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As Xbox players and hosts we've never had access to the .ini files to control our servers.  Everything for us was pretty straightforward in terms of configuring settings, but we were also fairly limited in the amount of custom configuration we could implement.  All of that of course changed when hosted servers arrived on scene, which opened us up to a whole-new-world of possibilities and headaches.  I wanted to create this guide to help alleviate some of the pain associated with altering the .ini files, and to dispel some of the apprehension associated with implementing custom configuration code.  I spent days researching, hours writing code, and hours fixing some of the mistakes I made.  I figured some of you folks might find some value in the mistakes I've made, and what I've learned through my trial-by-fire.  What follows is a sectional guide on the use of Expert Mode, and how to configure some of the more common custom configuration elements.



NFD vs. Expert Mode

When you first access the Nitrado Admin Console, you will find that they have created their own version of the configuration menu we had when running PDS through our consoles.  It's all very straightforward and simplified, and it will look pretty familiar.  For most of the settings you will want to alter, this is by far the easiest way to go about it.  I have dubbed their console, Nitrado for Dummies.  This is not to say you are a Dummy if you use this, but it is a simplified means of configuring the server; thus, the moniker.  If you run a single server, and are apprehensive about altering the .ini files, this might be your best option for server configuration.  A few things to consider before deciding which configuration mode you want to proceed with:

  1. How you want to customize your server: If you want to implement changes to level progression or custom stats, the NFD interface can be very time consuming (I'll get further into detail about these aspects later on)
  2. How many servers you run: if you run more than one server, and intend to implement customization, the NFD interface is a massive time-suck.  
  3. Is your apprehension justified?:  The simple reality here is that, there isn't a major difference between engaging the NFD interface, and directly manipulating the .ini files.  Just like the NFD interface, every line item in the .ini file is easily identified.  As an example:
NightTimeSpeedScale=.7
DayTimeSpeedScale=.7
TamingSpeedMultiplier=3.0
HarvestAmountMultiplier=3.0
HarvestHealthMultiplier=3.0

 

Note:  When switching to Expert Mode, most of the configuration options disappear from the General Settings interface.  You will also notice that Engine Settings is replaced by Expert Settings.  When switching from one configuration mode to the other, settings do not usually transfer.  If you have been using the NFD interface for any period of time, it is probable that most configuration settings will show up in the .ini files; however, custom level progression and other custom configurations may not.  Be sure to scan the .ini files to ensure that your server is configured according to your desires, check it again, and then proceed.

 

Expert Mode

Sounds fancy, right: Expert Mode, dun dun dun.  It's neither as glamorous or as ominous as it might at first appear.  If you've made it through this wall of text, and are now ready to start tinkering with the .ini files, here is where we begin.  

First things first, let's identify exactly what we're working with, and what goes where.  To activate Expert Mode, you will navigate to the General Settings interface, click the little box at the top, and then click save.

 

BTsZXbQ.png

 

Once this is done, the pane on the left will look like:

 

V5NFSd0.png

 

Let's go ahead and click on Expert Settings, and take a gander.  You will notice that you're now nose-to-nose with an .ini file.  Pretty unimpressive right?  Feel free to scroll around, and familiarize yourself with what you're looking at.  You'll notice that not all of your settings are here, and that's because there is more than one file in this interface.  Click the area highlighted in red, and a drop down will appear.  Once there, go ahead and click on Game.ini, the click Load File.  You will notice that there is an Engine.ini in the drop down, but it is blank, and has nothing to do with what we're doing here.

 

Pb5FxUs.png

 

You will make use of both files in this interface when configuring your server, as they both contain different game variables.  You will want to acclimate yourself with both of these files, so you know where everything is when you need to alter a variable.  

Note:  Under GameUserSettings.ini you are going to see all manner of things you might be tempted to tinker with.  Avoid altering settings directly under the following sections:

  • [/Script/ShooterGame.ShooterGameUserSettings]
  • [ScalabilityGroups]
  • [/Script/Engine.GameSession]

Alterable variables fall below the following sections:

  • [SessionSettings]
    • SessionName=[US] Ark FTW-Ragnarok (this is the name of your server, and can be changed at your leisure)
  • [ServerSettings] (many of the settings you found under General Settings are now found here, and they can all be altered)
    • AutoSavePeriodMinutes=15.000000 (this can be altered, but I have read there may be some performance related issues in so doing, so probably don't)

 

In order to make any changes to these files, you're going to need to completely stop your server.  

 

8DjtPxA.png

 

Once the server is completely stopped, you can make any necessary alterations to the .ini files.  Once those alterations have been made, click Save, and then go have yourself a cup of coffee.  Nitrado recommends that you wait around 4 minutes before bringing your server back up, as the backend has to make conversions.  I also always run a server check any time I make any changes, which is probably a good habit to acquire.  If you don't wait, you may end up with corrupted data, so wait the 4 minutes.  Now, let's talk about some of the custom configurations you can make, and some of the resources I've found helpful.

