2 from one account, and let it update. Then you can run the others at the same time with no problem
2) Trade all your delicious drops to one account and then use Steam Item Manager to craft them all together and get that lovely refined metal to trade to your main for trading
3) Make a bookmark folder with all your idle accounts TF2B pages to quickly view their backpacks. You can open a whole bookmark folder by clicking on them with middle mouse button
4) Read the TF2 wikipage on idling for some useful information on drop rates and such
5) Disable Steam overlay for all your accounts to shave off a small amount of memory and processes in your task manager
6) Backup your sentryfile (holds steamguard keys). Save and archive Steam\config\config.vdf and any ssfn************* files in Steam folder.
Gurkenpirate - Created the original thread and gave birth to modern idling
raBBish - Coming up with the genius idea of using symlinks to save space
Chris - Created the config idle.cfg uses