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How to add mods to an ARK: Survival Evolved Server

Last modified on Jul 12, 2023 in ark

mc head By Noah


Like most popular sandbox survival games, ARK: Survival Evolved has an active and growing modding community. There are thousands of mods available for you to choose from that can improve vanilla gameplay, or change it so drastically that it might as well be a different game. Adding mods to a server can be a bit intimidating at first. Installing mods on a server like those provided by Apex can be a bit more complicated than adding them to the game on Steam. Luckily, this walkthrough will make it a lot easier. You can add mods to your ARK server by following the steps below.

Picking out your mods

There are plenty of mods to choose from with new ones being added every day. The quickest and easiest way to find the mods you want is to look them up in the Steam Workshop. You can get to the workshop by selecting the game in Steam, then clicking on the Workshop tab in the game’s profile page. Once you are in the workshop you will be able to browse through all of the mods available for the game. Once you find a mod you like, click on it, then click on the green “subscribe” button. Steam will start downloading and installing the mod immediately.

For our example, we are going to use Stargate Worlds v3.0 by Loop

Stargate Worlds


Once the mods have finished downloading, start up the game to verify they have been installed and activated. Once the game is open and running you should see a notification in the bottom right saying that the mods are being installed. Once this is done, start a Host/Local game and find your mod(s) in the Available Mods section. Select your mods and use the arrow button to activate them and ensure they work.

Mod Settings


Adding your mods to the server

Once you have verified that the mods are up and running on your game, you can add them to your server. This part can be a little complicated as it will require you to make some changes to the server files. First you will need to find the mod files on your computer. Follow these steps to find them:

find ark mod files
  1. Open Steam and right-click on ARK: Survival Evolved.
  2. Choose the “manage” option, then “browse local files”. This will open up the game files in a new window.
  3. Navigate to ShooterGame/Content/Mods
  4. Once you are in the “Mods” folder you will find a .mod file and a folder with a lot of numbers.
  5. Make a note of the numbers used as the file names. This is the mod ID and will be needed later. In our example the name is 609380111


After you have located the mod files you can add them to your server.

add mods to ark server
  1. Head over to your server’s control panel and press the red “Stop” button.
  2. Click on the FTP File Access tab and login using your control panel password.
  3. The files you see in FTP File Access should look familiar. They are almost identical to the files for the game on your PC with a few exceptions.
  4. Navigate to the “mods” folder on your server the same way you did on your computer, it is located in: Shootergame/Content/Mods
  5. Click on the “upload” tab in the menu on the left to upload the mod files to your server.

Note: Be sure to upload both the mod folders and the .mod files to your server.


Configuring the server

After you finish uploading the mods you are almost done. Configuring the server is the most difficult part of this process, but as long as you follow the steps below everything will work out fine.

server config
  1. Go back to FTP File Access and open the “ShooterGame” folder.
  2. Open the “Saved” folder, then “Config”, and finally “LinuxServer”.
  3. Locate the file called “GameUserSettings.ini” and click on it to open it in the webeditor.
  4. At the bottom of the [ServerSettings] section, add this line: ActiveMods=
  5. After the ‘=’ sign, paste in the mod ID you made a note of earlier. For our example it will look like this: ActiveMods=609380111
  6. To add more mods, simply add a comma after each mod ID. For example: ActiveMods=609380111,538986229,1404697612
  7. Press the green “Save” button at the top of the page, then restart the server so it can start loading up the mods.

The file should end up looking similar to the image below

active mods



Adding mods to your ARK server can drastically enhance gameplay for you and your players. Most modern servers will have some basic mods to improve performance and quality of life. There are plenty to choose from, so you can mix and match to your heart’s content until you find a combination of mods that work for you.

Common Issues

I am getting a mod mismatch error when I try to join:
One of your mods has probably received an update. Steam will automatically download any updates to your mods. When this happens you will need to upload the latest version of the mods from your game to the server.

If the issue persists, go to your mods folder on your computer and delete it. A new one will be generated and the latest version of the mod will be installed by steam when you try to join the server again.

My mods aren’t loading on the server at all:
Make sure you added all of the mod files to your server, not just the mod folders or the .mod files. In addition, ensure that you have added the mods to both the GameUserSettings.ini with proper formatting, as seen in the previous instructions.

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