ARK: Survival Evolved Gets Giant Beavers, Handcuffs, No Word On Beaver Prisons

The latest update to early access multiplayer sandbox survival game Ark: Survival Evolved [official site] has brought with it giant beavers and also handcuffs. These are separate things, I think. You’re not going to beaver prison as far as I can tell.

I went to a website to find out more about beavers in general. It had this quote from an actual beaver:

“The best thing we did was swim in the rain. I wasn’t even sure we were allowed to, but it was brilliant! I mean we were wet anyway, so I guess it didn’t matter too much about the weather.”

It seemed like something a beaver would say but then I carried on reading and it turned out that I was on the Beaver Scouts website and they were talking about small children going on trips to Outside Places.

(As an aside, the Scout motto of “Be Prepared…” always makes me think of doomsday cults.)


Actual beavers are big rodents who work as landscape architects. They build dams out of logs and branches and mud which alter river flow. It leads to the creation of these ponds and the beavers will then build their home in the middle of the pond – it’s a kind of castle and moat arrangement that helps deter predators.

ARK’s dev team have stayed pretty faithful to these behaviours with Castoroides feliconcisor but they’ve also beefed up these beavers to the point where you can ride one around.

“As is typical for beavers, they build dams as habitats, but the larger creatures on the island have a tendency to trample them. As a result, finding unsullied dams in the wild is quite rare. The creature naturally gathers wood extremely efficiently, far more than most species on the island. It’s not the strongest creature, so it can only carry limited amounts, however with its fantastic chisel-shaped teeth, survivors find it quite the handy mount to use for crafting on the go!”

The handcuffing is a prisoner thing: “Patch 236 continues to adds more roleplaying fun, allowing Survivors to now handcuff each other and effectively enable them to wrangle prisoners!”

Although I’m looking at an image of a prisoner in a wooden cage who is being gawped at by a beaver and wondering if perhaps beaver prison is a possibility in the game now. Imagine. You could train the beavers to build dams in the shape of a prison and then just drain the water out.

I’m now picturing a beaver in a hard hat looking doubtfully at an ARK player who is also Jeremy Bentham brandishing the architectural plans for his panopticon.

“The persons to be inspected should always feel themselves as if under inspection” says Jeremy Bentham, pointing at the circular design.

“But don’t you worry that this kind of thinking will move us ever onward towards a surveillance state?” asks the beaver.

“It’s also cheaper,” says Bentham.


  1. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Why does every bloody survival game have to have handcuffs? Will be sticking to the Ark PvE servers if they’re just going to make the game into yet another Sociopath Simulator.

    • Jorum says:

      This is my main reticence about buying ARK. The sociopath gang simulator angle where geared up gangs have fun bullying the rest.
      Someone should make a mad-max survival mmo because (a) that’s the perfect gang mentality for a lot of players anyway and (b) holy shit why hasn’t anyone done this yet it’s literally the perfect setting.

      • badmothergamer says:

        That’s the gist of any online survival game on a public server. One or two huge groups who are bored and powerful with nothing to do but troll weaker players. I’m unaware of any game that has found a solution to the problem.

        • Chillicothe says:

          If you plan on how you’re going to be owned, you’re sure to succeed.

    • Blackcompany says:

      I would ask who the people are, that want these features. Except…i am not certain I want to know.

  2. Grizzly says:

    As an aside, the Scout motto of “Be Prepared…” always makes me think of doomsday cults.

    Isn’t the “Be prepared…” thing because at the scouts they teach you everything you need for the army except fighting?

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      For Americans I understand it’s “Be prepared… [to recieve the Book of Mormon, discriminate against black people, kick out atheists and agnostics and report any homosexuals]” (the ban on homosexuals was officially lifted in July last year though).

  3. SamRia says:

    As a architect I am pleased by your Jeremy Bentham reference.

    Still haven’t played this game…. We live in a terrible world with too many games and so little time….

  4. MrFinnishDude says:

    Handcuffs… *Has a Day Z flashback and starts shivering in fear*

  5. Cinek says:

    Beavers killed more people than Killer Whales did.

    Don’t underestimate them.

  6. derbefrier says:

    now i just want to create a character named Wynona and ride around on my big brown beaver and show it off to all my friends.

  7. TWChristine says:

    I’m loving all these Canada updates in games lately!

  8. fish99 says:

    These guys are great at getting publicity.