How To Setup An ARK Survival Evolved Game Server

How To Setup An ARK Survival Evolved Game Server

Setting up an ARK: Survival Evolved game server can be an exciting project! I'll guide you through the process step by step. Keep in mind that hosting a game server requires some technical knowledge, but don't worry, I'm here to help you through it.


  1. A Good Computer or Dedicated Server: You need a computer with enough processing power and memory. The requirements vary based on the number of players and the server settings. As a general rule, a quad-core processor and 6GB of RAM should be your minimum for a small server.
  2. Stable, High-Speed Internet Connection: For a smooth gaming experience, a fast and stable internet connection is essential.
  3. ARK: Survival Evolved Server Files: You'll download these from Steam.
  4. Windows or Linux Operating System: Servers can run on both, but Windows is often easier for beginners.

Steps for Windows

  1. SteamCMD Installation:
    • Download SteamCMD for Windows from the Steam website.
    • Extract the contents to a folder, e.g., C:\steamcmd.
    • Run steamcmd.exe to update it.
  2. Installing Server Files:
    • In SteamCMD, log in to your Steam account using login <username>.
    • Create a directory for ARK, e.g., C:\ark-server.
    • Use the command force_install_dir C:\ark-server\ to set the directory.
    • Install the server files with app_update 376030 validate.
    • Exit SteamCMD after the download.
  3. Configuring Your Server:
    • In the server folder, find ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsServer.
    • Edit GameUserSettings.ini and Game.ini to configure your server settings (rules, gameplay settings, etc.).
    • You can find templates and explanations for these settings online.
  4. Launching the Server:
    • Create a batch file in your server folder to start the server with the desired settings.
    • Example: start ShooterGameServer.exe "TheIsland?Listen?SessionName=YourServerName?ServerPassword=YourPassword?ServerAdminPassword=YourAdminPassword?MaxPlayers=10?QueryPort=27015?RCONPort=27020?RCONEnabled=True -NoTransferFromFiltering -clusterid=YourClusterID -log -server -UseBattlEye"
    • Adjust the command line with your preferred settings and map.
  5. Port Forwarding:
    • Forward ports 27015 and 7777 (UDP) in your router to allow players to connect to your server.
    • The process varies depending on your router.
  6. Running the Server:
    • Run the batch file to start the server.
    • Check if the server appears in the ARK server list or connect via the direct IP address.

Steps for Linux

The process is similar, but you'll use a Linux terminal and slightly different commands. Make sure to have wine or a similar compatibility layer installed if running on a non-Windows dedicated server.

Testing and Maintenance

  • Test Connection: Try connecting to the server yourself or ask a friend to attempt a connection.
  • Regular Updates: Regularly update the server files via SteamCMD.
  • Backups: Regularly backup your server files, especially SavedArks folder for game progress.

Additional Tips

  • Community Forums: ARK community forums and Reddit are great places to get specific advice and configurations.
  • Security: Ensure your server and network are secure. Running a server can expose your network to certain risks.
  • Mods: If you want mods on your server, they can be managed through the GameUserSettings.ini file.

Setting up a ARK Survival Evolved server might seem daunting at first, but it's quite rewarding once you get it running. If you encounter any specific issues or need clarification on any of the steps, feel free to ask!

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