Ark: Survival-Evolved

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Ark: Survival-Evolved
Ark-Survival-Evolved-Scorched-Earth.jpg Ark: Survival Evolved is an action-adventure survival game set in an open world environment with a dynamic day-night cycle and played either from a third-person or first-person perspective. To survive, players must establish a base, with a fire and weapons; additional activities, such as taming and feeding dinosaurs, require more resources


     Steam-Windows, Steam-Linux and Steam-Mac - These 3 "can" play together on Steam only.
     PS4 - only with other PS versions
     Xbox - only with other Xbox versions. 
               Note that the Microsoft "Windows 10" version (not Steam) is the Xbox version and so can play with Xbox.
General Help Server Admin Info
Noob.png * Noobs Admin.png * Make Yourself Admin Info.png * Configuration Files
Struplus.jpg * Homestead Update and Structures+ Wrench.png * Modding your Server Arkmap.jpg * Changing Maps
Question.png * How do I Connect To My Server Cmdlinemgr.png * Custom Commandline Important.png * Epic Game Store Release
Info.png * Game Tips Backup.png * Backup and Restore


Do's Dont's
  • When Ark releases a new client update, you need to update your server or you may not be able to connect. We do not update your servers automatically.
    Your server may not show up in the in-game server list, if the versions are out of sync or not sufficiently close enough in version numbers to be acceptable tot eh Ark client.
  • DO NOT PANIC!! When using the -automanagedmods commandline option, it may take a while for your server to be reachable after it starts.
    The server needs to do its checks for mod(s) updates and if you have added mods, it needs to download them. The bigger the mod, the longer the startup time!!!
  • If you are going to use a Map mod, it MUST be the first ModID on the ActiveMods= line.
  • If you have mods on your server and a player connects, if the mod is larger than 450MB in size, they may get a Timeout message when downloading the mod.
  • When adding Steam Workshop ModID's to the configuration, make sure you format the line correctly
    Active Mods (IDs):123456789, 987654321 IS NOT THE SAME AS Active Mods (IDs): 123456789,987654321 and/or
    ActiveMods=123456789, 987654321 IS NOT THE SAME AS ActiveMods=123456789,987654321
    The space after the comma will cause your server to look no further on the line for any mods.
    The trailing comma will make the server think there is more
    • The GameUserSettings.ini file contains the basic server configuration options and is pre-populated with the most common default values.
    • The Game.ini file is for more advanced server configuration options. We leave it blank by default.
      Things that go in the Game.ini PlayerBaseStatMultipliers, NPCReplacements, Creature Spawn related items, Engram Entries, etc
      For more details on what can be added see the Official Ark Wiki
  • ** DO NOT ** put options/variables meant for the Game.ini file into your GameUserSettings.ini file.
    This will prevent your server from starting correctly and you will not be able to reach it until the correction is made and the server restarted.
    Frequently found in the GameUserSettings.ini file:
    AllowIntegratedSPlusStructures=True (GameUserSettings.ini)
    StructurePickupHoldDuration=0.5 (GameUserSettings.ini)
    PlatformSaddleBuildAreaBoundsMultiplier=1.000000 (GameUserSettings.ini)
    DisableWeatherFog=off (GameUserSettings.ini)
    ItemStackSizeMultiplier=10.000000 (Game.ini NOT GameUserSettings.ini)
    MatingIntervalMultiplier=0.1 (Game.ini NOT GameUserSettings.ini)
    EggHatchSpeedMultiplier=40.000000 (Game.ini NOT GameUserSettings.ini)
    BabyMatureSpeedMultiplier=50.000000 (Game.ini NOT GameUserSettings.ini)
    This is because people will copy example text we have posted on our Wiki page and have not read the instructions properly regarding where to paste said text
  • When changing maps, if the map is one of the DLC maps (Ragnarok, Abberation, etc), YOU MUST, own the DLC to play that map, even though the server already has the maps.


In-Game Server List

          I CANNOT FIND MY SERVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The in-game ARK server list will only permit you to search through a small, sometimes random handful of servers, generally between 2 and 3 thousand; 
keep in mind that there are over 12,000 servers currently online. 

