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 some fundamental information to help you get started:

For more advance tips, advices and tricks, see Tips and Tricks

Starting The Game[edit | edit source]

After the WildCard logo is shown and you see the Title Screen press any button and you will have the options on the left to 'Host a Server' or 'Join a Server'. Host a Server is actually where the Single-Player gameplay is. Let's assume Single-Player is where you will start your adventure; therefore you went to 'Host a Server'. You will have the settings for your gameplay on the left of the screen and the available maps in the center of the screen. Select the map you can play on and hit the Single Player Option beneath the map column to start your survival.

Character Creation[edit | edit source]

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

When you begin in ARK, you must create a Survivor. Character creation is mostly cosmetic and does not affect the character's hitbox. However, size and skin color can benefit the player's playstyle to some extent:

  • Playing a short survivor can make it easier to hide in bushes or behind rocks from other players.
  • Having a survivor with darkskin can also help with camouflage and stealth in the shadows from Human.png other survivors.

On the other hand if you are too tall your head will stick out above bushes and various structures exposing you. For an average height character (that fits comfortably through door-frames), it's optimal to decrease 'from default' the: Legs, Arms, and Torso all by 2 or 3 points.

"If you have the ability to use admin commands checkout Body Regions for other ways of customizing characters."

Once you are done customizing your character's appearance, you may name your Survivor which will appear to other players that approach you in-game or game chat. On ARK: Survival Evolved Mobile you might want to consider to let the name of your character end on certain letters in order to be able to tame a Royal Griffin.png Griffin more easily. Once you officially created your survivor into the game by means of spawning; you cannot alter the character's body form again.


Note: the preset options on top of the Character Creation screen is only momentary, once you leave the screen you will not be able to use that save preset again.


Now that you have created your survivor, you are given a set of spawn points on the map to choose from. It is generally regarded that the southern spawn locations are safer, whereas the northern areas tends to have several dangerous creatures roaming near the beaches such as Raptor.png Raptors, Direwolf.png Direwolves and Sabertooth.png Sabertooths. It is entirely possible to be immediately killed by a wild creature when spawning, in that case you must simply choose and respawn again!

Freshly Spawned[edit | edit source]

Welcome to the wildlife of ARK. If you are lucky, you may not see any large or dangerous dinos like the Rex.png Rex or Raptor.png Raptor, but you will find a wide variety of dinos on the beaches. Ignore most of them until you have weapons to defend yourself. Instead hunt oblivious creatures for Meat and Hide. Dodo.png Dodos are recommended prey, but if you see Trilobite.png Trilobites hunt them for their rich resources as well. Few predators spawn on the Southern beach on The Island, but beware of Dilophosaur.png Dilophosaurus. They can kill a beginner fairly quick, as can a pack of voracious Compy.png Compies. Avoid all confrontation until you learn the basic survival of the game.

Once you have spawn, your first priority is to craft a Stone Pick.png Stone Pick. To craft a Stone Pick, you'll need:

You should be able to find plenty of Stone laying around on the beaches.

(Some stones are part of the ground texture. Don’t be fooled! You can pick up any small stone with a shadow). Look on the ground for Stone.png Grey Stones, and tap the e if on PC, or Controls on Xbox, and if on the PS4 Controls when you're above them to pick them up.

To get Wood and Thatch, go to a tree and punch it repeatedly. Punching trees with your fists will cause you to lose Health.png Health by injury, so you'll only want to punch it enough to gather your (1) Wood and (10) Thatch.

Inventory/Crafting[edit | edit source]

Many items are held in stacks of one hundred while others like armor and tools are not stacked. Creatures and storage units can also hold items in its inventory.

You can access your Crafting Menu (pc shortcut vKey) through your inventory by pressing the Controls key then the Controls on PS4, or Controls key then the Controls on Xbox. This will show you all the Blueprints Engram.png called Engrams that you have learned and what materials are required to make each item.

Once you've gathered enough materials to craft your first Stone Pick return to the Crafting Menu and select the Stone Pick Engram and craft it by either double-tap the Interact/Confirm button Controls, or Controls to make (1) PickAxe.

Hotbar[edit | edit source]

The Hotbar is where you place shortcut items from your inventory to the bar at the bottom of the screen. In survival it's important to be able to quickly choose the right tool or item when it's necessary. Setting up the hot bar is crucial for your beginning journey.

