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How to change server settings

Last updated: 03/14/18
written by  Nodecraft Staff

ARK: Survival Evolved offers almost endless configuration of game mechanics, server settings, and more!

ARK offers configuration by both startup arguments, as well as various config files.

To generate the necessary config files, you will want to start your server at least once. These configs can then be found in the /ShooterGame/Saved/Config/LinuxServer directory. There are a lot of files here, but we'll be focusing primarily on the GameUserSettings.ini and Game.ini.

Command line arguments

These options are used in the server launch command. There are server settings, and startup arguments. Server settings start with a ? character and can be appended directly after oneanother, whereas startup arguments start with a - character and have to be noted separately. Server settings are recommended to be configured in the GameUserSettings.ini file rather than via a startup argument, as this can have unexpected side effects and configuration conflicts.

Startup Argument Description
-automanagedmods Automatic MOD download/installation/updating. This option is known to cause issues on Linux servers. We recommend using our upcoming mod manager via the control panel.
-ClearOldItems Official PvP servers one-time Clearance of all old unequipped items (with the exception of blueprints, eatables, notes, and quest items), to ensure fairness after Item Duplication bug exploit. Server admins can enforce this once if they run with this command argument (will only work ONCE on pre-update save games)
-EnableIdlePlayerKick Cause characters that have not moved or interacted within the KickIdlePlayersPeriod to be kicked.
-ForceAllowCaveFlyers Force Flyer dinos to be allowed into caves (Flyers able to go into caves by default on custom maps)
-lowmemory Launch options that reduces graphics and audio effects to save about 800 MB RAM, likely enabling 4GB RAM players to get past infinite-loading screens
-MapModID=######### Dedicated servers can now optionally load custom maps via ModID diectly, rather than having to specify the map name directly, using this syntax (where the MapModID is the Steam Workshop FileID of your custom map, and the GameModIds are the Id’s of the stacked mods you wish to use, in order)
-noantispeedhack Anti speedhack detection is now enabled by default — to disable it, use this server commandline
-NoBattlEye Run server without BattleEye
-NoBiomeWalls Eliminates the upcoming-Biome-change area wall effects as introduced in an unversioned addition of v241.5.
-nocombineclientmoves Server player-move-physics optimization is now enabled by default (improves perf) — to disable it, use this server commandline
-nofishloot disable non-meat Fish Loot when using Fishing Rod
-noninlinesaveload Fixed a savegame corruption case with large savegames: this is experimental, so try with this command, if you have any saves that don’t load. We’ll formally roll this loader change out in a subsequent patch after we’re 100% certain it has no side effects.
-nomansky Lots of detailed sky features are disabled, such as clouds and starry night sky. This decreases all of those but you can still have them. You still obtain the stars, the sun, and the moon. This just helps you remove the sparkling stars that make you sightless at night
-usecache ~70% faster loading speed option. Choose “Experiment Fast Load Cache” launch option (use add “-usecache” to your launch commandline manually). After the first & second times that you start the game & load will be still be slow, but the third time onwards will be fast. This may be deprecated, as of 188.2 as it was added, by default, for the PrimalData. It was also supposed to be added to all maps, but has never been clarified as to if this occurred.
-vday Activate Valentine’s Day Event (2x Mateboost Range, 3x Mating Speed/Mating Recovery, 3x Baby/Egg Maturation Speed, 1/3rd Baby Food Consumption).
-webalarm Activate Web alarms when important things happen to a tribe, such as Tripwire Alarms going off and Babies being born. See Web Notifications for details.
-exclusivejoin Activate a whitelist only mode on the server that only lets players join if added to the allow list. Not to be confused with "Admin Whitelisting" which uses "AllowedCheaterSteamIDs.txt" to allow players to cheat. This option uses "PlayersJoinNoCheckList.txt" to allow people to join but not give them cheats. If the file does not exist in your Linux/Win64 Binaries folder, create it and add the Steam64 IDs of the players you wish to be allowed to join your server. Path; "\ShooterGame\Binaries\Win64\" "/ShooterGame/Binaries/Linux/". You will need to restart your server, if you add new lines to the file while it is running. You can however use "Cheat AllowPlayerToJoinNoCheck 12345678901234567" in game, to add a new player to the whitelist. This method will also save to the file, so you don't need to reboot the server.

Configuration Files

The GameUserSettings.ini file contains options for both the game client and the game server. Options for the game client are not used by the server. Server options are specified in the section labeled [ServerSettings], which is usually located at the bottom of the file.

The Game.ini file is used for more advanced modifications, such as changing engram points or XP rewarded per level, disabling specific content, or re-balancing depending on player tastes.

