If you’re looking to set up your own server, it can feel overwhelming. You have all of the information and tools at your fingertips, but you don’t know where to start. This is where our guide comes in—it’s designed to help you build a custom server from scratch without any prior experience. In just a few easy steps, we will show you how to get started with a dedicated server, no matter your level of experience or time commitment. We guarantee that this guide will leave you feeling confident about your choice and capable of taking on any type ofserver challenge.
Ark How to Host a Dedicated Server
ARK server: Hosting on your own PC or renting a server?
Your own “ARK: Survival Evolved” server offers you the possibility to freely design the game world and modes according to your wishes. Unlike playing on a publicly available multiplayer server, you are not bound to the operator’s configurations and rules. You decide for yourself how much PvE and PvP elements should be weighted, who you play with, and when the server is online.
In principle, you can create and host an ARK dedicated server directly on your home computer. With a high-end PC, you theoretically cover the basic hardware requirements. However, the ongoing resource consumption risks regular crashes and lags for you and all other players — even with an excellent Internet connection. In addition, the server does not run when you shut down your device.
If you rent the hardware for your ARK server from a provider, it can run without interruption if necessary, so that the game world is always available online. You can also rely on excellent download and upload capacities that come with the hosting providers’ state-of-the-art data centers.
Working memory (RAM)
What applies to processor performance is equally recommended for the memory of your server setup: the larger and busier the game world is, the more RAM you should plan for. If you plan to use plugins and mods, you will need to add more RAM capacity. As a minimum recommendation for a small “ARK: Survival Evolved” server without extensions, a value of 6 to 8 gigabytes of RAM can be established.
The server requires at least 6GB of RAM to start. Memory requirements increase as the number of connected players increases. This is also dependant on your settings/mods and configurable options. Some mods increase RAM more than others. On Windows Server 2012 R2, the server uses 2.3GB of RAM without any clients. On Linux, the installation uses 3.2GB of RAM without any clients.
The right CPU setup forms the basis for a well-running ARC server. Even for smaller private servers, two physical cores with over 3 GHz are recommended, for example. The larger and busier the world becomes, the more power is advisable. The ARK dedicated server software is basically designed as follows: One core handles the main calculations and one core is responsible for handling the network activities. For this reason, a host system with two physical cores with high CPU performance is recommended to ensure optimal performance, as distributing it over several virtual cores is suboptimal and automatically reduces the performance potential.
The server listens for incoming connections on the ports listed below. Ensure your network configuration allows incoming connections to these ports and directs them to the host that will be running your dedicated server.
|UDP 27015||Query port for Steam’s server browser|
|UDP 7777||Game client port|
|UDP 7778||Raw UDP socket port (always Game client port +1)|
|TCP 27020||RCON for remote console server access (optional)|
You can host multiple dedicated servers on the same host, however be aware that CPU and memory should be monitored carefully if they are busy servers rather than test servers. For example:
|Server instance||Game port||Raw UDP port||Query port||RCON port|
|Server game instance 1||7777||7778||27015||27020|
|Server game instance 2||7779||7780||27016||27021|
|Server game instance 3||7781||7782||27017||27022|
|Server game instance 4|
completely different ports
For the operating system, you can choose between Microsoft (Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016) and Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, OpenSUSE). The server software “SteamCMD”, which you can also use to create other dedicated game servers such as a Rust server, is also available for macOS — but there are always problems when installing it on the Apple system.
The system of your choice also takes up server resources, which you should consider from the start. For example, Windows Server 2016 has the following minimum requirements:
- 1.4 GHz processor (64-bit)
- 512 MB or 2 GB of memory (without or with graphical user interface, respectively)
- 32 GB of hard disk space
If you use the Linux distribution Ubuntu instead, you can orient yourself on the following minimum values (version 20.04):
- 2 GHz processor (64-bit)
- 4 GB of RAM
- 25 GB hard drive space
Port Forwarding and Firewall
For your server to become visible in both the Ark server lists and the Steam lists, do the following:
Windows (Firewall and Allow Rules)
- If you’re on Windows 10, click on Start and search for “wf.msc” without the quotes. Click the “Run as administrator” option.
- Click “Inbound Rules” on the left panel, then click “New Rule…” on the right panel.
