Playing ARK on your own dedicated server

Can you play ARK on your own dedicated server?

ARK: Survival Evolved is an action-adventure survival video game that has gained immense popularity since its release in 2015. The game takes place on a mysterious island filled with dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. With its stunning graphics, vast open world, and challenging gameplay, ARK has captivated gamers around the world.

While playing ARK on public servers can be enjoyable, many players prefer the freedom and customization options offered by playing on their own dedicated server. Setting up a dedicated server allows you to have full control over the game settings, mods, and even the player community. Whether you want to play alone or with a group of friends, having your own dedicated server can greatly enhance your ARK experience.

Setting up a dedicated server for ARK may seem complex, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be a straightforward process. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to set up and manage your own dedicated server, from choosing the right hardware and software to configuring game settings and security measures. We’ll also explore the benefits of playing on a dedicated server, including increased performance, privacy, and the ability to create a unique gameplay experience.

So, if you’re ready to take your ARK experience to the next level, join us as we delve into the world of dedicated servers and discover everything you need to know to play ARK on your own server.

Why Choose a Dedicated Server for Playing ARK?

When it comes to playing ARK: Survival Evolved, choosing a dedicated server has several advantages over other hosting options. Whether you’re playing solo or with a group of friends, having a dedicated server offers more control and flexibility, enhancing your overall gaming experience.

1. Increased Performance:

A dedicated server ensures that your gameplay experience is smooth and uninterrupted. With dedicated resources, you won’t have to worry about lag or latency issues that can occur when playing on a shared server. The server’s resources are solely allocated for your gameplay, providing higher performance and reducing any potential network-related problems.

2. Customization Options:

Having a dedicated server allows you to customize your gameplay environment according to your preferences. You have the flexibility to modify server settings, such as player caps, PvP rules, resource rates, and server events. This level of customization gives you control over your gameplay experience and lets you tailor it to your specific requirements.

3. Privacy and Security:

A dedicated server offers enhanced privacy and security compared to public servers or hosting on your local machine. Since you have complete control over the server, you can implement additional security measures, such as password protection and firewall rules, ensuring that only authorized players have access. This helps protect your progress and prevents unwanted disruptions from other players or malicious attacks.

4. Flexibility for Modding:

ARK: Survival Evolved has a vibrant modding community, and having a dedicated server provides the flexibility to easily install and manage mods. You can choose from a wide range of mods created by the community to enhance your gameplay experience, adding new features, creatures, or even completely changing the game mechanics. Modding creates endless possibilities for unique gameplay, and a dedicated server simplifies the process of integrating and managing mods.

5. Community and Collaboration:

A dedicated server is an excellent choice if you want to create a community or play with a group of friends. You can invite others to join your server, fostering collaboration, competition, or cooperative gameplay. Since you have full control over the server, you can establish rules and guidelines for the community, ensuring an enjoyable and fair gaming environment for all players.

In conclusion, choosing a dedicated server for playing ARK: Survival Evolved offers numerous benefits such as increased performance, customization options, privacy and security, flexibility for modding, and the ability to build a community. With these advantages, you can fully immerse yourself in the game, creating an optimal gaming experience.

How to Set Up Your Own Dedicated Server for ARK

Setting up your own dedicated server for ARK: Survival Evolved can give you more control over your gaming experience. Here are the steps to get started:

