Fix: ARK Survival Evolved Can’t Join Private or Friends Server

2017’s Ark: Survival Evolved is an action-adventure open-world survival video game by Studio Wildcard where players have to survive from monsters and dinosaurs apart from other prehistoric animals, natural hazards, and more. This is an online multiplayer title to join with other players or friends, but somehow plenty of players are getting affected by the ARK Survival can’t join private or friends server online issue quite often. Yes! It’s frustrating a lot.

According to several reports on the Steam Community, some players are unable to connect to the game servers whether it’s a public one or a dedicated one which seems a big issue. Well, it has become a widespread problem among the ARK Survival Evolved players on the PC that needs to be fixed properly. The chances are high that somehow the particular issue is occurring on the PC due to several possible reasons something as the server-side error.

Fix: ARK Survival Can't Join Private or Friends Server

Fix: ARK Survival Can’t Join Private or Friends Server

In the last couple of years, it’s been quite common for PC gamers to encounter such issues when it comes to online multiplayer titles. Now, if you’re also facing the same issue for a while then make sure to follow this troubleshooting guide to try fixing it. Luckily, we’ve shared a couple of possible workarounds for you that should gonna come in handy. Talking about the possible reasons, it looks like there may be an internet issue or game file issue troubling.

Additionally, issues with the Wi-Fi router glitch, outdated game version, issues with the antivirus or security program, etc occur the server connectivity issues whatsoever. Now, without wasting any more time, let’s jump into it.

1. Check Server Status

First of all, you should try checking the server status of the Ark: Survival Evolved game by visiting the official @survivetheark Twitter handle. Here you might get all the server-related reports and info quite frequently. The chances are high that somehow the game servers got some technical errors like downtime or maintenance issues. Most of the time, the server connectivity error or can’t connect the matchmaking may occur due to the overloaded servers.

If in case, there is a server downtime then make sure to wait for a couple of hours and then try playing the game again. You can also submit the server issue report to this Google Form if you’re getting frequent server issues so that developers can work on it. If there is no server issue then you can head over to the next method.

2. Check your Internet Connection

You should always check for the internet connection at your end whether it’s fast and stable enough or not. Sometimes the poor and unstable internet connection can trouble you a lot. If you’re using a wireless network then try using a wired (ethernet) network to cross-check the issue. Try using a different internet network to play the game and connect to the servers to check for the issue.

3. Power Cycle your Wi-Fi Router

It’s also recommended to perform a power cycle on your Wi-Fi router to refresh the networking glitch from the router side. Just Power OFF the router and disconnect the power adapter from the router. Wait for a couple of minutes and plug back the power adapter into the router. Now, make sure to Power ON the router to check for the issue again.

4. Update Ark: Survival Evolved

If you haven’t updated your Ark: Survival Evolved game in a couple of weeks then make sure to check for the latest update and then install the same (if available). An outdated game version can eventually trigger a couple of issues with the launching as well as joining the player’s or friend’s server. To do that:

For Steam:

  • Open the Steam client > Go to Library > Click on Ark: Survival Evolved from the left pane.
  • It’ll automatically search for the available update. If there is an update available, make sure to click on Update.
  • It may take some time to install the update > Once done, make sure to close the Steam client.
  • Finally, reboot your PC to apply changes then try launching the game again.

For Epic Games Launcher:

  • Open the Epic Games Launcher > Head over to Library.
  • Now, click on the three dots icon next to Ark: Survival Evolved.
  • Make sure the Auto Update option is turned on.

5. Verify and Repair Game Files

Sometimes corrupted or missing game files on the PC may cause multiple issues with the game server connectivity. You should repair game files to check for the issue. To do so:

For Steam:

  • Launch Steam > Click on Library.
  • Right-click on Ark: Survival Evolved from the list of installed games.
  • Now, click on Properties > Go to Local Files.

  • Click on Verify Integrity of Game Files.
  • You’ll have to wait for the process until it gets completed.
  • Once done, just restart your computer.

For Epic Games Launcher:

  • Open the Epic Games Launcher > Click on Library.
  • Click on the three-dots icon of Ark: Survival Evolved.
  • Click on Verify and it’ll start verifying the game files.
  • Wait for the process to complete and restart the launcher.

