Getting Started

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"As a man or woman stranded naked, freezing and starving on the shores of a mysterious island called ARK, you must hunt, harvest resources, craft items, grow crops, research technologies, and build shelters to withstand the elements. Use your cunning and resources to kill or tame the leviathan dinosaurs and other primeval creatures roaming the land, and team up with or prey on hundreds of other players to survive, dominate... and escape!"

Here's a link to the Steam store page, so you can get started on your journey through the ARK.

You start your journey with nothing but your fists and your wits to survive the creatures hunting you. The following is a list of tips to help you get started:

Character Creation and Spawn[edit | edit source]

Choosing to create a new character will delete any existing character which you have on this same server, removing you from any tribes and losing ownership of all property so be careful when using this option!

When you freshly spawn in ARK, you must create a character. Character creation is mostly cosmetic and does not yield any major benefits for altering sizes of body parts. Size does matter to some extent. If you are too tall your head will stick out the top of buildings exposing you. Best to make a smaller character model to be less visible. Also body blocking (preventing someone by moving with your own character) is more prevalent with bigger models. Once you're done customizing your character's appearance, you can also name your character which will show up to other users that approach you in-game or in any chat channels. The appearance of your character may not be altered unless you create a new character.

Once you have created your character, you are given a set of spawn points to choose from. It is generally regarded that the southern spawn locations are safer, whereas the northern areas more often have dangerous creatures that can roam close to the beaches such as Raptors, Sabertooths and Argentavis. It is entirely possible however to choose to spawn at any of the starting locations and be immediately killed by a wild creature, in which case you must simply choose and start again!

Freshly Spawned[edit | edit source]

Welcome to the wild beaches of ARK. Once you spawn, your first priority is to craft a Stone Pick. To craft a Stone Pick, you will need 1 Stone, 1 Wood, and 10 Thatch. You should be able to find plenty of Stone laying around the beaches of ARK. Look on the ground for gray rocks, and tap the use key (default E) when you're above them to pick them up.

To get Wood and Thatch, run up to a tree and punch it repeatedly. Punching trees with your hands will cause you to lose some health, so you'll only want to punch it enough to gather your 1 Wood and 10 Thatch. You can access your crafting menu by pressing the crafting key (default V). This will show you any recipes that you have learned and what materials are required to make each item. Just remember that a stone pick and stone hatchet will each collect more of either wood or thatch depending which item you use

Once you've gathered enough materials to craft your first Stone Pick, press the inventory key (default I) to access your inventory and place your new tool in your Action bar at the bottom of the screen. You can then press the corresponding number on your keyboard to use your tool.

Beware of animals. You won't see any large animals like the Tyrannosaurus, but you will find a wide variety on the beaches. Ignore them until you can kill some prey with a weapon. Dodos are recommended prey, but trilobites will suffice. Few predators spawn on the beach, but beware of Dilophosaurus. They can kill a beginner fairly quickly, as can a pack of voracious Compies. Stick to you and the environment, for now. Avoid all confrontation until you learn the basics of the game.

Your First Level Up[edit | edit source]

By the time you've created your first stone pick, you've probably received a message that you have leveled up, since it only requires 5 experience to level up. You may have missed it, though. You will see the message if you open your inventory. Leveling up is an essential part of surviving. You will be able to improve your character's statistics as well as earn Engrams for learning crafting recipes.

Once you're in your inventory, you can press the + button next to one of your stats to increase the property of that statistic. See the Attributes section for further information on leveling up. Generally speaking, it's never a bad idea to put some points into your Health!

The Tools of Survival[edit | edit source]

After you've increased one of your stats, you will be taken to the Engram menu to spend points to unlock new Engrams. A Stone Hatchet and Campfire are essential to your survival. Spears do a fair amount of damage, but break easily. Once you have spent your points to learn a Stone Hatchet, you will require some Flint, Wood, and Thatch to make one. Now that you have your Stone Pick, you can more easily gather Flint and Stone from small rock groups or big rocks. You can also use it to get Wood and Thatch from trees without taking damage. Gather the required 1 Flint, 1 Wood, and 10 Thatch to create yourself a Stone Hatchet.

Once you have created your Stone Hatchet, you have your two best friends for the next while in your Ark life! The Stone Hatchet will gather Wood, Stone and Hide in greater quantities, while the Stone Pickaxe will gather more Thatch, Flint and Raw Meat. This information is essential when starting off and looking for particular resources.

At this point chances are your character's hydration is getting low and it's starting to get hungry as well. These two stats go down gradually while sprinting and fighting and need to be maintained at all times. To refill your hydration level, just go into the water and submerge yourself for a couple seconds and come out. To refill hunger, just eat. You might ask yourself, How do I eat? That's a great question. While you can pick up stone by pressing the use key, you can also run into tall grass and ferns to pick up various berries and Fiber. If you have equipped a Hatchet or Pick, you must put it away before you can gather berries or fiber, by pressing the item toggle key (default Q). Fiber is essential later on and berries could be your starting food source.

Do not eat Narcoberries and Stimberries! Narcoberries are vital in taming your first dinosaur, and will put you to sleep, while Stimberries dehydrate you, but keep you from getting knocked out, which can be useful in various situations. To eat berries, simply put them on your hotkey bar and hit the representing hotkey, or click them in your inventory and hit Use Item. Berries fill up hunger and hydration by 1 point each, so you want to have a lot on you until you get some meat.

