The Difficulty Level of your ARK server affects the levels of creatures in the world, as well as the quality of loot drops.

By default, the max level of all the dinos you can find is 30. If you want higher level dinos and better loot, you can increase the difficulty of the server.

Increasing Difficulty in the GameUserSettings.ini Config File

The difficulty level settings are found in the GameUserSettings.ini config file, which is located in your server files under ShooterGame/Saved/Config/LinuxServer/GameUserSettings.ini.

The difficulty value is determined by the formula: DifficultyOffset * (Official Difficulty - 0.5) + 0.5

Login to the ARK server control panel and from your server's page, navigate to Files > FTP File Access.

Navigate through the folders to access the GameUserSettings.ini file. This file is located under: ShooterGame/Saved/Config/LinuxServer/GameUserSettings.ini

Click Edit to open the file in a text editor.

Once you are editing the GameUserSettings.ini file directly, you can add any additional options from the full list of settings. In the GameUserSettings.ini text file, all settings changed must be placed under the [ServerSettings] section.

If the settings you wish to change aren't already in the file, create a new line for any settings you wish to add from the full list of settings in the format of Option=Value.

To change the server difficulty, you will need to add or modify the following settings:
[ServerSettings]
DifficultyOffset=1.0
OverrideOfficialDifficulty=5.0

If you're not sure which values to use - don't worry! Each option is explained below in the next sections of this article.

Once you have saved the file, restart your server for the changes to take effect.

Set DifficultyOffset to 1.0

DifficultyOffset is a multiplier applied to the official difficulty. Because of this, it is recommended to set the DifficultyOffset to 1.0 because it makes it easier to calculate the difficulty value you wish to use (the default value is 0.2, which makes it harder to calculate).

Set OverrideOfficialDifficulty with the Formula (Max Level / 30)

The OverrideOfficialDifficulty value can be between 1.0 and 10.0. This value should be set to your maximum desired level, divided by 30. For example, if you want your max level to be 300, then set this value to 10 (300 / 30 = 10). You can find some examples in the table below.

| DIFFICULTYOFFSET | OVERRIDEOFFICIALDIFFICULTY | MAX LEVEL |
|:----------------:|----------------------------|-----------|
| 1.0 | 1.0 | 30 |
| 1.0 | 5.0 | 150 |
| 1.0 | 10.0 | 300 |


Clearing Wild Dinos

Once you have updated the difficulty and have restarted your server, you will most likely want to clear the existing wild dinos. You can do this with the DestroyWildDinos command. The steps for this are:

If you haven't already, setup a server admin password for your ARK server. Once you have done this, you can press tab to run commands.

Run the command enablecheats <password> to gain access to admin commands on the server.

Run the admincheat DestroyWildDinos command to destroy the wild dinos.

This will remove all wild untamed dinos from the server and begin respawning them at the new difficulty level. Respawning the dinos can be very resource intensive, so if you experience any lag or high resource usage during this time just wait a few minutes and everything will return to normal once the process is complete.
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