2023 official server save files

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With the closure of ARK: Survival Evolved's official servers, two different snapshots of the servers' world saves are going to be taken:

  • The first snapshot has been taken on August 25th, 2023 and made available on August 30th;
  • The second snapshot has been taken on September 30th, 2023 and made available on October 5th;

Steam and Epic world saves can be freely downloaded from SurviveTheArk.com. The list is not searchable directly; instead, players may use an unofficial tool to find their server's snapshots.

Xbox (including Windows via Microsoft Store/Game Pass) and PlayStation players cannot download any of those save files directly. Instead, they can only rent a server from Nitrado preconfigured with one of the save files. No other hosting provider has access to these files.

Therefore, this page only documents instructions and related issues for players on the PC network (Steam and Epic).


Official cluster ARK saves file size, and so world save complexity, can vary a lot depending on the server. For this reason, big saves (1 GiB or more of size) will require a machine with a far higher RAM amount than an empty map would need.
Long starting times as well noticeable world-save lag time are expected with big save files.

In a dedicated server, most of saves should run without issues on a machine with 32 GiB RAM. However, the biggest saves (3.5 GiB and above) may require more memory and a system with 64 GiB may be required to start such servers. Read more about on Dedicated server .

Starting such big saves in single player or non-dedicated session will require an additional amount of memory, in a such way that starting a dedicated server and joining with a separated client on the same machine may result in lower hardware requirements.
Moreover, single player and non-dedicated session suffers from the 1 FPS bug, that will require additional steps from users to make the save game playable. Read more about on Single Player and Local Host.

Except for LEGACY server saves, if a player character was present on a certain server during the world save used for the snapshot, the account recognition will be automatic (even on single player); otherwise a new character must be created and console commands must be used to re-grant tribe, structures and creatures ownership (read more about on Tribe Management Commands). For LEGACY server saves instead, an additional step is required (see LEGACY server saves).

Finally, despite running a dedicated server, a single player game or a non-dedicated session, official server save format differs from the default settings and requires two mandatory launching arguments:

-newsaveformat for all server saves, needed to read and load the save file itself.
-usestore for all saves except LEGACY servers, needed to properly read, load and recognize players and tribes.

The sections below explain how to properly apply such settings.

Dedicated server

The mandatory launching arguments -newsaveformat -usestore must be appended at the server command line.

The server save file .zip archive must be extracted in <ARK server installation path>\ShooterGame\Saved\SavedArks, such that the map .ark file, all .arktributetribe files and any other files or folders are extracted there.

For the installation and fundamental setup of the dedicated ARK server see Dedicated server setup.
For advanced configuration and deeper server setting, see Server configuration.

Recommended launching arguments

The following command line launching arguments are suggested for dedicated servers:

-BackupTransferPlayerDatas enables an extra char profile backup on transfer, useful for easy char recovery in cases of crashes or corrupted saves. Note: this argument is not needed for LEGACY server saves.

-MaxNumOfSaveBackups=<integer> where <integer> is the maximum of saves to keep as backup, 20 by default. Such backups happen every 2 hours. Administrators may want to set it to 0 to disable this feature if relying on third party backup solutions.

Recommended ini settings

Official servers clamps armour and damage percentage to blueprints and items for saddles, armours and weapons at specific values (read more about at Maximum Armor and Damage). To keep those items values the following settings must be applied:

In GameUserSettings.ini:


In Game.ini:


Read more about at ItemStatClamps in server configuration page.

Other Official Servers settings are discussed in the later section of this page.

Single player and Local Host

Despite launching a single player, a non-dedicated session or a dedicated server from the HOST \ LOCAL menu, the mandatory launching arguments -newsaveformat -usestore must be added:

On Steam: Library > right-click on ARK: Survival Evolved > Properties... > General > Launch Options (scroll down)
On Epic Game Store: Library > ARK Survival Evolved > click the [...] > Manage > Launch Options (and toggle it)

Note: remember that -usestore argument is not used for LEGACY server saves.

The server save file .zip archive must be extracted in the proper save folder, depending if launching a single player game, a non-dedicated session or a dedicated server, such that the map .ark file, all .arktributetribe files and any other files or folders are extracted there.
While the dedicated server has a single default save path (<ARK installation path>\ShooterGame\Saved\SavedArks), single player games and non-dedicated session have a specific save folder for each map located in <ARK installation path>\ShooterGame\Saved\:

Map Save folder name
The Island SavedArksLocal
The Center TheCenterSavedArksLocal
Scorched Earth ScorchedEarth_PSavedArksLocal
Ragnarok RagnarokSavedArksLocal
Aberration Aberration_PSavedArksLocal
Extinction ExtinctionSavedArksLocal
Valguero Valguero_PSavedArksLocal
Genesis: Part 1 GenesisSavedArksLocal
Crystal Isles CrystalIslesSavedArksLocal
Genesis: Part 2 Gen2SavedArksLocal
Lost Island LostIslandSavedArksLocal
Fjordur FjordurSavedArksLocal

