Survival of the Fittest is a Multiplayer Online Survival Arena (MOSA) spin-off of ARK: Survival Evolved. The game is played in rounds and at much faster pace. Its goal is to become the last man standing by killing all other competitors on the island.
In September 2016, Studio Wildcard stopped actively developing and supporting Survival of the Fittest. In July 2017, Jeremy said in an interview that Wildcard wanted to focus their efforts towards the main game and that SotF development may or may not be continued in the future.
Survival of the Fittest is played on servers with special settings. The game takes place at an accelerated pace, with leveling, gathering, taming, and building happening at quicker rates. For game balance, stats have been altered so tamed dinosaurs are no longer as powerful, and engrams, craftables, and supply drops have been rebalanced, and are automatically learned upon leveling up. Fast travel and respawning is disabled. Like in Hardcore mode, players can not respawn after death, so once killed, they have lost the game,but can still spawn like a ghost and go around and watch the game.
The environment consists of the usual island of Ark with slight modifications. At the start of every game, all players start off on a platform in the middle of the island. In the center of the platform is a large quantity of supplies and weapons—players may choose to loot these (though risking being attacked by other players) or directly flee into the wilderness, similar to the beginning format of The Hunger Games. The area in which the players may move is restricted by barriers and gets smaller as time progresses, eventually forcing confrontation between players.
The scores you can earn are calculated according to a modified Elo-System.
Currently you can choose between
- Free for All (one player tribes)
- 2 player tribes
- 4 player tribes
There's a leaderboard with the top-players in each category.
Not to be confused with ARK: Evolution Event
To make the tournament more interesting, "Evolution Events" happen throughout the game. Some events may be harmful to players while others may be helpful.
|Acid Rain||A toxic rain that will slowly drain your health and the durability of your armor. Seek shelter as quickly as possible.||X||X||X|
|ARKtic Monkeys||Two aggressive, poop-throwing mesopithecus fall on each player. If killed, they drop the chitin helmet they wear.||X||X|
|Beast Within||All wild creatures, including usually passive herbivores, become aggressive to players.||X||X|
|Carno Drop||A random species of carnivore at a random level is dropped on each player (up to 4 dinos per person). Run, kill, or be killed.||X||X||X|
|Daytime Swap||Reverses the current time of day from day to night, or night to day.||X|
|Double Taming||During this event the taming speed is doubled. Tame all the things!||X||X||X|
|Food of the Gods||A large loot crate appears at the platform containing 3 super food that will instantly tame any creature. When eaten will also heal a player to full health.||X||X|
|Hail to the King||Random explosives will drop out of the sky for players to pick up and use during sudden death.||X||X||X|
|Harvest Bounty||Resources are collected at a much higher rate.||X||X|
|Harvest Famine||Resources are collected at a much lower rate.||X||X|
|Herbivore Drop||A random species of herbivore is dropped on each player (up to 4 dinos per person). Good opportunity to tame, or kill for xp.||X||X||X|
|Mega Cold||Extreme cold forcing players to consume more food, wear insulating armor, and seek heat to avoid losing health, or their life.||X||X||X|
|Mega Fog||A very dense fog that covers the island making it difficult to navigate. Greatly reduces all player and creature visibility.||X||X||X|
|Mega Heat||Extreme heat, forcing players to remove armor and consume more water to avoid losing health, or eventually their life.||X||X||X|
|Predator's Night||Time of day is switched from day to night and aggression range of hostile creatures is increased.||X|
|Super Loot Crate||A large loot crate appears at the platform at the center of the map containing useful supplies and weapons.||X|
|Supply Overload||Red loot crates spawn around the map containing useful supplies and resources, some that cannot be obtained any other way.||X||X||X|
|Survivor Reveal||A yellow light appears above each player at the time of the event. Occurs every in-game day at midnight. Evacuate the area fast to avoid being discovered.||X|
|Survivor Tracker||A yellow beam will appear at your player location and follow you around until the event ends, making it easier for other players to hunt you down.||X||X|
|The Swarm||A Swarm of Meganeura descend on each player, attacking and draining both stamina and health. They are also a good source of chitin when killed.||X||X||X|
Bosses appear on the central platform and are passive until tamed. They are temporary and usually only last 15–20 minutes. After their expiration time they will vanish along with all items in their inventory. They all start off as level one and can be leveled. The only stat you can increase is their weight.
As of now, Bosses only appear during official tournaments.
|Dragon||Capable of fast flight and breathing fire on its enemies when tamed.|
|Broodmother||Able to give birth to lots of powerful minions that will defend you even after she despawns or is killed.|
|Megapithecus||Very strong and able to throw boulders, destroying buildings and tames with relative ease.|
Changes to Vanilla
Some game mechanics are different compared to the vanilla-game, to compensate for the short duration of one round.
- Tranquilizer Arrows are crafted using 5 Narcoberries instead of 1 Narcotic (to prevent the need for a foundation, mortar & pestle, and spoiled meat).
- Narcotics are crafted using Fiber instead of Spoiled Meat (to prevent the need for spoiled meat).
- Flak Armor can only be crafted by using the Fabricator instead of Smithy.
An unofficial list of changes can be found on steam (not guaranteed to be correct).
To celebrate the launch of the game mode, Studio Wildcard held a Tournament on August 1, 2015 with 70 streamers competing against each other in teams of 2. Another Survival of the Fittest event called Unnatural Selection took place on September 2, 2015. A third tournament called The Last Stand took place on October 24, 2015. On December 28, 2015, a Charity event called Naughty or Nice was held in a 100 versus 100 SotF match.
In Summer 2016, Studio Wildcard hosted the Summer Cup 2016, the first SotF international offline tournament.
Players can earn cosmetics for winning:
- 1st Place: Trike Bone Costume
- 2nd Place: Trike Bone Helmet Skin
- Survival of the Fittest was introduced to the game in patch 200.0 as a total conversion mod. On March 15, 2016 it was released as standalone game.
- This mode was planned to be also released on Xbox and PS4. Due to the discontinuation of development, this is unlikely to happen in the near future.
- Due to inactivity of Survival of the Fittest development, any dino that was released in main game after the game's last patch (September 23, 2016) do not exist, along with DLC-exclusive dinos. In addition, any dino affected by Tender Loving Care passes in the main game are not changed in Survival of the Fittest.
- FAQ and Basic Guideline on the official page or on steam
- Map with locations of metal nodes and beacons