Ark Survival Evolved Getting Started

Latest posts by Alex Maksymiw (see all)

Ark: Survival Evolved opts for new players’ baptism of fire experience. As the game and its players have little sympathy for new survivors. I’m not going to lie. The first couple of hours in your Ark experience is either make or break.

You’ll either fall in love with the game or be left raging, crying, and just damn right confused. However, I’ve sunk nearly a thousand hours into this game, and In my time, I’ve joined tribes, defeated giant abominations, lost friends and dinosaurs, formed alliances, been destroyed by competing tribes, and been eaten hundreds of times.

As a beginner to Ark: Survival Evolved, you should not feel upset if you die or lose your base and creatures, as this is the circle of life. The game does a great job of humbling you in the beginning and teaches you more about the natural world than a David Attenborough documentary on carnivorous animals.

However, I recommend that you don’t give up, as the game becomes incredibly rewarding as you tame your first dinosaur and start a tribe with your friends. Furthermore, if you follow this Ark Survival Evolved getting started guide and its tips, you’re going to have a much better beginner’s experience with Ark.

Before you Begin

Ark: Survival Evolved

Ark Survival Evolved is a multiplayer survival game where players must survive on an array of contrasting maps that include dangerous, lush, and overelaborate sci-fi biomes that support the life of dinosaurs and other strange creatures.

Survivors can tame these creatures to help in their survival, whether it be fast transport, gathering of resources, air transport, protection, or attacking. Creatures in Ark all have unique abilities and behave in different ways. To be a true Ark survivor, you must learn their habits and their disposition.

Players can band together to survive by joining a tribe. Friendly or aggressive, it’s up to you whether you can live in peace helping those in need on the server or destroy competing tribes. Whoever you choose to be in Ark, remember to be careful who you trust and let into your base. As while Dinosaurs may be extremely dangerous, humans are just as or if not more hazardous due to their cunning and will to survive.

In Ark Survival Evolved, you will be able to craft tools from resources you gather from your surrounding environment. As you level up, you will be able to allocate points into your stats as well as unlock new engrams (blueprints) to new technology, dinosaur saddles, tools, and structures to craft. Allowing you to build a more secure and elaborate base for you and your tribe.

Here are the Ark dinosaurs and creature guides we have covered:

Joining the Right Server for You

Choosing a server is a significant and overlooked decision in Ark. Before starting your Ark adventure, you should understand that Ark is an incredibly time-consuming game. It can be challenging to organize a session if you and your friends have a busy time schedule. As servers on Ark continue to run even if you logged out.

This means you can be raided and killed, and your dinosaurs can die of hunger and from battles with wild creatures when you’re at work or just walking the dog. Therefore I suggest that you choose a server that best suits your needs. When picking a server, you will want to take into consideration the following:

  • Server Ping – While this will generally fluctuate depending on your connection and other outside factors, you will want to join a low ping server. As this will give you the best experience, anything over ninety ping, I would ignore.
  • Player Count Limit – This one is up to you and your friends on whether you want a highly social Ark experience or a more leisurely experience that focuses less on tribes and more on dinosaurs. High populated servers are harder to run due to stress on your hardware loading other players’ bases. These servers will also be cluttered with random structures and abandoned bases. Although a server may have a large player limit, it may be inactive with only a few players. Spawning in a highly active and populated server can sometimes trap you in other players’ bases. If this happens, type in the chat for the moderator’s assistance.
  • Server Region – The server region is an essential factor, as the server may be populated with players of different languages, making it very hard for you and your friends to communicate with other players. However, it is sometimes fun to try and communicate with friendly survivors through the limited emotes and broken attempts to speak unfamiliar languages.
  • PVP/PVE – Pick whether you want an Ark experience fighting other players or alongside players.
  • Taming/ Leveling Multipliers – Faster taming and leveling speeds are often found on unofficial servers and are brilliant for players who have limited time. This generally makes the game a lot easier to play. However, these parameters may change on official servers for events and updates.
  • Official/Unofficial – Pick an official server if you want a more authentic Ark experience. Official servers are better maintained and feature players from all over the world. Unofficial servers are run by players of the game and third-party hosts. You are more vulnerable to hackers and exploitation from server owners.
  • Days of Server – This shows the number of days passed on the server. A short day count means that the server has recently been wiped, meaning that players are generally beginning their Ark survival on the server. A server with a high day count means that the server hasn’t been wiped in a long time, meaning tribes may have reached high-level tech and dinosaurs. Generally, you will want to join a server with a low day count.

First Week of Ark Survival Evolved

Ark: Survival Evolved Map

So now that you found the right server for you, now it’s time to get started! Ark Survival Evolved was released in 2017 and has had many map expansions and updates. However, no matter what map you decide to play on, the game will let you pick from a selection of areas to spawn. Before spawning, plan with your friends where you all should spawn or ask where they are, as this will make it a lot easier to start or join a tribe.

So you’ve chosen your spawn, and although the game stated it was (easy) and a safe place to spawn, you’ve taken twenty paces and have been mauled by a dinosaur congratulations, welcome to Ark. It’s hard to establish yourself in the first couple of hours of Ark as you are nearer to the Dodo in the food chain than a T-Rex.

