Ark Survival Evolved Beginner’s Tips For Surviving

So, you’ve just woken up on the shores of a deadly dinosaur-infested island; everyone is trying to kill you (or randomly offer you berries), and you don’t know what to do next. Don’t worry! We’re here to help! This small collection of internet pages will guide you from the preliminary stages of your prehistoric survival adventure in ARK: Survival Evolved right through to the, well, point where most of your deaths won’t usually be your own fault.

For more Ark Survival Evolved advice, check out our island guide, resource, recipe, and crafting guide, base building guide, and Ark taming guide.

Choosing Your Server Type

You’ve one crucial decision to make before you even begin your ARK adventure for the first time: namely, should you join a PvP or PvE server (that’s Player versus Player and Player versus Environment if you’re not familiar with those terms)? The basics of survival in ARK are roughly the same, whichever option you choose. However, you’ll have to contend with people – not just prehistoric creatures – intent on killing you if you opt for PvP. As such, you might prefer to start your ARK career on a PvE server, until you’ve got to grips with ARK’s sometimes confounding systems.

Choosing Your Starting Location

Once you’ve selected your server type and gone through the character creation process, it’s time to get stuck into the game proper. That means that you’ll need to choose a location to begin your adventure. ARK’s default island map is a vast place, with many distinct, deadly habitats – meaning that your starting location can make all the difference between a successful first few hours in ARK and instant, repeated death. Generally speaking, if you’re new to the game, you’ll want to begin your adventure on the south coast, where resources are plentiful and deadly predators are less of a concern.

How Death Works

If (or, more accurately, when) you die in ARK, you’ll have the option to either create a new character or continue on with your current one, maintaining your accrued levels, skills, Engrams and privileges. Next, you’ll need to choose a place to re-spawn on the island. Early on, you’ll have to rely on the game’s random re-spawn feature and track down your possessions manually – which can be a tortuous endeavour. However, once you’ve crafted a Bed or Sleeping Bag, you can re-spawn there directly, making life considerably easier.

Incidentally, once you die, you’ve around 20 minutes to return to your corpse and loot it for any items that you were carrying previously. If you’re too slow (or, worse, manage to lose your corpse in the undergrowth), your items will be gone forever. Don’t dawdle!

Your First Few Minutes On The Island

ARK can be a thoroughly overwhelming experience initially. Once you awaken for the first time on the island, blinking into the sun, you’ll likely be disorientated, hungry, and confused. The good news is that your first steps are pretty straightforward.

First and foremost, you’ll want to get to grips with ARK’s basic survival systems. Primarily, you’ll need to understand levelling and experience (XP), and how to stay watered, fed and protected from the island’s extreme elements. Next, you’ll want to get to know your surroundings, ensuring that you’re able to hunt, forage, build and, eventually, tame without getting lost, ambushed or exposed to unnecessarily harsh climes.

Finally, you should get stuck into ARK’s crafting system; start with a Pick to defend yourself with, before moving onto other tools and weapons, clothing, and bits of your base.

Engrams And Blueprints

To build an item in ARK, you’ll need access to its corresponding Engram (or Blueprint variant). Essentially, Engrams and Blueprints are recipes that can be turned into items once you’ve gathered the required resources. Blueprints are found at Beacon cargo drops, while Engrams (which you’ll be using much more frequently) are unlocked as you level up, and must be purchased using the Engram Points that you earn each time you reach a new level. Check out our Ark crafting guide for more details on Engrams and Blueprints.

Levelling Your Character

With Engrams being so vital to your survival, you’ll want to start earning XP and levelling up as quickly as possible. Luckily, you earn XP by doing pretty much anything in ARK – by hitting things, killing things, farming resources, crafting items, expanding your base, even sitting quietly on a dinosaur. What’s more, if you’re in a tribe, you’ll earn a small amount of additional XP as your tribe-mates perform tasks too.

