ARK: Survival Evolved Wiki

"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:

ARK's UI is not always intuitive. For a list of controls, see Controls.

For more advanced tips, advice and tricks, see Tips And Tricks

Starting The Game[]

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[]

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.
  • A survivor with darker skin could blend in the shadows to camouflage themselves and hide from Human 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 the 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 letting the name of your character end on certain letters in order to be able to tame a Royal Griffin 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: currently on PS4 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 tend to have several dangerous creatures roaming near the beaches such as Raptor Raptors, Direwolf Direwolves and Sabertooth 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[]

Welcome to the wildlife of ARK. ARK is especially brutal to new players, so expect to die a lot until you level up a few times. If you are lucky, you may not see any large or dangerous dinos like the Rex Rex or Raptor Raptor, you will however 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 Dodos are recommended prey, also if you see Trilobite Trilobites hunt them for their rich resources. Few predators spawn on the Southern beach on The Island, however beware of Dilophosaur Dilophosaurus. They can kill a beginner fairly quick, just as well as a pack of voracious Compy Compies can. It's best to avoid all confrontation until you learn the basic survival of the game.

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

You should be able to find plenty of Stone laying around on the beaches. Press the "use" button to collect stones off the ground.

(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 Grey Stones, and tap the E if on PC, or Y on Xbox, and if on the PS4 Triangle when you're above them to pick them up (Items can be picked up if the hand icon is displayed on the right side of the screen).

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


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 Circle key then the R1 on PS4, or B key then the RB on Xbox. This will show you all the Blueprints Engram 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 Cross, or A to make (1) PickAxe.


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 Hatchet Hatchet or the Spear Spear in the hotbar.
  • Most survivors eat their food from their inventory, however it helps to place the food and a water container such as a Waterskin Waterskin in the hotbar when traversing in a cold or dangerous environment.
  • For building, it's a lot easier to have the structures you chosen temporarily in the hotbar as well. Be sure to remove them when you are not building so the assign structures on the hotbar doesn't accidentally get pressed while you're under attack.

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)[]

For learning the Buttons on other Gaming Consoles visit: Controls

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[]


ingame stats screen

Disambig Main article: Leveling 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[]

Your beginning or new survivor will already know (3) Engrams: Note Note, Stone Pick Stone Pick and Torch 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 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 Stone Pick. The next thing is to learn to craft Cloth Armor Cloth Armor with Fiber 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 Hatchet Hatchet. With the capability to gather large quantities of Wood Wood faster, build Campfire Campfires to Cooked Meat cook meat and to stay warm. Gather Hide Hide with the Hatchet from dinos to craft a more tough and warmer clothing called: Hide Armor 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 Spears and eventually Bola 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 maintain their technology.

Tools of Survival[]

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.

The stone pick is abysmal for harvesting metal( or any rare resource); craft a metal pick after learning the refining forge, smithy, and the metal tool engrams. The same goes for the stone/metal hatchet.

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

Building for Beginners[]

A place where a Survivor can escape the dangers of harsh weather to being hunted by dinosaurs or other survivors. A place to hide one's valuables, or simply a place to call 'Home'. It is seldom heard of survivors surviving without shelter. While the structure design of the Base/Shelter depends on the builder themselves, the game engine basically considers a shelter to have walls surrounding the players with a roof.[1] Some natural boundaries count as walls and/or a roof, allowing the player to gain the shelter buff without building fully surrounding walls/ceilings. As long as the Home Shelter symbol shows on the right of the screen, the game counts it as a Shelter.

White/green beacons sometimes contain a full shelter kit of Thatch or Wood, respectively.

It is possible to build a shelter without a floor foundation and instead use a combination of Wooden Pillar 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 Home Shelter symbol. Foundation Floor Foundations and Wooden Ceiling Ceilings both can be counted as floors.

Natural Shelters[]

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

Hunger and Hydration[]


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 not so gracious choices.) So be careful what consumable you place in the Hotbar, accidents are prone to happen.

