Ark: Survival Evolved adds huge hyena and poo boost

Huge hyenas, wall-crawling reptiles, megasloths, toilets, and more have hit Ark: Survival Evolved [official site] in the early access dinosaur island survive ’em up’s latest content update. I’m sorry to say you cannot ride the corpse-devouring big dog, only become its best friend for ever and ever and love it and walk it every day.

I’m still fascinated by how Ark turns real(ish) creatures into video game monsters, exaggerating characteristics to create unique abilities. This translation also extends to human biological functions: poo in the toilet and you’ll get an XP buff. And in the game.

First, new monsters! Hyaenodon dirus is a pack hunter who can wear special saddlebags to preserve meat, just as in caveman times. Megatherium formipavor is a huge sloth who loves eating insects so much it goes murderous near them and can extract extra resources from their bodies. Megalania muruspede is a monitor lizard with a venomous bite and the ability to climb walls – with you sat on top. The fishing bird Hesperornis avenatantes, er, can lay golden eggs which help train creatures. And Yutyrannus saevus is a feathered biggun whose roar makes enemies panic.

Also new in update 258 are a motorboat, harpoon gun, and toilets. The developers say, “Survivors can now go to the toilet when their characters are ready to defecate, and by doing so they’ll get a special ‘refreshing’ buff which will grant them an experience boost!” Right-o. Don’t forget that’s handy for fertiliser too.

Check the patch notes for full details on the lot.

Ark and it expansion are on sale right now. It’s £7.35/8,95€/$9.59 for the base game on Steam, the Scorched Earth expansion is £4.79/6,39€/$6.39, and both together cost £10.32/13,04€/$13.58.

Ark is still in early access, now almost a year past its original planned launch window of June 2016. The developers have certainly been busy, regularly adding gobs of content in updates like this one, though a lot of these focus on flashy features for high-end players. As updates keep rolling, beginners and non-hardcore players are increasingly hard done-by. Ark’s performance problems are still a big issue too, though the patch notes do mention future plans for performance improvements. They claim that a DirectX 12 mode for Windows 10 will bring a performance boost of around 20%.


  1. StevieW says:

    I don’t get how an early access game can also have an expansion pack! Maybe I’m just old.

    • ghiest says:

      Yup a real scummy move. If you’re doing doing ‘DLC’, Micro transactions or expansions in an early access game it’s a full release.

  2. Jerppa says:

    Based on British tourists, the whole concept of “pooping in the toilet” seems to be incomprehensible to your people.

  3. poliovaccine says:

    So wait, you mean to say that until this patch, Ark players had been unable to defecate this whole time?? No game is worth that.

    • rushakoff says:

      You could poop all you like before. This update just lets you poop as nature intended, in a man-made poop collector. As opposed to on the ground, or in your friends’ beds.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        What kind of a shitty friend would poop in their friend’s bed? That’ kind of arsehole behaviour is po(o)tentially cause for strife and other crap.

        • Minglefingler says:

          I logged in to lay a pun or two but will refrain as my scatological brain will inevitably excrete words that are shittier than yours. Instead I’ll sit here on my stool and ponder why my first response to this was to flush away any credibility I have as a commenter by engaging in toilet humour.

      • poliovaccine says:

        I was joking haha. I just thought it was phrased funny, saying that “players can now defecate,” as if the people playing this game entered some sort of implicit commitment not to lay craps IRL until the feature was properly patched.

        Tho I must say, it didnt even occur to me to wonder if pooping already existed sans toilets, but I guess it did! That’s something most survival games ignore, for all their focus on eating. Did you have to bury it to avoid attracting dinos or anything cool like that? Was it throwable?

        • Gaminggumper says:

          Mechanically, poo’s primary purpose in this game is as fertilizer. All dino’s and animals poop, as in the book of similar name. The size of the poo varies by dino, and thus its desirability as farming fare. Some dino’s do indeed through it and it causes both on screen obscurement and a poison like debuff. In a “worst case scenario” where you may be stuck on the goofy geomotry, or locked in someone’s house, you can also eat it for a quick death.

  4. fish99 says:

    “They claim that a DirectX 12 mode for Windows 10 will bring a performance boost of around 20%.”

    That’s been in the ‘coming soon’ list for over a year now. Interestingly they had the DX12 update one day from release when they delayed it about a year ago, just after they signed up with the nVidia TWIMTBP program, and nVidia have issues with their DX12 performance. They’ve denied these things are related.

    I really like the game though, even unoptimized. Few games conjure the same terror as being chased down the beach by a T-Rex and then watching it eat your house :p

    • Gaminggumper says:

      Yeah I’ve always been irritated by this little twist, as their pre release discussions of the boost were heartening. I do believe the performance overall is in a much better place since the start of Early Access, but they have certainly made some “business side” decisions that don’t feel as customer friendly as I would like.

  5. aircool says:

    Great. When do we get optimisations and a full release because this bullshit is worse than pre-ordering!

    The game hasn’t been released yet, but I think I’ve played enough to see all that is on offer, except that, when I played, the optimisations was shit, the dinosaur AI was shit and building on uneven ground was, well… shit.

  6. Generico says:

    These devs clearly have no intention of leaving Early Access. I said that same thing over a year ago, and here we are again. And why would they? They can have all the fun of writing lazy bug riddled code, adding new content, and never having to do that hard work of optimization and bug squashing; all while still making every bit as much profit as they would in full release. I mean hell, apparently you can even release paid DLC while in early access. What do they have to lose?

    • poliovaccine says:

      As much as that sort of talk is so often unfairly (i.e. prematurely) leveled at all sorts of games that dont deserve it, I kinda feel like Ark is a *perfect* example of where that talk legitimately comes from. It’s an unfortunate fact that we are now officially leery of early access hucksters, as a thing.

      I mean they have 100 different creature types now. It’s clear they’re just focusing on the fun stuff.

  7. Captain Narol says:

    Ark’s new official hymn :

    “This is the new shit !”

  8. Chillicothe says:

    Hyaenodon was a creodont, not a Hyaenidae member. /nerd

  9. Ericusson says:

    Ark devs are the reason why so many people legititimately view Early Access as a bad thing ; all the whole always pushing their title on the Steam store front page.