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How to Use ARK Server Manager? — Setting Up Servers & More

Using the ARK Server Manager can help you automate your server setup. The problem is that the manager has configurations of its own, and you may end up with a dysfunctional server without proper guidance. Our team of experts created this guide on how to use the ARK Server Manager to show you the steps.

Purpose of an ARK Server Manager

The most significant purpose of an ARK Server Manager is to manage the SteamCMD tool and server installation processes. It also organizes your files, and writes .ini files and command-line arguments automatically. If you’re like most people, this is a relief because writing command-line arguments can be a tedious process, even if you’re just copying and pasting.

ARK Server Managers can also track your server status, save and load server profiles, and even schedule updates for new mods and server files so that the mod details of your Ark Server Manager can be retrieved from Steam. The manager basically automates most of the steps of setting up your ARK dedicated server.

playing games on a computer

However, there are a few things the ARK Server Manager won’t do. For example, it won’t configure your third-party firewall apps. If there are any on your PC, you’ll have to do it manually. Secondly, the manager won’t redirect your router ports. Redirecting router ports is crucial to making a server work, so it’s something you’ll need to pay attention to.

How to Use ARK Server Manager

ARK Server Manager is a helpful tool for anyone looking to set up their own dedicated ARK servers. It’s especially useful for individuals who don’t know the first thing about hosting a server. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process:

1. Ensure ARK Server Manager is Updated

The first step is to install the latest version. You can find it on free forums or any other file-sharing sites. If you already have ARK Server Manager installed, it’s a good idea to update to the latest version.

Outdated Server Managers are often riddled with problems like spotty connections and incomplete file libraries. The good news is that the setup is less than 4MB large, and you can download it with a mediocre internet connection.

Ensure ARK Server Manager is Updated

You also don’t have to worry about paying for the program because both the ARK Server Manager and the ARK dedicated server tool are free for use.

2. Making and Hosting ARK Server

Once you have an up-to-date server .exe, launch it and follow the installation prompts. You’ll need to choose a folder for the ASM files. This will usually be in the C:\Programs\ASM directory, but you can assign it wherever you want.

Next, create a new folder for ARKServers. You can name the folder whatever you want, as long as the name doesn’t have any spaces in between. You can also choose whatever file directory you want.

When you launch the .exe for the first time, you’ll get a prompt to make it run as administrator. This step is critical because it gives the program unrestricted access to the needed files. You’ll also need to choose a data directory location. This will be the ARKServers folder you created in the previous step. Click yes, and the program will download everything you need, from SteamCMD to the server files.

Purpose of an ARK Server Manager

When it’s done, click the green plus sign on the top left corner to create a new server profile. When choosing a name, our team recommends that you choose one with no spaces.

Even though the Server Manager has done most of the work for you, it’s critical to change a few things. For example, either change your server password or delete it entirely to allow anyone to join your server. You should also change your LAN IP address from the IP drop-down list.

Finally, you can also set up automatic settings like turning off your server at certain times, automatic backups, and more.

When you’ve chosen all your preferences, hit save. When the server boots up, shut it down and launch it again. You’re now set!

3. Dedicated Servers

A dedicated server is a kind of web hosting where you have exclusive access to an entire server. Dedicated servers are used for online games because of the high requirements of these games. The servers also allow you to play in a multiplayer setting with friends and other gamers worldwide. This is the advantage of dedicated servers over non-dedicated servers because the latter can only allow a maximum of four players to join and the joiners must be physically close in order to play together on an ARK non-dedicated server. You can host your own dedicated server or rent one from a web hosting company. 

(For Ark Server hosting, here are our recommended dedicated server for Ark)

ARK Survival featured photo from website

4. ARK Server Issues

A few things could be causing your ARK server problems. For one thing, the game installation files may be corrupted or incomplete. You can solve this by verifying the integrity of game files from your Steam client.

ARK Server Issues Verify Integrity

Another likely problem may be from your antivirus or firewall. If they block the ARK server’s network access, you’ll experience problems. You can fix this by adding exceptions to your firewall or antivirus.

(For other related server issues, you can check out how to resolve the Don’t Starve Together server problems here

5. Uninstalling ARK

You can easily uninstall ARK [1] by navigating to your PC’s control panel and then the app list. You don’t need any special steps for the process. However, if you plan to transfer your server to another PC, it helps to back up the server files first.

Uninstalling ARK

Cost and Time of Setting Up

Setting up a dedicated server used to be time-consuming, with configuration files, command lines, and a long list of other processes. But thanks to the Server Manager, it’s no longer than the few steps above.

However, hosting a dedicated server still has hardware demands. For example, you need 8GB RAM, 20GB disk space, 2 CPU Cores, and a reliable network connection. For an enjoyable hosting experience, you’ll need to provide all of these.

For our team, you only need to invest time the first time you install the manager. Subsequent operations are as easy as booting your PC and turning on the server.

Want to earn money while hosting a game? You can check how you can set up your own Buycraft here


The steps on how to use the ARK Server Manager are quite straightforward. Once you have the most recent version, it comes down to choosing the correct folders, creating profiles, and adjusting your server settings. If needed, you can also forward ports for best results.

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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