Articles on: First Steps

First Steps for your ARK: Survival Evolved game server

Thank you for choosing us for your ARK: Survival Evolved game server!

This article will explain common questions to help you get started, it covers:

Updating the server
Configuring the server
Changing the map (including changing to a DLC map)
Installing mods
Installing ARK Server API plugins
Joining the server
Common troubleshooting (issue resolution) tips

How do I update the server

Simply make sure the server is stopped, then click the Steam update button in the control panel on the game server you want to update.

Please note, the version shown in the control panel will not update until the server has been online and had time to query the version. After update, you should start the server and wait for startup as normal, then check in Steam server browser (as explained in how to connect below)

How do I configure the server

For ARK, there are three main places to configure settings, ARK: Survival Evolved is very editable, with many different settings, there are other files too, but we'll just cover the main ones here as you dont often need the others. Don't feel overwhelmed, you can simply leave them all default if you wish.

Command Line

Sow how do I edit these?

After logging into the control panel with the details in the email:

Click Game Services on the left hand side, then if you have more than one server, select the server you want to edit, otherwise you'll be directed to the one you have.

Click Configuration Files

In here, are the GameUserSettings.ini and the Game.ini

Click the Configuration Editor next to the file you want to edit on the right hand side.

You'll then be able to make the changes you want in these 2 files.

For the Command Line, see here: How to Configure ARK: Survival Evolved Command Line

Different settings are set in different files or the command line, so please check them all for the setting you're looking for. You can view this page for all available vanilla ark settings.

If you've checked all three places and you cant find a setting, you can either contact us. for it to be added, or add it manually via the text editor for the files, or the extra settings box for the command line. If you do this, you must not save in the game configuration as you'll override your manual settings

Changing the map

Follow this article: How to Configure ARK: Survival Evolved Command Line

You'll see in the Command Line editor at the top, an option to change the map your server runs on.

See below for map mods

How do I install Steam Workshop mods

As of 11th June 2020, Epic games version of ARK does not support mods, this may change in the future

We explain this in this article: Automatic Mod Installation and Update for ARK: Survival Evolved

It includes how to install map mods

You can also install mods using our workshop browser. Use only one method at all times to prevent issues.

How do I install ARK Server API plugins

When in the control panel as explained at the beginning of the "How do i configure the server" above

This time, click the "Mod Manager"

Here you will see a section of every free ARK Server API plugin's available for one click install

If there's some missing, or you have a paid plugin that needs installing, just contact us.

Simply make sure the server is stopped, then click Install for ARK API Core V2.9 *REQUIRED FOR ALL ARK Server API Plugins, you must do this first!

Then you can freely install any of the other plugins that you wish.

Some plugins may not work with other plugins installed, if you have issues with a specific plugin, please contact the support for that plugin.

How do I join the server?

The best way is via Steam favourites:

In Steam, click View > Servers

Then the Favourites tab

Then click the "Add a server" button

Enter the Steam Connection Info of your server (as shown in the control panel) into the "Add a server" box.

Click "Add this address to favourites"

Click "Refresh" You must refresh even if you see your server already

You will then see your server and you can select it and click Connect. We recommend opening ARK before clicking join.


When I try and do something it says its Processing

This means the server is still installing and updating after your order, it can also happen if its installing something from the Mod Manager, please wait and once its you'll be able to use the server as normal. If its still doing it after 30 mins, its possible its stuck, in which case, contact us.

Sometimes if the Steam network is being slow or the server is busy, it can slow down the update process which is why servers sometimes take longer to setup, we want to make sure you have a ready to join server which is why the update is done after order.

Server not showing up in-game,

We have an article that explains this here: My server is not showing in the ARK: Survival Evolved server list

I set settings in the configuration files but they've been wiped.

There are 4 possible reasons for this

You forgot to click save

There was a configuration error, such as a special character where it shouldn't be, or something else that ARK didn't "like" and therefore removed it. You should try adding the settings in groups, so if it wipes after one group, it can help you find which is done wrong. You can also look here for the correct code/way to set the setting, and where it goes, if doing it manually

The server was online. Although many times its ok to do it whilst its online, we always recommend doing it when the server is stopped, to remove the chance of it not being able to save because the file is in use

You set the settings manually in the file via the text editor or through FTP, then saved in the game configuration.

Doing this will be fine for settings that are already there, but if you add extra settings manually, it will override them. If you set mod settings etc in the file manually, you must edit only via the text editor. (or paste the extra settings back in after) All vanilla settings should be changeable via the three possible places explained above in "How do i configure the server".

If you have any issues, we're here to help, contact us.

Updated on: 31/08/2021

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