Unfortunately, this is not something we cannot control

ALSO: Make sure you have updated your server.  WE DO NOT DO THIS FOR YOU!!
If your client and server are not on the same version/release, you WILL NOT see your server in the in-game server list

How do I Connect To My Server

With the above in mind, the quickest and easiest way is to:

  • Add your server to your Steam / Server / Favorites list
  • Once added, launch your game and then in-game:
    • Join ARK
    • Set you Session Filter to FAVORITES and your server should appear in the list


Server Admin

Make Yourself Admin

  1. Go to Configuration Files under your Service Information tab
  2. Open the Text Editor for GameUserSettings.ini
    1. Locate variable ServerAdminPassword
    2. Enter your desired admin/rcon password
    3. Save your configuration file
  3. Open the Configuration Editor for GameUserSettings.ini
    1. Locate the Admin/RCON Password field, under the Admin/RCON Settings
    2. Enter in your desired admin/rcon password
    3. Save your configuration file
  4. Restart your server for the changes to take effect

Make Others Admin

  1. Use to locate their Steam64-ID. You will need their URL (<YOURID> )
    or If you are already the Admin, use the in-game command cheat ListPlayers to find the players Steam64-ID
  2. Go to Configuration Files under your Service Information tab
    1. Open the Text Editor for AllowedCheaterSteamIDs.txt
      1. Add the Steam64-ID for each player who you want to be admin, one ID per line
      2. Save your AllowedCheaterSteamIDs.txt file
    2. Open the Configuration Editor for AllowedCheaterSteamIDs.txt
      1. Click New Admin
      2. Enter the Steam64-ID, and click Save
  3. Restart the server for the changes to take effect

Using Your Admin Rights

  1. In-game, open your console by pressing the TAB key (default setting)
  2. Enter the following command enablecheats <ServerAdminPassword>, replacing ServerAdminPassword with your actual password.
  • If you have added yourself to the Whitelist (AllowedCheaterSteamIDs.txt file, see above), you do not have to enter the enablecheats... command

For a list of most console commands go here: ARK Console Commands


Changing Maps

Changing Default Maps

To change your current active map, you need to:

  1. Click on the Commandline Manager icon
  2. Select the appropriate commandline, typically this is Default, by clicking on the Select link on the right hand side
  3. From the dropdown list select the map you want to use:
  4. Click on the Apply button
  • This will restart your server and use the new Map
  • Please note: when using Mod Maps, some of them will change the server main configuration file MaxPlayers= value to 70.
    This will cause your server to be shut down if your purchased slot limit is not already 70.
    Remember to change this back to your allowed amount of slots or (go into the Text Editor option for the GameUserSettings.ini file and look for the "MaxPlayers=" line, change it back to your allowed amount, save and start your server.)


Using Custom Maps

To change your current active map, to a Custom Mod Map

  1. Subscribe to the ModMap under your Steam Profile
  2. Stop you server
  3. Add the ModMap ID to the ActiveMods option in your server configuration file.
    Must be first in 'ActiveMod=' line in the config file
    See the Adding Mods section above.
  4. Under the Commandline Manager,
    1. Option 1: click on Select/Selected link on Mod Maps + Mod Manager line
      Enter your map name and click Apply
    2. Option 2: click on the Custom Commandline tab
      Click on the New link in the menu options
      Enter the appropriate information
      Description for the New command line
      Click on the Auto Managed Mods check box
      Enter the name of the Custom Map in the Custom Commandline Map field and check the associated check box
      Click on the Preview button to verify that the new command line has the options you selected
      Click on the Save button to save your new Custom Commandline
      Finally click on the Select link on the right hand side for the new command line to make the active command line for your server.
  5. Return to the Service Information tab and Start your server


