How to Host Unofficial PC Ark Server

Hello Dev, welcome to our guide on hosting an unofficial PC Ark server. In this article, we will cover the step-by-step process of setting up a server for Ark: Survival Evolved game. With our comprehensive guide, you will be able to create your own server with ease and enjoy the game with your friends.

What is Ark: Survival Evolved?

Before we dive into the details of hosting a server, let’s take a moment to understand what Ark: Survival Evolved is all about. It is a popular survival game where players take on the role of a survivor who is stranded on an island filled with prehistoric creatures. The game offers a unique blend of survival, exploration, and crafting elements that make it both challenging and entertaining.

The game is available on various platforms, including PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. However, in this guide, we will focus on hosting a server for PC players.

System Requirements

Before you start hosting an Ark server, it is essential to ensure that your system meets the minimum requirements. Here are the recommended system specifications:

Minimum System Requirements
Recommended System Specifications
Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit versions)
Windows 10 (64-bit versions)
Intel Core i5-2400/AMD FX-8320 or better
Intel Core i7-4770/AMD FX-8350 or better
NVIDIA GTX 670 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or better
NVIDIA GTX 970 4GB/AMD Radeon R9 390 8GB or better

Step-by-Step Guide to Host an Unofficial PC Ark Server

Step 1: Download and Install Steam

The first step is to download and install Steam on your computer. You can download the Steam client from the official website (

If you already have Steam installed, you can skip this step and move on to the next one.

Step 2: Purchase and Install Ark: Survival Evolved

Once you have installed Steam, the next step is to purchase and install Ark: Survival Evolved. You can purchase the game from the Steam store (

After you have purchased the game, wait for it to download and install on your computer.

Step 3: Create a SteamCMD Folder

The next step is to create a SteamCMD folder on your computer. SteamCMD is a command-line utility that is used to download and install dedicated game server files.

Here are the steps to create a SteamCMD folder:

  1. Open File Explorer and create a new folder in any directory.
  2. Right-click on the folder and select “Rename”.
  3. Enter the name “SteamCMD” and press Enter.

Step 4: Download and Install SteamCMD

After you have created the SteamCMD folder, the next step is to download and install SteamCMD.

Here are the steps to download and install SteamCMD:

  1. Go to the official SteamCMD website ( and download the latest version of SteamCMD.
  2. Once the download is complete, extract the contents of the ZIP file to the SteamCMD folder that you created in the previous step.

Step 5: Create a Server Folder

After you have installed SteamCMD, the next step is to create a server folder where the server files will be stored.

Here are the steps to create a server folder:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the SteamCMD folder.
  2. Create a new folder and name it “ArkServer”.

Step 6: Configure the Server Settings

Before you can start the server, you need to configure the server settings. You can do this by editing the GameUserSettings.ini file.

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Here are the steps to configure the server settings:

  1. Navigate to the following folder: ArkServer/ShooterGame/Saved/Config/WindowsServer/
  2. Open the GameUserSettings.ini file in a text editor like Notepad or Notepad++.
  3. Edit the following settings:
    • ServerName = Your server name
    • ServerPassword = Your server password (optional)
    • ServerAdminPassword = Your server admin password
    • MaxPlayers = Maximum number of players that can join the server
  4. Save the file and exit the text editor.

Step 7: Start the Server

After you have configured the server settings, the final step is to start the server.

Here are the steps to start the server:

  1. Open SteamCMD by double-clicking on the “steamcmd.exe” file in the SteamCMD folder.
  2. Enter the following command to log in to your Steam account:
  3. login anonymous

  4. Enter the following command to set the installation directory to the ArkServer folder:
  5. force_install_dir C:\SteamCMD\ArkServer

    Note: Replace “C:\SteamCMD\” with the directory where you installed SteamCMD.

  6. Enter the following command to install the server files:
  7. app_update 376030 validate

  8. Enter the following command to start the server:
  9. ShooterGameServer.exe TheIsland?listen?SessionName=YourSessionName -server -log

    Note: Replace “YourSessionName” with the session name you want to use.

    Note: You can also change “TheIsland” to any other map if you want.

  10. Wait for the server to start. It may take a few minutes.


Q1. Can I host an Ark server on a virtual private server (VPS)?

Yes, you can host an Ark server on a VPS. However, make sure that the VPS meets the minimum system requirements for the game. Also, keep in mind that hosting a server on a VPS may require some additional configuration.

Q2. How many players can join my Ark server?

The maximum number of players that can join your server depends on the server hardware and configuration. By default, the game supports a maximum of 70 players. However, you can increase or decrease this number by editing the MaxPlayers setting in the GameUserSettings.ini file.

Q3. How do I join my own server?

To join your own server, follow these steps:

  1. Open Ark: Survival Evolved on your computer.
  2. Click on “Join Ark” from the main menu.
  3. Search for your server by entering the IP address in the search bar.
  4. Click on “Join” to connect to your server.

Q4. How do I add mods to my server?

To add mods to your server, follow these steps:

  1. Download the mod files from the Steam workshop or any other source.
  2. Extract the mod files to the following folder: ArkServer/ShooterGame/Content/Mods/
  3. Add the mod ID to the ActiveMods setting in the GameUserSettings.ini file.
  4. Restart the server for the changes to take effect.

Q5. How can I backup my server data?

To backup your server data, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the following folder: ArkServer/ShooterGame/Saved/SavedArks
  2. Copy the contents of the folder to a backup location.

Congratulations, Dev! You have successfully hosted an unofficial PC Ark server. We hope this guide was helpful to you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.