Tribes And Allies

Speaking of tribes, there are some very good reasons why you’ll want to be in one. Alongside the previously mentioned shared XP and the obvious safety in numbers, there’s the simple fact that many of ARK’s core systems – such as taming, breeding and resource gathering – are incredibly time consuming. Progress is much easier if you’re able to work together, performing tasks in shifts where necessary.

Don’t expect to join an established tribe immediately, however; most tribes (regardless of server type) will want to be sure of your trustworthiness before welcoming you in. When starting out on a new server, build a few starter bases, learn the ropes and get to know your fellow survivors through in-game chat. Hopefully, once you’ve proven your usefulness, the tribe invites will come flooding in. Alternatively, get a few real-life friends together and start your own tribe – you’ll receive all the benefits, with far less faff.

Also, remember that in-game allies can be just as valuable as tribe mates; strike up conversations, build trust, offer your services, and, in return, you just might make a friend or two. If you’re lucky, these new buddies might sell you dinosaurs at a knocked down price, or offer resources when you’re in a pinch. Don’t be selfish though – one way relationships won’t last long, so you’ll need to be willing to help others out too.

Ark’s In-Game Chat

As a quick aside, there are three main ways to talk to others in ARK (excluding voice chat): through global chat, local chat and tribe channels. Hit the ‘return’ key before typing to make your comments visible to the whole server, press ‘/‘ first to chat to your tribe mates, or hit ‘insert’ to be heard only by those in your immediate vicinity.

Levelling, Upgrade Points And Stats

So, let’s talk about levelling; not only do you get Engram points each time you reach a new level in ARK, you’ll earn a single upgrade point too. These upgrade points can be spent on improving any one of your numerous character stats from the inventory screen.

Many of these stats are represented visually on your HUD – specifically, on the status bar running down the right-hand side of your screen. Alongside these core, visible stats, however, ARK also features a number of other (slightly less crucial) attributes – which can be found on the character details panel of your inventory screen.

It’s vital that you understand each of these stats and attributes, and how they’re affected during your island adventures, if you want to stay alive. Luckily, we’re here to help!

HUD Status Attributes


Your Oxygen stat serves a dual purpose – it dictates how long you can hold your breath underwater, and it influences your swimming speed. Unsurprisingly, your Oxygen level only appears on your HUD when you’re submerged underwater. Its icon gradually depletes while you’re submerged and, once its empty, you’ll begin to suffocate, losing Health. To restore your Oxygen levels, simply return to the surface. Your default Oxygen levels should enable you to remain underwater for around 30 seconds.

Upgrading your Oxygen stat will increase your lung capacity and swimming speed, enabling you to explore deep beneath the ocean’s surface. It’s worth noting, however, that you’ll eventually be able to craft items (such as the Lazarus Chowder and SCUBA gear) that dramatically improve your underwater abilities, making Oxygen less vital to upgrade.


Weight is a measure of how much you can carry before you become encumbered. Every item in your inventory has its own weight value and encumberment occurs once your load equals around 85% of your weight stat. Your movement speed is severely reduced when encumbered and, once you exceed your weight stat, you won’t be able to move at all.

Needless to say, encumberment is a pain. For starters, it makes you vulnerable to attack from other players and creatures. More seriously, however, it can severely hamper your ability to transport heavy materials around, even if it’s just from your pack animal to your storage units. Given how much material gathering you’ll be required to do in order to craft the tools of your survival, upgrading your weight stat is a must.


Water is a measure of your hydration level. It gradually, naturally depletes over time, but will do so more quickly when your stamina is exhausted, when you eat a Stimberry or if you get too hot. Once your water meter is empty, you’ll become dehydrated, draining your Health and increasing your Torpidity (which, eventually, will cause you to pass out).

Thankfully, it’s easy to rehydrate yourself: simply drink from, or submerge yourself in, a nearby water source – be it a stream, a river, the ocean or even the rain. If there are no water sources near your base, you can craft a network of reservoirs, pipes and faucet to supply your water. Alternatively, you can carry a portable water source (such as a Waterskin or Water Jar) in order to stay hydrated in particularly arid climes.