Custom Commandlines

Creating a New Custom Commandline

  1. Stop your server
  2. Under the Commandline Manager, click on the Custom Commandline tab
  3. Click on the New link in the menu options
    Enter the appropriate information
    1. Description for the New command line
      Option Descriptions:
      Active Events - these are special events for ARK, not available all year round.
      Auto Managed Mods - enables or disable the use of the Mod Update feature.
      Cluster ID - See the section below on Clustering
      EnableCaveFlyers - Force Flyer dinos to be allowed into caves (Flyers able to go into caves by default on custom maps)
      Exclusive Join - Activate a whitelist only mode on the server that only lets players join if added to the allow list.
      Not to be confused with "Admin Whitelisting" which uses "AllowedCheaterSteamIDs.txt" to allow players to cheat.
      This option uses "PlayersJoinNoCheckList.txt" to allow people to join but not give them cheats. You will need to restart your server, if you add new lines to the file while it is running.
      You can however use "Cheat AllowPlayerToJoinNoCheck 12345678901234567" in game, to add a new player to the whitelist. This method will also save to the file, so you don't need to reboot the server.
      Auto Force Respawn Wild Dinos Interval - Force Respawn of Wild Dinos on Server Restart. This will force weekly respawns of dinos on servers to prevent certain dino types (like the Basilo and Spino)
      from becoming depopulated on long running servers. NOTE: in some cases this may not work more than once.
      Map (Do not use in Custom Commandline) - DO NOT USE this option with CUSTOM COMMANDLINES, use the Custom Commandline Map option
      Custom Commandline Map - enther the name of the map you want to use.
      For example, Stock maps: "The Island", "Ragnarok", "Aberration", etc. Custom maps, "Hope", "Genesis", etc.
      Disable Battle Eye - Run server without BattleEye. By default this is enabled
      No Wild Dinos - prevents wild dinos from being spawned. NOTE: you need to wipe dinos (cheat destroywilddinos) after adding this on a not fresh server
      Player Location - shows each player their position on the map when enabled ** REMOVED**
      Force Respawn Dinos - Launch with this command to destroy all wild creatures on a startup. (this will only destroy wild creatures that are NOT currently being tamed)
      Valentines Day Event - this is a special Easter event for ARK, not available all year round
      Where there is a Checkbox rather than an Input or Dropdown option, make sure you click on the check box to enable it.
    2. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK the appropriate Select box in the left hand column to include the option on your Custom Commandline
    3. Click on the Preview button to verify that the new command line has the options you selected
    4. Click on the Save button to save your new Custom Commandline
      Your resulting new Custom Commandline will look something like this:
      Depending on the options you have selected.
      FYI: You can edit this commandline, by clicking on the Edit link, and making the appropriate changes using the above information.
    5. Finally click on the Select link on the right hand side for the new command line to make this the active commandline for your server.
  4. Return to the Service Information tab and Start your server


Using Existing Custom Command Lines

If you have already played using a different map and want to go back to it and have already created Custom Commandlines

  1. Go to your Custom Commandline tab
    Control Panel Screenshot
  2. Click on the appropriate Select link on the right hand side. This will then change the word Select to Selected
  3. Make sure your server is restarted for this to take effect
  4. Ensure that your server (game and mods) is up to date. Updates are performed by clicking on the Steam Update Steamupdate.png icon on your Service Information tab.


Backup and Restore

Restore Existing .bak Files

NOTE: This is not restoring a server backup
ARK creates backup files in the \ShooterGame\Saved\SavedArks\:

  • Periodically for the Map files
  • Any time there is a change to either a player file or a tribe file

Your \ShooterGame\Saved\SavedArks\ contains three types of files:

  • Playerprofiles - Each player is assigned a custom profile on the server. this profile is saved as a "SteamID.arkprofile" file. For example: 765123979XXX40008.arkprofile
  • World - The current world is saved as a "Worldname.ark" file. For example: TheIsland.ark
  • Tribes - Each created tribe is saved as an "TribeID.arktribe" file. For example: 1068865824.arktribe

A backup copy or a copy of the last version of each Player Profile and Tribe will have the word 'bak' appended to it.
Backup copies of your world file will have a date/time stamp included in the name. For example TheIsland_21.08.2017_00.41.12.ark.


Backup Server Config and Map(game) Files

  1. From the Actions tab, click on your backup option of choice:
    Backup Config Files
    This will back up the files in your \ShooterGame\Saved\Config\ folder
    Backup Game Files
    This will backup the files in your \ShooterGame\Saved\SavedArks\ folder
  2. This will open a dialog box asking you to confirm Execute this script?, click OK or Cancel
    Clicking OK, will open a window that will display information regarding the backup process.
    You will see information regarding the backup:
    The number of files backed up and the name of the backup file
    For Config Files the backup file will always start with the letter C_<date time>
    For Game Files the backup file will always start with the letter S_<date time>
    Once the backup is complete you will see the message:
    The script has executed successfully. You may close this window.
    Click on the X at the top right hand side of the window.
  • NOTE: We only keep the last 3 backups, if you run this script a 4th time, you will get a message that it is deleting older backups.
    Deleting previous backup: <backup file name>


Restore Server Config and Map Files

  1. From the Actions tab, click on your restore option of choice:
    Restore Config Files
    This will restore the backed up files in your \ShooterGame\Saved\Config\ folder
    Restore Game Files
    This will restore the backed up files in your \ShooterGame\Saved\SavedArks\ folder
  2. You will be presented with a drop down box:
    Expand the dropdown list by clicking on the down arrow. If there is more than 1 file you will be presented with a list of of files to choose from
  3. Highlight the file you want to restore by clicking on it
  4. Click on the Exectute button to start the process.
    This will open a window showing you the action/progress of your restore
    Once the restore is complete you will see the message:
    The script has executed successfully. You may close this window.
    Click on the X at the top right hand side of the window.