Temperature plays a role in the speed at which these levels fall down, so keep an eye on what your characters temperature is! Cold and Freezing lower your food level faster, while Hot and Hyperthermia cause dehydration much faster. Use a torch or campfire, or even both to raise temperature and to cool down jump in the water for a bit.

Once you have an ample amount of berries, let's get some meat and hides! The best way to start off getting meat is by either going into the water along the beach and killing Coels, or finding Dodos along the beach and killing them. Remember Pickaxe gives meat, and Hatchet gives hide! Once you have your meat and hides, build yourself a campfire and put some wood or thatch in it to start cooking up your meat. Simply drag your meat and fuel into the fire and light it. Cook a fair amount of meat to last you awhile so you can start going inland and build a base, or build one along the coast. Once you hit level 5 you are able to learn the waterskin recipe. Once this has been learned, make 2 or more waterskins that you can fill with water. These are great to keep hydrated when away from water and are essential to surviving. They however lose a small amount of water over time, but that's not too much of a concern.

Now that you know how to eat, drink, and hunt, time to learn about taming! Taming is simple, yet depending on the kind of dinosaur and its level, it can vary in time it takes. To tame a creature, knock it unconscious (best to use your fists or a slingshot, which you learn by leveling up, however a faster process would be to hit it with a spear and then use your fists/slingshot), and access its inventory. Once there put either berries or meat depending on if it's a herbivore or carnivore and leave them in its inventory. As you notice, the creature's taming bar will increase whenever it automatically eats the food from its inventory. Depending on the Taming Effectiveness, this will increase by a varied amount, the higher the health of the dinosaur whenever you start to feed it, the higher the tame effectiveness will be. Tame effectiveness will decrease over time though. Now you also may notice an unconscious bar on the dinosaur. When you access its inventory, the unconsciousness of the dinosaur is determined by the "Torpor" stat. To keep its Torpor up, put Narcoberries into the dinosaur's inventory, and then click them. Once clicked, hit "Remote Use" to increase its Torpor and keep it unconscious. Be sure to keep a steady supply of food on the dinosaur at all times. Gather while you do this to keep a steady supply. Herbivores will eat Berries while Carnivores eat raw meat. Be careful though, some creatures require special food in order to be tamed.Scorpions, however prefer spoiled meat so keep this in mind. Once your beast is tamed, you can name it, and you will get its Dino page to look at in your Survivor Profile! Don't forget to level your dinosaur up when able to as it can level with you!

Now that you are equipped with the essentials and basic knowledge of survival, go and build a base, explore the game and have fun. Good luck, Survivor!

Making Tools[edit | edit source]

  • Step one should be making Tools. For this you will need some basic resources. You start off with the Engram for the Stone Pick.
  • To get the resources to craft this tool, start hitting trees to gather Wood (Beware, this causes damage to your character).
  • To get Stone you can walk along the beach and find it laying around. Make sure you have your fists equipped and simply press "E" to pick up the stone. Then harvest small plants and bamboo for Fiber (You should also get berries to eat by doing this).
  • Once you have enough resources you can craft your Stone Pick. Now you have a tool to start gathering without injuring yourself. Make sure to read all item descriptions as some tools are better at gathering specific resources than others.
  • Always have enough materials to repair your tools, and when they break just use the hotkey they are attached to. This process is quite fast so it isn't really neccesary to make several tools.

Hydration[edit | edit source]

  • Staying hydrated is essential to your survival on the ARK. To do this simply submerge yourself in a body of water and you will drink to your heart's content! If you wish to fill a bottle of some sort, move towards a body of water, place the bottle on your hotbar, then press the number corresponding to the bottle and it will fill with delicious ark water (press the same key to drink the water when filled).
  • Your hydration meter will fill up and stay filled up when it is raining.
  • Thirst steadily decreases with time, but will decrease more quickly when you regenerate stamina.

Hunger[edit | edit source]

  • Staying satiated is necessary to survive on the ARK. Gathered berries can be eaten, and hunted animals can be quite satisfying. Simply put the desired food in your hot bar, press the corresponding number, and you can eat anything you deem fit (including some not so gracious choices.)
  • Your hunger meter fills as you eat, and depletes as you exert yourself. Survival is key, starvation is death.
  • Hunger steadily decreases with time, but will decrease more quickly when you regenerate stamina.

Fighting[edit | edit source]

  • Once you have the Spear engram, craft a couple of spears and fight some Dilos, as they will give you some combat experience. You will have to learn to dodge (circle strafing works well) as they have a poison spitting attack that blinds you and severely slows your movement speed.
  • Using the landscape to your benefit is an extremely important aspect when fighting Dino's as it can give you the edge both in fighting as in taming.
  • Basic weapon handling is very important as you will notice that the Stone Axe and the stabbing attack of the spear have different ranges, the more distance you keep with the Dino you are fighting the safer you are.
  • Always keep an eye on your stamina and health bars, as you wont be able to run when stamina is depleted and when your health is quite low you will be injured and move slowly. If this happens during a tough fight, your chances of success will be really low. Always equip food and Stimberries in your hotbar, as this is the easiest way to recover health and stamina respectively.

Dedicated Servers[edit | edit source]

Information on setting up a dedicated server: Dedicated Server Setup

Steam Guides[edit | edit source]

Steam provides an excellent feature for many games, where members of the community can create guides for the public. ARK: Survival Evolved is lucky enough to have a community that is regularly creating more guides and improving the existing ones. A currently popular guide, aimed at beginners is called ARK: A Beginner's Guide and details many areas covered in this wiki and more. Visit the Steam Guides section to find out more.

Version Changes[edit | edit source]

All patch notes can be found at Patch Notes.