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How to Add a Custom Map in ARK: Survival Evolved

Last modified on Aug 18, 2022 in ark

mc head By Dalton Whalen


After playing through a vanilla ARK: Survival Evolved server, you may eventually decide to experience new gameplay through the use of mods. While there are many mods that add new features, adding a custom map allows you to completely redefine the world. With unique shapes, structures placement, or just aesthetics, these maps each have their own charm. With Apex Hosting, installing custom maps is efficient with our panel config editor. This overall process can appear confusing for unfamiliar players, so we have created this guide to help you get started.

Downloading a Map

  1. Visit the ARK: Survival Evolved Steam Workshop Page.
  2. Here, locate a map that you wish to use.
  3. Click the map to open its page.
    ARK Custom Map World Page
  4. Press the Subscribe button to begin downloading the map.


Finding the Name and ID

ARK Custom Map World Description
ARK Custom Map ID Number

Before continuing, you will need to ensure you find the map ID and its Map Name. These are often found within the map description and can easily be referenced later on. In some cases, if only the map name is found in the description, you can easily find the map ID by checking the page’s URL. The ID number is found after the ?id= string.

Loading the Map

ARK Custom Map Installing

Before the map can be installed on the server, it must first be installed and loaded in-game. To do this, simply open ARK: Survival Evolved. In the bottom-right corner of the game, you should see an “Installing” message. Once this has disappeared, you are ready to proceed.


Preparing the Map Files

Next, we must prepare the map files for upload on the server. This can be done with the following steps:

  1. From the ARK game page, click the settings gear.
  2. Proceed to Manage > Browse Local Files.
    ARK Custom Map Browse Local Files
  3. Locate the newly-opened file browser window.
  4. Continue to ShooterGame > Content > Mods.
    ARK Custom Map Navigation
  5. Here, locate both the folder and the .mod file with the map ID from earlier.
  6. Using a program like 7-ZIP, zip both of these files.

Once this is completed, you are ready to begin uploading your map files directly to the server!

Uploading the Map Files

  1. Connect to your server with an external FTP program.
  2. Once connected, proceed through ShooterGame > Content > Mods.
    ARK Custom Map Mods Folder
  3. Drag + drop your map .zip file, then wait for the upload.
  4. Following this, log into your Apex server panel, then enter the FTP File Access.
  5. Proceed to the same directory, then check mark your .zip file.
    ARK Custom Map Checkbox
  6. Press Unzip in the top-right and press Submit when prompted.


Configuring the Server

With the map files uploaded, the only remaining step is to load the map on your server itself. This is quite simple to achieve:

  1. From your Apex panel, stop the server until it is offline.
  2. In the left-hand menu, enter the Config Files tab, followed by ARK Server Configuration.
    ARK Custom Map Config File
  3. Under the [ServerSettings] section, add ActiveMapMods= on a new line.
  4. After the =, add your map ID number from earlier, then press save.
    ARK Custom Map Mods
  5. Return to the main panel page, then visit the Customizations tab from the left menu.
  6. Open the Server Map dropdown menu, then type the Map Name from previously.
    ARK Custom Map Name
  7. Once fully typed, select the highlighted box to submit the name.
  8. Return to the main panel once again and restart the server.

Your ARK: Survival Evolved server will now start up using the chosen map, allowing you to join and begin playing!

Common Issues

The map is not loading on my server:
There are many reasons why this error may occur throughout the installation process. First, ensure that the map ID is properly defined within the Server Configuration file and that it was saved properly. Otherwise, check to make sure the entered map name matches the one found in the workshop description, otherwise the server will not load the map.

I cannot find the map files on my own computer:
If the map files are not found or loaded on your computer after subscribing, try to load the world in singleplayer. If the map is found and works normally, you should be ready to proceed with the steps to add it to your server. If the files cannot be found after this, double check that you are looking for the correct mod ID number.

Helpful Links

ARK Workshop Page
How to Add Mods to an ARK Server

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