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What Is a Dedicated Server ARK?

Written by, Mihajlo Trajcheski

Updated June, 27, 2022

Ark: Survival Evolved is a fun game with incredible gameplay. But, as the game continues to evolve itself, it still suffers from certain issues if you’re not on a dedicated ARK server, regardless of the version you’re playing. 

But, what is a dedicated server ARK, what are the different types of servers and modes in the game, and how can you pick the right one for yourself?

Let’s dive in.

What is ARK?

ARK SE: Survival Evolved is an action-adventure survival game where players are stranded on an island filled with dinosaurs, leviathans, and other creatures that threaten their survival.

The first ARK was launched in Early Access in 2015, but it was fully released in 2017. It can be played on platforms like Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, Android, and iOS besides Windows and Mac OS. 

In the game, players either team up with others or fight against them. You can further choose between two modes, a first or third-person perspective, and play single or opt for the ark multiplayer option. The number of players varies depending on the server. 

What Are the Different Types of Servers?

In the ARK world, and similar games, there are several different types of servers where you can host the game.

Dedicated server vs non dedicated server ARK

A dedicated server has a unique IP address and belongs to whoever built it. It requires a lot of RAM and memory since these servers work around the clock, but this doesn’t mean that the host has to be online 24/7 to keep it running. 

Unlike an ARK non dedicated server, dedicated servers don’t combine the role of a server and a system for the game. That means that the performance can be less than ideal.

If you are struggling with performance and especially with lag and ping, take a look at our insightful guide to help you out.

Unofficial vs official server

ARK unofficial servers are closed to a small number of people. They’re hosted and located in various locations by a third-party company. An official server, on the other hand, is available for everyone and can accommodate people from all over the world. 

Single-player servers

These types of servers allow players to play in single-player mode. They provide quite a few options such as exploring, creating, and taming creatures, and you can change and customise the settings to your preferences. 

What’s more, a single-player server doesn’t require you to authorise yourself as an admin and automatically saves your progress every 15 minutes.

Worth noting: Both dedicated and non-dedicated servers can be ARK private servers. However, the prior requires good computer skills, a lot of RAM memory, and/or a larger budget. You also can’t relocate your character to another server.

You may be interested in: Does Your Motherboard Matter for Gaming?

What Game Modes Are There in ARK?

There are various game modes available within the different server types, including:

PVP (Player vs Player)

This is a mode where players are allowed to either kill each other or deal damage. It’s suitable for more experienced players as there’s more danger involved in the PVP map such as wild dinos, hunger, dehydration, drowning, and fall damage. There’s also a possibility of being killed by players that aren’t in your tribe and/or alliance. 

PVE (Player vs Environment) 

If you don’t want to jump into the PVP map immediately, the PVE mode is a great place to get familiar with the game. In this mode, players can’t damage or kill other players, but they can destroy other tribes’ structures if none of their players have logged in for a certain amount of time. 


This mode, which is available both in PvP and PvE, takes away most of the advanced skills in the game, such as the engram skill tree. There’s also no modern tier except for saddles and no high-tier gear, including all ranged weapons, and all fabricated items. 

However, there’s a more advanced version of Primitive called DLC called Primitive Plus which is for free and adds new Engrams and mechanics to compensate for the loss of the items in the Primitive mode. 


In hardcore mode, players lose all levels when they die and reenter the game only with 9 levels going up. It’s available on all servers and it’s perfect for seasoned players. 

   What Server And Game Mode Combination is Right For You?

The perfect server-mode combination for players largely depends on their skills and experience in the game. Single-player servers and PVE modes are better suited for beginners as it gives them the space to familiarise themselves with the game. On the other hand, the PVP mode and multiplayer servers are better for more experienced players.

PlaystyleServer Type Game Mode
Solo Beginner SingleplayerPVE
Solo ExperiencedSingleplayer1. PVE2. Hardcore3. Primitive
Social BeginnerOfficial and unofficial PVE
Social Experienced1. Official2. Unofficial 3. Dedicated1. PVP2. Hardcore3. Primitive
Multi-playerNon-dedicated1. PVE2. PVP3. Hardcore4. Primitive

Bottom Line

Survival games are certainly not for everyone. However, if you happen to be a gamer who likes the thrill of adventure, then you might want to consider adding ARK: Survival Evolved to your ‘Games I’d like to try’ list. 

When it comes to picking a server, it all depends on the type of games you’d like to play and your in-game skills, though both a non dedicated server ARK and a dedicated server have their advantages.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

What does PvE mean in ARK?

PVE stands for Player vs Environment. It’s a mode where players can’t kill or damage other players directly, including other tribes’ dinos, but they destroy your structure or steal what you own if you haven’t been active for a while.

Are ARK dedicated servers free?

Hosting a dedicated server ARK is free, but renting a dedicated ARK server is not. You can also make your own dedicated server for the game.

Can someone join my single-player ARK?

Yes, your friends can join your single-player game if you invite them. Since you’re the host, you have control over the settings in the game, though, you’ll first have to start the game to allow others to join.

What is a dedicated server ARK?

A dedicated server is exactly what it sounds like: a server that runs a copy of the game you’re playing, in this case, ARK, where other players can connect to around the clock. 

As someone who grew up gaming and always had a love for random facts, being able to write about gaming and technology for a living has been an absolute treat. Whenever I’m not researching my next topic for Don’t Disappoint Me, I am deflecting the attacks of Bosses in Sekiro, investigating a murder in Disco Elysium, helping Zagreus escape the underworld in Hades, or flanking enemies in Call of Duty with my squad. Having studied English language and literature has helped me merge these two worlds of random facts and gaming into a fulfilling career.