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]

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 from other players.
  • Having a survivor with darkskin can 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 the top of bushes and various structures exposing you. For an average height character (that fits comfortably through doorframes), it's optimal to decrease 'from default' the: Legs, Arms, and Torso all by 1 or 2 points.

Once you're done customizing your character's appearance, you can name your Survivor which will appear to other players that approach you in-game or game chat. 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 ontop of the Character Creation screen is only momentary, once you leave the screen you will not be able to use that save preset.


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 Argentavis.png Argentavis. 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. Once you 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 the beaches.

(Some stones are a part of the ground texture. Don’t be fooled! You can pick up any stones with a shadow). Look on the ground for Stone.png greystones, and tap the eKey|XboxControls|PS4Controls 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.

You can access your crafting menu (pc shortcut vKey) through your inventory by pressing PS4Controls|XboxControls then PS4Controls|XboxControls. This will show you all the Engram.png Blueprints 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, press the inventory button iKey|PS4Controls|XboxControls to access your inventory and then place your new tool in your Hotbar at the bottom of the screen. Now you can press the buttons you attached your tools or items to in the Hotbar.

If you are lucky, you may not see any large or dangerous dinos like the Rex.png Tyrannosaurus or Raptor.png Raptor, but you will find a wide variety of dinos on the beaches. Ignore most of them until you have Spear.png weapons to defend yourself. Instead hunt oblivious creatures for Raw Meat.png Meat and Hide.png Hide. Dodo.png Dodos are recommended prey, but if you see Trilobite.png Trilobites hunt them for their rich resources. 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.

Making Tools[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 from Leveling in the Inventory menu. After harvesting Berries.png Berries for food and finding Fiber.png Fiber from the bushes and foliage. You can find all the materials needed almost anywhere.

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

The Tools of Survival[edit | edit source]

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 in Engram Points wisely. From the previous section 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 temperature and the environment. For extreme heat or cold will harm your character.

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 or another use of the Hatchet to gather Hide.png Hide 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 with 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.

Now that you are equipped with the essentials and basic knowledge of survival, go and build a House.png Shelter or Base. Live, explore the Ark and most importantly Survive. Good luck, Survivor!

Building for Beginners[edit | edit source]

Its seldom to hear of survivors surviving without a House.png Shelter or Base. Where one can escape from harsh weathers and perhaps their Raptor.png hunters.

Your First Level Up[edit | edit source]

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.

ingame stats screen

Inventory[edit | edit source]

The Inventory in ARK: Survival Evolved is the survivor's ability to store objects. The inventory is accessed by pressing the iKey |XboxControls|PS4Controls by default. 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.

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 to 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 Raw Meat.png food from their inventory however it can help to place it and a water container such as filled Water Jar.png Water Jars the in hotbar when you're in a dangerous or cold environment.
  • For building, it's easier to have the structures you chosen temporarily in the hotbar as well.

Hotkeys[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.

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 eKey|XboxControls|PS4Controls 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)

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 (Extinction).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.

Obelisks and Beacons[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.

Beacons[edit | edit source]

Disambig.png Main article: Purple Beacon.png Beacon

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 Beacons, 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 beacons 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 beacons require you to be level 3 to open them.
*Green |requires|level|15
*Blue  |requires|level|25
*Purple|requires|level|35
*Yellow|requires|level|45
*Red   |requires|level|60

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

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]

Section currently under Construction.

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.