Difficulty in ARK: Survival Evolved affects the levels of creatures in the world as well as the quality of loot drops. It is not entirely straightforward, however, as this page shows.
Difficulty Value and Difficulty Offset
Instead of fixed difficulties such as Easy, Medium, and Hard, the difficulty is expressed using a number currently between
5.0 in The Center). This number is known as the Difficulty Value and is controlled by the
DifficultyOffset option. The Difficulty Offset is a floating point number with a value between
1.0, with a higher number representing a higher Difficulty Value. Note, however, that setting the Difficulty Offset to
0.0 will result in a Difficulty Value of
1.0. The default value for
To calculate the Difficulty Value for a specific Difficulty Offset, use the formula
Difficulty Value = DifficultyOffset * (Official Difficulty - 0.5) + 0.5
and round to one decimal. To calculate the Maximum Creature Level for a given Difficulty Value, simply multiply by
30.This works because the Maximum Creature Level scales linearly with the Difficulty Value, and a Difficulty Value of
1.0 results in a Maximum Creature Level of
30.) To find a Difficulty Offset given a Maximum Creature Level, use this formula:
DifficultyOffset = (Maximum Creature Level / 30 - 0.5) / (Official Difficulty - 0.5)
The recommendation for the configuration of the maximum creature level is to just set
DifficultyOffset to 1.0 and
OverrideOfficialDifficulty to the desired maximum creature level divided by 30. E.g. for max level of 300 set OverrideOfficialDifficulty to 10. Note that the maximum level of Tek Creatures as well as Wyvern and Rock Drake is even higher than the maximum creature level of the other creatures. After the change of your GameUserSettings.ini execute a DestroyWildDinos command to get rid of the creatures which spawned with the previous difficulty.
Finally, the Loot Scale is simply the Difficulty Value expressed as a percentage:
Loot Scale = Difficulty Value * 100%
Although it's called difficulty, having a higher one makes your life harder if you are naked, but it may actually make the mid or end game easier as better loot crates as well as better tames are available, therefore increasing the effects of taming efficiency. See the following chart, a higher difficulty increases the gap between the wild and (perfectly) tamed creatures.
Table of Common Difficulties
|The Island||The Center||Ragnarok||Valguero||Difficulty Value||Maximum Creature Level||Loot Scale|
Difficulty in ARK: Mobile
|This section is about a feature exclusively available on Mobile|
ARK: Survival Evolved Mobile offers four levels of Difficulty:
- Easy Difficulty, where Creatures spawn at a level range of 1-30, excluding cave dwelling Creatures, and Experience is gained at 100% of the standard rate. Tamed Creatures can be a maximum level of 450.
- Medium Difficulty, where Creatures spawn at a level range of 5-150, excluding cave dwelling Creatures, and Experience is gained at 80% of the standard rate. Tamed Creatures can be a maximum level of 450.
- Hard Difficulty, where Creatures spawn at a level range of 10-300, excluding cave dwelling Creatures, and Experience is gained at 50% of the standard rate. Tamed Creatures can be a maximum level of 450.
- Brutal Difficulty, where Creatures spawn at a level range of 15-450, excluding cave dwelling Creatures, and Experience is gained at 5% of the standard rate (double XP for kills and no XP for crafting or harvesting). Tamed Creatures can be a maximum level of 600.
- Jat [Community Manager] (19 July 2015). "DifficultyOffset=MAX? Clarification Please". General Discussions. Steam Community :: ARK: Survival Evolved. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- Jat [Community Manager] (6 June 2015). "[FAQ] Server HOSTING". Server Hosting & Advertisement. Steam Community :: ARK: Survival Evolved. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- ARK: Mobile Server Difficulties