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How to Play ARK: Survival Evolved: A Comprehensive Guide



How to Play ARK: Survival Evolved: A Comprehensive Guide

ARK: Survival Evolved, developed by Studio Wildcard, is a unique survival game that blends elements of prehistoric and futuristic gameplay. Set in a world teeming with dinosaurs and other fantastical creatures, players must gather resources, build shelters, tame animals, and fight for survival. This guide will walk you through the basics and provide tips to help you thrive in the wild.

1. Understanding the Basics

1.1 Objective

The primary objective of ARK: Survival Evolved is survival. This involves managing health, hunger, thirst, and stamina while navigating a world filled with dangers such as predators, environmental hazards, and other players (in multiplayer mode). Players can progress by leveling up, acquiring better equipment, and taming creatures to assist in gathering resources and fighting enemies.

1.2 Starting Out

  • Choose Your Server: Decide whether to play on an official server or a private one. Official servers are maintained by the game developers and often have more players, while private servers can have customized settings.
  • Create Your Character: Customize your character’s appearance and attributes. Attributes include health, stamina, oxygen, food, water, weight, melee damage, movement speed, crafting skill, and fortitude. Allocating points wisely can enhance your survival chances.

2. Early Game Survival

2.1 Gathering Resources

  • Essential Resources: Start by gathering essential resources such as wood, thatch, stone, and fiber. Use your fists to punch trees for wood and thatch, and pick up stones and fiber from the ground.
  • Tools and Weapons: Craft basic tools like a pickaxe and a hatchet to efficiently gather resources. A pickaxe is better for stone and flint, while a hatchet is more effective for wood and thatch. Spears are useful early weapons for defense and hunting.

2.2 Building a Shelter

  • Shelter Importance: Building a shelter provides protection from weather, predators, and other players. Start with a simple thatch hut and upgrade to wood or stone as you gather more resources.
  • Crafting Structures: Use your inventory crafting menu to create walls, foundations, doors, and roofs. Place these components on the ground to assemble your shelter. Ensure your shelter has a bed or sleeping bag for respawning.

2.3 Managing Basic Needs

  • Hunger and Thirst: Gather berries and hunt small animals for food. Collect water from rivers or the sea, but beware of predators.
  • Health and Stamina: Monitor your health and stamina levels. Resting or eating certain foods can replenish these. Crafting basic clothing from hide and fiber provides some protection against the elements.

3. Mid-Game Strategies

3.1 Advancing Technology

  • Engrams and Crafting: As you level up, you earn engram points to unlock new crafting recipes. Prioritize essential items like better weapons, armor, and building materials.
  • Forges and Workbenches: Build forges to smelt metal and workbenches to craft advanced tools and weapons. This enables you to upgrade from stone to metal equipment.

3.2 Taming Dinosaurs

  • Why Tame Dinosaurs?: Tamed dinosaurs can help gather resources, carry heavy loads, and provide protection. They can also be used for transportation and combat.
  • Taming Process: Knock out a dinosaur using tranquilizer arrows or a slingshot, then feed it its preferred food. Different dinosaurs have different diets (berries, meat, etc.). Monitor the taming bar and keep the dinosaur unconscious with narcotics or narcoberries.

3.3 Exploration and Expansion

  • Explore the Map: Venture beyond your initial area to discover new biomes, resources, and creatures. Be prepared with adequate supplies and tamed animals for protection.
  • Establish Outposts: Set up secondary bases or outposts in different regions to facilitate resource gathering and exploration. Ensure they are well-defended against threats.

4. Late-Game Content

4.1 Advanced Technology

  • Electronics and Tek Gear: Unlock high-tech engrams for electronics, Tek gear, and advanced weaponry. This requires gathering rare resources like oil, polymer, and element.
  • Automated Systems: Implement automated systems like turrets for base defense and industrial forges for efficient resource processing.

4.2 Breeding and Mutations

  • Dinosaur Breeding: Breed dinosaurs to produce offspring with desired traits. This involves managing temperatures, food, and the imprinting process to maximize stats.
  • Mutations: Through breeding, there’s a chance for genetic mutations that can enhance a dinosaur’s abilities. This adds a layer of strategy to breeding programs.

4.3 Boss Battles and Endgame Content

  • Artifacts and Boss Arenas: Collect artifacts from caves and use them to summon bosses. Defeating bosses provides powerful rewards and unlocks Tek engrams.
  • Ascension: Completing boss battles and ascension allows progression to different ARK maps and provides a narrative to the game’s mysterious setting.

5. Multiplayer and Tribe Dynamics

5.1 Joining or Creating a Tribe

  • Tribes: Joining a tribe allows players to share resources, tamed animals, and structures. Tribes can also engage in cooperative tasks like boss battles and large-scale building projects.
  • Tribe Roles: Members can have specific roles such as builders, tamers, or fighters, enhancing efficiency and specialization.

5.2 PvP and PvE

  • PvP (Player vs. Player): In PvP servers, players can raid each other’s bases and engage in combat. Defensive strategies and alliances are crucial.
  • PvE (Player vs. Environment): PvE servers focus on survival against environmental challenges rather than other players. Cooperation and community-building are more common.

6. Advanced Tips and Tricks

6.1 Efficient Resource Gathering

  • Use Tamed Dinosaurs: Utilize dinosaurs like the Ankylosaurus for metal, the Doedicurus for stone, and the Beaver for wood. They gather resources more efficiently than tools.
  • Resource Locations: Learn where to find specific resources. Metal can often be found in mountains and caves, while oil is usually in the ocean or snow biomes.

6.2 Base Defense

  • Defensive Structures: Build walls, turrets, and spike traps around your base. Use natural terrain to your advantage by building on cliffs or using water as a barrier.
  • Plan for Raids: In PvP, anticipate raids by storing valuable items in hidden or secure locations. Reinforce critical areas with metal or Tek structures.

6.3 Efficient Travel

  • Flying Dinosaurs: Tame flying creatures like the Pteranodon or Argentavis for fast travel. They can bypass terrain obstacles and carry you long distances.
  • Teleporters: Later in the game, build teleporters to instantly travel between bases or key locations.


ARK: Survival Evolved offers a rich and immersive survival experience with a vast array of challenges and opportunities. From gathering your first resources to battling colossal bosses, the game provides a continuous sense of progression and adventure. Whether you’re taming dinosaurs, constructing elaborate bases, or exploring the mysterious ARK, the journey is as rewarding as the destination.

By following this guide, you’ll have a solid foundation to not only survive but thrive in the perilous world of ARK. Adapt to your environment, use your resources wisely, and never underestimate the importance of a well-tamed dinosaur. Happy surviving!

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