black keyboard and mouse Ark

ARK Crashes When Joining Server — Methods and Tips to Fix This Issue

ARK crashes can be frustrating when you’re trying to play the game. Persisting crashing not only keeps you from enjoying the game, but also destroys your momentum and gameplay. Without proper instruction, this issue is almost impossible to fix. Therefore, our team of experts created this guide to show you fixes for when ARK crashes when joining server.

How to Fix Crashes When Joining Server on ARK

ARK crashes can be due to several factors, and unfortunately, you may not find it until you begin troubleshooting. Some of the common reasons include corrupted files, low system requirements, outdated mods, or command issues.

ark server

For our team, working down the list is the best approach to save you time and energy.

1. Check Game Requirements

The first step is always to confirm that your PC meets ARK’s performance requirements. If your computer meets the minimal requirements, consider upgrading to the recommended requirements. For example, ARK could run with 4GB RAM, although 8GB is recommended. 

Other requirements include:

  • Intel Core i5-2400 processor or equivalent
  • NVIDIA GTX 670 2GB graphics processor
  • Direct X version 10
  • 60 GB available storage space

You also need a reliable internet connection to play the game.

2. Restart Game

If your PC is up to par, the next obvious step is to restart the game. You should do this as soon as you get this error message or the ARK “Connection Timeout” message. Think of restarting as beginning with a clean slate. The game can create a new set of temporary files and correct any anomalies.

gaming keyboard

If that doesn’t fix it, restart your PC. This will close all open programs, clear your temporary space and give the game more room to run.

3. Run as Admin

When you set a program to run as an administrator, you give it unlimited access to the required files needed for proper function. The odds are that you already gave ARK permission to run as admin the first time you launched the game. But sometimes, you need to do this again.

You can set the game to run as admin by right-clicking the launcher and selecting “Run as administrator.” It’s usually the second option from the top. You can also set Steam to run as administrator for the best results.

4. Ensure if Game is Updated

For our team, the next logical step is to update the game. Confirm the current version by checking the version type. You may find this in the control panel under “programs” or in Steam, depending on how you installed the game.

updates: keep game updated for latest patch

Another option is to install the latest ARK patch. Patches are released regularly to fix bugs and operational issues. There’s probably one to fix your current issues. You can visit the ARK: Survival Evolved website [1] to check for the latest patches.

5. Deactivate AntiVirus Software

Another common problem that our team encounters concern the antivirus. Sometimes, your antivirus or firewall will block ARK from accessing the internet. If this happens, the game won’t join your server. Sometimes, the game will automatically crash whenever it meets this kind of resistance.

One solution is to add an exception to your antivirus program or firewall. Another option is to deactivate the program until you’re done playing completely.

6. Disable Mods

Mods can double the satisfaction you get from any fast-speed ARK server. But sometimes, they may also lead to ARK crashes when joining servers. The only way to confirm this is to disable your mods. You can do this by unsubscribing the mod from Steam. Next, you need to delete all the files related to the mod from your drive. These can be found in your install directory.

ark survival evolved workshop (removing mods)

If disabling the mod worked but you can’t play without it, consider checking for mod updates. Developers are always fixing bugs, and sometimes, the mod will be updated before you know it. Install the new mod and test ARK to see the effects.

7. Check Game Files

Corrupted game files can cause many problems on ARK—from in-game glitches to issues with launching the game. Sometimes, the game will load but crash every time you attempt to join a server. This can be fixed simply by verifying the integrity of game files. 

verify integrity of game files.’

To do this, navigate to Steam and click on games. Pick out ARK: Survival Evolved among the games, right-click, and go to properties. In the local files section, you’ll find the option, “verify integrity of game files.” The process will scan your files for corrupted or missing items.

If this is the problem, Steam will notify you about the missing files and suggest fixes.

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8. Tweak Game Resolution

The stunning graphics are what makes ARK so remarkable. But unfortunately, your PC may struggle with rendering the resolution. This often manifests as glitches and crashes. You can reduce your game resolution by closing Steam and navigating to the following file path:

gameusersettings (game resolution)


You’ll find the file, “gameusersettings.ini” in the folder. Open it using your text editor and input the following parameters:




FullscreenMode= 0


Save the file and launch the game to confirm if this worked.

9. Reinstall Game

If all else fails, you’ll need to reinstall ARK: Survival Evolved. To install the game, you’ll need to select “delete local content” in your Steam games library, as well as deleting all the files in the ARK game directory. Next, you just need to reinstall the game.

uninstall game to reinstall (ARK)

Tips and Reminders

Sometimes, it helps to also run the game in compatibility mode if you’re using Windows 7. If this doesn’t work, upgrading your OS to Windows 10 may also do the trick.


When ARK crashes when joining servers, it has a number of causes. However, as exemplified by this guide, this issue can be easily solved. With the steps outlined above, you can get to the bottom of the problem and find adequate fixes in no time.

Mathew has nursed a love of video games since childhood. Now, as an adult, he enjoys playing challenging games as much as he enjoys relating with other gamers. Matthew created Hypernia to give gamers like himself accurate and reliable information about games, servers, communication protocols, and much more.

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