6. Allow Ark Survival Evolved in Windows Firewall

It seems that allowing the game application file in Windows Firewall to whitelist it may help players to connect to the game servers properly. Mostly Windows Firewall blocks ongoing connections that may trigger the server connectivity issue. You can follow the steps below to whitelist it.

  • Click on the Start Menu > Type Firewall.
  • Select Windows Defender Firewall from the search result.
  • Now, open it > Click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall from the left pane.
  • Click on Change Settings > Click on Allow another app.
  • Click on Browse > Select the Ark Survival Evolved application.
  • Next, click on Add > Click on OK to save changes.
  • Finally, restart your computer to apply changes.

7. Try Using Public DNS

It’s possible that your internet service provider-specific DNS server address has some issues or blocks with accessing online services properly. It’s better to use a public DNS on your computer to check whether the problem has been fixed or not. Here we’ve shared both the Google DNS and Cloudflare DNS for you to choose any one of them. These public DNS addresses offer better reachability and speed in multiplayer games and streaming content.

  • Press the Windows + R shortcut keys on the keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
  • Now, type control and hit Enter to open Control Panel.
  • Click on Network and Internet > Select Network and Sharing Center.
  • Go to your Connections to select Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or others depending on what you’re using.
  • Next, click on Properties > Double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP /IPv4) to open a new window.
  • Click on Use the following DNS server addresses and input as a Preferred DNS server.
  • While you’ll have to enter as the Alternate DNS server > Click on the checkbox of Validate settings upon exit.
  • Click on OK to confirm the changes > Launch the ARK Survival game to check if you still Can’t Join Private or Friends Server.

Note: If the problem still persists with the Google DNS then you can try using the Cloudflare DNS address by replacing as the Preferred DNS server and as the Alternate DNS server.

8. Use LAN Play Session

Affected Ark: Survival Evolved players may experience server connectivity or multiplayer issues in the cross-platform. It may happen due to the cross-platform connectivity and you should try avoiding the cross-platform play option to check if the problem still persists or not. Meanwhile, we’ll suggest that PC players should use LAN sessions rather than normal online modes. To do so:

  • First, you’ll need to download and install the free Radmin app on your PC.
  • Next, open the Radmin app > Go to the Network menu.
  • You’ll need to select Create a New Network.
  • Once you create a new session, make sure to launch Ark: Survival Evolved.
  • Go to the Settings menu > Select the LAN Play option.
  • Finally, you can join the LAN session that has been created by the Radmin app.

9. Reinstall the Game

If the above methods didn’t work for you then make sure to uninstall and reinstall the Ark: Survival Evolved game on the PC. We can understand that it’s not a good idea to reinstall a game because it affects game data and requires effort too. Sometimes there may be an issue in the installed game files that can be fixed only by reinstalling the game. To do so:

For Steam:

  • Open the Steam client > Go to Library.
  • Right-click on Ark: Survival Evolved from the left pane.
  • Click on Uninstall and follow the on-screen prompts to complete it.
  • Once done, make sure to close Steam, and reboot the PC.
  • Finally, launch Steam and install the game again.

For Epic Games Launcher:

  • Open the Epic Games Launcher > Head over to Library.
  • Now, click on the three dots icon of Ark: Survival Evolved.
  • Click on Uninstall and wait for the process to be completed.
  • Once done, close the launcher then reboot the PC to apply changes.
  • Finally, open the launcher then reinstall the Ark: Survival Evolved game again.

10. Contact Ark: Survival Evolved Support

If none of the methods worked for you then make sure to contact Ark Survival Evolved Support and submit the bug report. By creating the support ticket, you’ll be able to get earlier acknowledgment from the developers and they can deeply investigate the ARK Survival Can’t Join Private or Friends Server issue.

That’s it, guys. We assume this guide was helpful to you. For further queries, you can comment below.


  1. hello if i try to join a unofficial server are all closed they all ask for a code to inter the server but normal i didn’t have this problem
    this problem started when i try to reinstall the game i tried everything pls help

  2. Good day,

    I am having an issue with my ark timing me out when I join my friend’s non-dedicated server. I know his end is fine as my other friends are still able to I’m not able to join. I have reinstalled the game, verified and repaired files, tried other official and non-dedicated servers and I’m able to join them. just not my friend’s server. what other things could i do to fix this issue?

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