Video games have evolved. The gaming industry is growing at a fast pace. If we are to believe this report, the video gaming market valued at a whopping $151.06 billion in the year 2020. It is expected that the industry will experience growth at 12.9% CAGR between 2020 and 2027!
That’s a massive growth rate!
What is causing this growth?
The answer is simple! Advances in both hardware and software technologies. Another factor that is adding to this growth is the increased Internet access. Yes, video games are now available for online gameplay, and ARK: Survival Evolved is one such insanely popular video game.
The question is, why do you need server hosting for ARK? I will answer that question shortly, and provide a list of the best ARK server hosting that you can count on in 2021.
What is ARK: Survival Evolved?
ARK: Survival Evolved is a sandbox game. The theme of the game is adventure, and it is an open-source game.
In this game, you will reach an island called ARK where you will find all kinds of wild animal species, and even prehistoric dinosaurs.
As a player, your goal will be to survive on the island for as long as you can. You will get weapons that you can use for fighting off all those who come to attack you.
You will also need to build a protective base using various tools
Of course, just like other games, you get to select the character. There are new skills, weapons, and materials that you can unlock to reach higher levels in the game.
Why Do You Need a Server Hosting for ARK?
ARK is not a simple game as you might think it to be. It is quite ambitious, and it requires a lot of time, energy, and resources to become a top warrior with incredible power and tamed dinosaur pets.
You must invest days, and weeks to reach that top spot. You cannot do that within a few hours of gameplay.
Because the game is quite resource-intensive, if you don’t have a proper server by you side, you will experience increased lags. This in turn will impact all your efforts to level up. There is no wonder, you will need a powerful server that can meet the demands.
What are the Benefits of Using ARK Server Hosting?
There are multiple benefits of using a powerful ARK server hosting. Here are some of the most incredible benefits that you can enjoy:
Complete Control Over the Server
You will have complete control over the server. This means that you can configure it to your liking and preferences. This will help you to enhance your gameplay.
Installing ARK on your computer will not be a good idea. It is highly unlikely that you will have an ultra-powerful computer at your home. Because most of the home computers are underpowered and not designed for playing games, you will be left with three options:
- Play the game on your computer and experience lags, because your computer cannot handle such load.
- Purchase a new computer that can cope with the massive demand of processing power needed for ARK. That will attract enormous amounts of cost.
- Use a server hosting with minimal cost and enjoy a lag-free gaming experience without putting strain on your computer’s resources, or on your financial resources!
Of course, one way to play ARK is to host the game on a home computer, and then inviting friends to play.
That may sound cool, but apart from the lags issue mentioned above, have you ever imagined what happens if the person hosting ARK suddenly shuts down the computer? You will lose your gameplay.
That’s the reason why you should consider ARK server hosting where the server remains online always (at least theoretically, and of course, for more time than a personal computer will stay online).
This means that you don’t have to suddenly lose your game progress. The hosting company offering the server will always want to retain customers, and hence, ensure that the hosting server has at least 99% uptime. That’s the guarantee most hosting providers offer.
There are two options – you can join a random ARK server and start playing. The chances are high that the person running the server may kick you out of the server without warning. That’s not an ideal case.
The other option is to host your own ARK server, and invite only those with whom you want to play. This way, you can ensure that you are not playing against strangers, and that you are not suddenly kicked out of the server for no apparent reason.
Okay, now that you have a good knowledge about what is ARK, why you need ARK server hosting, and the benefits of using an ARK server hosting, it is time to delve deep into the main topic – the best ARK server hosting options for 2021.
Are you ready?
The 12 Best ARK Server Hosting Solutions for 2021
If you are short on time, here is a quick list of my top 12 picks:
#2. Survival Servers
#10. Nitrous Networks
#11. Citadel Servers
Okay, time to look at each option individually…
ScalaCube is one of the finest options when it comes to ARK server hosting. They offer ultra-fast servers with full admin control via their custom control panel.
With complete admin control, you can do the following:
- Restart the server, if needed.
- Install or reinstall the base server application.
- Update the base server application automatically whenever a new version is available.
- Install maps and new mods.
- Assign different levels of privileges to the players.
- Ban or unban players using their IP address.
- Access application files using a file manager.
- Manage user passwords.
- Mitigate external threats and ensure high availability.
- Create and use custom launch parameters.
- Change server settings and map settings.
With ScalaCube you will get a free domain name, SSD servers, instant server deployment, and get access to steam workshop mods.
You get to select servers in North America and Europe. If you want, there is server available in London. The hosting price is $15 a month for 10 slots. That’s quite cheap. In fact, if you plan on playing the game with your friends, you can share the monthly price, thereby bringing down the overall cost to $1.5 dollars per month per player.
That’s much cheaper than building a new and powerful computer that can host ARK.