 

Level Ramp Overrides

This is just a fancy way of identifying the option to add a custom level scheme to your server, and it works for both Players and Dinos.  I'm going to break this down into three sections: Players and Dinos, Engrams, and Resources...oh my?

 

Players and Dinos

How you proceed here will be largely dependent on the type of server you run.  Using the Overrides you can add more levels, reduce the total number of levels, and completely reshape the way you progress through those levels. Altering the Dino progression scheme is straightforward; not so much for players.  The game reserves 30 levels for ascension, so you need to keep this in mind when you're deciding on a max level.  The easiest way to explain it is:

  • If you want a max server level of 150, after ascension, you will simply add 150 levels
  • If you want a max server level of 150, before ascension, you will need 180 levels in total

Ramps

Another factor to consider is how you want your ramp to work.  What is a ramp you ask?  Simply put, it is the increase in experience required per level.  You can effectively create any ramping scheme you want with the override.  The vanilla progression system uses a progressive ramp with a steep curve towards the end.  I use the vanilla ramp up through 115, and then a wave scheme thereafter.  Maybe you want a linear ramp where each level requires the same amount of experience.  The world is your oyster here, so do whatever feels good to you.

Code

Now let's talk a bit about code, shall we?  The method for coding is linear, but it is time consuming.  There is an override variable for both Players and Dinos, and you will need to create a block of code for each if you intend to create custom level schemes for both.  If you elect to override the vanilla level cap and progression, your code block MUST start at level 0, and MUST include every-single level you want to have on your server.  I made the mistake of starting my code block at a specific level, instead of coding every level, and I magically transported every logged in player to level 82.  

So what does the code look like?  Glad you asked:

LevelExperienceRampOverrides=(ExperiencePointsForLevel[0]=5,ExperiencePointsForLevel[1]=20,ExperiencePointsForLevel[2]=40,ExperiencePointsForLevel[3]=70

As you can see, there isn't anything overly complicated about the actual syntax of the code.  If you've noticed something odd, however, you're right to be suspicious.  Level 0.  Well, there is no Level 0 in the game, so what on earth is that for?  When you first spawn on the beach, you are already at level 1, so it seems odd that this wouldn't start at level 2, right?  Level 0 in this code block represents level 2 in-game.  So if you are coding these blocks, always subtract 2 from the max level:

  • If you want 180 total levels, your code block will start at Level 0 and end at Level 178.  

 

Engrams Points

Now that you've coded out your level progression system, what about engram points?  Just like with levels, you can employ any engram point scheme your wee heart desires, and it is all linear:

OverridePlayerLevelEngramPoints=8
OverridePlayerLevelEngramPoints=8
OverridePlayerLevelEngramPoints=8
OverridePlayerLevelEngramPoints=8
OverridePlayerLevelEngramPoints=8
OverridePlayerLevelEngramPoints=8
OverridePlayerLevelEngramPoints=8
OverridePlayerLevelEngramPoints=8
OverridePlayerLevelEngramPoints=12
OverridePlayerLevelEngramPoints=12
OverridePlayerLevelEngramPoints=12

 

Each line ties directly to a level, and in order.  So, the first line is the number of engram points you gain at Level 0 in your level code block, and so on.  Your engram points code block should match your level code block in terms of numbers:

  • If you have 198 levels written into your code block, you will need 198 lines in your engram points block if you want each level to come with engram points.

 

Resources

The following are some of the things I found useful when setting up my server's progression scheme:

 

More to follow...

Edited by Soldiercide
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Guest DJRone89

You need to edit your post about the wait time. Nitrado recommend waiting 5 mins AFTER your server has stopped before you edit and save settings. As soon as I save my changes, I’ll restart and the changes would have taken affect.

However, I usually wait 10 mins after I’ve initiated a stop because my server has a 5 min shutdown timer warning, but the server will appear stopped in the web inferface while the in game timer is still counting down to zero.

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On 9/23/2018 at 12:48 AM, Guest DJRone89 said:

You need to edit your post about the wait time. Nitrado recommend waiting 5 mins AFTER your server has stopped before you edit and save settings. As soon as I save my changes, I’ll restart and the changes would have taken affect.

However, I usually wait 10 mins after I’ve initiated a stop because my server has a 5 min shutdown timer warning, but the server will appear stopped in the web inferface while the in game timer is still counting down to zero.

Good catch.  I'll be updating it here shortly and adding some more information to it.

