What Is a Dedicated Server in Ark? A Comprehensive Guide

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What Is a Dedicated Server in Ark

Ark: Survival Evolved is a popular and entertaining game with immersive, thrilling action and adventure. It’s more engaging on a fast server. However, there’s no guide on what is a dedicated server in Ark and which ones are best for beginners in the documentation.

As with most massively multiplayer online video games, Ark benefits considerably from a dedicated vs non-dedicated server. Dedicated servers provide a smooth gameplay experience, fully immersing players in the game. You need a trusted, dedicated server provider to get reliable hosting solutions for Ark.

This comprehensive guide explores what a dedicated server in Ark is, its advantages and functions, and why it is crucial for a seamless gaming experience. You’ll also discover how RedSwitches can help you find a reliable dedicated server provider for Ark: Survival Evolved.

Table of Content

  1. What is Ark?
  2. What Are the Different Types of Servers?
  3. What Game Modes Are There in Ark?
  4. What are the System Requirements for an Ark Dedicated Server?
  5. What Server and Game Mode Combination is Right For You?
  6. Conclusion
  7. FAQs

What is Ark?

Ark: Survival Evolved is an action and adventure game developed by Studio Wildcard in 2017. Players must survive on an island with dinosaurs, leviathans, and other monsters while rivaling other players.

They are stranded on a mysterious island and must build shelters, craft weapons, and gather resources to survive. You can game in single-player or multiplayer modes in the first or third-person perspective.

To embark on a thrilling adventure with friends, you choose between a dedicated or Non-dedicated server.

What Are the Different Types of Servers?

It can be challenging to choose a server setup as a beginner. Do you join a pre-made server or create your own? Remember, different types of Ark servers accommodate distinct game styles.

Dedicated Server vs Non-Dedicated Server in Ark

There are many Ark non-dedicated server options in the market. As an avid gamer, you might have heard that dedicated servers allow you to game without lags or crashes.

So what is a dedicated server in Ark? Dedicated Ark servers are separate machines or programs exclusively made to host the game and act as a server. They run 24/7, provide a unique IP address, and serve you only.

In contrast, a non-dedicated server uses your machine as the server and client. It’s local and works if your playmates are nearby. If you’re using your personal computer to host an Ark game, that’s a non-dedicated server.

The fundamental difference is performance when we think of a dedicated server vs. a non-dedicated server in Ark. Dedicated servers offer superior performance and reliability compared to non-dedicated servers. They handle more players and provide smoother gameplay.

On the other hand, non-dedicated servers are cheaper, easy to set up, and flexible in that you can game whenever you want. However, they may suffer from lags and high latency.

Unofficial vs. Official Server

Unofficial servers are privately owned but available to the general public. You host the game on third-party companies that offer paid hosting services. While it costs money to rent these, they’ll automatically create backups in case anything happens.

Official servers were created and run by Studio Wildcard. It’s great for beginners and routinely wiped to give you a chance to succeed. Most beginners enjoy this server type since they can learn without feeling overwhelmed by experienced players.

Unofficial servers allow mods and alterations, while official servers don’t. They have specific rules and customizations to enhance gameplay. While unofficial servers may offer unique features, choosing a reputable server with stable performance and active moderation is essential.

When selecting a server, consider its location and availability. Choosing one close to your location can reduce latency and provide a smoother gaming experience.

Single-Player Servers

Single-player servers are best for players who enjoy playing alone with the computer as a competitor. They offer a personalized and immersive gaming experience, allowing players to game without the internet.

These servers control the gaming environment, enabling players to adjust settings such as difficulty levels, taming rates, and resource availability. They don’t need admin authorization, so players have full authority over the game settings.

You can save gaming progress on your server, so you never lose game data. Interact with the gaming environment, build structures, and freely experiment at your own pace.

What Game Modes Are There in Ark?

Ark: Survival Evolved offers four game modes: PVP, PVE, Primitive, and Hardcore. Let’s explore some of them below.

PVP (Player vs Player)

Player vs. Player (PVP) is where players engage with each other in combat. They battle wild dinosaurs, hunger, drowning, and other obstacles while tackling each other.

PVP is best for experienced players who want some excitement in their gameplay. It fosters rivalries, encouraging players to adopt strategic gameplay to claim dominance.

PVE (Player vs. Environment)

Player vs. Environment focuses on cooperation to survive challenges in the game. In PVE game modes, you cannot harm or kill others but work together to create a cooperative environment.

To survive, you must tackle obstacles in the game. PVE is suitable for players who enjoy teamwork and exploration over conflicts.


The primitive game mode is where you don’t use tech and gadgets, making the game more challenging. You rely on basic tools and weaponry, making the game more realistic and survival-focused.