Food is a measure of your hunger and, just like water, will gradually deplete automatically over time. As with Water, your Food meter is tied directly to your stamina gauge and will deplete more quickly as you exert yourself. Your food level is also adversely affected by cold temperatures. Once your Food gauge is empty, your Health will begin to deplete and your Torpidity levels will increase. Unsurprisingly, you can restore your food levels by eating – and the island’s various food sources (from berries and vegetables to grilled meat and jerky) all provide different levels of nourishment. Needless to say, you should carry food on your person and stay adequately fed at all times.


As you exert yourself – whether through running, jumping, swimming, resource gathering or attacking – your Stamina level will gradually deplete. Unsurprisingly, the more demanding an activity, the more Stamina it will use. Once your Stamina gauge is empty, you’ll become Exhausted and your movement speed will be dramatically reduced.

To refill your Stamina gauge naturally, you can either stand still or walk slowly – although your Stamina will refill more slowly while moving. It’s also possible to restore Stamina quickly by consuming Stimberries or Stimulant, although both of these will cause you to dehydrate. As your Stamina is restored, Food will be consumed at an increased rate.

Early on in the game, you’ll probably find that you’re starving an awful lot of the time. Partly, that’s because berries (the most readily-obtainable food source when you’re starting out) only provide limited nourishment unless they’re consumed in large doses. More likely though, your perpetual hunger will be a result of pushing yourself too hard. As tempting as it might be to sprint everywhere in your eagerness to explore the island, slow things down a little until you’ve poured more upgrade points into your Stamina.


Your Health bar, unsurprisingly, offers a visual representation of how not dead you currently are. Your health can drop for all sorts of reasons – including dehydration, starvation, extreme temperatures, falling, drowning or being attacked. Once your Health reaches around 25% of its total, you’ll become Injured, severely reducing your movement speed. Thankfully, your Health will restore slowly over time – but you can speed up the process by eating Cooked Meat or by consuming Blood Packs. If your Health ever reaches zero, you’ll die; needless to say, upgrade your Health stat to stay alive for longer.


Torpor is a measure of your consciousness. Your Torpor meter starts off empty, and slowly fills as you suffer the effects of tranquillising items and attacks. Its icon will only appear on your HUD once your Torpor level begins to rise. Consuming Narcoberries and Narcotics will increase your Torpor level, for instance – as will being attacked by a scorpion (AKA the Pulmonoscorpius), or being hit by fists, clubs, slingshots, tranquilliser darts and tranquilliser arrows. Once your Torpor level reaches 50%, you’ll fall unconscious.

When this happens, you won’t be able to move or use items until you regain consciousness – leaving you vulnerable to attack. Worse still, in PvP, enemies can continue to inflict Torpor-increasing attacks, effectively incapacitating you permanently.

Other Stats And Attributes

Alongside the attributes listed above, there are a number of other stats which don’t appear on your main HUD. These are listed in your inventory and can be boosted with upgrade points in exactly the same way as your other stats.

Melee Damage affects the amount of damage your fists, tools and weapons will do in a single hit. Unsurprisingly, the higher the stat’s value, the more effective your attacks against creatures (and other players in PvP) will be. You should note, however, that Melee Damage doesn’t affect the performance of ranged weapons. Additionally, upgrading this stat can also increase the effectiveness of resource gathering.

Movement Speed dictates the speed at which you’re able to walk or run across the world. Higher movement rates let you move faster while consuming less stamina. As an added bonus, increasing your movement speed allows you to swim faster in water – although increasing your Oxygen stat yields better performance gains in this area. Note that encumberment will always affect movement speed, regardless of level.

Fortitude is your natural resistance to extreme weather conditions. As such, the higher your Fortitude, the less likely you are to suffer from dehydration or starvation as a result of the hot or cold. Unsurprisingly, your Fortitude can also be affected by the type of clothes that you wear. As a bonus, Fortitude also improves your resistance to Torpor-increasing elements such as Narcoberries, Tranquilliser Arrows or Scorpion stings.

