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How to play ARK: Survival Evolved with your friends

Posted: Mar 23, 2022 in Ark: Survival Evolved

mc head By Kevin Lott


ARK Survival Evolved is an amazing and unique survival game with one of the most addictive gameplay loops. With its breathtaking landscapes, consistent content drops, and plethora of paleontological wonders, you’re sure to never get bored. But avast, like most video games, it is most enjoyable with friends by your side.

ARK: Survival Evolved is a game that is meant to be played with your friends, with all of you forming a group destined to become the Alpha clan! But before we can get to the fun part of dominating other friend groups with your prehistoric might, we need to actually figure out how to play together. Today, we’re going to go over all the ways you and your pals can coordinate and join each other in-game. Let’s begin.

Joining Servers

The first way to get starting on multiplayer with your friends is similar to most server based survival games.

ark server browser
  1. In the main menu, select the Join Ark option.
  2. Change the filters to accommodate how you would like to play the game
  3. Select a server to play on
  4. Press the Join button

After you’ve pressed the Join Ark button on the main menu, a server browser will open up. Like most games, each server has its own name, description, map, playercount, ping, server age, mode, and version. You can also see if the server is white listed or whether it uses anti-cheat.

This is the process that you will use to join public servers on both console and PC. ARK has multiple official servers run by the developers which assure a level of quality and reliability. There are also public servers hosted by individuals.

For more information regarding joining servers, check out our full guide on joining servers using steam or the game itself here.

Hosting Servers

ARK: Survival Evolved allows you to host you very own server straight from the main menu. There are two options, so let’s go over the difference between the two and why you would choose either.

Non-Dedicated Session

hosting server ark
  1. In the main menu, select Host/Local
  2. Select to Host a Non-Dedicated Session

Non-Dedicated sessions is a unique instance of a game where you and your friends can play with each other with the odd caveat of what is referred to as a ‘tether’. This tether forces all players who are playing to be a minimum distance from the server host (who created the non-dedicated session). If the players attempt to move further away from the host, they will be transported back to the host’s location.

On PC, this ‘tether’ is very generous and allows for quite a bit of freedom, but on console it is quite strict and requires the players to be quite close to each other.

Running a Dedicated Server

Running a dedicated server is a process that requires dedicated hardware being used to run the game server by using its resources such as RAM and processing power. Unfortunately, this typically requires a separate device whether it be an entire game console or a separate computer. This also involves numerous separate processes such as port forwarding, file management, and more.

This is quite unrealistic, but that is why most people use a third party hosting service to set up, manage, and operate the server for them on their own hardware. If you rather have a more optimized experience overall, a great option is going with companies like Apex Hosting, were you can pay a monthly/quarterly fee to have a server set up and managed for you, allowing you to skip all of the difficult technical know-how required to get started. With the use of an easy to learn control panel and the assistance of 24/7 live technical support, Apex Hosting is a splendid option for you to get started with your friends today.


That’s all there is to it! Unfortunately, setting up your own private gaming session is not exactly as streamlined as other survival games, but ARK is still an inventive and unique gameplay experience that is quite enjoyable! It is also one of the few survival games that offers official servers. This is definitely a game meant to be played on multiplayer. I hope this blog helped you, and I hope you and your friends become to Alpha clan of whatever server you end up playing on. Have a great day!

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