  1. Check System Requirements: Before setting up the server, make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements to host a dedicated server. These requirements include a powerful CPU, sufficient RAM, and a fast internet connection.
  2. Download and Install ARK Dedicated Server: Visit the official ARK website to download the ARK Dedicated Server software. Once downloaded, run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to install the server software on your computer.
  3. Configure Server Settings: Once the server software is installed, you’ll need to configure the server settings. This includes specifying the server name, password, map, and other gameplay options. You can access the server configuration through the server’s command line or by editing the server configuration files directly.
  4. Open Necessary Ports: To allow other players to connect to your dedicated server, you’ll need to open the necessary ports on your router or firewall. The default port for ARK is 7777, but you may need to open additional ports depending on the specific requirements of your server. Consult your router or firewall’s documentation for instructions on how to open ports.
  5. Start the Server: Once the server is configured and the necessary ports are open, you’re ready to start the server. Launch the dedicated server software and wait for it to load. You should see the server console displaying relevant information about the server’s status.
  6. Invite and Connect: To join your dedicated server, other players will need to know your server’s IP address. Share your IP address with them, and they can connect to your server using the ARK game client by entering the IP address and the server’s password (if applicable).
  7. Manage and Administer: As the server owner, you have administrative privileges to manage and administer your dedicated server. You can set server rules, monitor player activity, and even ban disruptive players if necessary.

Setting up your own dedicated server for ARK allows you to have more control over your gaming experience. Enjoy playing with your friends and customizing your ARK world on your dedicated server!

Benefits of Playing ARK on a Dedicated Server

There are several benefits that come with playing ARK on a dedicated server:

  • Improved Performance: Dedicated servers offer better performance compared to playing on a shared server or using peer-to-peer connections. This means smoother gameplay, reduced lag, and faster loading times.
  • Increased Stability: With a dedicated server, you have control over the server environment, which means you can optimize it for stability. This helps reduce crashes, disconnections, and other technical issues.
  • Customizability: A dedicated server allows you to customize various aspects of the game to your liking. You can adjust settings such as server rules, game mechanics, and mods, providing a more tailored gameplay experience.
  • Better Security: Dedicated servers offer better security compared to playing on public servers. You have more control over the server environment, including who can access it, reducing the risk of hacks or unauthorized access.
  • Flexible Playstyle: With a dedicated server, you have the freedom to play the game the way you want. You can invite friends, create private communities, or establish specific gameplay rules. This flexibility allows for a more personalized gaming experience.
  • Scalability: Dedicated servers can easily handle larger player populations, allowing for more players to join your game. This is especially beneficial for community servers or events where you want to accommodate a larger number of players.
  • Reliability: Unlike hosting a server on your own machine, dedicated servers offer a more reliable connection and uptime. This ensures that your game is always accessible and eliminates interruptions caused by network issues or system maintenance.

Overall, utilizing a dedicated server for playing ARK provides an enhanced gaming experience with improved performance, stability, customizability, security, and flexibility.

Technical Requirements for Hosting an ARK Server

To host your own dedicated ARK server, you will need to ensure that your hardware meets the minimum system requirements. The technical requirements for hosting an ARK server are as follows:

  • Operating System: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit) or Linux Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS or later
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2400/AMD FX-8320 or better
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM or more
  • Storage: 20 GB free disk space or more
  • Internet Connection: Broadband internet connection with at least 10 Mbps upload/download speed
  • Network: Wired Ethernet connection is highly recommended for better performance and stability

Additionally, it is important to consider the following factors:

  1. Server Hardware: The server hardware should be capable of handling the necessary processing power and memory requirements of the ARK server. Consider using a dedicated server or a high-performance gaming PC.
  2. Server Software: You will need to install specific server software to run the ARK server. Popular options include SteamCMD, ARK Server Manager, and ASM (ARK Server Manager).
  3. Firewall and Port Forwarding: Ensure that your firewall settings allow incoming connections to the ARK server port (default is 27015) and that you have properly set up port forwarding on your router.
  4. Server Administration: Familiarize yourself with server administration tasks, such as user management, configuration settings, and server updates, to effectively manage your ARK server.

By meeting these technical requirements and following the necessary steps to set up and manage your ARK server, you can create an enjoyable gaming experience for yourself and your friends.

