Ark Cluster sharing

What is a Cluster?

A cluster is simply a server-side location to store Ark data that is uploaded from an obelisk (characters, items, dinos). If the server is not using clusters, this data is saved locally on the machine of the person performing the upload and can then be downloaded to any server that does not block downloads. When using a cluster, the data is instead kept on the server in a special location:


Any servers with access to that folder, and which share the same cluster ID, will be able to share uploaded data with each other. (You do not need to create this folder yourself, the server will create it when someone uploads something.)

Enabling the use of a cluster implicitly blocks downloads from from other sources. Players will not be able to download saved data from their machine to your server, nor transfer data from other servers outside the cluster to your server. Also, data uploaded from your server will not be available for use on other servers outside the cluster.

How do I Setup a Cluster?

This part was covered pretty well on the FAQ, but I will break it down a bit here to explain in more detail.

First of all, there are two important command line options you need to use to make use of clusters. (Your command line might be within a batch or shell script file that you use to run the server or it might be specified in a server launcher interface somewhere, depending on your setup.)

After much testing, I have been unable to determine what effect this setting has. The FAQ uses it in the example command lines. So, I recommend doing the same, although when running without it, nothing seems to change.

This tells the server the name of the cluster to use, and becomes part of the cluster save path on disk. Use the same cluster id on all servers that you want to share the same upload data. It does not matter if this ID is globally unique. It also doesn't need to be secret. If someone uploads to (or attempts to download from) some other server using the same ID, it will not be the same cluster as your servers, because the cluster files are stored locally on your server machine and not shared anywhere else. (Update: If you are running on a dedicated host, make sure your cluster id is unique and secret, because there is a possibility the host is using a shared cluster save location.)

The officially supported way of running clustered servers is to run them all from the same directory. However, you can use directory junctions to run from separate locations. I will cover both methods separately. (The two command line options above apply the same no matter which one you use.)

Important Note: If you have noTributeDownloads=true on your command line or in your settings INI, people will not be able to transfer anything. You need to set that to false in conjunction with the use of -NoTransferFromFiltering.

  • How Cross-ARK Data Transfer works:
  1. For Officials, you can 'upload' Survivors from TheIsland or TheCenter via the "ARK Tribute" option available at any Supply Crate or Tribute Terminal. You can then 'download' these Survivors onto an Official ScorchedEarth Server of that same game mode. Currently only Survivors are allowed to travel TO ScorchedEarth (they can not have any items on them), in order to keep it balanced for the time being. However, FROM ScorchedEarth you can transfer Survivors, Items, and Dinos, which you can then download (via the ARK Tribute) onto TheIsland or TheCenter. So indeed you can bring all ScorchedEarth Items, Dinos, and Survivors (and thus Scorched Earth Engrams) onto TheIsland or TheCenter to extend your capabilities there. When transferring a Survivor between ARKs using this method, Tribes should be retained. However Alliances will not be retained, and will need to be re-setup on the other side.
  2. For Unofficial Servers, if they wish to allow dynamic Cross-ARK Travel, they will need to run two Servers on the same box from the same directory, and then you can launch with the following commandlines:
    ShooterGameServer.exe ScorchedEarth_P?SessionName=MySession1?AltSaveDirectoryName=Save1 -NoTransferFromFiltering -clusterid=mycluster123
    ShooterGameServer.exe TheIsland?SessionName=MySession2?AltSaveDirectoryName=Save2  -NoTransferFromFiltering  -clusterid=mycluster123

    (the clusterid must be the same between the servers!)
    (to avoid saves from clashing each server should use distinct values for: ?AltSaveDirectoryName=<SaveFolderName>)

    you also have options like:
  3. Meanwhile in singleplayer, you can just use the "ARK Tribute" option and then go back to the main menu and host on the other map, and download your data accordingly. We will streamline this process soon as well.


  • How To Transfer Characters (Official Servers):

You may only Travel from the Island or Center to Scorched Earth, and from Scorched Earth to the Island or Center. You may not travel from the Island to the Center, or vice versa directly. You must be carrying no items in your inventory, including equipped armor.

  1. To initiate a character transfer, access the inventory of either an obelisk or a supply drop beacon.
  2. Click on the button in the top right corner of your screen, labelled "TRAVEL TO ANOTHER ARK!"
  3. A server list will appear, select your intended destination server.
  4. Click the "Join w/Survivor" button in the bottom left of the screen.
  5. You will now load a new session on the target destination server.
  6. Select your preferred spawn point and click on "Spawn Survivor."


  • How To Transfer Items and Creatures:

You may only take items and creatures from Scorched Earth to the Island or the Center, you cannot bring creatures or items to Scorched Earth.

  1. To transfer items and tamed creatures,  access the inventory of either an obelisk or a supply drop beacon.
  2. Click on the button centered at the top of the screen labelled "TRANSMIT ARK DATA"
  3. On the new user interface that appears, you can drag and drop items into the ark for server transfer.
  4. Below you will find the "UPLOAD CREATURES DATA" button, click this to upload animals.
  5. A new creature upload user interface will appear, select the creature you wish to upload.
  6. Press upload creature.
  7. To download items and creatures its the same steps as above, except you need to drag items out of the ark, and use the "DOWNLOAD CREATURES DATA" button.


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