#2. Survival Servers
Survival Servers is one of the most premium hosting providers for ARK. The company offers every essential feature under the sky that you will need for playing ARK without any form of interruption.
The company offers instant server setup, and offers a choice between PC and PS4 console. Just like ScalaCube, they too have their custom control panel that you can use for either customizing, or configuring ARK.
In case you decide to play using your PC, you can always go ahead and install supported mods and maps. You can change settings, switch locations, install conversion mods and Steam Workshop content with a few clicks.
What’s interesting is that every change you make is updated automatically.
Here are some of the most important server features offered by Survival Servers:
- Complete FTP access.
- Automated server restarts.
- Latest mod versions.
- Ultra-fast SSD storage.
- Server pass-locking and DDoS protection.
- Flexible mods and plugins installation.
- Offers multiple mods like Crystal Isles, Valguero, Genesis, Extinction, Primitive Plus, Aberration, The Center, Ragnarok, and Scorched Earth.
The company has multiple hosting locations that you can choose from. In the United States, you can get options like New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Dallas. There are servers in Germany and France, as well.
HostHavoc is yet another premium ARK hosting provider. With this host, you can enjoy a very smooth gameplay by choosing free clusters, mods, and maps that you want.
The hosting provider has support for DLC that includes Scorched Earth, Aberration, Ragnarok, Extinction, and more.
The company promises, and actually delivers 99.9% uptime. They have an in-house infrastructure with very reliable uplinks for data centers.
Some of the interesting features offered by HostHavoc include:
- Protection against Source Engine Query Intrusion.
- Protection against UDP floods.
- Server self-management using a file manager and full FTP access.
- You can backup your data and API plugins manually and restore them whenever you want.
- You also get the ability to configure the command line for launching your server.
- Fast customer support in under less than 15 minutes.
What’s interesting is that their interface has multiple parameters that are specific to ARK servers. In case you are wondering about the distribution of their data centers, you get to select from 11 global locations. They have their presence in three continents – North America, Europe, and Australia.
This company has been hosting ARK for 10 years since the time the game was first launched. Yes, GTXGaming is a reliable host, and it is needless to say that it is one of the veterans of ARK hosting.
The company offers a custom-designed control panel laced with very powerful features.
What’s interesting to note is that the company replaces their old systems with new Dell systems every year to ensure that the users continue to get the latest technology.
The company offers enterprise-grade hardware that include Intel CPUs and E3 processors. Here are some of the core features of GTXGaming ARK hosting:
- DDoS protection.
- All ARK DLC support.
- Exclusive mod updater capable of detecting new mods, and offers seamless installation.
- Allows linking multiple servers to host more mods, maps, etc.
- Offers a random map generator.
- Allows effortless Steam workshop installation with simple clicks.
- The servers support all ARK maps, and new versions are made available quickly.
- Allows Beyond-API installation from mod manager.
- DLL access can be requested from the client area through support ticket.
- Auto-clones the server as backup in offsite location whenever server restarts.
The company has 3000+ servers spread over 4 continents. This ensures that you can select a location that is closest to you.
Nodecraft offers a very unique control panel that you can use for use for installing ARK in a few seconds. The call the control panel as NodePanel. NodePanel is extremely powerful, and allows dealing with configurations and settings with absolute ease.
It is so simple that even if you are a rookie, you can handle it like a pro. Despite its simplicity, NodePanel exhibits respect-worthy speed and stability that gives a great game-play experience.
The company offers a mobile application, too. You can use it for managing the server! The application is available for both Android and iOS users.
As of now, Nodecraft supports servers for PC, but they are working on both console support and live mod support.
To minimize lag, the company allows a maximum of 12 participants per device. This policy ensures that there is more RAM, more CPU cores, and more disk IOs available.
As far as the hardware is concerned, the company offers error-correcting and highly-clocked ECC RAM, enterprise-grade SSD storage, Xeon processors, and 1 GBPS uplink. They also take security very seriously, and offer DDoS protection out-of-the-box.
The company has servers in North America, South America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. The company is so confident about their performance that they offer a risk-free 7-day money-back guarantee.
Shockbyte has been around since 2013. The company offers a money-back guarantee, but you need to ask for a refund within 24 hours. That’s not an impressive period, but yes, the company does offer excellent hardware to ensure smooth gameplay.
Once you purchase a hosting package by selecting the number of players and the ARK game, the server gets automatically activated.
Their control panel will allow you to customize your server to your liking, and you get full access to server files using FTP. You can also enjoy automatic mod installation and configuration.
The company offers quick and easy upgrades without losing data. Once you submit a request for a server upgrade, they will activate it instantly while retaining all your data.
Here are some incredible features offered by Shockbyte:
- 100% uptime guarantee.