Best Practices for Optimizing Your ARK Server Performance

Optimizing your ARK server performance is crucial to ensure smooth gameplay and prevent lag or crashes. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Choose a powerful server: Selecting a high-performance server with sufficient resources, such as CPU, RAM, and storage, is essential for smooth ARK gameplay.
  • Regularly update your server software: Keep your ARK server software up to date to benefit from bug fixes, optimizations, and new features.
  • Limit the number of mods: Mods can significantly impact server performance. Choose the essential mods and avoid excessive use to minimize the strain on your server.
  • Optimize server settings: Fine-tune your server settings to strike a balance between performance and game experience. Experiment with options such as player count, resource respawn rates, and taming speed.
  • Monitor and adjust server resource allocation: Keep an eye on server resource utilization and adjust CPU, RAM, and disk allocation as needed. Ensure your server is not running at maximum capacity to avoid performance issues.
  • Regularly restart your server: Restarting your ARK server on a regular basis helps clear out memory and resolves potential issues that might impact performance.
  • Optimize network connection: Maintain a stable and high-speed internet connection for your server. Consider using a dedicated network connection or prioritize network traffic to ensure smooth gameplay.
  • Enable auto-save features: Use the auto-save features of your ARK server to prevent data loss and mitigate the impact of sudden crashes or restarts.
  • Backup server data regularly: Regularly backup your server data to protect against data loss and facilitate quick recovery in case of any issues.
  • Utilize server-specific optimization tools: Explore server-specific optimization tools and plugins that can further enhance your ARK server performance.

By following these best practices, you can ensure optimal performance for your ARK server and provide an enjoyable gaming experience for you and your players.

Managing and Administering Your ARK Dedicated Server

Once you have set up your own dedicated server for ARK, it’s important to know how to manage and administer it effectively. This will allow you to customize your server settings, control player access, and address any issues that may arise.

Server Console

The server console is a powerful tool that allows you to interact with your ARK server directly. You can access the server console through the game’s main menu or by using remote administration tools.

  • Managing Server Settings: The server console allows you to change various server settings, such as the server name, difficulty level, taming speed, and resource respawn rate. You can customize these settings to create a unique gameplay experience for your players.
  • Controlling Player Access: With the server console, you can manage player access by banning or whitelisting specific players or IP addresses. This ensures that only approved players can join your server.
  • Monitoring Server Performance: The server console provides real-time information on server performance, including CPU and memory usage. This allows you to identify any performance issues and take appropriate actions to optimize server performance.

Server Configuration Files

Server Configuration Files

ARK dedicated servers use configuration files to specify various server settings. These files are typically located in the server’s installation directory and can be edited using a text editor.

  • GameUserSettings.ini: This file contains general server settings, such as the server name, player options, and resource respawn rates. You can modify these settings to suit your preferences.
  • Engine.ini: This file controls advanced server settings, such as network optimization, server performance, and Unreal Engine settings. It is recommended to only modify this file if you have a good understanding of its contents.
  • Game.ini: This file allows you to customize the gameplay experience by adjusting various settings, including player stats, dino spawn rates, and engram points. Careful tweaking of these settings can create unique gameplay scenarios.

Server Administration Tools

In addition to the server console and configuration files, there are several third-party tools available to help you manage and administer your ARK dedicated server more efficiently.

  • ARK Server Manager: This tool provides a user-friendly interface for managing multiple ARK servers. It allows you to easily start, stop, and update servers, as well as monitor server performance and player activity.
  • RCON Tools: Remote administration tools, such as ARKON and BattlEye RCON, enable you to manage your server remotely. You can use these tools to send commands, monitor player activity, and access the server console from a separate device.
  • Modding Tools: If you want to enhance your server with mods, there are several modding tools available, such as the ARK Dev Kit and Steam Workshop. These tools allow you to create and install custom mods that can add new gameplay features or improve server performance.

Regular Maintenance and Updates

To ensure smooth operation of your ARK dedicated server, it’s important to perform regular maintenance and updates.

  • Server Backups: Regularly backup your server files, including configuration files and saved games, to prevent data loss in case of server failure or corruption.
  • Server Updates: Keep your server up to date by regularly installing official game updates and patches. These updates often include bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • Mod Updates: If you use mods on your server, make sure to keep them updated regularly. Mod updates may fix compatibility issues or introduce new features.

