How Do I Host a Private ARK Server?


Angela Bailey

Welcome to this in-depth tutorial on how to host a private ARK server! Whether you want to play with your friends or have more control over your gaming experience, hosting your own server is the way to go. In this guide, we will walk you through the entire process step by step.

Step 1: Installation

The first step is to install the ARK server software on your computer. You can download it from the official ARK website (insert link here). Once the download is complete, follow the installation instructions provided by the developers.

Step 2: Port Forwarding

In order for other players to connect to your server, you need to set up port forwarding on your router. Open up your router’s administration panel and locate the port forwarding settings. Add a new rule for port 27015 (default for ARK) and specify your computer’s IP address as the destination.

Step 2.1: Finding Your IP Address

To find out your computer’s IP address, open a command prompt (Windows) or terminal (Mac/Linux) and type:

ipconfig (Windows)

ifconfig (Mac/Linux)

Your IP address will be displayed next to “IPv4 Address” or “inet”. Note it down for later use.

Step 3: Server Configuration

Navigate to the folder where you installed the ARK server software. Look for a file named “GameUserSettings.ini” and open it with a text editor of your choice.

  • Bold text: Indicates important configuration options.
  • Underlined text: Shows the file name to be edited.

Inside the file, you will find various settings that control the behavior of your server. You can tweak these settings to customize your gaming experience. For example, you can change the difficulty level, adjust taming speed, or enable PvP.

Step 4: Launching the Server

Now that you have configured your server to your liking, it’s time to launch it. Open the ARK server software and wait for it to initialize. Once it’s ready, you should see a console window with logs and server information.

Note: Keeping this console window open is essential for keeping your server running. Do not close it unless you want to shut down the server.

Step 5: Connecting to Your Server

To connect to your private ARK server, open the game on your computer and click on “Join ARK”. In the search bar, type in your computer’s IP address followed by a colon and the port number (e.g., “”) and hit enter.

If everything was set up correctly, you should now be able to see your server in the list of available servers. Select it and click “Join”.

Congratulations! You are now playing on your own private ARK server!


In this tutorial, we covered everything from installation to connecting to a private ARK server. Hosting your own server gives you more flexibility and control over your gaming experience. Don’t forget to customize the settings according to your preferences in the GameUserSettings.ini file.

Now go ahead and enjoy playing with friends or exploring ARK at your own pace!

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