What are the requirements for running an ARK dedicated server?

ARK: Survival Evolved is the ultimate gaming server. You can ride dinosaurs around vast terrains, chase woolly mammoths with your crossbow around the mountains, and live out all the fantasies of your RPG-loving childhood.

It’s just like Dungeons and Dragons – without searching for your dusty D20s.

Whether you want to build massive worlds, create your own creatures, or simply host a world for all your friends to play in, it’s the best for the job.

In this post, we’ll discuss ARK dedicated server requirements to get you gaming right away.

See Also: (Live Webinar) Meet ServerMania: Transform Your Server Hosting Experience

Before You Begin

You have two options when creating an Ark Server, you can set it up on your own computer, or you can pay a small monthly fee and host one online.

If you want to set up a reliable and affordable Ark game server online, ServerMania offers cheap cloud hosting starting at $5 per month. With a cloud server, you can setup a high-performance Ark game servers on the best hardware, ensuring the lowest possible latency. Hosting the Ark Server online will deliver the best gaming experience since the server will be hosted on a blazing fast network and will be online 24×7.

What Are the ARK Dedicated Server Requirements?

  • 8GB RAM
  • 20GB Disk Space Minimum (50-75GB Recommended)
  • 2 CPU Cores @ 3.0GHz+ (For 10-15 players)
  • 64 Bit Windows or Linux OS (CentOS Linux Recommended for a standalone server)
  • A reliable network connection, 100Mbps+ recommended

Before you begin using an ARK Survival dedicated server, your system must meet certain criteria.

You need to be running at least a 64-bit Windows system or be on the Linux Operating System. You also need to have at least 6 GB of RAM–but we recommend 8GB for better performance. Depending on how many players will use the server, you may need more RAM.

In addition, the computer hosting the server should be separate from the computer used for gaming. This computer should have at least two CPU cores per ARK server at 3.0GHz+. This configuration should host about 10-15 players, and additional CPU cores would be recommended for more players to use the server.

If you don’t have enough CPU and RAM, you’re going to experience game lag and slow startup speed. Both of these make gaming clunky for players. More expansive maps and spread-out players require much more CPU power. The bigger and more amazing your world is, the more power drag there is on your CPUs. So, if you’re wanting a world with many players and enormous maps, consider adding more CPUs than the minimum requirement.

It seems like a no-brainer, but you want to pay attention to what is powering this powerhouse of a server. Your dedicated server hosting computer should be plugged into an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). If a power surge causes your server to crash, all of its data will crash right along with it. You’ll lose everything since the last save. In some cases, a power failure can even corrupt the save file.

Worlds will fall. Players will be sad…or angry. You don’t want this.

Before you go trying to install this, make sure you have at least 20 GB of disk space. These servers take that much just for the install folder.

Once you have made sure you have all of this in place, it’s as simple as downloading the steamcmd.exe file and getting it going.

Start Riding Those Dinosaurs!

Now that you know the basics of ARK dedicated server requirements, you should have the confidence to continue working towards building your dream world.

Don’t worry–you’ll be prancing about the mountainside cliffs with your dinosaurs and mammoths in no time.

Now that you have been armed with this knowledge, go forth to defeat thy enemies and conquer whole worlds–or just jump around on a super cool velociraptor.For more info on servers, check out our Dedicated Game Hosting page.


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  1. Not sure where you are getting your information from but this is way above and beyond what you actually need for a home hosting machine. I ran two clustered servers on the same machine I played on with 30 concurrent logged in players on a core i7 4790k, 32GB RAM with the servers installed on solid states, very little latency at all. Maps were Ragnarok and Center. Really what this looks like is a fake story made to sell serverspace for your company by fictitiously increasing the perceived cost of a home server. I especially love the “consider adding more CPUs then the minimum requirement.” Sure, that’s how that works.