Some servers offer items to compensate for the absence of tech gadgets. The game mode adds a layer of difficulty, but it’s an excellent choice for the primal struggle against nature and the environment.


The hardcore game mode in Ark is the most complex challenge for experienced players. It’s best for people looking for intense and unforgiving gameplay. Players lose all their levels and engrams when they die. They have to start from scratch with only nine levels.

The challenge adds an element of risk, where every decision and action carries much weight. All server types provide hardcore game modes to test the limits of a player’s skills and survival instincts.

What are the System Requirements for an Ark Dedicated Server?

Now that you know what a dedicated server in Ark is, it is time to understand its system requirements. You must meet the minimum recommended system requirements to set up an Ark dedicated server. Let’s explore the critical specifications you need for a smooth server experience.

Processor (CPU)

The processor plays a critical role in the performance of Ark’s dedicated servers. Two physical cores with over 3GHz are recommended even for small private servers.

One core handles main calculations, while the other handles network activities. The exact CPU requirements may vary depending on the number of players and mods used.

Working Memory (RAM)

RAM impacts the server’s ability to handle concurrent player connections, process in-game actions, and maintain a stable environment.

The minimum recommended RAM is 8GB to handle more players. If you host many players or extensive mods, you may require 16GB or more.

Hard Disk Space

To choose the correct hard disk size, you must consider the initial installation, storage for user files, and potential expansion and upgrades to the game. Game mods and player data consume more disk space with time.

You must have at least 30GB or more to accommodate long-term hosting. Use a fast and reliable storage solution such as solid-state drives to ensure optimal performance.

Broadband Connection

You need a stable internet connection to host an Ark server. The speed quality affects the server’s ability to communicate with players and transmit user data. Consider buying broadband with high upload speeds and reduced latency.

Ensure the network infrastructure, including routers and switches, can handle the heavy traffic generated by the server and players. You might need to configure ports and port forwarding to ensure seamless connectivity for players.

Operating System

You can set up an Ark dedicated server on Windows and Linux operating systems. The choice will depend on your preferences, familiarity, and specific requirements.

You need Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable on Windows, a 64-bit OS, and other dependencies to run the server. Gamers often prefer Linux OS for reliability and resource efficiency.

What Server and Game Mode Combination is Right For You?

It is not enough to know what is a dedicated server in Ark and other types of servers. Choosing the appropriate server and game mode combination is vital to tailor your Ark experience to your preferences and playstyle.

When making your decision, consider the following:

  • Experience and skill level: Novice players prefer a more relaxed experience. So, PVE or single-player might be a good fit.
  • Solo vs. social: If you prefer gaming with friends, go for PVP or PVE game modes with a dedicated or non-dedicated server. You can join friends online and play collaborative gameplay.
  • Intensity and challenge: For a competitive and intense experience, PVP game modes offer the ultimate thrill. Primitive and Hardcore modes provide additional challenges and limitations for those seeking more demanding and immersive gameplay.

Ultimately, the most fitting game mode for you will depend on your preferences and objectives. Experimenting with different options can help you balance challenge and enjoyment.


Ark: Survival Evolved is a popular and fun game with many challenges and obstacles to make it more entertaining. You need a dedicated vs non-dedicated server to enhance your gaming experience. It offers better performance, stability, and control than other server types.

Using a dedicated server gives players more control over their game. They can customize, explore, and enable seamless multiplayer interactions. Dedicated servers can meet your preferences, whether collaborative or intense PVP battles.

However, you must meet system requirements to set up and host an Ark dedicated server. You need an adequate processor, working memory, and storage space to run a reliable dedicated server.

RedSwitches provides dedicated servers tailored for Ark hosting. With their reliable infrastructure and exceptional support, RedSwitches ensures optimal performance and a seamless gaming experience.

Reach out to RedSwitches today to discuss what is a dedicated server in Ark that can meet your specific needs and enjoy smooth gameplay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is the difference between a dedicated and non-dedicated server in Ark?

A dedicated server is a machine exclusively used for hosting an Ark game and acting as a server for other machines. Non-dedicated servers are players’ machines operating as both the server and the client.

Q2. Do you have to pay for a dedicated Ark server?

Yes. You require hosting to get a dedicated server, typically a fee to rent the server hardware and infrastructure. The costs may vary depending on the hosting service provider.

Q3. What does a dedicated server do in Ark?

A dedicated server in Ark exclusively hosts the game and provides the infrastructure for playing the game.

Q4. What is a non-dedicated server in Ark?

A non-dedicated server is where a player uses their machine as both the server and client. The player runs several applications on their computer, so it’s not dedicated to playing Ark.

Q5. Is it better to run a dedicated server in Ark?

Yes. Running a dedicated server has many advantages compared to a non-dedicated server. These include improved performance, stability, control, smoother gameplay, and player capacity.

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