Crafting Speed, unsurprisingly, dictates the amount of time it takes to craft an item. For the most part, this isn’t a stat you’re likely to worry about too much, given the relatively brisk time it takes to craft most objects in the game. If you’re planning on crafting a ton of items, however, you might consider giving this stat a boost.


  1. anHorse says:

    What’s up with five of these being posted at once, intentional or did someone hit the wrong button?

    • jo-shadow says:

      Seriously… five posts like this in a row? Really Matt?

      • neoncat says:

        … maybe the auto-poster screwed up, but it sure was weird to scroll down and keep thinking “wait, why is this same article repeating itself over and over?”

      • Banks says:

        Yeah… what the hell.

        Also, The game looks nothing like those screenshoots. It’s a fucking cheap mess for youtubers that won’t ever be properly finished.

        • Wisq says:

          Uh, no, it really does look like those screenshots, if you’ve got the graphics set high enough. It’s just that it’s not very optimised yet, so most people can’t run it that high.

    • Greg Wild says:

      Seems pretty obvious to me that they’re trying their hand at some long-tail articles, compared to the usual stream/news based approach.

      It looks a bit off right now, given it looks like RPS just became the ARK media channel for a moment, but other than that it looks like smart editorial to me. These kinds of articles are great for people searching for ‘How do I X in ARK?’.

  2. Rhodokasaurus says:

    Where’s the Ark Survival Guide to Giving a Fuck About Skinner Box Survival Games?

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      OK, bye.

      • Rhodokasaurus says:

        I’m not saying that nobody should enjoy games like Ark… I actually think games like DotA, Ark or DayZ do a great service for anyone who enjoys multiplayer games- it keeps those players busy elsewhere.

        • AimHere says:

          Ummm, Dota isn’t a game ‘like’ Ark or DayZ nor could it be considered a ‘Skinner box survival game’ – it’s not a survival game and the randomness is, at most, marginal. Do you even know what Dota is? About the only thing Dota has in common with Ark is that it’s popular and multiplayer and on Steam.

          And of course, pretending that people who happen to play games you dislike are some sort of inferior species who need to be kept away from you is a pretty toxic and snotty attitude. (bonus clue:most gamers tend to play a bunch of very different games, and many Dota, DayZ and Ark players are no doubt enjoying Your Multiplayer Game Of Choice as we speak).

    • Xenotone says:

      Where’s the guide to keeping above 20 fps?

      • badmothergamer says:

        BadMotherGamer’s Ultimate Guide to More FPS in ARK: Survival Evolved:

        Enter the following in your launch options:
        -USEALLAVAILABLECORES -sm4 -d3d10 -nomansky -lowmemory

        Thank you for reading BadMotherGamer’s Ultimate Guide to More FPS in ARK: Survival Evolved

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Yeah, makes sense that they’d make a game in UE4 for it to work properly only with Shader Model 4.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      Where’s the guide to Not Reading Articles About Games That Don’t Interest You?

  3. Alistair says:

    Stuff on Arks is supposed to appear in twos, not fives…

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Stuff on ArPS seems to appear in whatever numbers it desires

  4. MrNash says:

    Why not make “The Big, Big Ark Guide” instead of spamming the front page with all of these mini guides? =S

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      Right? RPS HAS used multiple pages before…

    • Premium User Badge

      Gnarl says:

      Yay! A niceish way to say it. Multiples of 2 also allowed.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wosly says:

      Agree so much.
      I am all for having the Ark guides. Its great feature, but it really needs to be one post with a landing page that leads to all of the other details.
      As is, it’s overwhelming.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      We had this conversation before, around christmas. Something to do with page hits and revenue. Web Finances 101, and such.

      Alternatively, it’s a test of faith. If you can survive this without wanting to enable back uBlock or AdBlock on RPS, you are a good person and they promise they’ll do it more often.

