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ARK: Survival Evolved

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
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Although this product has been released, it remains under active development - information may change frequently and could be outdated or irrelevant.
ARK: Survival Evolved
ARK: Survival Evolved cover
Developers
Studio Wildcard
ARK: Aberration Instinct Games[1]
ARK: Aberration Efecto Studios[1]
ARK: Aberration Virtual Basement[1]
ARK: Aberration Abstraction Games[1]
Publishers
Studio Wildcard
Engines
Unreal Engine 4[Note 1]
Release dates
Windows August 29, 2017[3]
macOS (OS X) August 29, 2017[3]
Linux August 29, 2017[3]
Reception
Metacritic 70
OpenCritic 61
IGDB 69
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase, DLC, Expansion pack
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Persistent
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Survival, MMORPG
Art styles Realistic
Themes Sci-fi
Series ARK
ARK: Survival Evolved on HowLongToBeat
ARK: Survival Evolved on IGDB
ARK: Survival Evolved on MobyGames
ARK: Survival Evolved on Wikipedia
ARK
ARK: Survival Evolved 2017
ARK: Survival of the Fittest 2017
ARK Park 2018
PixARK 2019
ARK II 2023

Warnings

The macOS (OS X) version of this game does not work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later due to the removal of support for 32-bit-only apps.

ARK: Survival Evolved is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person survival and MMORPG game in the ARK series.

General information

PC Report: ARK: Survival Evolved
Steam Community Discussions
Official wiki

Availability

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Icon overlay.png
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Epic Games Store
DRM-free after installation through Epic Games Launcher (notes may include more details)
Can be run DRM-free when launched directly from the executable with -EpicPortal command line argument.[4]
Windows
Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store
Xbox Play Anywhere. Base game.
Ultimate Survivor Edition included with Xbox Game Pass for PC.
Windows
Steam
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
Ultimate Survivor Edition also available. Can be run DRM-free when launched directly from the executable with -EpicPortal command line argument.[5]
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
GamersGate (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Gamesplanet logo.svg (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Green Man Gaming (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Humble Store (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux

Version differences

ARK: Survival Evolved Explorer's Edition

Contains the base game and the standard Season Pass.

ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition

Contains the base game, the standard Season Pass, the Genesis Season Pass and 4 soundtracks.

Monetization

Type Notes
DLC Expansion maps contain new worlds to play on.
"Total Conversion" add-on significantly alters gameplay.
Expansion pack Expansion packs contain major additions to the game.
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Season Pass Includes the three paid expansion packs: Aberration, Extinction and Scorched Earth.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Genesis Season Pass Includes Genesis Part 1 and Genesis Part 2 expansion packs.
Included in the ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Aberration Expansion Pack.
Available only as part of the Season Pass.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Extinction Expansion Pack.
Available only as part of the Season Pass.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Scorched Earth Expansion Pack.
Available only as part of the Season Pass.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Crystal Isles Free Expansion Map.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Ragnarok Free Expansion Map.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
The Center Free Expansion Map.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Primitive+ Free "Total Conversion" add-on.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Valguero Free Expansion Map.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
ARK: Survival Evolved Original Soundtrack Available only as part of the ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
ARK: Expansion Packs Original Soundtrack Available only as part of the ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
ARK: Genesis Part 1 Soundtrack Available only as part of the ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
ARK: Genesis Part 2 Original Soundtrack Available only as part of the ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux

Microtransactions

Type Notes
No microtransactions No microtransactions are present in the game.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\ShooterGame\Saved\Config\[Note 2]
Microsoft Store
macOS (OS X)
Linux
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\ShooterGame\Saved\SavedArksLocal\[Note 2]
Microsoft Store
macOS (OS X)
Linux <path-to-game>/ShooterGame/Saved/Config/LinuxNoEditor
In single-player mode, Ark will perform an automatic save if it detects an attempt to shut down the application (such as by Alt+F4, or via the task manager or Windows taskbar), in order to prevent players from "dashboarding out" in an attempt to avoid a sudden unfavorable situation in-game.

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Epic Games Launcher
Steam Cloud
Approx. 10 MB available.
Xbox Cloud

Video

General settings.
General settings.
Advanced settings.
Advanced settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Multi-monitor
Image is Vert-. Switch to horizontal FOV scaling (See Field of view (FOV)).
Ultra-widescreen
Image is Vert-. Adjust FOV to compensate or switch to horizontal FOV scaling (See Field of view (FOV)).
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
80-110°.[6] In-game option is a non-numerical slider. For higher values see Field of view (FOV).
Windowed
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Low, Medium, High and Epic
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Open the console and type in r.vsync 1 to enable vsync.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Open the console and type in t.maxfps # to cap the frame rate.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
HDR was removed in a patch, see this thread.
The game engine may allow for manual configuration of the game via its variables. See the Unreal Engine 4 page for more details.

Vertical sync (Vsync)

Instructions
  1. In the configuration file(s) location, navigate to WindowsNoEditor.
  2. Open GameUserSettings.ini.
  3. Change bUseVSync=False to bUseVSync=True to enable Vsync.
  4. Save and close the file.

