ARK Dedicated Server Hosting: Take Control of Your Adventure

Hosting Your Own ARK Dedicated Server: The Ultimate Multiplayer Experience

Ever found yourself frustrated by the limitations and performance issues on public ARK: Survival Evolved servers? Delving into the realm of ARK Dedicated Servers is the game-changer you’re seeking.

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Dedicated servers grant you the power to personalize your gaming experience, giving you full control over game settings, offering improved performance, and an exclusive playground for your gaming community.

Stay with us as we unravel what an ARK Dedicated Server does, how to create one, its cost implications, and dedicated server tips, transforming how you experience this popular multiplayer survival game.

Key Highlights

  • Hosting an ARK dedicated server allows for customized game settings and mods.
  • A dedicated server creates a personalized gameplay experience and community.
  • Setting up an ARK server requires attention to system requirements for optimal performance.
  • Players can choose from various hosting services to match their needs.
  • A dedicated server enables creative freedom in the ARK world and enhances social interaction.

What Are the System Requirements and Technical Considerations for Setting Up an ARK Dedicated Server?

Here is a clear and concise overview of what you need to know about computer hardware, software, and internet requirements when setting up your server.

Hardware Requirements

The minimum hardware specifications to run an ARK Dedicated Server smoothly include a Dual Core 2.0 GHz CPU, 8GB RAM, and at least 20GB of storage space.

For an enhanced experience supporting more players and mods, it’s recommended to have a Quad-Core 3.0 GHz or better CPU, 16GB or more RAM, and ample storage, depending on the mods and maps you install.

The hardware chosen directly influences your server’s performance, where a more potent setup can accommodate more players and mods without compromising the gameplay quality.

Software Requirements

To establish your own ARK Dedicated Server, you’ll primarily need two key software components: ARK: Survival Evolved server files and SteamCMD.

These server files can be downloaded directly from Steam’s servers using SteamCMD, a command-line version of the Steam client.

Internet Connection

To ensure a seamless gaming experience on your ARK Dedicated Server, an internet connection with a minimum upload speed of 5 Mbps is needed, but ideally, you should aim for 10 Mbps or higher, especially if you plan to host more players.

Stability is paramount to avoid disruptive lag or disconnections during gameplay, so a wired connection is generally more reliable than a wireless one.

To optimize your server’s network performance, ensure all unused applications and services are closed to prevent unnecessary bandwidth usage, and consider using Quality of Service (QoS) settings on your router to prioritize traffic for your ARK server.

Server Location

The server location plays a crucial role in determining latency, which directly impacts the smoothness of gameplay in ARK: Survival Evolved.

To provide a better gaming experience with minimal lag, it’s advisable to choose a server location geographically closer to the majority of your players.

Firewall and Port Forwarding

Configuring your firewall and setting up port forwarding correctly are essential steps to allow incoming connections to your ARK Dedicated Server, ensuring a smooth gaming experience.

While the process may vary depending on the router model, you can usually find step-by-step instructions in your router’s manual or online tutorials, including sites like, which provides guides for a multitude of router models.

How Can You Choose the Right Hosting Service for Your ARK Dedicated Server?

Choosing the right hosting provider is critical to ensure optimal performance for your ARK Dedicated Server. It’s a pivotal decision that directly impacts how you and your fellow players experience the game, making it fundamental to carefully select a hosting service that aligns with your server requirements and gameplay goals.

Here are some of the importance of selecting the right hosting service for your ARK Dedicated Server.

Performance and Resources

When selecting a hosting service for your ARK Dedicated Server, pay close attention to the provider’s server performance metrics, specifically CPU speed, RAM allocation, and available storage, as these directly impact your gameplay experience.

Ensure that these resources match or exceed the game’s requirements to avoid server lag and potential crashes.

Network Uptime and Downtime

High network uptime is crucial to maintaining uninterrupted gameplay on your ARK Dedicated Server, meaning a hosting service with a strong uptime guarantee should be a key consideration.

Opt for providers boasting high percentages, ideally 99.9% SLA uptime or better, to ensure consistent server availability.

To gauge the hosting service’s reliability, don’t overlook reviews and testimonials from other users, as these can offer valuable insights into real-world uptime performance and overall service quality.

Customer Support and Responsiveness

Responsive customer support is a vital component of any hosting service, especially during server-related emergencies or unanticipated issues in ARK: Survival Evolved.

Prioritize providers known for their timely and 24/7 customer support. A reliable, helping hand can be the difference between a minor hiccup and prolonged server downtime.

Server Location and Latency

Server location significantly influences latency, the delay between a player’s action and the server’s response, which directly affects the fluidity and responsiveness of gameplay in ARK: Survival Evolved.