    • Cinek says:


  5. Hakkesshu says:

    Ark, Paper, Shotgun

  6. detarame says:

    Why is this this survival guide broken up over like five pages? Every other time RPS has done that it’s been part of a multi-day series. Did someone just accidentally forget to space these things out and make them go live all at once?

    Is this sponsored content? I mean, I don’t see any indication that it is, and since RPS’ journalistic tone is generally “idealistic crusader,” I’d hate to think they’re posting sponsored content without identification.

    When other sites do this it’s basically to create more ad impressions. It’s certainly less untoward a practice as breaking up a 10 item list into 10 pages, but it’s still sacrificing the quality and flow of the homepage. I mean, it still makes it look like RPS got taken over by a spambot, especial scrolling through five of those very aggressive GUIDE watermarks.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      The hack idea seems actually the most plausible explanation. I find it hard to believe the RPS team would intentionally do this to their readers.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Hey, sometimes the idealistic crusader needs the cash!

  7. racccoon says:

    We get you like Ark Survival couldn’t you just put it all in the one post.
    P.S. Also your login has been a pain in have to refresh about a thousand times n re login ten thousand times ( over exaggerated point) to be seen to be logged in. :( This problem has occurred since after the christmas period. :(

  8. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    This is pretty egregious.

  9. ExplosiveCoot says:

    I presume this was just a mistake, right? Right?

  10. Asurmen says:

    Why is everyone crying? It’s 5 articles on ARK. And?

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      And it’s slightly unusual, so RPS has betrayed my baby, and I’m never coming back to this site again! Thanks for so many years of great journalism, you corporate hacks!

  11. OmNomNom says:

    I’m interested in this game but it runs like an absolute dog (not even more than 30fps on my 980ti SLI / 5960X rig) and there just isn’t any content. You tame some dinosaurs and build a base… then… make that base bigger and tame some more dinosaurs.

    • that guy strife says:

      That’s what’s always put me off survival games. Refill meters that drop unnaturally fast, build a home, get some gear, don’t get sick, keep eating and drinking … it’s just too much like real life, but gamey.

    • badmothergamer says:

      I get ~45-50fps on a 970, you just have to tweak a few things. It isn’t optimized very well but they are constantly working on it and making small performance improvements.

      As to the content, you can describe Ark as “tame dinosaurs, build base” in the same way you can describe Doom as “shoot demons, solve maze” or The Witcher as “kill monster, bang redhead”.

      You either enjoy survival games or you don’t, the same as any other genre. Personally, I just passed the 300 hour mark on Ark, all single player, and am still loving the hell out of it.

      • OmNomNom says:

        I just mean right now. I expect it’ll be more fun eventually.

        For instance raiding isn’t really a thing since base building is so rudimentary and buggy. So at ‘end game’ there isn’t much to versus other players on the server.

  12. UW says:

    Wow, you guys are all so cynical. It seems a lot more like they are trying out something new than a thinly veiled cash grab. I agree that five posts in a row is a bit much, and maybe that was a mistake – either in judgement or the more literal sense. But wow, you all massively overreacting.
    Incidentally – not to sound nitpicky but these articles use the word “unsurprisingly” a surprising amount, I find it quite jarring.

    • OmNomNom says:

      I am not surprised.

    • Unsheep says:

      If it was Dark Souls 3 I doubt people would be complaining.

    • badmothergamer says:

      It’s unfortunate the new trend among video game comments these days is “this is something positive about a game I don’t personally care for so I’m going to call it advertising or assume some other ulterior motive”. It isn’t just RPS. I’m seeing it on multiple gaming sites.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Graham Smith says:

    Hello! This is not marketing, advertising, advertorial or anything else. That would be unethical. And if it was those things, we’d need to say so, or it would also be illegal. Please stop accusing us of crimes, eh?

    We recognise that this has a big impact on the homepage and means you have to scroll further, which will probably require a design tweak before we do this again.