RCON Settings

  • Using a RCON client to connect to your server, while it will work, ARK's implementation is not very good.
    You most likely will not get any response back from the server after you issue an Admin command.

RCON Server Broadcast

  1. Click on the "RCON Message" icon on the Service Info tab
  2. Enter your message
  3. Click on the Execute button, the click on the 'OK' button to confirm you want to broadcast the message
  4. This will open a dialog window, once the message is sent , it will display the message "The script has executed successfully. You may close this window.", simply click on the "X" on the top right.


Go to the Scheduled Tasks tab

  • To Create a New Message
  1. Click on the New link from the top menu
  2. Select RCON Message from the Task Type dropdown
  3. Click on the [New] link to create the task
  4. Enter a name for the task in the Name field
  5. Check the Enabled checkbox to make sure the task will run
  6. Select the appropriate frequency from the Type dropdown menu
  7. Click on the Script Parameters tab
    1. Enter in your Broadcast Message
  8. Click on the Advanced Options tab
    1. Choose the appropriate action for the task
  9. Click on the Save link

  • To edit an Existing Message
  1. Select the message you want to edit, by clicking on the message Name link
  2. Edit your options
  3. Save your task



To cluster ARK servers:

  • Both servers need to be on the same PHYSICAL host.
    You can verify this by checking the IP address of your server under the Connection Info on the Service Information tab
  • They need to be setup with the same Cluster ID
  • You need to make sure you have set the necessary options in the configuration file (GameUserSettings.ini) to permit transfers
 TRUgaming staff need to provide the Cluster Override Directory" information.
 Please submit a support ticket to have this information added if it has not been set or is not working.

How Cluster

  1. Stop all the servers you want to include in the cluster
  2. On each server click on the Commandline Manager icon.
    1. Click on the appropriate Cluster commandline option
      Clusters - no automatic mod management
      Clusters + Mod Manager - includes the -automanagemods commandline switch to manage updating of the mods you have listed under the ActiveModID option in your configuration files
    2. Click Apply to save the commandline
    3. Click on the Select link on the right hand side of the command line to make this the active commandline when your server starts, this will change to Selected
    4. Edit and save the server configuration files as necessary
  3. Start your servers back up

Configuration File Options To Check/Change

The following options in the GameUserSettings.ini file impact your Cross-Ark Transfers:

  • PreventDownloadSurvivors=False/True
  • PreventDownloadItems=False/True
  • PreventDownloadDinos=False/True
  • PreventUploadSurvivors=False/True
  • PreventUploadItems=False/True
  • PreventUploadDinos=False/True

These can be edited under the Configuration Files icon, either:

  • Manually using the Text Editor option (best option)
  • Or by using the Configuration Editor option and scrolling down to the Tribute/Upload/Download Settings section of the page


Game Updates and other Info

ARK: Homestead and Structures+ (S+) Mod

With the introduction of the ARK: Homestead update, several new variables were added.
These can be adjusted from the Configuration Files, GameUserSettings.ini file, click on Configuration Editor. You will need to scroll all the way to the bottom

  • The AllowIntegratedSPlusStructures variable, if false (unchecked) disables all of the new S+ structures
    (intended mainly for letting unofficials that want to keep using the S+ mod version to keep using that without a ton of extra duplicate structures)

  • NOTE: There are issues... especially if you are running the S+ mod on your server

For more information on the variables, you can refer to the Official Ark Wiki


Configuration Files Explained


  • This file contains options for both the game client and the game server. Options for the game client are not used by the server.
    Server options are specified in the section labeled [ServerSettings], which is usually located at the bottom of the file.
  • File Location: ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsServer\GameUserSettings.ini
  • The options in this config file fluctuate depending, we provide a default set options.
    1. On what changes the game developers add / remove
    2. What you add/remove into the config manually.

There are multiple sources out on the internet that cover the contents of this file. A lot are very out dated, so be careful what you wish for.. it may not work and may lead to lots of confusion and frustration


  • This file is used for more advanced modifications, such as changing engram points or XP rewarded per level, disabling specific content, or rebalancing depending on player tastes.
  • On TRUgaming servers, by default this file is empty
  • File location: ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsServer\game.ini
  • If you are going to use this file, make sure the very first line, contains the following text


Game Play Tips

ARK Client Side Graphics Settings

  • The following info has been gathered from several different website that talk about improving ARK performance
    ** Provided for informational purposes only.
  • Motion Blur - turn it off
  • Film Gain - Turn it off
  • Screen Space Ambient Occlusion - a resource hog - turn it off
  • View Distance - Can impact game severely on low performance systems
  • Distance Field Shadowing - disable for stable performance


Dynamic Server Settings

  • These are the settings used on the Official Servers.
  • As of 4/6/2020, the following items are in the


Change Dino Max Level

To set you MAX Dino Level to 150, edit the GameUserSettings.ini file, change the following values:
(Can be done using either the Text Editor or the Configuration Editor, under the Configuration Files icon.)

  • Set DifficultyOffset to 1.0
    (causes each level increase to go up by 30 )
  • Set OverrideOfficialDifficulty to 5.0
    With DifficultyOffset = 1.0 and OverrideOfficialDifficulty=3.0 , effectively your level will be 150
  • Don't forget to Stop your server your before making the changes and Starting it up afterwards.
    Give it a few minutes to load any mods you have installed
  • Then, Destroy Wild Dinos, to make sure that existing dins are cleared out. (See below)


Change Gather Rates

* Harvest Amount Multiplier	4
* Harvest health multiplier	1

Change 'Harvest Amount Multiplier to the amount you want to harvest in game (example: with this set to 1 will get you 1 , with this set to 30 will get you 30)
Do be aware though that setting the Harvest Health Multiplier will divide the amount you get (example: if you have amount multiplier set to 30 but health multiplier set to 2 you would get 15 of the item in game)


Destroy Wild Dinos

  • Wild dinos tend to accumulate and can cause a slowdown of the server.
    Issue the following as server admin:
  1. enablecheats <YOURADMINPASS>
  2. cheat saveworld
  3. cheat destroywilddinos
  4. cheat saveworld


Disable Friendly Fire on PVE Server

  1. Stop your server
  2. Click on the Configuration Files option
  3. Click on the Text Editor link for the Game.ini file to open the file for editing
    Note: By default this is empty
  4. Edit your Game.ini file by add the following to it:
    [/script/shootergame.shootergamemode] (add this is not already there)
  5. Save your Game.ini file
  6. Start your server back up


Incubation/Maturity settings on your ARK server

      To change the incubation times and maturing rates you will need to add the following lines to your Game.ini.
          ** DO NOT **... ** DO NOT **  Add these to your GameUSerSettings.ini file.  It will stop your server from running.
Also: Make sure that the very first line in your Game.ini file is [/script/shootergame.shootergamemode]
  1. Stop your server
  2. Click on the Configuration Files option
  3. Click on the Text Editor link for the Game.ini file to open the file for editing
    Note: By default this is empty
  4. Add the following:
    [/script/shootergame.shootergamemode] (add if not already there)
    The variables and values above are used for example only. You can adjust them to suit your needs
    You can add any additional variables to the file that impact Incubation/maturity (Take a look at this link:Game.ini Settings for more info)
    REMEMBER: The values you set in any configuration file can be impacted by official server values depending on how you have your server configured.
  5. Save your file
  6. Start your server back up

  • Breeding and other options:


Limit the number of dropped items in an area

  • Added optional new functionality to limit the number of droppeditems in an area, and enabled it on dedicated servers.
    • Add the following INI values to your server's Game.ini ShooterGameMode section (> 0 to use the limit):

(Added in v302.4 - 11/22/19)


CryoPod Configuration File Options

  • The following options can be added tot he GameUserSettings.ini file under the [ServerSettings] section:
    There is a limited amount of information still available in terms of the ranges of the values that can be used.
    As soon as we find more, we will post it here.
Variable Value/Type Notes/Usage
EnableCryopodNerf true/false // boolean
CryopodNerfDamageMult 0.0 // Float CryopodNerfDamageMult=0.01 means 99% of the damage is removed
CryopodNerfIncomingDamageMultPercent 0.0 // float CryopodNerfIncomingDamageMultPercent where 0.25 = 25%


Epic Game Store

Important Notes:
 With the release of the Epic Game Store version of Ark, there are a few things to note:
* You can only play on an UNMODDED Server * You need to make sure that you have enabled the -crossplay commandline option in the Default Predefined Commandline under the Commandline Manager * The Epic Game Store version of Ark is Windows ONLY, you still cannot play with other players running Xbox, Microsoft Store or PS4 versions of Ark.

How to enable crossplay

  1. Stop your server
  2. Click on the Commandline Manager icon
  3. Navigate to the 2nd page of Commandline's
  4. Click on the Select link on the right hand side of the Steam_Epic Server or Steam_Epic Server w/Active Events commandline.
    If you want to change the map, you can do that at this point also.
  5. Click on the Apply button
  6. Return to the Manage Server tab and Start your server