    1. Hello,

      Thanks for your comment. I am not sure I follow through. We recommend a 2 core CPU with 8GB of RAM. You are running your server on a 4 core CPU with 4x the amount of RAM we recommend, but you are suggesting that our system requirements are above and beyond what an Ark server needs?

      You’re not going to find many people recommending that users play on the same machine that will host the game server. It’s great that you don’t experience latency, but the majority of users running their own servers will face connectivity issues, constantly changing IP addresses, and latency due to unpredictable residential internet. This is not based on our desire to connect users with the best gaming experience, but based on hundreds of reports from users who try to setup their own servers every day.

      Take care.

      1. Apologies, had not seen that you said cores. When I read it, it sounded like you were saying physical cpus

        1. The i7-4790k is actually quite the beast of a cpu. Good to hear that it hosts that many players well, that gives me reason to assume that my older AMD 6790k APU should do just fine with up to 4 players, using 16GB of ram and SATA SSD.
          I have a 4790k also, just switched to a 2700x with 5700xt. I upgraded my wife’s pc with the i7 and now have an fx-8150 that I could also use. While it’s more powerful than the APU, the APU has a higher frequency (4x4Ghz instead of 8×3.6) so the higher clocks might actually perform better since the CPU shouldn’t be a bottleneck. If it doesn’t satisfy me, I may find an i5 to throw in one of these Dell 7010’s I have laying around here and make that my game server. I’m currently hosting on a dual 8 core Xeon 5450 with 32GB ram.

  2. Very good information here, but the one thing I’m missing to pick out the parts for my server is what the speeds of these cores should be. Obviously the faster the better, but I’m looking at 12 cores total, and thinking of two older Xeons that are at like 2.3ghz to keep costs under control. I just don’t want to find out the hard way that this is not enough.

  3. May I point out that “2 cores” is no reference at all? Unless you confirm that Intel Core 2 is good enough, otherwise that’s not usefull information. Same with memory, is it enough to have an intel core 2 with 6gb DRR(1)? I find this post vague and imprecise.

  4. ARK uses no more than a single core in any CPU. So it doesn’t matter how many Cores you have it will only ever use one. The client yes, that will use as many as you want, but the server, a single core. Which means the best machine to run ARK is actually an i3 9350. This CPU paired with a hell of a lot of ram. 64gb for 50 players, will give you the best single core performance for the dollar in a machine that will run ARK Server. Any other machine is a literal waste, unless you’re using the other cores for other things. Luckily I’m able to use my other cores in my Xeon Dual CPU config for running web servers and GitLab and all kinds of other things…

    1. Hi Michael,

      That’s actually not true. Ark Server uses one core for the game and a second core is used for networking overhead and cost of animation work. This is according to the developer of the game.

      Kind Regards,

  5. Hi, was planning on building an ark server out of an old dell desktop with a 775 socket cpu e6750 and 8gb ram. The plan was to ditch the e6750 and go for a core2 quad or do the Xeon mod. Should this be enough to sustain 5-10 players?

  6. This is a good article, i’ve hosted with server mania and it’s fairly easy but you have to be careful on the location you pick as ddos protection can be limited.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for your feedback. We are actively exploring DDoS mitigation options for all of our locations at the moment so you will definitely hear about that on our blog if and when it is available for all locations. We continue to offer free 5Gbps of DDoS protection in Buffalo.

      Take care!

  7. Hi, for some reason I can not run an ark server. I tried to run a server for the windows 10 version of Ark on Pc but it crashes every 10 mins, causing many setbacks. I’ve tried it on 2 pcs which are both above specs. Could it be something else or my Wi-fi?

    1. Not sur eif it is your problem, but i would never run a server through wifi. Better connectivity through ethernet

  8. I believe there are currently 9 maps to play on. (The Island, Crystal Isles, Genesis: Part 1, Valguero, Extinction, Aberration, Ragnarok, Scorched Earth, and The Center.) What kind of set-up would you recommend to have all the maps (not sure how they’ll be clustered or not) and be able to host ~50 players each?