- When the New Inbound Rule Wizard opens up, select Port, then Next.
- The wizard will present options for choosing the protocol and specifying ports. Leave the default selection of the TCP protocol and “Specific local ports”. List the ports you plan to forward into the box (default 27020 for RCON). Use a comma to separate multiple ports. Select Next to continue.
- Select “Allow the connection” and continue with the wizard.
- Make sure all of the boxes are selected for where the rule applies.
- Enter a name (required) and a description (optional). It is recommended to append the protocol (TCP or UDP) to the rule name.
- Repeat these steps, but choose UDP on the “Protocol and Ports” page. Make sure to enter your steam browser/query port (27015 default) and game port (7777 default). You also need the raw udp socket port (7778 default, always your game port +1) if using ?bRawSockets.
- When finished, you should have a rule for TCP and a rule for UDP in the Inbound Rules section.
- This section and the port forwarding section go hand in hand.
- Close the advanced firewall window and open Windows Firewall again.
- Click “Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall”. Scroll down to ShooterGame. Make sure all apps named ShooterGame have the Private and Public boxes checked.
- You’re done. If your ports don’t work when you forward them, you can edit your Firewall inbound rules by going back to the advanced tab, selecting the Inbound Rules tab, right-clicking the rules you created, then clicking properties.
ARK: Survival Evolved – Server Tutorial
Once you have access to your ARK server hardware, you can start setting up and configuring the server. The steps for IONOS customers (vServer, Cloud Server, Dedicated Server) are described in the following instructions. In this case, the operating system is Windows Server 2016.
Step 1: Connect to the server (hardware)
To access the rented hardware, the first step is to establish a remote connection to the server. As an IONOS customer, you can conveniently set up this connection via the Cloud Panel. To do this, log in with your customer data in the Login area. Then switch to the “Server & Cloud” section.
Select the server which you want to set up the ARK server on to get an overview of the most important server information and access data. Under the entry “Remote Desktop Connection” you will find, among other things, a download link for setting up remote access, which you should click on:
Windows will open the file with the default choice (Remote Desktop Connection) after you select “OK” in the pop-up window. Confirm the connection attempt, which is still of unknown origin, via “Connect”.
Now the access data for your server will be requested. Click on “More options” and “Use other account” one after the other and finally enter the username and password. If you have not defined any individual credentials for server access so far, you will find these details in the panel under “User” and “Initial password”.
When you connect to your server for the first time, Windows will display a security warning. This is because the server security certificate is not yet trusted. By clicking on “Yes” you agree to the certificate and thus to the remote connection.
Step 2: Install SteamCMD
On the server, you will now install SteamCMD, the command line version of the Steam client that you will later use to obtain the software for your ARK dedicated server. For Windows, you can download the setup files from the following download link.
You want to use Linux as the operating system on your ARK server? In the official forum of the Steam developer Valve you can find detailed instructions for installing SteamCMD on Ubuntu and similar distributions.
After downloading, unzip the zipped file to a directory on your server. Run the unzipped application file then double-click to install the software. Afterwards, the command prompt including the “Steam>” input line will start automatically. If this is not the case, you can also start the tool via steamcmd.exe.
Step 3: Install “ARK: Survival Evolved” server
The first step is to create a directory for your ARK server. In this tutorial we use the directory “C:\ark-server” as an example. The appropriate command is:
After creating the directory, log in to the Steam servers (Steam Public) as an anonymous user:
The last step is to install the ARK dedicated server software. For this you need the Steam app ID (376030) and the following SteamCMD command:
If you want to update the software at a later time, the command “app_update 376030” is sufficient!
Step 4: Open server ports
For your ARK server to be able to communicate with the game clients later, it is necessary to open the corresponding ports for data transmission. Specifically, these are the TCP / UPD ports 7777, 27015, and 27020.
