How Do You Host a Private Server on ARK PC?


Scott Campbell

Hosting a private server on ARK PC can be an exciting way to fully immerse yourself in the game. Whether you want to play with friends or create a custom gaming experience, setting up your own private server is a relatively straightforward process. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps to host your own private server on ARK PC.

Step 1: Installing ARK Dedicated Server

To begin, you need to download and install the ARK Dedicated Server software on your PC. You can find the official download link on the ARK website. Once downloaded, follow the installation instructions provided by the developer.

Step 2: Configuring Your Server

After installing the dedicated server software, it’s time to configure your server settings. Locate the folder where you installed the dedicated server software and open it. Look for a file called “GameUserSettings.ini” and open it with a text editor of your choice.

Note: Before making any changes, it’s advisable to create a backup of this file in case anything goes wrong.

Within “GameUserSettings.ini,” you will find various settings that you can modify according to your preferences. Some key settings include:

  • [ServerSettings]: This section allows you to configure general server settings such as server name, password protection, maximum players, and more.
  • [SessionSettings]: Here, you can adjust session-specific settings such as PvP mode, enable or disable structure placement collision, and more.
  • [ServerGameSettings]: This section allows you to modify gameplay-related settings like taming speed, experience gained, resource respawn rate, and more.

Make the desired changes to these settings, save the file, and close the text editor.

Step 3: Port Forwarding

In order for other players to connect to your private server, you need to set up port forwarding on your router. Open your router’s settings page by entering its IP address in a web browser. The specific steps for port forwarding vary depending on your router model, so consult your router’s documentation or search online for instructions specific to your router.

Generally, you will need to find the “Port Forwarding” or “Virtual Server” section in your router settings and create a new entry. Enter the following information:

  • Service Name: ARK Server (or any name of your choice)
  • Internal IP Address: The IP address of the computer running the ARK Dedicated Server software
  • Internal Port: 7777
  • External Port: 7777
  • Protocol: Both (TCP and UDP)

Saving these settings will enable incoming connections to reach your server.

Step 4: Starting Your Private Server

To start your private server, navigate back to the folder where you installed the ARK Dedicated Server software. Look for a file called “ShooterGameServer.exe” and double-click it. A command prompt window will open indicating that your server is starting up.

If you encounter any errors or issues during this step, make sure that all prerequisites are met and check if any additional firewall settings may be blocking the server from starting.

Optional Step: Server Administration

If you want to have administrative control over your server, follow these additional steps:

  1. Create a text file in the same folder as the dedicated server files.
  2. Change the file extension from “.txt” to “.bat”. For example, “AdminCommands.txt” should be renamed to “AdminCommands.
  3. Edit the .bat file using a text editor and add the following line:

start ShooterGameServer.exe “TheIsland?listen?SessionName=YourServerName?ServerPassword=YourPassword?ServerAdminPassword=YourAdminPassword”

Replace “YourServerName” with your desired server name, “YourPassword” with a password for players, and “YourAdminPassword” with a password for administrative commands.


You have successfully hosted your own private server on ARK PC. Share your server details with friends or other gamers and enjoy exploring the ARK world together. Remember to keep your server software and settings up to date for the best gaming experience!

Now that you know how to host a private server on ARK PC, unleash your creativity and customize your gameplay experience like never before!

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