    These five articles were written in tandem and it made sense to post them in tandem, so they could link and reference one another. Yes, it’s also better for search this way, but only in the sense that it helps people find the information they’re actually looking for.

    Matt’s a frequent guide writer for many games sites and I think he’s done a great job here, condensing a complicated game into straightforward guides that are well-written at the same time. It’s insulting to us all to assume that five articles about a popular game are paid-for simply because you don’t want to read them.

    • that guy strife says:

      I just thought the author was a big fan of the game. Seeing Ark in all the cases up top and over all the main page was kinda jarring though. One multipart article seems more appropriate.

      • trn says:

        Exactly, it isn’t the fact that it is five articles on Ark that has caused the hubub, its the way they’ve been presented – including the giant and intrusive ‘GUIDE’ splash on each image, which I have to add does not appear on previous ‘guide’ posts RPS have produced.

        My first thought was the site had been acquired by Gawker and I’d missed the announcement.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Hi Graham. I am sorry that you have to put up with accusations like these. It must be super frustrating. I was mildly surprised to see the 5 articles, but then realised it made sense to split the guide in this way, particularly from a comments discussion perspective. That some folks can’t help but see this as some attempt to advertise, or at least promote, the game is baffling.

    • Chalky says:

      I’d just like to point out that someone referring to a promotional article about a product as “marketing” is not necessarily an accusation of wrong doing or saying that you accepted money to publish said article.

      Also if you’re gonna delete replies, please consider modifying the comment engine such that it tells you the guy you’re replying to just got deleted rather than posting a new thread that makes no sense. It makes it difficult to avoid unintentionally creating more stuff for you chaps to delete.

    • Vesuvius says:

      It’s baffling that you would be so far afield about what the RPS audience would want to read that you would continue to produce so many articles, guides, and updates on ARK when it clearly (from the comments) isn’t something your audience normally would want nearly this much coverage of.

      If that weren’t enough, there’s also the issue with it having ties to the Church of Scientology that should make us, if anything, less willing to support it due to their easily researched track record of grossly immoral behavior. [Given RPS is a UK site, look up the UK case that scientology lost regarding their “Fair Game” doctrine and their attempts to drive someone to suicide. And yeah, it’s not too paranoid to assume something using scientology language and symbols is linked, given how many fronts they run that pretend to be unrelated (the Cult Awareness Network, Delphi Academies, Narconon).

      • Premium User Badge

        Graham Smith says:

        i) The supposed scientology connection has never been confirmed but has been debunked every time it’s arisen. ii) Commenters, while valued, are a fraction of our audience, and previous Ark coverage has been well received.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        Accusing RPS staff of being out of touch with reality, then rehashing that ludicrous “Ark funds Scientology”, cobblers. Good one.

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      “It’s insulting to us all to assume that five articles about a popular game are paid-for simply because you don’t want to read them.”

      Yes that’s clearly the only reason people are questioning this, brilliant.

      • John Walker says:

        It’s odd to snip out one part of a detailed response, and then complain it doesn’t contain the other parts.

        • Premium User Badge

          gritz says:

          I agree that would be really weird if the part I snipped didn’t have a synonym for the word “only”.

          • Palimpsest says:

            This post is one the most entertaining displays of snark and mistrust between RPS and its readers I’ve seen.

          • Palimpsest says:

            Rather, it has caused one of the most entertaining displays

      • Asurmen says:

        It’s the only reason that doesn’t come across as being a complete whiny baby.

    • Rizlar says:

      Cheers for the clarification. As disappointing as it is to discover that RPS aren’t all evil robots functioning under an advertising directive it is not surprising.

      The obvious design tweak would be to have a single splash page linking to the guides as separate articles. It did look a bit bizarre seeing five Ark guides in a row on the front page, like others I just assumed that it was an accident.

    • Betamax says:

      I think the most jarring thing for me was that it took up so many spots on the highlighted features banner… thing. Don’t mind scrollin’ scrollin’ scrollin’ down the homepage but I do find those lil boxes of highlighty goodness helpful in advising me what articles are all the rage right now.