  • It's wise to have your important tools and weapons like the Stone Hatchet.png Hatchet or the Spear.png Spear in the hotbar.
  • Most survivors eat their food from their inventory, however it can help to place it and a water container like a filled Water Jar.png Water Jar in the hotbar when in a dangerous or a cold environment.
  • For building, it's a lot easier to have the structures you chosen temporarily in the hotbar as well.

Return to your inventory and then place your new tool in your Hotbar at the bottom of the screen by selecting it with the Confirm Button and then selecting the Hotbar Slot of your choice. This makes it where you can press the buttons that is assigned to the Hotbar slots to have quick access to the tools or items you placed.

Hotkeys (PC)[edit | edit source]

Action Default Key Result
Drop Item o Item is dropped from the inventory currently being accessed to the ground.
Transfer Stack t The stack you hover over is transferred from one inventory currently being accessed to the other.
Transfer Half-Stack ⇧ Shift+t Half of the stack you hover over is transferred from one inventory currently being accessed to the other.
Transfer Item Ctrl+t One item from the stack you hover over is transferred from one inventory currently being accessed to the other.
Transfer Item lmbx2 One item from the stack you double click is transferred from one inventory currently being accessed to the other.
Transfer Five Items ⇧ Shift+lmbx2 Five items from the stack you double click are transferred from one inventory currently being accessed to the other.
Transfer Half-Stack Ctrl+lmbx2 Half of the stack you double click is transferred from one inventory currently being accessed to the other.
Toggle Item Names q Toggle whether or not to show the names of all inventory items over the item icon.
Toggle Tooltip g Toggle display of tooltip information when hovering over inventory icons.

Your First Level Up[edit | edit source]

ingame stats screen
Disambig.png Main article: Broth of Enlightenment Buff.png Leveling

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 the first time. 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 Engrams Points 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 Attributes for more information on stats.

Crafting the Essentials[edit | edit source]

Your beginning or new survivor will already know (3) Engrams: Note.png Note, Stone Pick.png Stone Pick and Torch.png Torch. Engrams are the crafting knowledge your character has learned by distributing experience to survival traits in form of Engram Points by Leveling in the Center Inventory Menu. After harvesting Berries for food and finding Fiber.png Fiber from the bushes and foliage. You can find all the materials needed almost anywhere for the basic essentials.

After you've increased one of your stats. The Engram menu will appear for you to spend engram points for unlocking new Engrams. Being early in the game, it's recommended that you invest the Engram Points wisely. From the previous sections your survivor learned to craft the Stone Pick.png Stone Pick. The next thing is to learn to craft Cloth Shirt.png Cloth Armor with Fiber.png Fiber in order to give your Survivor some protection from the Environment. For extreme heat or cold will harm your survivor.

If you haven't already, invest the remaining Engram Points to learn how to craft your new best friend; the Stone Hatchet.png Hatchet. With the capability to gather large quantities of Wood.png Wood faster, build Campfire.png Campfires to Cooked Meat.png cook meat and to stay warm. Gather Hide.png Hide with the Hatchet from dinos to craft a more tough and warmer clothing called: Hide Shirt.png Hide Armor.


For more information regarding clothing and armor see:Armor


From your crafting and harvesting experiences you probably gained another level. Use what you've learned to craft Spear.png Spears and eventually Bola.png Bolas. Bolas are useful for capturing or stopping prey or predators that has small legs comparably for example:

Has small legs. Whereas the:

has large thick legs and cannot be caught by a normal Bola.

A fun fact, even elite players with advanced weaponry still use spears. To conserve resources that maintains their technology.

Tools of Survival[edit | edit source]

To make gathering resources easier, its important to know what's the right tool for the job:

With these basic tools, you can start properly harvesting larger amounts of resources and creating all the essential tools you need for survival.

Now that you are equipped with the essentials and basic knowledge of survival, go forth and build a House.png Shelter or Base.

Building for Beginners[edit | edit source]

A place where a Survivor can escape the dangers of harsh weather to being hunted by dinos or players. A place to hide one's valuables, or simply a place to call 'Home'. Its seldom to hear of survivors surviving without a Shelter/Base. While the structure design of the Base/Shelter depends on the builder themselves and even though the player can place structures in different ways imagined; there is an in-game rule that dictates what a 'shelter' is. As long as the House.png Shelter symbol shows on the right of the screen, the game counts it as a Shelter.