By effectively managing and administering your ARK dedicated server, you can create a customized gameplay experience for your players and ensure the smooth operation of your server.

Expanding Your ARK Server Community

Creating and maintaining a vibrant and active community is key to the success of your ARK server. Here are some tips to help you expand your server community:

  1. Promote your server: Spread the word about your server on ARK forums, social media platforms, and gaming communities. Provide a brief description of your server and its unique features to attract potential players.
  2. Host events: Organize in-game events such as PvP tournaments, scavenger hunts, or boss battles. These events can bring your community together and attract new players who are looking for an engaging experience.
  3. Create a Discord server: Discord is a popular platform for gaming communities. Create a server dedicated to your ARK server and encourage players to join. Use this platform to communicate with your community, share updates, and organize events.
  4. Offer incentives: Provide rewards or incentives to encourage players to invite their friends to join the server. This can be in the form of in-game items, special privileges, or exclusive events for those who bring in new players.
  5. Establish rules and guidelines: Clearly define the rules and guidelines for your server. This will help create a friendly and inclusive environment for all players and prevent any potential conflicts or issues.

Remember to interact with your community regularly, listen to their feedback and suggestions, and address any concerns promptly. Building a strong and supportive community will not only attract new players but also help retain existing ones, making your ARK server a thriving and enjoyable place to play.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with ARK Dedicated Servers

Running an ARK dedicated server can sometimes come with its fair share of issues. Here are some common problems you may encounter and their possible solutions:

  • Server not appearing in the server list

    • Make sure that the port forwarding on your router is correctly set up for the server’s port (default is 27015).
    • Check that the server IP and port are correctly specified in the server’s configuration files.
  • Connection timeout when trying to join the server

    • Verify that the server is running and not experiencing any hardware or network issues.
    • Ensure that both the server and your client are using the same version of ARK.
    • Check that any firewall or antivirus software isn’t blocking the server’s port.
  • Lag or server performance issues

    • Check the server’s hardware specifications and make sure they meet the minimum requirements for running ARK.
    • Reduce the number of active mods or plugins running on the server, as they can impact performance.
    • Consider upgrading your server’s internet connection if you have multiple players experiencing lag.
  • Crashes or server instability

    • Update the server to the latest version and ensure that any mods or plugins are also updated.
    • Check the server’s logs for any error messages that could indicate the cause of the crashes.
    • Make sure that the server’s hardware is stable and not overheating.
  • Admin commands not working

    • Double-check that you have the necessary administrative permissions to use the commands.
    • Ensure that the commands are being entered correctly and with the proper syntax.
    • Restart the server and try again to see if the issue persists.

If you’re still experiencing issues with your ARK dedicated server after trying these troubleshooting steps, it may be helpful to seek assistance from the ARK community forums or official support channels.


How can I play ARK on my own dedicated server?

To play ARK on your own dedicated server, you will first need to set up a server on your computer or rent one from a hosting provider. You can then configure the server settings, including the map, player limit, and server rules. Once the server is up and running, you and your friends can connect to it and start playing ARK together.

What are the benefits of playing on a dedicated server?

Playing on a dedicated server offers several advantages. Firstly, you have full control over the server settings, allowing you to customize the gameplay experience. Secondly, dedicated servers are more stable and reliable compared to playing on a player-hosted server. Lastly, dedicated servers can support more players, allowing for larger multiplayer experiences.

Can I run a dedicated server on my own computer?

Yes, you can run a dedicated server on your own computer. However, keep in mind that running a server requires a significant amount of resources, so make sure your computer meets the minimum requirements. Additionally, hosting a server on your own computer may impact your internet connection and overall system performance.

Which hosting provider would you recommend for renting an ARK dedicated server?

There are several hosting providers that offer ARK dedicated servers, so the best choice depends on your specific needs and budget. Some popular options include Nitrado, Survival Servers, and GTXGaming. It’s recommended to compare the features, pricing, and customer reviews of different providers before making a decision.

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