The further your players are from the server location, the higher the latency, leading to potential lag and a less optimal gaming experience.

Therefore, it’s advisable to select a hosting service with data centers situated geographically close to your predominant player base, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable gaming journey for all participants.

Mod and Plugin Support

Mod and plugin support is a crucial factor if you plan to customize your ARK Dedicated Server, enhancing gameplay or adding unique features to stand out from generic servers.

Mods and plugins can significantly enrich the gaming experience, but managing them can be tricky, especially for beginners.

So, choosing a hosting service that facilitates easy installation and management of mods and plugins is beneficial, reducing complexity and allowing you to focus on crafting your ideal gaming environment.

Scalability and Pricing

Scalability is a key aspect to consider if you expect your ARK: Survival Evolved player base to grow over time.

A hosting service that offers easy scalability will allow you to expand or reduce resources as required, ensuring optimal server performance at all times.

Carefully compare the pricing plans and features of different hosting services to find one that offers the best value, keeping future needs and growth in mind.

User Reviews and Reputation

A wise approach to choosing your hosting provider involves extensive research and reading user reviews and ratings, which can offer direct insights into the provider’s performance and customer satisfaction levels.

Reviews often highlight strengths and weaknesses that may not be apparent in the provider’s own description of their services.

Consider the provider’s reputation and track record within the gaming community, as a trusted name is often synonymous with reliable service and a better overall hosting experience.

What Are the Steps to Set Up and Configure Your ARK Dedicated Server for Optimal Performance?

Step 1: Obtain the ARK Dedicated Server Software

Getting the server software for your ARK Dedicated Server can be accomplished in a few steps, with the most prevalent method being through SteamCMD, a console client specifically designed for installing and updating dedicated servers from Steam.

  • Begin by choosing the drive where you want to house SteamCMD
  • Create a new folder named ‘SteamCMD’
  • Follow this link to download the SteamCMD zip file
  • After downloading, extract the contents of the zip file into your newly created ‘SteamCMD’ folder
  • Next, initiate the installation process by launching SteamCMD.exe
  • Once the installation completes, type ‘quit’ to exit the program, leaving you prepared for the next phase of setting up your server

Step 2: Install and Run the Server Software

Once you’ve successfully installed SteamCMD, the next steps involve using it to install the ARK server files on your chosen hosting environment, whether it be a dedicated machine or a hosting service.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open the ‘SteamCMD’ folder and run ‘SteamCMD.exe’
  • Type `login anonymous` in the command prompt and press Enter. This allows you to download the server files without needing a Steam account.
  • Choose where you want to install the server files
  • To download the ARK server files, type `app_update 376030 validate`, and press Enter
  • Once the download completes, type `quit` and press Enter to exit SteamCMD. You can now close the command prompt window.

You’ve now installed the ARK server files on your chosen hosting environment. Keep in mind that if you’re using a hosting service, the process might be slightly different depending on the specific provider’s interface, but the commands should remain the same.

Step 3: Adjust Server Settings and Configurations

Customizing your server settings allows you to tailor the gaming environment to suit your preferences and optimize server performance.

By adjusting settings like server name, maximum player count, and difficulty level, you can ensure a balanced and engaging experience for all players.

It also provides the opportunity to create a unique server identity, attract a desired player base, and manage server load effectively, all contributing to a more satisfying ARK: Survival Evolved adventure.

Step 4: Install and Manage Mods and Plugins

To further enrich the gameplay on your ARK Dedicated Server, consider installing and managing mods and plugins.

You can download mods from the Steam Workshop and use the command line in SteamCMD or a mod management tool offered by your hosting provider to install them.

Some popular mods include “Structures Plus” for advanced building options, ”The Center” for an entirely new map, or ”Annunaki Genesis” for a radically different gameplay experience.

Step 5: Configure Server Backups and Updates

Establishing regular server backups is an essential practice for maintaining your ARK Dedicated Server, as it safeguards your data against unforeseen loss or corruption.

Many hosting services offer automatic backup solutions, but if managing it manually, ensure that copies of all important files are stored securely in a separate location.

To keep your server running smoothly, enable automatic updates for your server software, which can typically be set up through your hosting provider’s control panel or via SteamCMD using specific commands.

Step 6: Set Up Server Whitelist and Admin Controls

Setting up a whitelist for your ARK Dedicated Server adds an extra layer of control over server access. It prevents unauthorized players from joining and ensuring a secure, community-focused gaming environment.

To delegate server management duties and maintain an engaging gameplay experience, you can also grant admin privileges to trusted users, which can be done through the server’s configuration files or the in-game admin management interface.

