I guess if you are here then you are looking for an Ark server hosting provider. Well this guide has been created just for people like you and aims to break down the process of buying an Ark server down into manageable chunks.
Types of Ark Hosting
What are the options you have when you want to set up an Ark server for you and your friends? What are the pros and cons of each method and how much will this all cost?
Shared Ark Server Hosting
The method that is the quickest to set up as well as being easy enough for a newbie to manage is through “shared game hosting”. This is a simple way of saying that your virtual Ark game server will be on a physical machine with other servers in order to bring down the price. You would probably not need a large amount of the resources that a dedicated server would be able to provide you in a data centre so this method makes sense for most people.
The Ark server hosting provider list on this websites home page shows you the top 10 providers that we found from test purchases. These companies all specialise in shared game hosting but a bunch of them do provide VPS and dedicated servers if you do decide to take the plunge and upgrade if your player count starts to really take off.
As you can see from the home page, Ark servers can start at around $0.50 per player slot and go up to way above a dollar per slot. Luckily though you can get packages as small as 10 slots ready to go from companies like Survival Servers so you don’t have to part with a lot of cash at the start. Chances are if you are reading this then you don’t have a player base ready to go and 10 slots is plenty for now.
- Great value for money
- Ready built control panel with advanced Ark features
- Managed servers so you don’t have to worry about hardware/OS issues
- Servers can be set up automatically and ready to go within minutes of payment
- Firewall and DDOS automatically set up and handled for you
- Some hardcore features unavailable – wouldn’t affect the average user
- Server could be over loaded with other customers without you knowing
- Difficult and time consuming to set up
Dedicated Ark Server Hosting
Have you got a large community of players or want to add a large amount of mods to your game server? Well you will probably want to move past the shared Ark server hosting method described above and jump straight to a dedicated solution.
The setup and management of these services is a lot harder than simply clicking a few buttons in a control panel so ideally you need to know what you are doing or expect to put aside time to learn.
Gaming dedicated servers are available from companies like LOW.MS but start at over $100/month, a lot of money if you are just starting your server community. The power and flexibility you get though will be huge in comparison to the shared offerings from the companies on the home page of this site.
You can also find gaming VPS from suppliers like Host Havoc that start at the price of a small Ark shared hosting package. A gaming VPS has some of the benefits of a dedicated server such as flexibility but are essentially still a slice of a machine in a data centre.
Why Pay More? Why Not Choose The Cheapest?
Well this usually comes down to 2 major factors:
- The number, level of experience and 24 hour availability of the support staff
- The number of virtual Ark servers stuffed onto one machine
- The features available as standard
In order for a game server hosting company to make money they need to sell more servers than a dedicated server they rent or own can handle. This is called overselling and it can work for any company without causing issues to its customers because typically most customers will never use the resources that they have paid for.
The topic of support staff is another one that people know is a big issue but only find out about issues too late. Ideally you need to have a knowledgeable support team ready to help you and as im sure you are aware… people are not cheap… especially technical minded server technicians.
If you are after a bog standard vanilla game server for you and a few close friends then you could probably be happy choosing the cheapest provider. Features such as mod support and easy mod adding tools could be useless to you if you don’t intend on adding mods to your server. Security is also less of an issue if your Ark server is not public as theoretical no one will know it exists and would therefore not be able to attack it (or get angry enough with it to attack it).
Important Factors To Consider When Choosing A Provider
A hugely important factor when choosing your Ark server provider is what potential locations they offer around the world for your server. Choosing a physical location close to you and your friends that will be playing on the server will reduce lagging and improve everybody’s experience in game.
Most game server hosting companies in the western world offer at least one United States location and typically at least one European location.
The larger more established companies will have the option to host in all continents (that people typically live in) with African data centres coming online all time.
Are you a PC Ark gamer or do you play on a console? This is massively important that you sort this question out before you go ahead and order an Ark server because you cant mix between platforms and servers.
If you play Ark through Steam on the PC then you cannot connect to a PlayStation 4 based Ark server or an Xbox server and vice versa.
Being able to manage your server easily and across multiple devices is a very important factor you may not have thought about. Installing and updating mods can be a time consuming task and if done by command line instead of a graphical user interface this can become a huge chore.
A high quality and easy to use control panel can save you hours of learning and management time, be sure to research your game hosts offering before purchasing.
DLC & Mods
Most game server hosts will not offer support for mods as they are code created by third party’s. For Ark there are thousands of mods and to keep track of each one as it evolves is an almost impossible task.
DLC on the other hand is much more stable and easy for game hosts to track. Usually a good game host will have the options and setup procedures built into their own control panel for ease of use. They would at least know how to sort out problems their end when you get in touch through support tickets. Check the reviews for Ark server hosting companies before buying to be sure.