- Server console.
- Free subdomain.
- DDoS protection.
- 24/7 support via live chat and ticket.
The company offers its services from $14.99 a month for 30 slots.
ServerBlend is known for its unbeatable pricing. Their custom control panel known as TcAdmin is simple and yet, powerful! TcAdmin offers certain tools that you can find exclusively with ServerBlend.
The control panel will allow you to automatically install API plugins and mods using single clicks. There is setting editor in case you want to use it. They also offer a command-line editor. Together, they offer complete control of the server.
Their control panel comes with options like file manager, mod manager, access to configuration files, backups, Steam updates, log viewer, etc.
The company offers 24/7 customer support, and you have a choice of selecting between Standard and Premium plan. In case you settle for their Premium plan, you can enjoy fewer clients per node, which translates into more available resources, and hence, a smoother gameplay experience.
ServerBlend offers various server locations to select from, which include, the US, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Poland, Germany, and France.
GameServers offers instant activation of an ARK server after you select a plan and pay for it. Just like others, they too have a custom control panel for server management. You are free to configure your server and customize it according to your liking.
The hosting provider will allow you to have file access through FTP. You can even switch your server location, and add extra administrators if you want. The control panel makes plugin and mod installation simple and joyful.
They have servers spread all over the world, and you can even select a redundant server that is closest to you. This is very important to ensure a lag-free gaming experience.
They have 9 server location in the United States, and two in South Africa. They also have one server each in Denmark, Canada, Spain, the UK, Russia, the Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, France, Italy, Poland, and Japan.
GameServers is quite expensive. Their pricing starts at $29.95 a month for 30 slots. If you can share the cost with people who want to join, your monthly expenses will fall drastically.
LOW.MS takes pride in offering state-of-the-art hardware, amazing customer support, and low pings. They have servers in 12 locations globally. All their servers have a 10 GPS DDoS protection available for uninterrupted gameplay experience.
Here are the core features offered by LOW.MS:
- They offer latest Intel processors, DDR4 RAM, and SSD storage for lag-free gaming experience.
- The company offers instant setup. The moment you make a payment, your server will be up and running within seconds.
- They also offer full server control via FTP, and their custom control panel.
LOW.MS has 12 server locations that you can select from. They have 4 servers in Europe, 6 in the US, and 2 in Asia/Oceania.
The company is currently planning on expanding its footprints to Russia, Italy, South America, and South Africa.
#10. Nitrous Networks
This hosting company is trusted by over 136,000 players worldwide. You can become one on the list. The moment you pay for your selected plan, the company will setup the server instantly.
The things you get with Nitrous Networks include:
- DDoS protection.
- Latest and fastest SSD.
- Lower lag and higher stability using Tier-1 providers, and high-quality hardware.
- NiTROPanel (control panel) for easy server management.
What’s interesting about Nitrous Networks is that you don’t have to settle for any contracts. You can pay monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annually. Select whatever works best for you.
When you purchase ARK hosting, the company offers free web hosting, and you will get six locations to select from (which I feel is a bit low on count).
#11. Citadel Servers
Citadel Servers ensures that you get low-latency infrastructure and high network coverage irrespective of where you are located. Once you purchase a plan, you get full access to the server, and you can install various maps and mods. You can even modify and play around with settings with ease!
You will have the power of stopping you server, starting it back, and even reinstall it. You can schedule tasks and backups, and if necessary, run scripts at scheduled time intervals.
If you wish, you can go ahead and edit the server configurations. What else? You will get the ability to edit usernames and passwords, view logs, set admin access for others, and much more.
Their gaming servers have a price of $0.16 per slot/player! They have server locations in the US, the UK, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Italy, France, and Germany.
Last, but not the least BlackBox offers high-performance gameplay experience. It is quite an old company that came to existence in 2011.
Here are some of the core features of BlackBox ARK server hosting:
- Server cross travel support.
- Choose multiple options and maps.
- Generator for complete procedural map.
- Allows creating a random map.
- Automated mod download and updates.
- Scheduled updates, and latest update notifications.
- Offsite backups during server restart.
- Easy and intuitive control panel.
The company offers instant setup upon payment confirmation so that you can get started immediately. There are eight different server locations that you can select from. These servers are in Australia, Canada, Sweden, the UK, and France.
ARK: Survival Evolved is an immersive and adventurous game. If you are an avid player, you will definitely want to experience a joyful and smooth gameplay. It is needless to say that only high-performance servers can provide you the experience you want.
The solutions mentioned above can help to improve your ARK playing experience. I highly recommend using ScalaCube, but again, all the options mentioned in the list are great. You can settle for the one you like or prefer. At the end of the day, a smooth and lag-free experience is what you desire! Whichever hosting give you that, it is a champion. Don’t you think so?