How to Enable Custom Startup Parameters on Your ARK Server

ARK startup parameters, also known as Command Line Arguments, are a way to configure how your server runs, from specifying which official or custom map to run to preventing alliances between tribes. This guide will show you how to enable and add them to your server.

Important Reminder: Before making any changes, make sure to stop and backup your server.


  1. Log in to your server’s FTP (Files > FTP File Access) and click Edit next to the file.
  2. On the last line, add customStartupParameters= then click Save.
  3. Navigate to your ARK Server Properties config file (Files > Config Files) and scroll down. You should now see an empty field where you can enter your chosen parameters.


All startup parameters have a delimiter, or starting symbol, which determines how the parameter must be added. The two delimiters used are ? (question mark) and - (dash). Parameters starting with ? must be grouped together first then ones starting with - must be listed at the end separated by a space.

For example, if you wanted to prevent players from AFKing on your server, limit the number of tamed dinos allowed per player or tribe to 100 and prevent raids while offline, you would need to add the following parameters.

  • -EnableIdlePlayerKick
  • ?MaxPersonalTamedDinos=100
  • ?PreventOfflinePvP=true

When adding them to the config file, you will need to add them according to their delimiter. If done properly, it should look like this: ?PreventOfflinePvP=true?MaxPersonalTamedDinos=100 -EnableIdlePlayerKick.

Simply click Save and restart your server for the changes to take effect.

Below is a list of several popular startup parameters that can be applied to your server.

Startup Parameter Description
?AllowFlyingStaminaRecovery=true Allows flyers to recover stamina while hovering mid-air.

Causes characters that have not moved within the specified idle period to be kicked.

(Requires KickIdlePlayersPeriod=(seconds) to be added to the Game.ini)


Activates a whitelist-only mode on your server.

Check out our guide on how to set it up!


Forces flyers to be allowed into caves.

(This is enabled on custom maps by default.)

?ForceAllStructureLocking=true Enabling this will lock all structures by default.

Sets the maximum number of tamed dinos on the server.

(This is a global cap and affects all players/tribes.)

?NonPermanentDiseases=true Diseases will no longer be permanent and disappear upon respawn.
?PreventSpawnAnimations=true Allows players to spawn or respawn without the wake up animation.
?PreventTribeAlliances=true Enabling this will prevent tribes from creating alliances.
?ShowFloatingDamageText=true Use this to enable a RPG-style popup text stat mode.

The full list of startup parameters can be found on ARK’s Wiki. Not all parameters listed are meant for or will work on servers.

If you require any further assistance, please contact our support at:

Mitchell Smith

Managing Director @ Shockbyte

  • ARK, ark epic, ark steam, custom startup parameters, ark custom startup parameters
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