Ark Survival Evolved: Gameplay Basics, Mechanics, and Survival Strategies

Ark Survival Evolved: Gameplay Basics, Mechanics, and Survival Strategies

Ark: Survival Evolved is a survival game filled with exploration, crafting, and of course, dinosaurs. It's a complex and robust game that might overwhelm newcomers. If you are one of those and wondering where to start, this beginner's guide will provide a comprehensive introduction to the basics of gameplay, mechanics, and some survival strategies.

Game Overview

Ark: Survival Evolved is an open-world survival game set on an island filled with prehistoric and fantastical creatures. The main objective is survival — you start with nothing, and you must gather resources, craft items, build shelter, and contend with the harsh environment and its resident creatures. You can play solo, cooperatively with friends, or compete against others in a Player vs. Player (PvP) setting.

Gameplay Basics

Character Creation

When you first spawn in Ark, you're given the chance to create and customize your character. The character's appearance doesn't impact gameplay, but the initial location does. For beginners, the south coast is recommended due to its comparatively less dangerous creatures.

Gathering and Crafting

In the early game, your survival depends on your ability to gather resources like stone, wood, and berries. Simply walk up to a tree or a stone and punch it to collect these resources. You'll take some damage, so craft a pickaxe as soon as you can to make gathering safer and more efficient.

With resources in hand, you can start crafting. The crafting menu shows the items you can create and the resources they require. Early on, prioritize tools (like pickaxes and hatchets), clothing, and a simple base to protect you from elements and hostile creatures.

Levelling and Engrams

Your character levels up by gaining experience through actions such as gathering, crafting, and combat. With each level, you can increase a stat of your choice and unlock engrams — blueprints for crafting new items. Prioritize engrams for essential survival items, like weapons, clothing, and cooking equipment.

Game Mechanics

Hunger, Thirst, and Health

Maintain your character's health, hunger, and thirst. Consume food and water regularly — berries can be a good early source for both. Also, be aware of environmental hazards: extreme temperatures, falls, and hostile creatures can all cause health loss.

Day/Night and Weather Cycles

Ark has day/night and weather cycles. Nights are dangerous due to reduced visibility and colder temperatures, while certain weather conditions can also pose a threat. Build a shelter to protect yourself, and consider crafting a torch or campfire for warmth and visibility.

Taming Dinosaurs

One of the unique aspects of Ark is the ability to tame the dinosaurs and other creatures you encounter. This process involves knocking the creature unconscious, then feeding it its preferred food until it trusts you. Tamed creatures can be ridden, used in combat, or even produce resources.

Survival Strategies

Make Good Use of Your Map

The in-game map is your friend. It helps you navigate the huge island and keeps track of your explored areas. Remember landmarks and note resource-rich areas.

Choose Your Battles

Fighting drains resources and can be fatal. At first, avoid unnecessary combat and flee from dangerous creatures. Once equipped with decent gear and tamed dinosaurs, you can start taking on bigger threats.

Play with Others

Ark: Survival Evolved can be a tough experience for solo players. Consider joining up with others. Forming a tribe allows you to share resources, and responsibilities, and take on challenges together.

Ark: Survival Evolved is a challenging, immersive game with a steep learning curve. However, the thrill of survival, exploration, and taming your first dinosaur makes it a rewarding experience. With these beginner tips, you're now ready to step into the world of Ark. Good luck, survivor!

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