Adding mods to an ARK: Survival Evolved server

This page was contributed by a member of the AMP community

Note: Before doing any of the below instructions, your ARK:SE server must be started at least once. So, after creating the ARK:SE instance in AMP, manage the instance and click Update to install the ARK:SE server. Then click Start, wait until the server is running, and then stop it.

Linux

Currently some manual intervention is required to install mods on ARK:SE servers on Linux. There are two options: manually upload mods to the server, or manually adjust the server files so that mods are able to be automatically downloaded by the server.

Option 1 - Manual upload approach

While it is possible to download Steam workshop items, including mods, on Linux servers via AMP (via Configuration->Steam Workshop), steamcmd does not install them in the correct directory, and therefore they need to be manually moved. In addition, in the case of ARK:SE servers, the required .mod file is not created at all when this method is used.

As a result, to manually upload mods to an ARK:SE server on Linux:

  1. Install the mod on your client and run the client.
  2. Upload the resulting mod directory and associated .mod file to the server. Place them in the arkSE/376030/ShooterGame/Content/Mods directory. Use AMP’s File Manager or in-built SFTP to do this, to ensure correct permissions on the directory and file.
  3. To activate the mod for the server, either:
  • add GameModIds as a Custom Setting key for the ARK instance under Configuration->Server, with comma-separated numbers for the mods as the value (no spaces - for example, 731604991,680481868); OR
  • add ActiveMods= with comma-separated numbers for the mods in arkSE/376030/ShooterGame/Saved/Config/LinuxServer/GameUserSettings.ini, in the [ServerSettings] section. For example, ActiveMods=731604991,680481868

Option 2 - Automatic download approach

ARK:SE comes with a launch parameter option that is meant to automate the process of downloading, installing and updating mods. Unfortunately it does not work on Linux systems without manual intervention.

Warning: This option does not appear to work correctly if the ARK:SE instance is run in a Docker container.

To use this option:

  1. Run the following commands on the command line as the amp user. If you are not already the amp user, first run sudo su -l amp to switch. Also, substitute ARK01 in the first line with your ARK instance name as shown in ~/.ampdata/instances/ (NOT the “friendly name”):
INSTANCE=ARK01
LINUXDIR=~/.ampdata/instances/${INSTANCE}/arkSE/376030/Engine/Binaries/ThirdParty/SteamCMD/Linux/
mkdir -m 700 ${LINUXDIR}
ln -s ~/.ampdata/instances/${INSTANCE}/arkSE/steamcmd.sh ~/.ampdata/instances/${INSTANCE}/arkSE/linux32 ~/Steam/steamapps ${LINUXDIR}
  1. Add -automanagedmods as a Custom Flag for the ARK instance under Configuration->Server.
  2. In arkSE/376030/ShooterGame/Saved/Config/LinuxServer/Game.ini, add a [ModInstaller] section with each mod listed on a separate line, for example:
[ModInstaller]
ModIDS=731604991
ModIDS=680481868
  1. Follow Step 3 in the “Manual upload approach” above to activate the mods for the server.

Note: You only need to do Steps 1 and 2 above once for your server.

Windows

Like for Linux, there are two options for ARK:SE servers on Windows: configure the server to automatically download mods, or manually upload mods to the server.

Option 1 - Recommended approach (automatic download)

On Windows servers, the ARK:SE launch parameter option that is meant to automate the process of downloading, installing and updating mods works, without the need for manual intervention.

To use this option:

  1. Add -automanagedmods as a Custom Flag for the ARK instance under Configuration->Server.
  2. In arkSE\376030\ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsServer\Game.ini, add a [ModInstaller] section with each mod listed on a separate line, for example:
[ModInstaller]
ModIDS=731604991
ModIDS=680481868
  1. To activate the mod for the server, either:
  • add GameModIds as a Custom Setting key for the ARK instance under Configuration->Server, with comma-separated numbers for the mods as the value (no spaces - for example, 731604991,680481868); OR
  • add ActiveMods= with comma-separated numbers for the mods in arkSE\376030\ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsServer\GameUserSettings.ini, in the [ServerSettings] section. For example, ActiveMods=731604991,680481868

Option 2 - Alternative approach (manual upload)

If the recommended approach above does not work, a more manual process can be used:

  1. Install the mod on your client and run the client.
  2. Upload the resulting mod directory and associated .mod file to the server. Place them in the arkSE\376030\ShooterGame\Content\Mods directory. Use AMP’s File Manager or in-built SFTP to do this, to ensure correct permissions on the directory and file.
  3. Follow Step 3 in the “Recommended approach” above to activate the mods for the server.