In this guide you will learn all the details and the requirements needed to create an ARK: Survival Evolved dedicated server on your home computer, VPS or Dedicated Server, either you use Windows or Linux, you will be able to create an ARK dedicated server by following this guide carefully through all the illustrated steps and written instructions.
We cover all the network configuration to help set up your internet router/firewall in order to make your server visible on the servers listing, we will also give you instructions on how to connect to your server and play on it.
This guide also covers everything required to manage your server after creation. You will learn on how to install Steam Workshop Mods and add them to your server, how to update them, how to, modify your server settings from the basic ones like changing the server name, adding a password on the server til the more advanced ones like changing in-game multipliers, XP levels and more.
Sooner or later you will need or want to try out the admin commands and we have got you covered, you can learn how to use admin commands to for spawning dinos, turn god mode on or just fly around, ARK does have a lot of admin commands and we give you the full list of them.
If you are outside of your server and you still want to manage your players, send admin messages or just check whos playing, you can do that using an RCON tool, we will give you full training on how to connect to your server RCON and execute commands on it.
If you have any issues you can search in our troubleshooting section for a possible fix or solution, we cover most important and recurring issues on an ARK dedicated server, you will also want to learn on how to update your server when it’s needed like the Steam Workshop mods when an update it’s released.
We give you some extras also, you will like to have a system to auto restart your server every XXX hours, and backup your world now and ever just to be safe and secure about all the hours you lost grinding in-game.
You can find some external links for more content, ARK hub has a very active community happy to help you in your questions, and official wiki also gives all the details from A to Z about ARK and how to play it.
Please read and follow all the steps carefully one by one, and you will be able to accomplish all the tasks mentioned in this guide without any issue.
(2.1) Prerequisites - Hardware
You will need at least 4GB to 6GB memory RAM minimum, a vanilla ARK dedicated server without any players take around that amount of memory, the maximum memory recommend it’s based on the number of players you will have, the number and type of mods you use and how much you boost and adjust your server settings. We also recommend having a CPU clock at with at last 3.2Ghz for optimal performance, below you can find a table with estimated values on the hardware requires Vs server setup.
SERVER WITHOUT MODS
SERVER WITH MODS
10 - 30
3.0Ghz - 4/6GB
3.0Ghz - 6/8GB
30 - 60
3.0Ghz - 6/8GB
3.2Ghz - 8/10GB
60 - 90
3.2/3.4Ghz - 8/10GB
3.6/3.8Ghz - 10/12GB
4.0Ghz - 12GB
4.0+Ghz - 12+GB
Results are estimated values tested under normal conditions on Windows Server 2012/2016, values may vary between different hardware specifications, O.S. or Linux distributions.
(2.2) Prerequisites - Hardware
To create and manage your ARK dedicated server you will need to download and install certain dependencies for ARK server be able to run, you will also have to download and install some third-party tools in order to easy create and deploy your server. There are some optional applications and tools to help you on this task, find below a list of all required and optional applications and tools and choose the ones you will need and suit better for yourself.
Pre-made scripts used on this guide
(3.1) Windows server - Create server using Steam Client
In this section, you will learn how to easily create an ARK server using Steam client. Download and install Steam client from the (2.b)Prerequisites - Hardware section, once you have it installed on your computer, log in with your steam account or create a new one.
If you follow the steps below one by one carefully and you will have an ARK dedicated server created and working soon you get into the last step.
In your Steam Library, search for ARK: Survival Evolved Dedicated Server under Tools section.
Run the ARK: Survival Evolved Dedicated Server and select which map you want to start the server with one first time to generate all map files.
The server will take a few minutes to fully start depending on your machine hardware, once the server it’s fully started and map files generated you will see a window exaclty like this.
Close the server window to adjust the server name and any other game settings. Right-click on ARK: Survival Evolved Dedicated Server tool, select Properties, inside change to Local Files tab and press the Browse Local Files button.
It will open a Windows Explorer and you will see the root folder/file structure of your server (1) navigate on the folders until you get into this folder: ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsServer\ inside you will see the configuration files (2) edit the GameUserSettings.ini one with your Notepad.
Once you have GameUserSettings.ini file open, scroll down to the bottom and change then SessionName and MaxPlayer as a test, you can do it like the example image below, in the end, close Notepad and Save the file.
Return to your steam, launch the ARK: Survival Evolved Dedicated Server tool with the map desired (STEP 2) wait for the server to fully start (STEP 3) then open your Steam, go to menu View > Servers, and change to Favourites tab, add your server exactly like the image below.
Open ARK game on your Steam, go to Join ARK menu, on the bottom change the Session Filter to Favourites, your server will show up, just double click it to join it. Head over to (5) Firewall and port forwarding section to make your server visible to the public internet.