It is possible to build a shelter without a floor foundation and instead use a combination of Wooden Pillar.png Pillars with ceilings connected above the pillars. You must have a foundation placed down to build on, then have walls and ceilings all connected to form the House.png Shelter symbol. Wooden Foundation.png Floor Foundations and Wooden Ceiling.png Ceilings both can be counted as floors.

Natural Shelters[edit | edit source]

There are natural shelters that are located in various rock formations. For example, in Scorched EarthScorched Earth Icon.png's desert the player could craw under certain large rocks and will see the shelter symbol. And in The Center The Center Icon.png and Ragnarok Ragnarok Icon.png there are rock formations and caves that counts as shelters as well.

Hunger and Hydration[edit | edit source]

Hunger[edit | edit source]

Staying satiated is necessary to survive on the ARK. Gathered berries can be eaten, and hunting can be quite satisfying. Simply put the desired food in your hotbar, press the corresponding button, and you can eat anything you deem fit (including some Feces.png not so gracious choices.) So be careful what consumable you place in the Hotbar, accidents are prone to happen.

  • Your Food.png hunger meter fills as you eat, and depletes as you exert yourself. Survival is key, starvation is death.
  • Starving.png Hunger will increase more quickly when you regenerate stamina. And the Cold.png Cold makes you starve faster.

Hydration[edit | edit source]

Staying hydrated is essential to your survival on the ARK. To do this simply walk into a shallow portion of water, look down and press the e on PC, the Controls on Xbox, and the Controls on PS4 to drink! You can also submerge yourself in a body of water, though depending on the location you run the risk of attracting predators if by a swamp or river:

The ocean:

If you wish to fill Waterskin (Empty).png a water container of some sort, move towards a body of water or in the rain, place the bottle in your hotbar and then press the corresponding hotbar buttons to the water container and it will fill with delicious ark water (press the same key to drink the water when filled).

  • Thirst steadily decreases with time, but will decrease more quickly when you regenerate stamina.

Finding Food[edit | edit source]

For other kinds of food and cooking recipes, see Cooking. For learning how to grow your own food see Farming.

Berries[edit | edit source]

  • Berries.png Berries are a good source of food and picking them as you walk is a good way to stock up. But be careful of eating these two berries:

Hunting[edit | edit source]

While hunting gives good experience, hide, and meat among other resources. Exercise caution when hunting anything other than Coelacanth.png Coel or Dodo.png Dodos early in the game, as you can be killed easily starting off.

Remember even Dilophosaur.png Dilos or several Compy.png Compy can easily overwhelm a new player.

,and the Salmon.png Sabertooth Salmon (when hit will attack you in packs)

Obelisks and Supply Crates[edit | edit source]

Disambig.png Main article: Obelisk.png Obelisk

If you peer out into the distance, there are enormous floating structures casting an otherworldly light. They are called Obelisk.png Obelisks. Beneath the Obelisk, is a strange protruding piece of metal with a button attached ontop, called a 'terminal'. The terminal grants access to the Obelisk. Whenever an individual present their trophies as tribute under a Obelisk a portal will open for a limited amount of time. Beyond the portals is where the Overseer.png Guardians awaits their challengers. As long as the portal is inactive, it's moderately safe to explore the area. However, if your curiosity finds itself before the terminal you may be transported to an alternate world.

Supply Crates[edit | edit source]

Disambig.png Main article: Purple Beacon.png Supply Crate

Pay attention to the strange pillars of light with a fairly large mechanical object slowly descending from the sky. Those are called Purple Beacon.png Supply Crates, and have a variety of supplies within. But do not be fooled, keep in mind that the distance is probably further than you had visioned and the Supply Crates don't last forever. If one appears near you, it might be a good idea to check it out, but notice the color:

Each color resembles the level granted access.

  • White/Prismatic Supply Crates require you to be level 3 to open them.
  • Green Supply Crates require you to be level 15 to open them.
  • Blue Supply Crates require you to be level 25 to open them.
  • Purple Supply Crates require you to be level 35 to open them.
  • Yellow Supply Crates require you to be level 45 to open them.
  • Red Supply Crates require you to be level 60 to open them.

Servers[edit | edit source]

The other worlds mentioned in the Obelisk section, is about joining different servers that may or may not be using the same Ark maps. There are 4 different types of servers listed as the following:

  • Official
  • Unofficial
  • Dedicated
  • Non-dedicated

Each one can be accessed or searched. Unless, a privately hosted server is set to 'private'.


