Ark: Survival Evolved

Ark: Survival Evolved is an action-adventure survival game set in an open world environment and played either from a third-person or first-person perspective. To survive, players must establish a base, with a fire and weapons; additional activities, such as taming and feeding dinosaurs, require more resources.

Ark: Survival Evolved Screen Shot

Ark: Survival Evolved Dedicated Server can be run as a Windows Service using FireDaemon Pro. FireDaemon Pro allows you to start the server automatically at boot prior to login, assist you in automatically updating the server, start multiple instances of the server and restart Ark: Survival Evolved should it crash. This guide will show you how to set it up.

Ark: Survival Evolved Dedicated Server Setup Under FireDaemon Pro

Install SteamCMD

First off download SteamCMD for Windows from the Steam website.

Extract the SteamCMD executable to a folder on your hard drive. For the purposes of this guide, we will be using "C:\SteamCMD". Change this path as you see fit.

Go to the directory where you copied SteamCMD and create a shortcut called to SteamCMD.exe called "Ark - Survival Evolved" . Next edit the properties of the shortcut and in the target box make it read as follows. Note Ark: Survival Evolved will be installed into C:\SteamCMD\Ark. Change this path to meet your needs.

C:\SteamCMD\steamcmd.exe +login anonymous +force_install_dir "C:\SteamCMD\Ark" +app_update 376030 validate +quit

Ark: Survival Evolved SteamCMD Shortcut

Once, the shortcut has been created, double click it and let it run to download the Ark: Survival Evolved server files. Note that it might take some time to update everything as there are over 6GB of files. Run the shortcut periodically, to ensure your game server is kept up to date.

Install DirectX

The game server requires DirectX to run. Download the DirectX Web Installer and run it.

Install FireDaemon Pro

Download and install FireDaemon Pro. Note this guide shows screenshots from FireDaemon Pro 4. It will work just find under FireDaemon Pro 3 too!

Create The FireDaemon Pro Ark: Survival Evolved Service

For the sake of this article, we are using a very simple dedicated server setup. Just the basics to get the game server running. The parameters supplied to the game server as as follows. Customise those parameters to meet your game server setup requirements.


Setup the FireDaemon Pro service per the screenshot below using the basic set of parameters listed above. Then click the "tick" box to save and run the game server.

Ark: Survival Evolved Server FireDaemon Pro Configuration

Here's an example of a much more complicated server setup that uses clustering. For the complete list of command line arguments and configuration file settings please refer to this article.

"Ragnarok?listen?MultiHome=" -ForceNetThreading -ForceAllowCaveFlyers -AutoDestroyStructures -clusterid=Arkcosm469 -ClusterDirOverride="C:\Program Files\ASM" -NoTransferFromFiltering -UseBattlEye -UseCache -NoHangDetection -NoSteamClient -game -server -log

Ark: Survival Evolved Service Running On Session 0

The screenshot below shows the Ark: Survival Evolved FireDaemon Pro Windows service running on Session 0. To view and manage the game server on Session 0 we installed FireDaemon Zero (Session 0 Viewer). We then installed FireDaemon Restore to restore keyboard and mouse input on Session 0 on Windows 10.

Ark: Survival Evolved running on Session 0 under FireDaemon Pro