Ark Dev Kit Cooking/uploading

I was just wondering is there a way to cook my mod then self extract it to my game, because i want to be able to make a private mods to see how the game would handle it. So when i do upload it, it will be really good.

When you upload from the dev kit there’s an option to make it “hidden” meaning only you and friends can see it. You can switch that either on the upload screen or the workshop page after its been uploaded.

I understand that, but i want to just cook the files and extract straight to my Steam-apps directory without having to upload and re-download every time. I have really bad internet speed and i am at school right now.

There’s the test out directory option which will allow you to cook a local windows only version cooking faster. I however and am not 100% on where to go from there. I know Woeful (WM) Knows how to use that properly.

Is there any way you can get him over here or skype me later.

Firebird, Check out this post that Uzumi18 responded to me in a previous post. It gives you an importable small test map that you can try out mods “in-editor” without having to cook/upload/load game…

Is there a way to turn the settings down in the editor and also save progress where I am at while modding and turn graphics settings down? Mouth full but i need lower settings i can barley run ark on low settings with 20 FPS. That’s why I am asking because i cant use the editor at all.

you can turn down the settings to the point where everything looks horrible and there is also a autosave function within UE4, enable it and set it a frequency you see fit

So there is no way to virtually put it straight into the game.

Fill out the test output directory;

Once you’ve cooked it, it’ll output two folders and a .mod file where ever it was you specified in the above directory;

The key things in the above image are the 123456789 ** folder, 123456789.mod** file and the folder titled whatever your mod folder is called in the DevKit. So for me, in that image, it’s the ACM folder.

The named(ACM) folder will contain the cooked files for the mod, but, to correctly get this to work, you need to copy all of the files in that folder to the 123456789 folder mentioned above.

Once you’ve done this, if you specified a directory other than the ARK-Client steam mods directory(where all mods are unpacked to after being downloaded) then you will need to copy both the 123456789 folder and 123456789.mod file to the mods directory for your ARK install.

If you didn’t choose an arbitrary folder for the test cook, then just load the client(if you want to test on a server, then you will need to manually copy the above to the servers mod directory) and the mod will show as MODTEST or TESTMOD(one of the two usually) in-game when playing singleplayer or non-dedicated(hosted).


Thank you.

Thanks for posting this info WM. For some reason this does not work for me, it doesn’t seem to cook/copy everything from the mod folder. I have found another way though…

Download Ark Mod Copy from here

Edit the batch file or create a new one with the following code (changing the 3 variables at the top to suit)…

@echo off
rem change the following 3 variables to suit your setup
set ARKDIR=C:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\ARK
set ADKOUTPUT=E:\Epic Games\ARKDevKit\ModTools\Output
set MODNAME=MyTestMod
set ARKMODDIR=%ARKDIR%\ShooterGame\Content\Mods
echo ************
echo Copying MOD - %MODNAME%
echo ************
echo Step #1 - delete the current mod folder from the game...
IF EXIST "%ARKMODDIR%\123456789" RMDIR /S /Q "%ARKMODDIR%\123456789"
IF EXIST "%ARKMODDIR%\123456789.mod" DEL /F /Q "%ARKMODDIR%\123456789.mod"
echo Step #2 - copy mod output...
IF EXIST "%ADKOUTPUT%\steamapps\workshop\content\346110\123456789" RMDIR /S /Q "%ADKOUTPUT%\steamapps\workshop\content\346110\123456789"
xcopy "%ADKOUTPUT%\%MODNAME%" "%ADKOUTPUT%\steamapps\workshop\content\346110\123456789" /E /I /Q
echo Step #3 - extract mod to game folder...
ArkModCopy.exe "E:\Epic Games\ARKDevKit\ModTools\Output" "C:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\ARK" 123456789
echo Done!

Cook the mod, and then run the batch file. It will then copy and extract the mod files to your local game folder, so you can test without committing updates.


  • The mod uses the 123456789 folder so it wont overwrite any other mods.
  • In the game mod list, it will show ModName instead of the actual mod name.
  • You may have to run this as admin, depending on install locations. (only tested on Win 7)

I hope someone else finds this useful.