You can also open the ports via the Cloud Panel. Do this by logging in there with your customer data and select the “Server & Cloud” section and your ARK server. In the left side menu, now click on “Network” and “Firewall Policies” one after the other. Select the operating system to open the configuration menu for the port policies. Under the “Incoming” section, generate the entries for the three ports one after the other and according to the following pattern:
- Allowed IP: all (just leave the field blank for this)
- Protocol: TCP/UDP
- Port(s): port number (7777 / 27015 / 27020)
- Description: individual description of the port release
Step 5: Start ARK dedicated server
You have now completed all the necessary steps to be able to start your ARK server. The easiest way to do this is to create a batch file in the subfolder “ShooterGame\Binaries\Win64” with the following content:
Under “SessionName” you enter the desired name for your ARK server instance, your individual server or administrator password you assign after the equal sign of the entries “ServerPassword” or “ServerAdminPassword”.
For a detailed listing of server commands for the startup BAT or configuring the ARK server via command line, see the official ARK: Survival Evolved Wiki.
Double-clicking on the BAT file will then start the server at any time, which will take several minutes, especially the first time you start it.
Step 6: Join ARK server
The server will now run with the default setup selected – until you exit SteamCMD or shut down the server. To join the game world, the following steps are required.
- Launch ARK: Survival Evolved via Steam on your computer.
- Click on “Join ARK”.
- Set the server filter to “Unofficial”.
- Find your ARK server in the listing and click Join.
If your server does not appear in the online server list, you can also add it to your favorites. To do this, click on “View” and “Servers” in the Steam client one after the other. Switch to the “Favorites” tab and type in the IP address of your ARK server with port 27015 appended. Finally, press “Add this address to favorites”:
As soon as the connection is established, you can finally plunge into your exciting ARK adventure.
How to Build a Dedicated Server.
A dedicated server is a computer that is specifically designed for the purpose of hosting web applications and acting as the primary website server. Dedicated servers are often faster and more reliable than shared servers, and they can be used in smaller or even single-server environments.
Subsection 1.2 What is theprocess for Building a Dedicated Server.
The process for building a dedicated server typically involves selecting a provider, choosing an operating system, installing the appropriate software, setting up networking and security protocols, and configuring the server to run only the required applications.
How to Choose the Right Server
When choosing a server, it’s important to consider your needs such as processor speed, storage space, internet connection quality, desired uptime, and other features. Additionally, it’s helpful to research different types of servers (dedicated or shared) in order to find one that meets your specific needs.
How to Use a Dedicated Server.
To get started with a dedicated server, you’ll need to first create an account on the web platform where the server will be located. Once you have an account, follow these simple steps to set up your new server:
1. In order to start your server, first make sure that it is turned on and running properly. You can do this by checking its status in the system tray under System Preferences>Server>.
2. Next, you’ll need to add some basic configuration information about yourserver. For example, you should enable tracing and debugging mode so that you can track issues more easily.
3. Next, create a virtual hard drive (VHD) for your new server and name it after yourself or your company name. You should also create a password for this VHD.
4. Finally, add a network adapter to your new server and configure it according to your network requirements. This will allow communication between your new server and other computers on your local network.
5. Finally, install any necessary software required by theserver such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or later and MySQL 5.6 or higher on the operating system of your choice (Windows 8 or Windows 7).
How to Improve Your Dedicated Server.
In order to improve your server’s efficiency, you will need to optimize it for both performance and security. Optimize your system by adding CPU and memory (if needed), configuring RAID or other storage solutions, and optimizing your web traffic measurement tools. Additionally, make sure your server is connected to the internet and has a stable firewall in place to prevent unauthorized access.
Optimize Your Server for Security
Security is always a top priority when building a dedicated server. To ensure that data and information is safe, configure your server with strong security measures like passwords, firewalls, and anti-virus software. As well, make sure that any applications you use on your server are approved by the software company that provides them. Finally, be sure to keep an eye on online threats and take appropriate precautions against them.
Optimize Your Server for Performance
If you want to achieve high-performance results from your dedicated server, you will need to optimize it for speed and performance achieved through the use of hardware and software upgrades as well as optimization techniques. Speed up the loading time of applications by using fast storage devices such as SSDs or HDDs, reduce the amount of time required for website requests to load, or increase the number of rotations per second (RPM) of your processor. By optimizing these factors, you can achieve significant improvements in speed while also enhancing security.
If you want to run your business successfully from a single location, a dedicated server is the best option. By optimizing your server for efficiency, security, and performance, you can increase your efficiency and make sure that your business is always up and running. By using a dedicated server to serve your business, you can improve its performance and ensure that it runs smoothly.