Preserving LAN Games: Counter Strike Old Version, How to Play it Today

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Counter Strike: a timeless classic that continues to captivate gamers to this day. From its humble beginnings as a mod for Half-Life, to the release of its iconic and widely played versions such as CSGO and Condition Zero, the game has cemented its place in the annals of gaming history. However, as technology and gaming platforms evolve, the older versions of the game – the ones that defined the golden age of LAN gaming – are becoming increasingly difficult to find and play. This raises the question: will future generations miss out on experiencing one of the greatest first-person shooters of all time?

In this article, we will explore how to preserve and play the classic version of Counter Strike, so that future generation and old players alike can experience the game as it was originally intended. We’ll take a look at the history of the game, document its original features and gameplay mechanics, and provide instructions on how to set up and play the classic version of the game. So, whether you’re a nostalgic veteran or a curious newcomer, join us as we delve into the world of classic Counter Strike.

The Classic Minimum Requirement

When it comes to running the game, it only requires a little amount of processing power and memory since this game came out almost 23 years ago. You can even boot this up on a Virtual Box machine with Windows XP OS.

  • OS: Windows(r) 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT 4.0
  • Processor: Pentium 133+
  • RAM Memory: 24 MB RAM

How to Download Counter Strike Beta 5.0 and Beta CS 1.4

We will focus on the mod beta version of Counter Strike beta 5.0 and CS 1.4 which comes for FREE and was distributed to many online forums and platforms.

However, you need to install the original retail WON version of Half-Life which we are not allowed to post on this article as it requires the original license to play it – which you need to buy the original CD. Though, as for the installer, you can find it on the internet, just make sure to use the correct version.

Let’s say you already have the Half-Life installer; you need the following version for you to play the specific classic beta version of Counter Strike.

Counter Strike VersionRequirements
Counter Strike Beta 5.0
(CS Beta 5.0)
Half-Life Version:
CS Beta 5.0 Installer:
Counter Strike Beta 1.4
(CS Beta 1.4)
Half-Life Version: (If you have the original CD and want to update to WON, you can download the patch here)
CS Beta 1.4 Installer:

Strike. Once you have the installers, you’ll need to install Half-Life to a directory of your choice, for example, D:\CS_beta5.

After that, you have to install the Counter Strike installer and you need to put it inside the Half-life folder. In our example, it would be at D:\CS_beta5. Once the installation is complete, you should see a new folder named “cstrike” within the Half-Life folder.

If you want to install the CS Beta 1.4 version, you’ll need to repeat the process, installing Half-Life to a different directory and then installing Counter Strike into that directory.

And that’s it! Once the installation process is complete, you’re ready to start playing classic Counter Strike.

How to Play over LAN

Playing the game over LAN requires some extra step if you are planning to play it on Windows XP. You must allow the program over firewall for you to find another player on your LAN network.

To do that, you need to add the hl.exe program to your Firewall. For Windows XP, its Start > Control Panel > Switch Classic View > Windows Firewall. Then go to Exception tab, then press Add Program then locate the hl.exe file from your Half-Life installation directory.

If it does not work, the easiest way it is by disabling the Windows Firewall.

Once done, you are now ready to play the oldest version of Counter Strike just like before.


Here is the original manual for the controls. You’ll find here the keyboard and mouse control to play the game.

FunctionDefault Key MappingNotes
Buy MenuBBuy Menu for Weapon and Equipment
Buy Equipment Menu (Optional)NOpen Equipment Menu
Buy Primary Ammo (Optional),Buy single clip of ammo for your Primary Weapon
Buy Secondary Ammo (Optional).Buy single clip of ammo for your Secondary Weapon
Select TeamMChange team sides. (You’ll die after choosing side, wait for the next round)
Drop Current WeaponTDrop carried weapon to the ground.
Standard Radio MessagesZShow pre-defined standard radio commands.
Group Radio MessagesXShow pre-defined group radio commands.
Report Radio MessagesCShow pre-defined report radio commands.
Move ForwardW or UP ARROWTo move forward
Move BackS or DOWN ARROWTo move back
Turn LeftMouse X AXIS or LEFT ARROWLook left
Turn RightMouse X AXIS or RIGHT ARROWLook right
Move Left (Strafe)AStrafe to left
Move Right (Strafe)DStrafe to right
JumpSPACEJump or navigate to different observer mode
DuckCTRLDuck for cover
Look UpMouse X AXIS or PGUPLook Up
Look DownMouse X AXIS or PGDNLook Down
Strafe ModifierALTOptional
FireMOUSE BUTTON 1 orENTERFire current weapon
Special Weapon FunctionMOUSE BUTTON 2 or \Sight or weapon other mode
Reload WeaponRReload clips
Drop Current WeaponGDrop carried weapon to the ground
UseEUse to command hostage, open door or buttons
WalkSHIFTPress and hold to move slowly
FlashlightFToggle flash light
Spray LogoTPrint logo on the ground or walls
Menu Item 11Select Primary Weapon
Menu Item 22Select Secondary Weapon
Menu Item 33Select Knife
Menu Item 44Select Grenade
Menu Item 55Select Bomb
Previous WeaponMOUSE WHEEL DOWN or [Scroll weapon previously used
Next WeaponMOUSE WHEEL UP or ]Scroll next weapon
Last Used WeaponQEquip last weapon
Display Multiplayer ScoresTABShows round stats
Chat MessageYType a message to anyone
Team Chat MessageUType a message to team
Take Screen ShotF5Screenshot
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