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Recommended ARK Server Settings

in Ark

mc head By Nathan Young

Recommended Server Settings for ARK


Hosting an ARK: Survival Evolved server allows you to completely control the gameplay experience for all the players, leading to some interesting playthrough sessions. Whether you’re wanting to make the game harder or easier, you have the ability to do that with our simplified panel. However, making these changes can become confusing due to the overwhelming amount of settings to use. This is especially true for the type of server you want, as there are two possible ones. If certain options aren’t configured properly, then the in-game experience may be troublesome for your players. With this in mind, we’ve created this Apex Hosting tutorial to show you the best server settings for your ARK server.

Server Types

ARK Server Gameplay

As previously mentioned, there are two types of servers in ARK to choose from. These offer different ways to enjoy the game with others, with some being more popular than others. The first one is called Player versus Environment (PvE), only allowing you to fight creatures and not other players. This can be useful for servers that focus on building and don’t want to engage in combat with real people. As for the second type, it’s Player versus Player (PvP) and allows you to fight creatures and users. This is a popular choice, as fighting others provides a way to get loot and valuables to use for yourself. However, each one of these server types provide benefits and downsides, depending on your goals for it. For example, some owners rather have only PvE to avoid unwanted combat situations with other players. Regardless of the type of server you want, there are specific settings for each one to make it better for everyone.

Editing Server Settings

Before making any changes to your server settings, you’ll want to understand where they’re located. Additionally, ensuring you know the process for saving and applying them is important too. We’ll briefly go through the required steps for setting up your server, but for more details visit our full tutorial.

  1. Head towards your Apex server panel, then click Config Files near the top left corner.
    ARK Config Files

    Important: Ensure you’re using the correct Server Profile for this process.

  2. Locate and select the ARK Server Configuration (GameUserSettings.ini) option.
    ARK Server Settings
  3. Proceed to make any changes in the file editor, then press Save at the top.
    ARK Edit Server Settings

    Note: Make sure to only edit or add settings under “[ServerSettings]”.

  4. Return to the main panel and Restart the server to apply the edits.


Best Settings

When you’re ready to edit the settings, choose a template below that matches your server type. These are only suggestions and recommendations, meaning you can combine different options or completely ignore some while editing the file. Regardless of what you decide, trying them out in-game allows you to know what options are best for the server. Although, if you’re curious about what each setting does, then review ARK’s Wiki to learn about them.

PvE Setup
ARK PvE Servers

Our suggestions for PvE servers is making everything slightly more challenging, slowing down player progression, and prolonging gameplay sessions. This allows players to have satisfying fights with dinos and forces them to work hard to get better loot or unlock engrams. For example, the destruction and items from creatures is increased so you can have an intense battle that offers good rewards. There are other aspects making the server harder, but there are benefits such as having better structural damage. It’s a decent combination of challenges and satisfying experiences for every player in the server with these settings.



PvP Config
ARK PvP Servers

Rather than a slow playstyle, using our PvP settings allow players to quickly level up, obtain powerful engrams, and engage in strong fights. This makes progressing an easy task for anyone to do, which promotes building a sturdy base to prevent damage from other users. It also gives you the ability to kill dinos with ease, making them a fairly fast challenge to overcome. Whether you’re trying to efficiently craft weapons to kill players or gather an abundance of resources, these settings help with any type of similar server.



Common Issues

Settings Aren’t Applying

In cases where you’re unable to apply server settings, then make sure it’s being saved properly. After making your changes, press Save at the top of the file editor and Restart from the main panel. This is likely going to work, but sometimes it won’t due to incorrect value formatting. Ensure you’re following the exact wording, spelling, and numbers when making changes. However, you can try to Stop the server before editing the settings.

Server is too Easy or Hard

If after changing your server settings and it’s either too easy or hard, then switch around values until it’s suitable for you. For instance, editing the DinoDamageMultiplier option controls how much damage creatures have against players. Sometimes, our suggested settings aren’t exactly what you want, so playing around with them is encouraged to find the best ones for you. Otherwise, you can remove some of them to force the server to use default values. This is ideal for owners who aren’t wanting to customize everything about the gameplay experience.

Useful Links

How to Make an ARK Server
How to Reset ARK Servers
Changing ARK Server Settings
Adding Mods to an ARK Server

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