Information on setting up a PC dedicated server: see Dedicated Server Setup


Official/Unofficial[edit | edit source]

Official servers are the main online servers run by the developers, WildCard.

Unofficial is referred to privately Rented/Owned Servers.

Dedicated/Non-dedicated[edit | edit source]

Dedicated Servers, are servers that are hosted by a user. The user cannot interact and if they switch the server to Singleplayer mode it will wipe or delete everything owned by other players.

Non-dedicated servers are local servers hosted from Singleplayer mode. The host can interact however their server is limited to (8) players and the players are tethered to the host meaning they cannot travel a predetermined distance from the host.

Preparing for Specific Situations[edit | edit source]

Combat[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 dinos 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.

Searching for Dinos to Tame[edit | edit source]

  • Torpidity.png Torpor-inducing gear, obviously.
  • Consider bringing lots of Armor. You need to be able to take a lot of hits from the potential tame while in the Taming process.
  • Taming food. If you know what you're looking for, bring extra of that dino's taming food. If you don't know what to expect, bring Raw Mutton.png Raw Mutton and Advanced Crops.png Advanced Crops. If you happen to be travelling on a platform saddle pack perishable items in a Refrigerator.png Refrigerator or Preserving Bin.png Preserving Bin. If you wish to use less advanced items for feeding your tame you should collect them on the spot with a dino.
  • Traps. If you know what to expect, bring several traps for its size. If not, just bring smaller traps if it's just you. Large Bear Trap.png Large Bear Traps, Chain Bola.png Chain Bolas, etc. Won't be useful if you don't also have lots of preparations for a large tame.
  • Extra Narcoberry.png Narcoberries or Narcotic.png Narcotics to keep unconscious creatures asleep.
  • Additional needed supplies suiting your target tame. For example, if you're going to tame a Rex.png Rex, bring walls and anything else that will be useful.
  • If the Extinction Engrams are accessible, have a few Cryopod.png Cryopods on standby if you plan to tame a couple of large Creatures that could cause a problem in moving. Mind the decay timer on it though, however.

Exploring[edit | edit source]

  • Dinos. You never know what valuable materials or dangerous dinos you may come across, so bringing a few decent, possibly expendable dinos to fight and hold more weight is a great idea.
  • GPS.png GPS if possible. If not, then bring a Compass.png Compass. These are what let you draw your map, and the GPS.png GPS can help you mark important places on the map.
  • Lots of food.
  • If possible, bring Armor suiting all enviroments.
  • Taming gear. Though not always useful when exploring, as taming takes you off track and slows you, taming gear is something to consider.
  • Any extra available gear that you know will be useful in your situation.

Raiding[edit | edit source]

If you play on any multiplayer PvP server, raids are a major component of the gameplay. The chances of surviving any raid is pretty low. So try to balance good gear and minimum valuables. The Inventory that players take with them on raids varies immensely, so this section will combine different role's preferences and general tips. Note: this section WILL NOT discuss raiding strategies.

  • Decent armor. Flak Chestpiece.png Flak is preferable, as it provides decent protection, but can be expensive to make several sets. Chitin Chestpiece.png Chitin is the next best thing, providing moderate protection and being fairly cheap.
  • Weapons that suit your role. Guns, Bow.png Bows, Pike.png Pikes, Sword.png Swords, C4 Charge.png Explosives, Assault Rifle.png Assault Rifles, Fabricated Sniper Rifle.png Fabricated Sniper Rifles, and even Rocket Launcher.png Rocket Launchers are all commonly used.
  • Bola.png Bolas. Any player hit with a Bola.png Bola is doomed.
  • Food/Water. This includes any available dishes made from Rockwell Recipes- Focal Chili.png Rockwell Recipes.
  • Resources for repairing Armor and Tools, if they can be repaired from your Inventory.
  • Other than the above, bring whatever will help you, depending on your enemy's base, location, and strength. If you're raiding very weak players (Not encouraged, as it is bullying, unless they attacked you first) don't risk your good gear. Save it for stronger foes. Minimize items and gear that you will regret losing, and will not be very helpful in the raid. Remove all items from your Inventory that are not required for raids.


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.

Updates[edit | edit source]

Updates or Patch Notes can be found at Patch Notes.