How to Make a Dedicated Server in ARK: Survival Ascended

Playing ARK is fun by yourself, but creating a server and inviting a few friends to tag along for the adventure makes the game even better. Here’s how to make a dedicated server in ARK: Survival Ascended.


Installing and setting up your own server requires modifying game files – Proceed at your own risk!

How to Make a Dedicated Server in ARK: Survival Ascended

There are multiple ways to create a dedicated server in ARK: Survival Ascended:

  1. Purchase a paid subscription package from services like Nitrado ARK: Survival Ascended server hosting.
  2. Use Steam to create a privately owned dedicated server using a second account.

If you want a relatively quick and easy approach, spending some money to buy a host allows you to get a server quickly without changing any game files. However, if you wish to save money or want the server for an occasional party with friends, you’ll have to dive into your ARK directory and change some files.

Purchasing a Dedicated Server

The quickest way to get a dedicated server running is by purchasing a hosting package through sites like Nitrado. Each of the three most popular packages includes the following features

  • Crossplay for consoles and Windows
  • Integrated CurseForge Mod management with Crossplay Mods
  • Automated Server backups
  • DDoS protection

You can also create a configuration to include up to 200 player slots or run for up to one year. The site allows you to prepay for a specified time or use a subscription to renew your purchase automatically.

How to Set Up an ARK Survival Ascended Server

  • Step 1: Begin by opening the ports.
  • Step 2: Proceed to install the necessary files.
  • Step 3: Configure your ARK: Survival Ascended server according to your preferences.
  • Step 4: Start the server.
  • Step 5: Establish a connection to your ARK: Survival Ascended server.

System Requirements for Hosting an ARK: Survival Ascended Server

Before embarking on the setup of your dedicated server for ARK: Survival Ascended, ensure that your system meets the following specifications:

  1. CPU: To effectively host your ARK: Survival Ascended server, a robust processor is required. This entails having a processor with a minimum of four cores.
  2. RAM: Given the memory-intensive nature of ARK: Survival Ascended, your server should be equipped with an ample amount of RAM. A minimum of 16 GB is necessary for optimal server performance.
  3. Disk space: To accommodate both game data and the server’s operating system, a substantial amount of disk space is essential. Plan for at least 200 GB of storage.
  4. Bandwidth: A stable internet connection with good speed is crucial for a seamless multiplayer gaming experience.
  5. Operating system: If you opt for running your server on Windows, you’ll need to choose a compatible version. Since ARK: Survival Ascended utilizes the Unreal 5 Engine, it is recommended to use Windows Server 2019 or a newer operating system version.

Creating a Dedicated ARK: Survival Ascended Server Through Steam

Alternatively, if you wish to save some money and run the server yourself, you can head into your game files and create one. However, this is only available for those with a 64-bit Windows OS. You’ll also need around 8-10GB of drive space to support server installation, player profiles, mods, and future updates, and upwards of 32GB of RAM for it to run properly.

Below is a quick summary of how to run a dedicated ARK: Survival Ascended server, as detailed by various community guides and comments:

  • Make sure you have enough disk space, RAM, and other recommended specs to run both ARK and the server.
  • Install SteamCMD on your PC and follow the initial installation instructions.
  • Use your Steam ID and ASA’s App ID to modify the SteamCMD installation command
  • Create a name for your server and use your ASA Dedicated Server address to start the server.

While this method typically requires multiple Steam accounts to work, you can also set your Steam client offline so you stay logged in, don’t get a prompt to log out, and can manage the server on one system.

You can also modify your server settings through your GameUserSettings.ini, which you can access by heading to steamapps > common > ARK Survival Ascended > ShooterGame > Saved > Config > Windows.

In other words, making your own dedicated server in ARK: Survival Ascended without buying a host is a lot of work, but at least you’ll save some money.

If you want to experiment in your game, check out our list of all console commands for ARK: Survival Ascended, or click the tag below to explore our growing article collection.

About the Author

Madison Benson

Madison is a staff writer at Prima Games who has played video games for over twenty years and written about them for over two years. Her love for video games started with turn-based strategy games like Heroes of Might and Magic and has since extended to casual farming sims, MMORPGs, and action-adventure RPGs.

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