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


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 Y on Xbox, and the Triangle 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 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[]

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


  • Berries 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:
    • Narcoberry Narcoberry
      • in quantities above 5 or 6 will put you to sleep without points in Fortitude. Don't eat them.
    • Stimberry Stimberry
      • will rapidly make you thirsty, but will counteract the drowsiness/Torpidity Torpidity that is inflicted by certain poisons/attacks; such as that of the Scorpion (Pulmonoscorpius Pulmonoscorpius), Narcoberry Narcoberry, Titanoboa, or the infamous Troodon Troodon; where falling asleep means almost certain death.


While hunting gives good experience, hide, and meat among other resources. Exercise caution when hunting anything other than Coel Coel or Dodo Dodo early in the game, as dinosaurs are much more powerful than humans without technology. The spear attack causes knockback to the attacked creature and is essential to early game survival.

Remember even Dilo Dilos or several Compy Compy can easily overwhelm a new player.
  • Spear Spear Fishing is sometimes a quick yet easy way to get Raw Fish Meat raw meat. Just keep an eye out for the deadly water predators such as the:
  • You can also eat Raw Meat Raw Meat at the cost of a few Health HP and smaller amount of food recovered than Cooked Meat. It's a quick solution to hunger this is generally not recommended.
  • Use Campfire Campfires to cook Raw Meat Raw Meat and Raw Fish Meat Raw Fish Meat. Cooked Meat Cooked Meat is always better than raw, because raw meat will satisfy 10 points Food Hunger yet also decreases your Health Health by 5. Cooked meat will satisfy 20 points of Food Hunger and restore 8 points of Health Health.

Dying and Spawning[]

Disambig Main article: Tips And Tricks Tips And Tricks

Ark is particularly brutal to new low-level players. You are likely to die often. Do not get discouraged.

After dying, you might see a green pillar of light. This beacon indicates where your dead body is. If you can find it, you can recover your lost items. Be careful, the thing that killed you might still be there.

You might want to know where you're spawning in the Arks:

The Island[]

South Zone[]

  • South Zone 1: South Zone 1 is a very safe area with few predators, Dilophosaur Dilophosaurs are about the only dangerous creature you will encounter, Spinosaurus Spinosaurus have a small chance to spawn up the inlet and Piranha Piranhas may spawn in the inlet too. There is also a Mountain nearby along with a Swamp and a decently flat spot on the edge of the peninsula, perfect for building a small base. River rocks can also be found in the inlet that can provide small amounts of Metal Metal.
  • South Zone 2: South Zone 2 is a good choice for newcomers due to it having metal deposits and river rocks, Piranha Piranhas and Sarco Sarcos do occasionally spawn in the river though so take caution when crossing. Spinosaurus Spinosaurus rarely spawn up the river as do Baryonyx Baryonyx. The location is also surrounded by two forests which provide large amounts of Wood Wood, Thatch Thatch, Fiber Fiber, and Berries Berries, they also houses Raptor Raptors and Therizinosaur Therizinosaurs so be prepared when exploring them.
  • South Zone 3: An excellent starting location for new players, contains relatively few carnivores and has a large amount of resources. Once you unlock a Wooden Raft Raft, you can go to Herbivore Island easily because of it's close proximity. Herbivore Island also has no terrestrial carnivores and contains a very flat area, here Metal Metal also spawns in abundance which you can harvest with an Ankylosaurus Ankylosaurus which can also be found here.

Sleeping bags and beds[]

  • If you have placed a Hide Sleeping Bag or Simple Bed, you can choose to respawn at that location instead of using the standard "random respawn" feature. This is especially useful once you have built a shelter or if you are playing with a friend.
  • Sleeping Bags are consumed upon use, and cannot be used by other people in your tribe.
  • Simple Beds are permanent (unless destroyed or auto-decayed), and can be re-used as many times as wanted, with a 5 minute cooldown. Any of your tribe member can use the bed of any other tribe member to respawn.
  • Build a Sleeping Bag and/or a Simple Bed as soon as you are able to.


On all servers except some private servers, all structures and tamed dinosaurs auto-decay. This means that if nobody in your tribe logs into the game every few days, your structures and dinosaurs may disappear. In general, higher-tier structures will last longer than lower-tier structures. Thatch disappears after 4 days, and tamed dinos disappear after 7 days.

Please see the page about building for how long each type of structure will last.