For all supported platforms, options are listed one per line using the same basic syntax:

<option>=<value>

All options in the configuration file require a value. If an option is not listed in the configuration file, its default value is used automatically.

GameUserSettings.ini

The GameUserSettings.ini file contains options for both the game client and the game server. Options for the game client are not used by the server. Server options are specified in the section labeled [ServerSettings], which is usually located at the bottom of the file.

These settings do not need to be set. The game will use the default values if these settings aren't specified.

Option Value Type Default Effect
alwaysNotifyPlayerJoined boolean False Players will always get notified if someone joins the server
alwaysNotifyPlayerLeft boolean False Players will always get notified if someone leaves the server
allowThirdPersonPlayer boolean False Enables 3rd Person view
globalVoiceChat boolean False Voice chat turns global
ShowMapPlayerLocation boolean False Show each player their own precise position when they view their map
noTributeDownloads boolean False Disables downloading characters from other servers
proximityChat boolean False Only players near each other can see their chat messages
serverPVE boolean False Disables PvP, enables PvE
serverHardcore boolean False Enables hardcore mode (player characters revert to level 1 upon death)
serverForceNoHud boolean False HUD always disabled
DisableStructureDecayPvE boolean False Disable the gradual (7 days) decay of player structures
DisableDinoDecayPvE boolean False Disable the gradual (7 days) decay of dinosaur ownership. Without this set to true, every dinosaur can be claimed by any player.
AllowFlyerCarryPvE boolean False Permit flying dinosaurs to pick up other dinosaurs and players when mounted by a player in PvE
TheMaxStructuresInRange integer 10500 Specifies the maximum number of structures that can be constructed within a certain (currently hard-coded) range.
MaxPlayers integer 70 Specifies the maximum number of players that can play on the server simultaneously. Must be placed under [/script/engine.gamesession] in GameUserSettings.ini to function when not used
DifficultyOffset float 0.2 Specifies the difficulty level.
ServerPassword string None If specified, players must provide this password to join the server.
ServerAdminPassword string None If specified, players must provide this password (via the in-game console) to gain access to administrator commands on the server.
SpectatorPassword string None To use non-admin spectator, the server must specify a spectator password. Then any client can use these console commands: requestspectator and stopspectating. See patch 191.0 for more information and hotkeys.
DayCycleSpeedScale float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the passage of time in the ARK, controlling how often day changes to night and night changes to day. The default value 1 provides the same cycle speed as the singleplayer experience (and the official public servers). Values lower than 1 slow down the cycle; higher values accelerate it. Base time when value is 1 appears to be 1 minute real time equals approx. 28 minutes game time. Thus, for an approximate 24 hour day/night cycle in game, use .035 for the value.
NightTimeSpeedScale float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the passage of time in the ARK during night time. This value determines the length of each night, relative to the length of each day (as specified by DayTimeSpeedScale. Lowering this value increases the length of each night.
DayTimeSpeedScale float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the passage of time in the ARK during the day. This value determines the length of each day, relative to the length of each night (as specified by NightTimeSpeedScale. Lowering this value increases the length of each day.
DinoDamageMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the damage dinosaurs deal with their attacks. The default value 1 provides normal damage. Higher values increase damage. Lower values decrease it.
PlayerDamageMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the damage players deal with their attacks. The default value 1 provides normal damage. Higher values increase damage. Lower values decrease it.
StructureDamageMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the damage structures deal with their attacks (i.e. spiked walls). The default value 1 provides normal damage. Higher values increase damage. Lower values decrease it.
PlayerResistanceMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the resistance to damage players receive when attacked. The default value 1 provides normal damage. Higher values decrease resistance, increasing damage per attack. Lower values increase it, reducing damage per attack. A value of 0.5 results in a player taking half damage while a value of 2.0 would result in taking double normal damage.
DinoResistanceMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the resistance to damage dinosaurs receive when attacked. The default value 1 provides normal damage. Higher values decrease resistance, increasing damage per attack. Lower values increase it, reducing damage per attack. A value of 0.5 results in a dino taking half damage while a value of 2.0 would result in a dino taking double normal damage.
StructureResistanceMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the resistance to damage structures receive when attacked. The default value 1 provides normal damage. Higher values decrease resistance, increasing damage per attack. Lower values increase it, reducing damage per attack. A value of 0.5 results in a structure taking half damage while a value of 2.0 would result in a structure taking double normal damage.
XPMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the experience received by players, tribes and dinosaurs for various actions. The default value 1 provides the same amounts of experience as in the singleplayer experience (and official public servers). Higher values increase XP amounts awarded for various actions; lower values decrease it. In 253.0 an additional hardcoded multiplier of 2 was activated.
PvEStructureDecayPeriodMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the decay rate of player structures in PvE mode. The specific effect(s) of this option and its range of valid values are unknown as of this writing.
PvEStructureDecayDestructionPeriod Unknown 0 Specifies the time required for player structures to decay in PvE mode. The specific effect(s) of this option and its range of valid values are unknown as of this writing.
PvEDinoDecayPeriodMultiplier Unknown 1.0
TamingSpeedMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for dinosaur taming speed. Higher values make taming faster.
HarvestAmountMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for yields from all harvesting activities (chopping down trees, picking berries, carving carcasses, mining rocks, etc.). Higher values increase the amount of materials harvested with each strike.
HarvestHealthMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the "health" of items that can be harvested (trees, rocks, carcasses, etc.). Higher values increase the amount of damage (i.e. "number of strikes") such objects can withstand before being destroyed, which results in higher overall harvest yields.
MaxPlatformSaddleStructureLimit integer unknown Changes the maximum number of platformed-creatures/rafts allowed on the ARK (a potential performance cost). Example: MaxPlatformSaddleStructureLimit=10 would only allow 10 platform saddles / rafts across the entire ark
PerPlatformMaxStructuresMultiplier float 1.0 Higher number increases (on a percentage scale) max number of items place-able on saddles and rafts
ResourcesRespawnPeriodMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for the respawn rate for resource nodes (trees, rocks, bushes, etc.). Lower values cause nodes to respawn more frequently.
PlayerCharacterWaterDrainMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for player characters' water consumption. Higher values increase water consumption (player characters get thirsty faster).
PlayerCharacterFoodDrainMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for player characters' food consumption. Higher values increase food consumption (player characters get hungry faster).
PlayerCharacterStaminaDrainMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for player characters' stamina consumption. Higher values increase stamina consumption (player characters get tired faster).
PlayerCharacterHealthRecoveryMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for player characters' health recovery. Higher values increase the recovery rate (player characters heal faster).
DinoCharacterFoodDrainMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for dinosaurs' food consumption. Higher values increase food consumption (dinosaurs get hungry faster). It also affects the taming-times.
DinoCharacterStaminaDrainMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for dinosaurs' stamina consumption. Higher values increase stamina consumption (dinosaurs get tired faster).
DinoCharacterHealthRecoveryMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for dinosaurs' health recovery. Higher values increase the recovery rate (dinosaurs heal faster).
DinoCountMultiplier float 1.0 Specifies the scaling factor for dinosaur spawns. Higher values increase the number of dinosaurs spawned throughout the ARK.
AllowCaveBuildingPvE boolean False If set to True, allows building in caves when PvE mode is also enabled.
BanListURL URL "http://playark.com/banlist.txt" Use the official global ban list, or point to any online ban list that you want. Must be enclosed in double quotes.
PvPStructureDecay boolean false Turns off structure decay on PvP servers.
TributeItemExpirationSeconds integer 86400 Set the expiration timer for uploaded items.
TributeDinoExpirationSeconds integer 86400 Set the expiration timer for uploaded dinos.
TributeCharacterExpirationSeconds integer 86400 Set the expiration timer for uploaded survivors.
AutoSavePeriodMinutes float 15.0 Set interval for automatic saves
bUseCorpseLocator Boolean false if set to true, you will see a green lightbeam at the location of your death
DisablePvEGamma Boolean False Prevents use of console command "gamma" in PvE mode (Patch 207.0)
EnablePvPGamma Boolean False Allow use of console command "gamma" in PvP mode (Patch 174.3)

Ragnarok

The following options are only available when playing the DLC Ragnarok.

They need to be set in the [Ragnarok] section (if you don't have one, you can create it at the bottom) of the GameUserSettings.ini file.

These settings do not need to be set. The game will use the default values if these settings aren't specified.

Option Value Type Default Effect
AllowMultipleTamedUnicorns boolean false false = one unicorn on the map at a time, true = one wild and unlimited tamed Unicorns on the map. This setting currently does not seem to work properly
UnicornSpawnInterval integer 24 How long the game should wait before spawning a new Unicorn if the wild one is killed (or tamed, if AllowMultipleTamedUnicorns is enabled). This value sets the minimum amount of time (in hours), and the maximum is equal to 2x this value.
VolcanoIntensity float 1 The lower the value, the more intense the volcano's eruption will be. Recommended to leave at 1. The minimum value is 0.25, and for multiplayer games, it should not go below 0.5. Very high numbers will basically disable the flaming rocks flung out of the volcano.
VolcanoInterval integer 0 0 = 5000 (min) - 15000 (max) seconds between instances of the volcano becoming active. Any number above 0 acts as a multiplier, with a minimum value of .1
EnableVolcano boolean true false = disabled (the volcano will not become active), true = enabled

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