Last Updated on August 14, 2021

If you’re one of the many people still playing Ark: Survival Evolved, then you’re likely ready for your own server.

Not only do personal servers make it easier to play with who you want, but they’re just nice to have. If you’re looking to make the leap to server ownership, we’ve got you!

Here are the best server hosting services available for Ark in 2021.

What is the Best Ark Server Hosting Service in 2021?

There are a lot of options out there, so it’s important to know what they offer. Most of these servers offer similar services, but they each have their own benefits, as well.

Let’s break them down, shall we?

1. ArkServers

As the name implies, this server hosting company started off with Ark. This means that you’ll get great service tailored to the game, and just a generally nice experience. Here are some of their benefits:

  1. All expansions – Not all servers are created equally. By using ArkServers, you’ll be able to use all expansions, as well as mods for Ark. This allows those of us who are veterans of the game a bit of variety in the day-to-day, as well as some much-needed adaptability.
  2. Easy setup and support – The setup for servers can be a hassle, for sure. Luckily, ArkServers only takes roughly a minute to set up and then you’re able to host and play! And if things go awry, you’ve got easy access to 24/7 live support. Honestly, there’s not much to say – they take customer service seriously.
  3. PC/Mac only – This is an important note. If you have an Xbox or PlayStation, you’re out of luck with this service. They only offer servers for those of us that have joined the PC Master Race. But, if you’re on PC, it’s worth it. Because it’s tailored to PC, you’ll get better performance and support than a generalized server.

2. ShockByte

These guys are one of the larger server hosting services available. This means a few things:

  1. Global servers – Because they’re so big, ShockByte has servers all over the world. This means that no matter where you are (unless you live in Antarctica), you’ll be able to get a great ping and connection. This is really important for those in Europe who are tired of a terrible ping on Asian or American servers.
  2. Console support – Unlike ArkServers, ShockByte offers console support. This makes them the top choice for those who use a PlayStation or Xbox, as the other services we’ll mention don’t support consoles.
  3. Great connection – Server connection is vital to a fun gaming experience. These guys have one of the best uptimes in the industry, as well as low-latency connections. In short, for the uninitiated, this means that you’ll have less lag and better performance on your server than an official or overseas one.

3. Apex Minecraft Hosting

Another of the big names in server hosting, Apex has some great services that make them well worth their asking price.

  1. Mobile friendly – One of the biggest hassles with being a server admin is the constant alt+tabbing out of your game to micromanage. Apex solves this with support for a mobile admin. The best part is that it’s really, really easy to use. So if this is your first server, it may be a good choice to start with Apex, if only for this reason.
  2. DDoS protection – Let’s get this out of the way early – all of the services we mention offer this. DDoS protection is important if you want to be able to use your servers, even if you’ve angered a hacker or three. For those who don’t know, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are a pain. In short, they create a “traffic jam” on your server, rendering it useless. This is a common method used by hackers to shut down websites and online services, and private servers are no exception.
  3. Support – Apex’s customer support team is available 24/7 with live support. This is great for when something goes wrong, especially because troubleshooting on your own is a pain, even if you’re experienced.

How Much Does it Cost to Host an Ark Server?

This varies on the service, but you can generally expect a low-end server to be pretty cheap. Most server hosting services charge based on the amount of data they allow you to use to store information and charge monthly.

For a low-end, 1-2 GB server, you can expect to pay $5-10 a month. For a fancy, high-end server (10+GB), you’re gonna be looking at closer to $35-50 per month.

Can You Host Your Own Ark Server?

Yes! But that point comes with a caveat – it’s hard on your PC. And if you have a console, you’re out of luck here. It ultimately boils down to how strong your hardware and internet are.

This is because your CPU will be processing your game, as well as the game of others on your server. Adding all of that data to a slow internet connection or budget CPU will absolutely kill your PC and make your internet connection nearly unusable.

So if you’ve got the BeefMaster 5000, go ahead! But if you’re gaming on the laptop you used in Uni… maybe just rent a server for a few bucks a month.

Can I Host an Ark Server for Free?

Yes and no. Many services advertise a “free” Ark server, but they come with some fine print. If you want an extremely basic server, it’s possible to find one without monthly fees. However, they all require some sort of one-time fee, rendering the services not truly free. None of the aforementioned server hosting sites offer a free server, but they’re definitely affordable for low-end servers.

If you choose to host your own server, it’ll be “free,” but at the cost of your hardware. You may need to upgrade your PC to handle the server load, rendering it, again, not actually free.

Further reading on SMBillion: Looking to host servers for other games? Check out our Rust, Minecraft and Valheim hosting reviews.