The only way for ARK: Survival Evolved players on the Xbox One can currently host their own private dedicated servers is with a spare console whose sole purpose is running the game. Developer Studio Wildcard is investigating to bring the console version of the open-world dinosaur survival title with the PC by allowing Windows-based dedicated servers to work with the Xbox One.
Studio Wildcard Co-Founder and Creative Director Jesse Rapczack revealed the push to allow PC servers to work with ARK: Survival Evolved on the Xbox One in an interview with GameSpot.
“We’re working now to allow both players and third-party hosting companies to host Windows-based Xbox servers,” Rapczack offered when asked about keeping content parity with the PC. “That actually most of the people that play Ark on PC play on private servers; we could just never pay for all the servers for the players that are out there. That’s especially true on Xbox; it would be enormously expensive to keep these persistent servers up basically forever. Players start a character on there and that’s where their progress is.”
“We’re really excited to get that support out there, and part of that will be to make sure that the Xbox version and those servers are kind of kept up to date with the PC version, and really allow those players to take advantage of the latest stuff. And when they’re hosting their own servers and stuff like that be able to configure them with the newest content and kind of customize it to the way they want.”
If Studio Wildcard is able to make this a reality, this is great news for ARK: Survival Evolved players. The current dedicated hosting situation is less than ideal, since it requires a second Xbox One running non-stop. It has not proven particularly stable, limits the number of players, and has not taken off the same way private dedicated servers have with the PC version.
The more than one million players who have purchased ARK: Survival Evolved have tried to squeeze on the more than 400 official servers in the game with varying success. Meanwhile, the non-dedicated server hosting has the severe drawback of requiring players to stay within 200 meters of the host player.
This wouldn’t be the first game to support hosting servers through a third-party. Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 allowed players to rent servers, though they could not host one themselves. It will be quite the coup if Studio Wildcard is able to work with Microsoft to allow someone’s homebrew server, running ARK, to connect to Xbox LIVE.
A timeline on when ARK: Survival Evolved on Xbox One might support dedicated servers running on Windows PCs was not mentioned in the GameSpot interview. However, the next update to console version of ARK is tentatively planned for Wednesday, February 10.
The patch notes for the v732.0 update reveal some welcome features and performance improvements are coming to the Xbox One title. It will add all recently released PC content through PC version 233. This includes the Gallimimus, Dung Beetle, Dimetrodon, Shock Prod, Riot Armor, Greenhouse, and the all-important Beer.
One the feature front, split-screen multiplayer is being added for online and local play, while the tether range for non-dedicated servers is being increased 66 meters, from 200 meters to 266 meters. Additionally, ARK: Survival Evolved will receive some framerate performance improvements, along with a memory leak fix that would cause the game to crash occasionally.
ARK: Survival Evolved is currently available for the Xbox One via the Game Preview Program and PC via Steam Early Access. Studio Wildcard describes it as being in a pre-alpha state, with many features still missing. It’s proven to be extremely popular and addictive despite that, and is currently scheduled to launch for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, this June.
[Image via ARK: Survival Evolved]