High frame rate

Instructions
  1. In the configuration file(s) location, navigate to WindowsNoEditor.
  2. Open Engine.ini using a text editor.
  3. At the bottom of the config file, add these lines of text:
    [/script/engine.renderersettings]
    t.MaxFPS=xxx
    
  4. Replace xxx with the desired framerate cap, and save the file.

Field of view (FOV)

Set FOV multiplier[7][8]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>/Engine/Config/
  2. Open BaseEngine.ini.
  3. Change AspectRatioAxisConstraint=AspectRatio_MaintainXFOV to AspectRatioAxisConstraint=AspectRatio_MaintainYFOV
  4. Test the change in-game.
  5. For higher values, edit <path-to-game>\ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor\GameUserSettings.ini
  6. Adjust the FOVMultiplier= value.

Notes

This value multiplies the effects of the in-game FOV setting. Experiment with the two to get the FOV you want.
This solution results in a significantly higher base FOV than the game's default settings.

Input

Key bindings.
Key bindings.
Gamepad controls.
Gamepad controls.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Remapping
Delete and End do not function properly when bound to commands. The Numpad keys are permanently bound to hotkeying Taming Groups, although they can also be bound to other commands as well.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support
Full controller support
The game doesn't disable the mouse cursor when playing with a controller, the mouse cursor will always snap to the centre of the screen when opening any UI screen; the only real issue this causes is making the tooltips to not display properly as it will always show the tooltip for what the mouse cursor is highlighting, not what the controller currently has selected.
Controller remapping
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Controller sensitivity
The look sensitive option also effects the controller's camera sensitivity.
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
Xbox button prompts
Impulse Trigger vibration
DualShock 4 controllers
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Tracked motion controllers
Generic/other controllers
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
No option to disable.
Simultaneous controller+KB/M
Steam Input
Steam Input API support
Official Steam Controller bindings only.
Hook input (legacy mode)
Official controller preset(s)
Steam Controller button prompts

Audio

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Spanish
Brazilian Portuguese
French
Italian
German
Russian
Simplified Chinese
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Hungarian
Polish
Swedish
Thai
Traditional Chinese
Turkish
Ukrainian
Finnish
Japanese
Korean

Network

Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
Local play
Co-op, Versus
Use Nucleus Co-op.[9]
LAN play
Co-op, Versus
You need a better hardware to host a non-dedicated session
Online play
Co-op, Versus
Microsoft Store version supports crossplay with Xbox One version

Connection types


VR support

3D modes Native Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision
See Helix Mod: Ark: Survival Evolved.
Headsets Native Notes
HTC Vive
Patch ShooterGame.exe with Revive Compatibility Layer.[11]
Oculus Rift
OSVR
Windows Mixed Reality
Patch ShooterGame.exe with Revive Compatibility Layer.[11]
Devices Native Notes
Tracked motion controllers
Traditional controller
See Input for details.
Keyboard/Mouse
Play area Native Notes
Seated
Standing
Room-scale

Issues fixed

Tweaks to raise the frame rate

The following tweaks can help improve the game's infamously poor performance even on high-end systems.
Frame rate tweaks[12]
  1. Adding the following command line arguments to the game's launch options.
    • -high -useallavailablecores - These commands maximize Ark's CPU usage. They can increase FPS by as much as 30% with no loss of visual quality.
    • -sm4 -dx10 - These commands force the use of Shader Model 4.0 and DirectX 10 instead of Shader Model 5.0 and DirectX 11. It has a dramatic effect on performance, i.e. raising FPS from ~40 to ~100, but also lowers the game's visual quality by a noticeable degree.
    • -lowmemory - This setting forces Ark to run in low memory mode, using only 4gb of RAM. This can improve performance in systems with less than 16gb of RAM.
  2. In the in-game menu, the setting that seems to have the greatest effect on performance is shadows. Reducing shadows from Epic to Low can increase frame rate by more than 50%.
Linux graphical corruption on AMD GPU
  1. Adding the following command line arguments to the game's launch options.
    • R600_DEBUG=nohyperz %command% - Disables HyperZ, with possible reduction in performance.[13]

Issues unresolved

Stuck in Server Browser After Selecting "My Survivors" Filter

Change the server filter type in the config files[14]
  1. Go to <Steam-folder>\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor and open GameUserSettings.cfg
  2. Look for the line LastServerSearchType and change the value to 1
  3. Launch the game and the filter should be set on Unofficial servers

Other information

API

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 10, 11 Direct3D 12 coming when UE4 support is stable.[15]
Metal support
Metal support shipping at launch
Shader Model support 4, 5 Shader Model 4 support requires launching the game with the -sm4 command line argument.
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows
macOS (OS X)
This 32-bit-only macOS game does not work on macOS Catalina (10.15) or later.
Linux

Middleware

Middleware Notes
Physics PhysX
Audio Vorbis
Interface Qt
Multiplayer Epic Online Services
Anti-cheat BattlEye, Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) [16]

Console commands

Console commands are available.

System requirements

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 7 SP1, 8.1
Processor (CPU) Intel Core i5 2400
AMD FX-8320
System memory (RAM) 8 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 60 GB
Video card (GPU) NVIDIA GTX 670
AMD Radeon HD 7870
2 GB of VRAM
DirectX 10 compatible
A 64-bit system is required.
macOS (OS X)
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 10.9
Processor (CPU) 2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 20 GB
Video card (GPU) 1 GB of VRAM
OpenGL 3 compatible
Linux
Minimum
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu
Processor (CPU) 2 GHz 64-bit
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 20 GB
Video card (GPU) 1 GB of VRAM
OpenGL 3 compatible

Notes

  1. Unreal Engine 4 engine build: 4.5.1.0[2]
  2. 2.0 2.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).

References