What are the best Ark servers to join in 2023? We’ve scoured the internet looking for the top Ark: Survival Ascended servers and server clusters to cater to all experiences, whether you’re looking for some intense competitive PvP, a relaxed PvE sandbox, a place to play Omega or Primal Fear, or even a boosted server like FiberCraft, where you can tame and breed all of Ark’s wonderful dinos with minimal investment.
Ark: Survival Evolved is one of the best dinosaur games and survival games on PC; its increasingly weird meta-narrative provides an excuse to throw dinosaurs together with other prehistoric and even mythological creatures in several gorgeous sandboxes with robust crafting and survival systems. Whether you want to build a sprawling menagerie for its own sake or lead a dino army against other players, a range of experiences are on offer, and you’ll find a range of servers optimized for each of these. Read on for our list of some of the best and most populated unofficial servers, and a breakdown of exactly what they offer to the discerning Ark player.
The best Ark: Survival Ascended servers
Here is a list of the best Ark servers to join in 2023:
Astro is a leading cluster of PvP servers, hosting reliably populated sessions across all maps; whether it’s Ragnarok, Crystal Isles, Genesis I or II, Lost Island or anywhere else you fancy, you’ll likely find an active Astro server there with a bunch of players to pit your dinos against. They operate at the PvP standard of x100 settings so games progress quickly, and to make things more interesting, spice things up with custom loot drops. Browse their cluster at their website.
Elite Ark is another PvP-focussed server cluster, and claims a reputation for competitiveness that’s resulted in frequent use by “well-known Ark YouTubers”. They say that every map they host – and they host all 12 of the main ones – goes through “rigorous edits”, resulting in customized, exclusive versions of Ark’s familiar stomping grounds, all made with PvP play in mind. Two main modes are offered: six-player free-for-all and trios, each with carefully tuned settings and a suite of server plugins to further optimise the competitive environment. Elite Ark also offers loot boxes as rewards for daily logins and engaging in its community. Check out the terms and conditions and browse the cluster at the website.
Founded in 2012, Ethereal Dominion is a long-running US-based cluster running PvE servers on all 12 major maps. There’s also an event server, and even three servers for the massive and popular Primal Fear mod. It’s a modded cluster, with all servers running a collection of nine of the best Ark mods including Kraken’s Better Dinos, Super Structures, and Auction House. Rates are slightly tuned for accessibility and fun, with faster XP, taming, hatching, and maturation. Populations are usually good, especially during US hours, and there’s a healthy community with its own Discord and in-game store. If you fancy some chill, friendly PvE, check out the cluster at the website.
MTS Ark – More Than Survivors
Founded in 2018, More Than Survivors, or MTS, claims to be the largest unofficial PvP community in Ark, with over 25 servers in operation. Populations are usually healthy, especially in European hours. If you fancy PvP, we suggest this should be your first port of call – MTS claims a reputation for competitiveness and fairness, “with minimal pay-to-win features,” and has made a ton of changes under the bonnet with competitive play in mind. These include custom (and banned) base locations and other map tweaks, balance changes to items and dinos, and naturally a range of server settings, rate changes, and mods. You can check them all out on the main cluster section of the website.
Based in Spain but operating servers in both Spanish and English, South Division offers both PvP and PvE servers, across all the core maps, with decent populations, especially during European peak hours. There’s also a healthy community with over 500 players on their Discord, healthy support, and regular events including a roulette awarding in-game items. Check out the website for more.
Squirtle Ark runs three server clusters – one PvE cluster for each of the popular overhaul mods, Primal Fear and Omega, and a PvP cluster. Core to their appeal is the fact that none of them wipe; the devs say their goal is to create “a fun, enjoyable, long-term Ark cluster” on which you can rest assured that your progress will be safe forever. Could be the place to go if you’re looking for a home beyond the official server shutdown. As such, trustworthiness and protection are key: Squirtle boasts BattleEye and DDOS protection, plus “thousands of gigabytes” of backup files, and promises that cheaters are “almost always” instantly banned. Check out rates and mods at the website.
FiberCraft is one of three Ark server clusters operated by Stigmatopia, and is one of the leading clusters of high-boosted servers – dinos can be tamed and bred instantly, and other rates are tuned to 1000x base. It’s a very different experience from the base game and even from 5-50x servers, with almost all of Ark’s grinds and processes completing in very little time or none at all. For many, those processes add value to their outputs and thereby a feeling of tension to the whole game that’s a core part of the appeal. However, if you want to play with Ark’s many dino toys with minimal friction, FiberCraft is for you, and the reasonably stable populations across its many servers suggest there are many of like mind. Check out the FiberCraft cluster at the website here.
How do I join an Ark server?
Here’s how to join an Ark: Survival Ascended server via Steam:
- Find the server’s IP address and copy it.
- Launch the Ark Steam client, then click ‘view’ and then ‘servers’.
- Click the ‘favorites’ tab and then click ‘add a server’.
- Paste the IP address, then click ‘add this address to favorites’.
- Start the game, then click ‘join Ark’ from the main menu.
- Click the session filter drop-down menu and select ‘favorites’.
- You should see the server you just added – click it and join.
Here’s how to join an Ark: Survival Ascended server via Epic:
- From Ark’s main menu, click ‘local game’ and then ‘single-player’.
- Create a character and join the session.
- Obtain your server’s connection information in the format of [SERVER IP: PORT] and copy it.
- Open the console with the ‘tab’ button.
- Type ‘open [SERVER IP:PORT]’ and press enter to connect to the server.
Now that you know the best Ark servers to join in 2023, why not take a look at our list of the best Ark mods to fully customize your game? You can customize as much or as little as you want, but it’ll certainly help to pass the time before the Ark 2 release date rolls around.