      Just my 70p (blame the Govt for the inflation). Keep up the good work otherwise guys. :)

    • Odexios says:

      Please, keep on publishing posts like these, whether they’re separated or joined in a single one. I enjoyed reading them even though I don’t even own Ark, nor do I intend to.

  14. Unsheep says:

    I’ll probably end-up choosing between Ark and Stranded Deep when they eventually get released, it depends on which one offers the most interesting single-player content. So far Stranded Deep appeals to me more though.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Ark definitely seems to be MP focused with singkeplsyer a complete afterthought at this point. You can’t really do any progression in Sp without some cheating.

      • C0llic says:

        You can progress, but its a horrendously slow grind. I think if you want a SP survival game don’t starve may still be your best bet.

      • Biggus_Dikkus says:

        In SP i set harvesting x3 to save time, problem is its boooring

    • badmothergamer says:

      I have both but haven’t played Stranded Deep much since it was released. I did reinstall recently after the 0.7 update and was impressed with how far they’ve come, but it’s still incredibly lacking, especially when compared to Ark. Of course, Stranded Deep is a two man dev team whereas Ark has a full scale dev team, so that is to be expected.

      TBH, I probably would’ve given the latest SD release more of a go but the new wave system has you bobbing up and down so much in the water I was getting nauseous, and I don’t even get seasick on the actual ocean.

      If they ever add some end game content, it could still be a great game, but right now it is being seriously outpaced by Ark. That being said, if you are more interested in realism than options, SD is obviously much more of a realistic experience than an alien island with domesticated dinosaurs. :)

  15. melnificent says:

    The screenshots show the actual framerate at that quality… frames per minute.

    Seriously though, why are people complaining about the power needed instead of taking a “Can it run crysis?” stance? It’s running fullfat UE4 with all the extras on.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Because it still looks amateurish, the stuff that looks better is the lighting and shading methods that UE4 offers them in a easy package, but the actual assets are often poor, inconsistent and often incoherent, like a bunch of mods made by different people with different tastes and skill.

      This is absolutely not what you can achieve with full fat UE4, and it’s already sad enough that most people need to run shader model 4 on DX10, even me with a 980ti.

      The devs even attempted to optimize further that gimped mode, instead of addressing the elephant in the room which is the full graphics range. Let’s see what happens with DX12, if it ever will.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        They introduced Ark on consoles and it’s selling like mad on xbox so expect a lot of optimization for mid range hardware.

        Currently the xbox version tips to 12 fps regularly.

        • melnificent says:

          I saw 9fps in the DF video. Also they mention that there is frequent stutter on the xbox of upto 500ms… 2 FPS. That’s not good.

  16. Raoul Duke says:

    Yes, yes, but what about ARK? When are we gonna get some articles about that?

  17. Raoul Duke says:

    Anyway, is this game actually good enough to warrant our attention? Its Steam reviews are not exactly stellar.

    • Chalky says:

      No, it’s not really. It’s an attempt at jumping on the survival bandwagon and it’s quite a creative one, but the game has huge performance problems and a very low level of actual content.

      It’s also horribly balanced, so if you do actually play it on a public server you’ll get all your stuff wrecked over and over again by bored high level players with literally nothing to do besides stomp the sandcastles of new players.

      Progression from newbie to high levels is a slog because of that and because of shallow game mechanics, and if you do eventually make it all that awaits you is boredom and griefing opportunities.

      The game is an interesting idea, but pretty much ends there.

    • badmothergamer says:

      As with any game, it is entirely dependent on what you are personally looking for. There is a reason it’s been among the top 5 games by player count ever since release and has remained in or just outside the top 10 in sales. Enough people, myself included, absolutely love the game.

      One thing to keep in mind in regards to the Steam reviews is a lot of people bought this at release when the optimization was so poor no one, regardless of their system, could run it well, leading to a lot of poor reviews. Another flaw for reviews of EA games is when the devs make a major change leading players to post negative reviews in protest (this happened recently with Ark when the devs heavily nerfed tamed dino stats).

