VPS: ARK Survival Ascended Dedicated Server Setup | ZAP-Hosting Docs (2024)


Do you have a Windows VPS or root server and you want to install the ARK: Survival Ascended Dedicated server service on it? You are in the right place. In this guide, we will explain the step by step process of installing this service on your server.

ARK: Survival Ascended Dedicated Server Setup on Windows VPS

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To begin with, connect to your VPS or rootserver through Remote Desktop (RDP). Use our RDP Initial Access guide if you need help doing this.

Once you have accessed your server, you will need to setup SteamCMD in order to be able to download the necessary dedicated server files. SteamCMD is the command-line (CLI) version of the Steam client and is the tool which allows you to easily download a range of Steam workshop and dedicated server files. Download SteamCMD from the official Valve website or directly here.

Create a new folder somewhere on your server, in this scenario we will name it steamcmd. Head over to your Downloads folder, find the steamcmd.zip file which you just downloaded and place it into your steamcmd folder. Now you will have unzip the file by right-clicking and using Window's unzip functionality directly, or any range of applications such as .7zip or Winrar. This should result with a steamcmd.exe file being unzipped.

Simply run steamcmd.exe and await until the installation process is fully completed.

VPS: ARK Survival Ascended Dedicated Server Setup | ZAP-Hosting Docs (1)

As soon as the message Loading Steam API.... OK is displayed, the process has been completed successfully and you can being with the installation of the ARK: Survival Ascended dedicated server in the following section.


After the installation, you should be able to execute commands within the steamcmd.exe command prompt that you ran before. You need to login prior to being able to do anything, through the anonymous user, by using the command: login anonymous

Once logged in, you can now begin downloading the files.


Optional: You can set your preferred install directory by using the command force_install_dir [path], replacing [path] with the path that you wish to use for your server. For example:

force_install_dir C:\ARK-Survival-Ascended-Server

Now run the command app_update 2430930 which will begin the download. The App ID 2430930 is the ARK: Survival Ascended Dedicated Server application.

VPS: ARK Survival Ascended Dedicated Server Setup | ZAP-Hosting Docs (2)


Please do not interrupt the process before it is completed to avoid mistakes. It may take a moment, but it's worth being patient! :)

Creating Startup File

Once the download has been completed successfully, navigate to the directory where you have performed the installation and go to the following subdirectory:

../steamapps/common/Ark Survival Ascended Dedicated Server/ShooterGame/Binaries/Win64

In this subdirectory, you will have to create your startup file which is needed in order to launch the dedicated server. Create a file with the name: start-ark.bat. You can create a text document first and then rename it to the .bat extension afterwards.


Ensure that you have the "Display file extensions" option enabled in your File Explorer so that the correct file extension is being used.

Open the file using a text editor (such as Notepad++) and add the following contents within it:

start ArkAscendedServer.exe TheIsland_WP?listen?SessionName=[server_name]?ServerAdminPassword=[admin_password]?Port=7777?QueryPort=27015?MaxPlayers=[max_players] -NoBattlEye

Within this command, you should replace [server_name], [admin_password] and [max_players] with what you wish.

If you also want to setup a password for regular people to be able to join, you can add ?ServerPassword=[join_password] to the command in the file above. This would change it to:

start ArkAscendedServer.exe TheIsland_WP?listen?SessionName=[server_name]?ServerPassword=[join_password]?ServerAdminPassword=[admin_password]?Port=7777?QueryPort=27015?MaxPlayers=[max_players] -NoBattlEye

Ensure that you have set the variables and that you save the changes before you close the file.

Your server will now be accessible locally through once you run the startup file and the server becomes online. However, you must still add Windows Firewall port forwarding rules if you want your server to be accessible to the public which will be covered in the following section.

Port Forwarding your server

In order to ensure that your server is accessible to the public, you must alter port forwarding rules for the ports that the dedicated server process is using. You can do this either through Powershell commands directly which is easier, or regularly through the Windows Defender Firewall page.

  • Via Powershell
  • Via Windows Defender

Open your Windows search box, and search for Powershell. Make sure to right-click and Run as Administrator so that permissions are accessible and everything works correctly.


Ensure you run your Powershell in Administrator mode, otherwise the settings may not apply correctly.

Next, copy and paste the following commands into your Powershell Prompt:

New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "ARKSA Server" -Direction Inbound -LocalPort 7777,7778,27015 -Protocol TCP -Action Allow
New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "ARKSA Server" -Direction Inbound -LocalPort 7777,7778,27015 -Protocol UDP -Action Allow
New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "ARKSA Server" -Direction Outbound -LocalPort 7777,7778,27015 -Protocol TCP -Action Allow
New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "ARKSA Server" -Direction Outbound -LocalPort 7777,7778,27015 -Protocol UDP -Action Allow

These commands will automatically create firewall rules which are necessary for your Ark: Survival Ascended server to be accessible to the public.

Once you have added these rules, your server will now be accessible which means you will be able to connect to it through your server's IP address. You can do this by opening your in-game console on Ark: Survival Ascended and running open [your_ip_address]:7777.

We recommend that you configure your server settings first through the following section before accessing your server.


By this stage, you have finished the setup for your Ark: Survival Ascended dedicated server. You can perform further server configuration through two configuration files found within the directory of your server.

Firstly, navigate to the following directories:

../steamapps/common/Ark Survival Ascended Dedicated Server/ShooterGame/Config/
../steamapps/common/Ark Survival Ascended Dedicated Server/ShooterGame/Saved/Config/WindowsServer/

You will be able to find both DefaultGameUserSettings.ini and Gameusersettings.ini configuration files. In these files, you can edit a wide range of variables and options regarding your server.


Since 18 November 2023, server owners need to manually install the certificate revocation list that can be obtained from https://dev.epicgames.com/ (or just directly from http://crl.r2m02.amazontrust.com/r2m02.crl). The downloaded r2m02.crl file must be installed (right-click on the file) by selecting Place all certificates in the following store and selecting Trusted Root Certification Authorities. A system restart may be needed.

If before 18 November 2023 server owners installed the r2m02.cer certificate file and the server isn't showing up, that certificate must be removed from the system to properly allow the servers to be visible again. To remove the revoked certificate run (Windows + R) certmgr.msc and search for Amazon RSA 2048 M02 in Trusted Root Certification Authorities. The same must be done running certlm.msc. Finally, a system restart may be needed

Starting & Connecting to your server

Now it is time to start your server. However, in order for the server to start successfully, you will have to install Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable to your Windows VPS.


You must install Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable onto your Windows VPS before attempting to start the server if you do not have it yet, as it is a dependency. Your server may not start if you do not have this installed.

Once you have this installed on your VPS, you can proceed towards starting the server by executing the start-ark.bat file you created previously.

This will open the server's console in a command prompt and begin the startup process. If everthing occurs as expected, your server will be visible in the server list. Alternatively, you will be able to connect directly by opening the console in-game and running open [your_ip_address]:7777.

You have successfully installed Ark: Survival Ascended on your Windows VPS.

VPS: ARK Survival Ascended Dedicated Server Setup | ZAP-Hosting Docs (2024)
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