How to set up an ARK Survival Ascended Server

Setting up a dedicated ARK: Survival Ascended server on Windows can be done in just a few steps, and you don’t need advanced IT skills to do it.

What are the system requirements?

Before you start setting up your dedicated ARK: Survival Ascended server, make sure that your system meets the following requirements:

  • CPU: To host your own ARK: Survival Ascended server, you need a powerful processor. This means you need a processor with at least four cores.
  • RAM: Since ARK: Survival Ascended is a game that requires a lot of memory, your server should have a sufficient amount of RAM. You’ll need to have at least 16 GB for the server.
  • Disk space: To accommodate all of your game data and your server’s operating system, you’ll need a large amount of disk space. You should plan for at least 200 GB of storage.
  • Bandwidth: A stable internet connection and a good internet speed are essential for a smooth multiplayer gaming experience. For professional server providers like IONOS, providing this is par for the course. A broadband connection of up to 400 Mbps is always available.
  • Operating system: If you want to run your server with Windows, you’ll need to decide which version you want to use. Since ARK: Survival Ascended was created with the Unreal 5 Engine, you should use Windows Server 2019 or a newer version of the operation system.

It’s important to keep in mind that the number of players has a significant influence on the server requirements. This is especially true for the RAM requirement, which increases with more players.

What types of servers does IONOS offer?

Before you can set up your ARK server, you need to decide which type of server you want to use. At IONOS, there are three different models you can choose from:

  • Cloud server: Cloud servers from IONOS make use of hardware virtualization, allowing you to flexibly scale the computing power and adjust it depending on your needs at any time. Billing is done by the minute, so you only pay for the computing resources that you actually use.
  • vServer (VPS): The vServers or virtual private servers (VPS) from IONOS are also derived from virtualized computing resources. Here you choose a plan that comes with a predefined set of server resources, which you pay a fixed monthly fee for. You also have the possibility to tailor your plan to your individual needs.
  • Dedicated server: A dedicated server provides you with access to dedicated enterprise-grade hardware that is reserved exclusively for you. You don’t need to share resources with other users, as all the server resources are only for your use. Similar to plans for cloud servers from IONOS, you are billed by the minute and only pay for what you use.

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Best server option for first-time hosters

If you are just starting out with game server hosting, it’s best to go with an IONOS Cloud Server. Thanks to the billing model, you pay by the minute and only for the time that you actually spend playing the game. By using a cloud server as the basis for your ARK: Survival Ascended server, you also benefit from maximum flexibility, allowing you to adjust your resources at any time. This is especially important if your server requirements change, for example, if more people want to play on your server.

Note

You don’t have to limit what you use your Windows server for. In addition to hosting a dedicated ARK: Survival Ascended server, you can also use it to host other servers as well:

Which plan is best for me? Server recommendations for 5 different scenarios

Below we have a list of five typical gaming scenarios for an ARK: Survival Ascended dedicated server along with a suitable IONOS server plan for each one.

ARK: Survival Ascended server gaming scenario Suitable IONOS server plan
2–4 people; Server occasionally online Cloud Server RAM XL
2–4 people; Server permanently online AR6-32 SSD
5–10 people; Server occasionally online Cloud Server XXL
5–10 people; Server permanently online AR6-32 SSD
More than 10 people; Server permanently online AR6-32 SSD

Step-by-step instructions for setting up an ARK: Survival Ascended server

You can set up a dedicated ARK: Survival Ascended-Servers on Windows in just a few steps.

Step 1: Open the ports

The first thing you need to do is open the relevant ports. These are ports 7777 und 27015.

The process for opening ports differs amongst hosting providers. With IONOS, you can do this in the Cloud Panel. You can add the port rules you need for your server under Network > Firewall Settings with just a few clicks.

Port forwarding in the IONOS Cloud Panel
You can open the ports you need for your ARK: Survival Ascended server in the Cloud Panel.

Step 2: Install the required files

After connecting to your Windows server, you need to install SteamCMD and the server files for your ARK: Survival Ascended server. If you don’t have these files installed, you won’t be able to start the server. First, you need to create a folder named SteamCMD and another folder named ASAServer.

Now create a new file and name it start.bat. Then copy the following text into the file:

@echo off

set STEAMCMDDIR="C:\SteamCMD\"
set SERVERDIR="C:\ASAServer\"
set ARKAPPID=2430930

cd /d %STEAMCMDDIR%
del steamcmd.exe
timeout /t 5 /nobreak
curl -o steamcmd.zip https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/client/installer/steamcmd.zip
powershell Expand-Archive -Path .\steamcmd.zip -DestinationPath .\
start "" /wait steamcmd.exe +force_install_dir "%SERVERDIR%" +login anonymous +app_update %ARKAPPID% validate +quit

cd /d %SERVERDIR%
start ShooterGame\Binaries\Win64\ArkAscendedServer.exe TheIsland_WP?listen?SessionName=<servername>?Port=7777?QueryPort=27015?ServerPassword=<serverpassword> -WinLiveMaxPlayers=50 -log
exit
batch

This shell script ensures that the server files you need for your ARK: Survival Ascended server are downloaded, and that the server starts. There are just two adjustments that you need to make to the script (changing the third one is optional):

  • Server name: First, you need to enter the name that you want to use for the server where appears in the script.
  • Server password: You also need to create a server password and replace with the password you have chosen.
  • Maximum number of players: With the variable WinLiveMaxPlayers, you can specify the maximum number of players that are allowed to access your server. In the example above, we have decided to set the limit at 50 players. Remember that you need to have sufficient hardware resources to support the number of players you decide to let use your server.

After you have made the necessary adjustments, you can run the script by double-clicking on the file. The download process will start in two command-line windows and may take some time.

Downloading the files required for the server
The files that you need for the server can be downloaded by starting the shell script.

Step 3: Configure your ARK: Survival Ascended server

Once all the files are downloaded, you can begin configuring your ARK: Survival Ascended server. For this, you need to edit the Game.ini and GameUserSettings.ini files. These are usually located here: C:\ASAServer\ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsServer. If you are unable to find the files, you can create them yourself.

In the configuration files, you can set various settings. For example, you can specify how often (in minutes) the game should autosave.

Contents of the configuration file GameUserSettings.ini
You can modify your server as you see fit in the GameUserSettings.ini file.

Step 4: Start the server

Now, you can start your own ARK: Survival Ascended server. To do this, run the start.bat file. After a few moments, you should see a line informing you that the ARK: Survival Ascended server has been successfully started:

Start of ARK: Survival Ascended Servers via Shell script
Click on the start.bat shell script to start your ARK server.

If the terminal closes immediately after starting the shell script, make sure you are running the start.bat file as an administrator.

Step 5: Establish a connection to your ARK: Survival Ascended server

Once your server is up and running, you and your fellow players can connect to it. To do this, search for the server name you created in the server menu of ARK: Survival Ascended. Make sure that you have selected the option to display password-protected servers as well.

Screen showing the option to select the IONOS ARK: Survival Ascended server created in this tutorial
You can now choose the ARK: Survival Ascended server you just created.

Now select your server from the list and connect to it. During this process, you’ll be prompted to enter a password. Enter the password that you designated as the server password in the start.bat file. Now you are ready to enjoy the game with your friends.

In-game image from ARK: Survival Ascended
Let your dinosaur gaming adventures begin.

If you want, you can also connect your ARK: Survival Ascended-Server to a domain. Use IONOS Domain Checker to see if the domain you want is available.

Domain Check
  • .pro
  • .team
  • .games
  • .gg
  • .community
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