This will also allow you to monitor player behavior, manage in-game settings, and enforce server rules.

Step 7: Monitor Server Performance and Resource Usage

Using monitoring tools can be incredibly beneficial in managing your ARK Dedicated Server, as they provide vital insights into server performance, resource usage, and potential issues that could affect gameplay.

Tools like Game Server Manager or PRTG Network Monitor can help you track CPU usage, memory load, network latency, and more, alerting you to any potential problems and proactively managing your server’s health.

Step 8: Test and Optimize Server Performance

Before launching your ARK Dedicated Server to a larger audience, conducting a test run with a small group of players is advisable.

This initial testing phase allows you to assess the server’s performance under realistic conditions, identify any issues, and gauge player experience.

Based on the feedback from these players and the server performance metrics, you can optimize server settings such as player count, difficulty level, and mod installations.

How Can You Manage and Customize Your ARK Dedicated Server to Create a Unique Gameplay Experience?

Consider the factors below to tailor your server settings and configurations for a personalized gaming adventure.

  1. Server Configuration Settings

Altering your ARK Dedicated Server’s configuration settings is key to tailoring the gaming experience.

Settings can be tweaked in the ‘Game.ini’ and ‘GameUserSettings.ini’ files, located in your server directory’s ‘Saved’ folder.

You can adjust factors like ‘TamingSpeedMultiplier’ for faster dinosaur taming, ‘HarvestAmountMultiplier’ for increased resources, and ‘PlayerDamageMultiplier’ for varying player damage. This customization creates a unique and personalized gaming environment.

  1. Custom Rule Sets and Events

Creating custom rules and hosting unique events can make your ARK world more engaging.

You can set special rules like PvP zones or dino-taming challenges to add a competitive edge.

Additionally, hosting events such as treasure hunts or PvP tournaments can foster a lively and active player community.

  1. Designing Unique Landscapes and Structures

ARK’s building tools are a fantastic way to shape your game world, allowing you to craft custom landscapes and construct unique structures.

Design bases that cater to your survival needs, create iconic landmarks for navigation or establish adventure zones for added excitement.

Through creative use of these tools, you can elevate the gameplay experience, making your server stand out in the ARK community.

  1. Customized Loot Drops and Rewards

Customizing loot drops and rewards can add an exciting dimension to your ARK server, offering unique incentives for players’ achievements.

This can be done by modifying the ‘Game.ini’ file, where you can assign specific items to loot tables.

Remember, balancing these rewards to maintain a fair and competitive environment is important, preventing any player from gaining an undue advantage.

  1. Role-Playing and Community Building

Promoting role-playing and community-building activities can significantly enhance immersion and social interaction on your ARK server.

Encourage the creation of factions for group survival, trading hubs for resource exchanges, or player-driven storylines for added depth.

These initiatives not only foster a sense of community but also bring a unique, player-centric dynamic to the gameplay.

  1. Communication and Interaction

Maintaining active communication with your players is crucial to ensure your ARK server meets their preferences and continually evolves based on feedback.

As a server administrator, engage with your community through various platforms such as forums, social media, or in-game chats.

This direct interaction can provide invaluable insights, foster a sense of community, and guide enhancements to your server.


Setting up your own ARK Dedicated Server can significantly enhance your gameplay experience by giving you full control over the game rules, settings, and environment.

To successfully install and run the server, ensure you meet the necessary system requirements – a suitable CPU, adequate RAM, and sufficient storage, coupled with a stable and high-speed internet connection.

This guide aimed to provide comprehensive insights about dedicated server tips, covering everything from obtaining server software, adjusting key settings to managing mods and plugins.

We hope that with this information, you feel prepared to install, run, and tailor your ARK Dedicated Server, creating a truly personalized gameplay experience. Happy gaming!

Next Steps: What Now?

Further Reading – Useful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I play with my friends on a private ARK dedicated server?

Yes, one of the advantages of having an ARK dedicated server is the ability to play with your friends in a private and controlled environment, fostering a collaborative gaming experience.

How many players can join my ARK dedicated server?

The number of players that can join your ARK dedicated server depends on the hosting package you choose and the capabilities of your machine. Some servers can accommodate dozens of players simultaneously.

Can I host multiple ARK maps on the same dedicated server?

Yes, you can host multiple ARK maps on the same dedicated server, allowing players to explore different worlds and biomes without the need for separate servers.

Is it possible to transfer characters and items between ARK dedicated servers?

Yes, you can enable character and item transfers between different ARK dedicated servers, allowing players to move their progress and belongings seamlessly between servers.

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