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I changed my harvesting setting but only the berry, hide and wood almost everything but meat harvesting has risen. You can pick up  100 stone, 100 berries ect from everything but when you go to harvest meat from a dino sometimes you get 20 stacks other times you get nothing but 200 hide is there a fix for this?

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On 11/6/2018 at 8:09 PM, blackleathermom said:

I changed my harvesting setting but only the berry, hide and wood almost everything but meat harvesting has risen. You can pick up  100 stone, 100 berries ect from everything but when you go to harvest meat from a dino sometimes you get 20 stacks other times you get nothing but 200 hide is there a fix for this?

Anything that drops meat should be dropping meat, unless whatever you're using to harvest has a full inventory.  Are you seeing this across all harvesting methods, or only on specific mounts?

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1 minute ago, Spazztic78 said:

I was wondering, how do I access the ini for supply drops. I want to change the Bp rate. Currently playing on a server with very very few changes to it. We're just sick getting bps instead of items. Thanks for any help!

Use the following app:
https://beaconapp.cc/

and make sure you watch the Getting Started video, which will answer a number of your questions:
https://beaconapp.cc/read.php/96d0efc7-2e62-4ae4-9d9b-70cc890dc98e

if you need help, join the Beacon discord server, and someone there will be able to assist you:
https://discordapp.com/invite/XvuZprN

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I wanted to say thank you for your guide. I have a few questions for you, hopefully you can help. I am new to messing with the .ini and my new server which I want to be able to manipulate the crafting costs of things is having some issues. I have gotten the crafting changes to take affect but nothing else. I seem to be missing a few options under the GameUserSettings.ini such as the XPMultiplier, HarvestAmount etc etc, also my Game.ini folder is empty.  I entered my own lines of code but they aren't working. I'd appreciate some assistance. 

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On 12/19/2018 at 9:58 AM, CovShooter91 said:

I wanted to say thank you for your guide. I have a few questions for you, hopefully you can help. I am new to messing with the .ini and my new server which I want to be able to manipulate the crafting costs of things is having some issues. I have gotten the crafting changes to take affect but nothing else. I seem to be missing a few options under the GameUserSettings.ini such as the XPMultiplier, HarvestAmount etc etc, also my Game.ini folder is empty.  I entered my own lines of code but they aren't working. I'd appreciate some assistance. 

The XPMultiplier doesn't show up unless you've added it and modified it.  Without the multiplier, it defaults to 1.  If you want to manipulate the value, just add it back into the gameusersettings.ini:

XPMultiplier=(whatever number you want here)

The same goes for the other multipliers.  Here is a complete list of the configuration options for both the gameusersettings and game.ini files:

https://ark.gamepedia.com/Server_Configuration

As for the command lines disappearing, are you swapping between NFD and Expert mode?  Also, are you waiting the 4 minutes after clicking the save button before restarting your server?

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12 hours ago, Sylant said:

Been searching for some time but haven't found anything. Can you change the quantity you receive when crafting? ie; 4 chitin 8 stone gives 5 cp instead of 1?

I don’t think you can adjust the yield, but you should be able to amend the crafting cost, e.g. 1 chitin + 2 stone = 1 CP.

Try this under your game.ini:

ConfigOverrideItemCraftingCosts=(ItemClassString="PrimalItemResource_ChitinPaste_C",BaseCraftingResourceRequirements=((ResourceItemTypeString="PrimalItemResource_Chitin_C",BaseResourceRequirement=1.0,bCraftingRequireExactResourceType=false),(ResourceItemTypeString="PrimalItemResource_Stone_C",BaseResourceRequirement=2.0,bCraftingRequireExactResourceType=false)))

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On 2/5/2019 at 4:36 PM, WickedWilson said:

Can anyone tell me how to turn the Leeds off on my server?

 

Do I have to do a ini. File or can I complete it from the nitrado app?

You can do this via the Nitrado app but it is easier on a PC. You input this code into the game.ini NOT the gamesettings.ini

NPCReplacements=(FromClassName="Leedsichthys_Character_BP_C",ToClassName="")

THat gets rid of those damn pesky things in the water! :) 

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@Soldiercide you are a genius! Thank you for your post... I have recently picked up a Nitrado server and was having the WORST time trying to figure out expert settings when it came to breeding/imprinting settings. After reading your guide, I realize that I was putting the code in the wrong .ini file!!! I finally found the settings I was looking for and am now waiting to reboot the server to see if the changes have updated. Thanks again for your helpful post. :)

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Hi new to this site so don’t know if I’m in the right place? But looking for someone to help me with my expert settings on my Nitrado server for xbox one? I’ve tried a few times / different ways of getting aberration dinos to spawn on Ragnarok but can’t seem to get it to work properly? Any help appreciated 

 

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