join Ark Ark

What is a Non-Dedicated Server on ARK?

Hello, ARK players! If you’re starting out at ARK, you may find it hard to choose which server to run. 

If you’re considering a non-dedicated server, let our game experts explain what a non-dedicated server on ARK is and how it differs from other server types. So, make sure to check this out!

About ARK: Survival Evolved and its Different Types of Server

ARK: Survival Evolved runs different types of servers to accommodate various game styles. Servers include:

join Ark

However, it’s impossible to transfer character data from certain servers like Unofficial and Official Servers. Also, you can create a character one server at a time only. We suggest uploading them to an obelisk before exiting if you don’t plan on resuming the game. 

How Does a Non-Dedicated ARK Server Work?

A non-dedicated session in ARK means you can start your game at any time to play. Your friends can join your world to have fun with you and play together. Also, in a non-dedicated session, you can modify the original settings, like harvesting stone stats on ARK, as you did on the local mode. 

Non-dedicated servers allow anyone to join by hosting the server on a player’s personal computer. You can invite your friend from the next room or across the planet. Just set a password if you don’t want anyone else to join the server.

Non-dedicated servers are a bit similar to single-player servers. When you quit the game, it automatically saves. You can resume the game at any time and be on the scene where you left off.

Note that the game can only be played by everyone if the host player is online.

Key Differences Between a Dedicated and Non-Dedicated Server

A dedicated server serves you only, and you have a unique IP [1]. This means that you have to use another system to play ARK, as a dedicated server requires its own device to run it. 

joining Ark servers

On the other hand, non-dedicated servers require a singular host player and device to play, where many players can benefit from the same server.  If you share a non-dedicated server, you don’t have the advantage of using the server’s total resources, as you can only play when the host player is on ARK.

Difference From a Single-Player Server

Non-dedicated servers are the same as single-player servers, except for one difference: your friends can join. 

Running a non-dedicated server allows you to play with others, unlike a single-player server, where you play only by yourself and according to your liking. 

Can Friends Join a Non-Dedicated Server on ARK?

Yes, your friends can join if you run a non-dedicated server. However, ARK only allows a max of 4 players, including you, to join a non-dedicated server. 

Ark non-dedicated session option

Also, you and your friends must be physically close to play and run the game smoothly on a non-dedicated server. 

Advantages of Non-Dedicated Servers in ARK

One of the significant advantages of non-dedicated servers is their ease of setup. Unlike dedicated servers, which require additional hardware and technical expertise, non-dedicated servers can be set up quickly and easily without the need for any specialized knowledge. 

This accessibility makes them a popular choice for gamers who want to create their own multiplayer environment without investing in dedicated server infrastructure.

Another advantage of non-dedicated servers is the ability to have a more intimate and private gaming experience. These servers are typically designed to accommodate smaller groups of players, such as friends or a gaming community, who want to explore a particular game world together. 

By setting up a non-dedicated server, players can enjoy a more personalized and controlled gaming environment where they can collaborate, strategize, and engage in cooperative gameplay without interference from other random players.

The privacy aspect of non-dedicated servers is particularly appealing to many gamers. Since the server is not open to the public, players can have a sense of exclusivity and control over who joins their gaming sessions. This allows for a more tightly-knit community experience, fostering stronger relationships and closer bonds among the players.

hunting for food ARK

Additionally, non-dedicated servers can be a cost-effective option for players on a budget or those who don’t require a high-performance server setup. 

As they don’t require dedicated hardware or extensive technical resources, non-dedicated servers can be hosted on existing gaming systems, making them a more affordable choice for players looking to create their multiplayer environment.

Drawbacks of Non-Dedicated Servers

Non-dedicated servers, where the hosting player’s computer serves as both the game client and the server, indeed have some drawbacks that can affect performance and gameplay experience. Here are some further details to expand on the mentioned drawbacks:

Performance Limitations

The primary concern with non-dedicated servers is the impact on performance. Since the host’s computer is responsible for running both the game and the server simultaneously, its resources are divided between the two tasks. 

This division of resources can lead to decreased performance, resulting in increased lag or reduced frame rates, especially if the host’s computer does not meet the recommended specifications for the game or if there are multiple players connected.

Host's Computer Specifications

ARK gameplay

The host’s computer specifications play a crucial role in determining the server’s performance. If the host’s computer lacks sufficient processing power, RAM, or a stable internet connection, it can significantly impact the server’s performance. Players connected to the non-dedicated server may experience lag, delays in game actions, or synchronization issues.

Limitations on Player Distance

In non-dedicated servers, the server’s boundaries are tied to the host’s location within the game world. This means that players are restricted in how far they can stray from the host. 

As players move away from the host, the game world needs to be loaded and simulated on the host’s computer for all connected players, which can strain its resources. If players venture too far, they may experience severe lag and gameplay issues.

Reliance on Host's Presence

Since the host’s computer serves as the server, the server will only be accessible when the host is online and running the game. If the host disconnects or leaves the game, the server goes offline, resulting in all players being disconnected. 

This limitation can be frustrating if players want to continue playing while the host is not available.


That’s all you ought to know about what a non-dedicated server is on ARK. So, if you want to play with a few of your friends, we suggest running a non-dedicated server. 

You can play the game and host it with your friends simultaneously, but remember, it only works well if they are physically nearby.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *