Whether you are thinking about setting up an ARK server, or already have purchased hosting, at some point you’re going to want to set up RCON connection to your server.
This will be a comprehensive guide for understanding the useful features of ARKon.
What is RCON?
RCON is a modified acronym for “Remote Control Administration Tool.” It allows you to connect remotely from your computer to a server, allowing for live updates to be made without having to either be at the physical terminal where the server is located or in the game to execute. This allows us to, for instance, broadcast a message to the server from the comfort of your desktop, to let players know you are going to perform an action.
- Go to the ARKon Official Steam Thread and click the Download link
- Extract the contents of ARKon.zip to a location on your computer where you intend to launch the program from. If you don’t know how to extract a zip file, click here. Once the ARKon.zip file is extracted, you will have a directory that looks something like this
- Open ARKon.exe
- You will be greeted by a screen that informs you to pick a dark or light theme for the program. The theme you choose is up to you, but I prefer the dark theme
Congratulations! You now have ARKon on your computer and are ready to start configuring the settings to get connected with your server!
- Click the Settings tab, you will be greeted with the default screen
- Config name is what we want the server to be called in “Server Configs” section on the right. This is only to serve as a way of differentiating servers if you are managing multiple of them
- Server IP is the IP address that is provided to you from the uHostPro Control Panel. It is visible from all three IP addresses. As seen here, the Server IP that I would use would be 126.96.36.199
- RCON Port is the port number that is specified in your Commandline Manager in the uHostPro Control Panel. To find out your port number, you must first Enable RCON by checking both boxes, and hitting save. When you have RCON enabled, you will see your RCON port in the Commandline where it says RCONPort=xxxx. For security reasons, I will not be sharing mine here
- Password is the “Admin Pass (And RCON)” password that you can set in your GameUserSettings.ini file, located at Configuration Files -> Configuration Editor (for GameUserSettings.ini). You should make this password as secure as you can, as a compromised server is not a great thing to have to experience. This password is usable in-game as an admin, as well as on ARKon
- Chat name is the name or alias that you wish to be known as whenever you use the chat functionality from the Console tab. Mine is Wigglez
- Hit the Save button, and your newly created config should now be operational, assuming you have followed everything correctly up to this point
- Go over to the Console tab, and hit Connect at the bottom to connect to your server. If you did not configure your settings correctly, then you will not get past the phase of “Connecting…” as seen here
- Now that you are Connected, you have complete control over your server
Basic ARKon Functionality
Let’s start off with the first thing that you see when you open ARKon, the Console window. Here, you have complete control over what you can send to the server, as well as receive from it. This is the place where you will see players connect, disconnect and send in-game chat
- The first box is for admin commands that are to be executed. This allows you to run any command from this list that has a “Y” in the RCON field
- The second box is for sending a chat message or broadcast box message. These are both visible in-game, and have different uses. By selecting the “Chat” dropdown, you are going to be able to send a chat message that is very large and yellow, which indicates that the message is being sent by someone that has admin privileges; this message lingers in the chatbox and can be viewed at any time after the message is sent. The “Broadcast” dropdown allows you to send a one-time message that pops up a box at the top of the in-game screen, that disappears after a short time (depending on the length of the message); this broadcast message will not be able to be viewed again once it has disappeared
- The third box is for sending a private message to an in-game user, which allows you to send a “quiet” message to only the user you selected in the dropdown.
The Players Tab shows us all the connected players that are currently on your server! The names that you see here will not be their in-game name, but their Steam name instead. A player can be managed by clicking on their name, and selecting “Kick”, “Ban”, “Whitelist” or “Remove Whitelist”.
This is the section where you can utilize some buttons that send commonly used admin commands to the server.
- Save World executes the command saveworld
- Save World and Exit executes the command saveworld and then exit. This is an attempt at gracefully shutting down the server
- Set MOTD lets you set a temporary Message of the Day for your server that will generate a broadcast popup with your message. This is an especially useful command for letting the players of the server to know that you plan to do maintenance at XX:XX time without having to repeat yourself constantly. This popup box will be generated every time a player logs into the server
- Set Time lets you set the time of day in-game. Very useful for if you’re going for an atmospheric time of day for an event or screenshot
Scripted commands are a way of executing a list of commands in a very specific order. It’s a great time-saver for server updates! Let’s create a new scripted command.
- Click New
- Click the newly generated New Scripted Command in the box above
- Give your command a better Command name to better reflect what its task is. For this example, I’ll be naming it Server Update
- Write these commands into the box below Command name:
broadcast Updating server to the next version in 5 minutes.
- Ensure that you have checked Enabled
- Click Save. Your scripted command should look something like this
- This script will broadcast a popup box to the server, telling players that there is a planned server update soon, then it waits 300 seconds (5 minutes), executes a saveworld command, waits another 30 seconds (to allow RCON to reconnect to the server after it hangs from saving the world), and then executes a quit command to gracefully shut the server down
- When you need to update your server, you can now execute this scripted command either by clicking Run on the currently selected scripted command, or on any tab from ARKon by using the dropdown at the bottom, near the Connect/Disconnect button.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to ARKon, and that server management is made easier for you after understanding how to use this tool. See you next time!