Obelisks and Supply Crates[]

Disambig Main article: Obelisk Obelisk

If you peer out into the distance, there are enormous floating structures casting an otherworldly light. They are called Obelisk Obelisks. These huge obelisks are probably much further from you then they initially appear. Beneath the Obelisk, is a strange protruding piece of metal with a button attached on top, called a 'terminal'. The terminal grants access to the Obelisk with two main functions: To Fight the Guardians (Bosses) or Transference.

Whenever an individual present their trophies as tribute under an Obelisk, a portal will open for a limited amount of time. Beyond the portals is where the Bosses 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.

The Obelisk Terminal has 2 main functions:

  • Fight a Boss. You will need to insert the required artifacts and trophies. Before initiating the Boss Sequence make sure you, other players and tames are near the Terminal, otherwise some may be on the outside of the portal and will not be transported. There is also a capacity limitation of 10 survivors along with 20 tamed creatures will be transported to the boss arena. Also note that some Bosses has 'Level Requirements'.
  • Transfer to another server. The Terminal can transfer you, your inventory (even individual items), and some tamed creatures to another map (it will remove the saddles and items inside the tames' inventory).

Supply Crates[]

Disambig Main article: Supply Crate Supply Crate

Pay attention to the strange pillars of light with a fairly large mechanical object slowly descending from the sky. Those are called Supply Crate Supply Crates. It has a Variety of Supplies within and the same functions as the Obelisks. 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; however 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.


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 or Unofficial
  • Dedicated or 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 servers are the main online servers run by the developers, WildCard.

Unofficial is referred to privately Rented/Owned Servers.


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 (4) players and the players are tethered to the host meaning they cannot travel a predetermined distance from the host.

Preparing for Specific Situations[]


  • Once you have the Spear Spear engram, craft a couple of Spear Spears and fight some Dilo 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 Hatchet Stone Axe and the stabbing attack of the Spear 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 Stamina and Health Health bars, as you won't be able to run when Stamina Stamina is depleted and when your Health 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 Cooked Meat food and Stimberry Stimberries in your hotbar, as this is the easiest way to recover Health Health and Stamina Stamina respectively.

Searching for Dinos to Tame[]

  • Torpor Torpor inducing gear such as a Wooden Club Wooden Club or Slingshot Slingshot.
  • Consider bringing Armor. You may need to be able to take a lot of hits from the potential tame (depending on the creature) 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 Meat Raw Meat and Berries Berries. If you happen to be travelling on a Wooden Raft Wooden Raft pack perishable items in a Preserving Bin Preserving Bin or creature that won't eat them. If you wish to use less advanced items for feeding your tame you should collect them on the spot with a dino.
  • Extra Narcoberry Narcoberries or Narcotic Narcotics to keep unconscious creatures asleep.
  • If you are wanting to tame a quick creature, make sure to bring Bola Bolas to slow them down to make the tame much easier.
  • Additional needed supplies suiting your target tame. For example, if you're going to tame a Parasaur Parasaur, bring Bola Bolas.


  • 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 GPS if possible. If not, then bring a Compass Compass. These are what let you draw your map, and the GPS GPS can help you mark important places on the map.
  • Lots of food.
  • If possible, bring Armor suiting all environments.
  • 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.


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 Armor Flak is preferable, as it provides decent protection, however can be expensive to make several sets. Chitin Armor Chitin is the next best thing, providing moderate protection and being fairly cheap.
  • Weapons that suit your role. Guns, Bow Bows, Pike Pikes, Sword Swords, Explosives Explosives, Assault Rifle Assault Rifles, Fabricated Sniper Rifle Fabricated Sniper Rifles, and even Rocket Launcher Rocket Launchers are all commonly used.
  • Bola Bola. Any player hit with a Bola Bola is doomed. A Harpoon gun utilising Net Projectiles can immobolise a much larger variety of creatures, though is higher level than a bola.
  • Food/Water. This includes any available dishes made from Rockwell Recipes 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[]

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.


For the latest updates and patch notes for all the versions of the base game (Also including Survival of the Fittest and ARK Mobile) then please visit the Patch Notes page.


  1. Citation needed. Game code would be best.