Ark – How to Host a Dedicated Server PC

Dear Dev, if you’re looking to create a persistent world for you and your friends in Ark: Survival Evolved, hosting a dedicated server may be the way to go. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps needed to set up and run an Ark dedicated server on your PC. Let’s get started!

1. System Requirements

The first thing you need to check before hosting an Ark dedicated server is whether your PC meets the game’s system requirements. Here’s a quick overview:

Component
Minimum
Recommended
CPU
2 GHz Dual-Core
3 GHz Quad-Core
RAM
8 GB
16 GB
GPU
NVIDIA GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870 or equivalent DirectX 10 card
NVIDIA GTX 980 or AMD Radeon R9 390X or equivalent DirectX 12 card
Storage
60 GB
60 GB SSD

If your PC meets these requirements, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

2. Download and Install SteamCMD

SteamCMD is a command-line tool that allows you to install and update Steam games on dedicated servers. Here’s how to install it:

  1. Download SteamCMD from the official Valve website.
  2. Extract the contents of the downloaded file to a folder on your PC.
  3. Open a terminal or command prompt window and navigate to the folder where you extracted SteamCMD.
  4. Run the steamcmd.exe file.
  5. SteamCMD will update itself and then present you with a SteamCMD prompt.

You’re now ready to use SteamCMD to install and update the Ark dedicated server.

3. Install and Configure the Ark Dedicated Server

With SteamCMD installed, you can now download and install the Ark dedicated server files. Here’s how:

  1. Open the SteamCMD window and log in to your Steam account by typing login your_username and pressing Enter. If you have Steam Guard enabled, you’ll be prompted for a code.
  2. Enter the following command to specify the installation directory for the Ark dedicated server: force_install_dir C:\ark_server (or any other directory of your choosing).
  3. Enter the following command to download and install the server files: app_update 376030 validate (this may take some time depending on your internet connection).
  4. Once the download and installation are complete, navigate to the C:\ark_server\ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsServer folder.
  5. Edit the GameUserSettings.ini file to configure your server settings (we’ll cover this in more detail later).

You now have a basic Ark dedicated server set up on your PC. However, there are several additional steps you can take to optimize and customize your server.

4. Configuring Server Settings

The GameUserSettings.ini file contains various settings that you can tweak to customize your server. Here are some of the most important settings:

Server Settings

These settings control basic server parameters, such as the server name, password, and difficulty:

  • SessionName: The name of your server.
  • Password: An optional password to restrict access to your server.
  • ServerAdminPassword: A password to access admin commands.
  • MaxPlayers: The maximum number of players allowed on the server.
  • DifficultyOffset: The difficulty of the game (0 for easiest, 1 for hardest).

Gameplay Settings

These settings control various gameplay parameters, such as player and dinosaur stats:

  • XPMultiplier: The multiplier for player XP gain.
  • TamingSpeedMultiplier: The multiplier for dinosaur taming speed.
  • DinoCharacterFoodDrainMultiplier: The multiplier for dinosaur hunger rate.
  • BabyMatureSpeedMultiplier: The multiplier for baby dinosaur maturation speed.
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Advanced Settings

These settings control more advanced server parameters, such as server performance and graphics quality:

  • bUseSingleSocket: If set to true, the server will use only one CPU socket (may improve performance on some systems).
  • bUseVSync: If set to false, the server will not use vertical synchronization (may improve performance on some systems).
  • sg.ResolutionQuality: The graphics quality of the game (0 for lowest, 100 for highest).

Once you’ve modified the GameUserSettings.ini file to your liking, save the file and restart your server for the changes to take effect.

5. Port Forwarding

In order for other players to connect to your Ark dedicated server, you’ll need to forward the relevant ports on your router. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to your router’s configuration page (usually located at 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1).
  2. Log in to your router using your username and password.
  3. Find the port forwarding section of your router’s configuration page.
  4. Create a new port forwarding rule for TCP port 7777 and UDP port 7777 (or any other ports you’ve specified in your GameUserSettings.ini file).
  5. Enter your PC’s local IP address as the destination for the port forwarding rule.
  6. Save the port forwarding rule and restart your router.

You’re now ready to invite other players to join your Ark dedicated server!

FAQ

1. Can I run an Ark dedicated server without SteamCMD?

No, SteamCMD is required to download and install the Ark dedicated server files.

2. Can I run an Ark dedicated server on a virtual machine?

While it’s possible to run an Ark dedicated server on a virtual machine, it may not perform as well as running it on a physical machine due to system resource limitations.

3. How do I update my Ark dedicated server?

You can update your Ark dedicated server using SteamCMD by running the app_update 376030 validate command again.

4. How do I join my own Ark dedicated server?

You can join your own Ark dedicated server by opening the game and selecting your server from the server browser (make sure to enter your server’s password if you’ve set one).

5. Can I host an Ark dedicated server on a Raspberry Pi?

While it’s technically possible to host an Ark dedicated server on a Raspberry Pi, it’s not recommended due to the Pi’s limited processing power and memory.

That’s it for our guide on how to host a dedicated server for Ark on your PC. We hope you found this article helpful and that you enjoy your new persistent world in Ark: Survival Evolved!