  18. GernauMorat says:

    I think part of the reason people got upset about this is that ARK does seem to receive an inordinate amount of coverage on RPS, with minor updates to the game often warranting a news post. To be clear, I’m not accusing anyone of corruption or any such nonsense.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      It’s pretty obvious someone on staff is a big fan.

      Different strokes and all that. I’m no fan of Souls games or mobas/esports but I don’t complain when related news gets posted. No one’s forcing me to read them.

      It was just odd to see the front page flooded with articles about a single game. A general guide article with links to each page might have worked better assuming RPS’ content management allows such a thing.

  19. Chiron says:

    For some reason I now want to play Ark Survival.


  20. mundanesoul says:

    People mad at a gaming site for posting a series of guides about a game. Brilliant. Who gives a flying fuck if you like Ark or not? Does every article posted on the site going forward require that you be interested in its subject? Jaysus. Scroll down and quit whinging.

    In other news, although I appreciate Matt’s guide, if I read the word “unsurprisingly” once more today I might tear off my own ear and devour it.

    • Thurgret says:

      Unsurprisingly, mundanesoul was recently brought into the local A&E with the most curious case ever seen by the staff present.

  21. keefybabe says:

    Jesus my jesus
    Anus or Penis
    5 pages of ark guides
    What does this meanus?

  22. TheBloke says:

    I must say I’m curious as to what it is about Ark that generates so many posts. This is not a complaint, I’m just genuinely curious. Even before today I’d wondered that, as I’d already noted that it seemed to be posted about far more than any other single game. Today was just an exemplification.

    Is it because dinosaurs are cool? Is it considered the pre-eminent EA/MMO game of the period? Or just that it’s proven to generate a lot of page views?

    I can see it being the pre-eminent EA game of the time. So out of curiosity I compared it to Kerbal Space Program, which was wildly popular and much-talked-about during its EA period. Ark has had 21 posts in the last 5 months, a little over four a month. Kerbal had six posts total in the eight month period from April-December 2014. So Ark does stand out rather.

    Oh well, doesn’t bother or affect me. Just found it interesting. I suppose it probably is the page-view thing. Write a few posts, see them get higher-than-average traffic, and so naturally more get written.

    As an aside, reading the Steam reviews of ARK is funny. Pages and pages of negative reviews containing endless complaints from people with anywhere from 200-3000 hours logged. Mostly all complaining about a massive dinosaur nerf patch that was just released. Seems Wildcard might have become somewhat the victims of their own success, and have found how hard it is to balance a highly popular, dynamic game. Lots of complaints about harassment and cheaters/hackers on unmoderated official servers, endless grind (made far worse, again, by this Patchocalypse everyone seems to be talking about), and plenty more.

    Shame, it really does look interesting. But I’m not into grind, and for now at least this game looks to be all about the grind.

    • badmothergamer says:

      The coverage cycle for most games is a couple of pre-release articles, a post-release review, then maybe some DLC coverage down the road. The reason Ark gets so much coverage (and it isn’t just RPS, the other gaming sites I frequent have just as many Ark posts) is they release big, new content practically each week. Coupled with the fact it’s been in a top 10 seller and a top 5 player count game ever since release and it would seem to warrant the amount of coverage it receives.

      As for the recent tamed dino nerf, it’s unfortunate so many people choose to use the review section to vent instead of the message board. They’ve been talking about a major nerf for months but definitely went overboard resulting in the outcry. Over the following weeks they released multiple patches tweaking the nerfs and seem to have settled at a point most folks are happy with.

    • OmNomNom says:

      Cos dinos are the new zombies

  23. InfamousPotato says:

    Could someone tell me how Ark: Survival Evolved compares to Rust? I’m playing (and enjoying, despite repeated deaths) the latter right now, but more people from RPS seem to be playing the former. Is either definitively better/worse?