Very low or unplayable FPS issue

Also known as 1 FPS bug, it's an issue of single player and non-dedicated session on loading any dedicated server saves with a lot players characters present on the server save. Despite being visible or not on the original server, all characters are still present on game data and all loaded into graphics memory when starting a single player or non-dedicated session game, as well for other tribe tames and structures. This results in extreme memory allocation on the graphics memory, resulting in very low or unplayable frame rate and in the worst case this resulting in a game crash.

To solve this issue, the following steps are provided:

  • Close any background application
  • Launch ARK with -sm4 -d3d10 -nomansky -lowmemory (in the same way for the mandatory launching arguments).
  • Set all graphics to low pre-set and restart the game to be sure all changes will be correctly applied.
  • On Host \ Local menu be sure the Active Mods list is empty.
  • Try to start the save with the PLAY SINGLE PLAYER button (the non-dedicated session has higher memory requirements)

If the loading is successful (it may take several minutes for big saves), there are two ways to remove all characters from memory using the in-game command console (opened with Tab ↹, double press to keep it opened):

  • cheat DestroyAllEnemies will delete all characters and tamed creatures out of cryopods in the map, included those owned by the player tribe and it will spare the player character.
  • cheat destroyall PlayerPawnTest_Female_C 1 and cheat destroyall PlayerPawnTest_male_C 1 will instead delete respectively all female and all male characters from the map with their inventory. This will apply also to the player character but will spare all tamed creatures out of the cryopods. The player will still able to re-spawn the character.

It is suggested to execute such commands as soon as possible: the game engine will continue to allocate memory once the game started and this may raise the chance of crashes.
After, force a new world save and restart the game: although far from being optimal, this will allow to obtain a more playable frame-rate. With the game restarted, still without raising the graphics settings, the player can remove from the map other tribe bases (and eventual tames) with the following commands, starting from the most near and smallest bases:

  • setcheatplayer to display additional team/tribe ID on other tribe structures and creatures.
  • DestroyTribeIdDinos to destroy all tamed creatures of a specific tribe using its ID.
  • DestroyTribeIdStructures to destroy all the structures of a specific tribe using its ID. This command will execute in batch of 100 structures at time and it is strongly suggested to wait it is done before running it again with another tribe ID.

Alternatively, it is possible to use directly the DestroyTribeId, but keep in mind this command is generally more hardware demanding and easier crashes the game if executed to destroy a big tribe.

Repeat the previous steps until necessary, saving from time to time. To help finding tribe IDs and have a big picture about the world save, it is possible to use Admin / Trusted Player Tool - Game Save Visualiser, an external tool able to analyse the ARK save files and report information such base structures, tames and tribes, their location and their IDs. Once obtained a save file fit enough, it is possible to remove the -sm4 -d3d10 -nomansky -lowmemory options from startup and try to raise again the graphics settings depending on machine hardware capabilities.

Finally, remember that for such hardware demanding saves, starting a dedicated server and joining it may result in lower system memory requirements despite the more complex steps and will avoid the graphics memory issue. Once in-game and obtained the admin privileges, it is possible to execute the previous commands and force a new world save to use later on single player or non-dedicated session games.

LEGACY server saves

LEGACY server saves rely on the default way to store character files data (they do not use the -usestore option), however the .zip archives provided miss all the .arkprofile files. To restore the automatic character-account recognition, it is needed to rename the proper <ACCOUNT ID>.profilebak file in <ACCOUNT ID>.arkprofile simply changing the extension name:

  • On Dedicated Servers, admins may want to perform a copy of all .profilebak files and simply rename them.
  • On Single Player and Non-dedicated Session, it may be more convenient to find only the related account IDs: start any map in single player mode, open and enlarge the command console (double press the Tab ↹ key) and use the ListPlayers command.

More Official Servers settings

ARK Official servers are planned to have to have most of tameable wild creatures capped up to level 150 (180 for Tek Creatures). To apply the same level caps, 2 settings must be applied:

  • On Dedicated Servers, DifficultyOffset=5.0 and OverrideOfficialDifficulty=5.0 must be both set to correctly apply such settings on all maps.
  • On Single Player and Non-dedicated Session, in the ARK Rules panel the options Difficulty Level must be set at 1.0, as well scrolling down the list Max Difficulty must be checked.

See Difficulty Level page for more details.

More settings used in Official Servers, including rates, tribe settings and Offline Raiding Prevention see the proper dedicated page.

External resources