this Youtube Guide explains how to setup and join your own ark server, just ignore the port-forwarding part. make sure you can join your own server (as shown in the video) and then you are done with your server.
Ark uses two Ports, one for the game (default : 7777) and one for steam (default : 27015).
after following the Tutorial your start.bat should look something like this :
start ShooterGameServer.exe "TheIsland?SessionName=TestServer123?MaxPlayers=35?OverrideOfficialDifficulty=5.0?DifficultyOffset=1.0?AltSaveDirectoryName=TheIsland?QueryPort=27015?Port=7777?listen" -NoBattlEye -NoTransferFromFiltering -activeevent=none -UseVivox -noundermeshkilling
MapName, Servername and Playercount can of course be different.
(in the end you can add the argument
-crossplay to enable steam and epic crossplay, in theory this should also work, but i havent tested it)
creating the Tunnels
before you start to create the tunnels make sure to activate numerical IPs on the Playit.gg website, as you will need the tunnel-address Ports later.
Ark Server Manager
if you are using Ark Server Manager make sure to create the Tunnel with the Local IP that is shown in the Server Manager, the default 127.0.0.1 will probably not work. If not just ignore.
Now you have to create two Tunnels, one for Port 27015 and one for Port 7777
the first Tunnel is pretty straight forward, just create a custom Tunnel with local port 27015 and both tcp and udp
The second Tunnel is a bit more complicated.
Create a new custom Tunnel with any Port and udp+tcp. Ill use Port 100.
create the Tunnel and edit it.
Now you change the Tunnels local Port, to the Same Port that the Tunnel address randomly got (in this case 39826). then save it and the tunneling part is done.
change Server Port
once again go back to your start.bat and change the game Port (7777) to the Port of the second Tunnel (here 39826, for you this number will be different).
after setting a map and a server name your start.bat will look something like this
start ShooterGameServer.exe "TheIsland?SessionName=TestServer123?MaxPlayers=35?OverrideOfficialDifficulty=5.0?DifficultyOffset=1.0?AltSaveDirectoryName=TheIsland?QueryPort=27015?Port=39826?listen" -NoBattlEye -NoTransferFromFiltering -activeevent=none -UseVivox -noundermeshkilling
the Query Port (27015) stays and you just change the Game Port (7777).
joining your server
start the playit programm and the start.bat file (can take a few minutes until server is started) and it should be public.
Now you just need to add it to your favourites and then you can join.
Open up steam click View (top left corner) and select servers in the dropdown menu.
(if youre joining and you get a timeout then the second tunnel isnt working. Make sure everything is setup right and that you have changed the start.bat Port 7777)
in the server list click ADD A SERVER and paste in the tunnel address of the first Tunnel (the Tunnel with the local Port 27015).
if your server doesnt show immediately dont panic, steam seems to be a bit buggy with Playit so keep refreshing about 5-15 times until your server shows.
Start Ark → Join Ark → Favourites (also here you may need to refresh multiple times) → join
(For Epic Games, you would need to find the Server in the Server list by name or join via command from singleplayer (as far as i know you would need to join with the second tunnel address), but still cant confirm its working for Epic)
Now only your Friends need to add it to Favourites and they can join (also here steam kinda buggy, needs a lot of refreshes sometimes)
Maps, Mods and Cluster-setup is all explained in the Tutorial.
if youre having any Problems feel free to ping me in the Playit discord