Casting your imminent death aside, this is the time to explore around and gather materials to make primitive tools. You should punch trees to collect wood and thatch in true survival game fashion. You can pick up rocks and flint off the ground as well as berries and fiber from bushes. Using the materials, craft yourself some gear. I recommend this as you will be granted experience points for each item crafted.

After sinking many hours into Ark, I recommend researching the location of Explorer Notes in your area to give your character a head start in levels. Remember that activating an Explorer Note while mounted on a tame will also grant experience to your dinosaur.

This is a great way to level your tames. However, while this is a good idea at the beginning of the game. You could save these notes for high-level tames that require a lot of experience to level later on in the game. As some explorer notes, apply a four times multiplier to your tames experience gain.

Your character will level up many times in this initial stage, and I recommend that you allocate points to your Health, Stamina, and Carry Weight. I also level my movement speed, allowing me to run away from other survivors and dangerous creatures.

However, the faster you run and the longer you run, your hunger and water stats will drain. Avoid leveling your character’s fortitude, water, and hunger stats, as improvements to these stats are not worth leveling over any other stat.

Furthermore, when you level up, you will be granted Emgram points. You can use these points to unlock blueprints for new tools and technology. Note that you will receive a lot of points for attaining a new level at the start of the game. However, as you reach higher levels, you will receive fewer Engram points meaning that you won’t be able to unlock everything.

Core Mechanics Guide

In Ark, you’ll have a few basic survival needs to be met to stay alive. You will need to maintain your hunger, hydration, and health. If this weren’t hard enough, you’d find many biomes accompanied by harsh climates that will inflict status effects on your character.

To avoid these effects, you’ll need to dress appropriately for your surroundings, such as dressing in an insulating set of Fur Armor for cold areas. Being exposed to harsh temperatures can leave you unconscious and, in some cases, even die. So dress appropriately as you don’t want to fall unconscious while flying in the sky!

You need to understand that exerting your character’s stamina by collecting resources, attacking enemies, and sprinting will drain your hunger. This can be further quickened by hot or cold weather.

If your hunger depletes, your health will decrease, and your stamina will regenerate very slowly. I recommend that you always have a decent supply of substantial food in your inventory. Note that different foods recover different amounts of stamina. For example, berries replenish little hunger and hydration.

Crafting in Ark: Survival Evolved

Ark

Crafting is an essential mechanic in Ark, and to survive; you will need to learn many blueprints and new technologies. However, you cannot just rely on these alone. You’ll need to plan your base and choose a suitable location. Whether you are just getting started or have levels behind you, you’ll want your base to be hidden in your environment and have substantial defenses from other players and the creatures that live in it. 

Before you can start building, you’ll need a lot of resources. In typical survival game fashion, you’ll be able to strip your environment of resources. Ark has a tremendous amount of different kinds of resources, and you will have to venture from the bottom of the ocean floor to the top of mountain peaks to collect the world’s resources. However, before you start collecting Oil and pearls to make computer parts, you will need to master the basics first.

Here is a list of resources that I recommend you collect when you first start the game:

  • Wood – Wood is a basic material used to craft structures for a base. You’ll receive more wood when harvesting trees with axes. It’s additionally used to craft basic tools and weapons such as a slingshot, spear, and some saddles. 
  • Thatch – This resource is required for crafting thatch structures, although obsolete to wood. It can additionally be used to create various tools such as bolas and arrows. Harvesting trees with a pickaxe will grant you more Thatch.
  • Stone – A handy resource that can be used to make basic tools and structures, weapons, Cementing Paste, and Spark Powder, an item that can be used to fuel fires and create gunpowder. You can pick stones off the ground as well as break down giant boulders into stones using an axe.
  • Flint – This resource is used to craft tools and can be used to create Spark Powder. Flint can be picked off the ground and extracted from boulders with a pickaxe.

Building a Base in Ark

To build a reliable and sturdy base, you are going to need to consider whether the terrain and landscape of the area hinder or facilitate a great defense. For example, building a base upon a cliff edge has its advantages, such as you’ll be able to see any attacking parties from miles away, giving you time to prepare.

It also offers protection from wildlife, and with a few turrets installed, you’ll be able to fend off any aerial sieges. However, note that turrets can aggravate other players, and they may attack your base in revenge for killing their mounts.

When creating your base, you will want to consider the resources and creatures close by. Some biomes are more dangerous than others while offering valuable resources. You’ll benefit and grow quicker if you are established near metal resources; however, you’re more likely to encounter other players as they visit the area to mine resources. The biome will heavily affect the type of creatures you will encounter. Therefore I suggest you research the type of creatures in the location.

For example, the woodland biomes are one of our tribe’s favorite places to build. Hiding your base under the canopies of trees is a dangerous area with poisonous dinosaurs and ambush predators. One of them is the awesome Thylocene, a giant cat that can climb walls and pounce on unsuspecting prey from tall trees. 

Caves are a fantastic location to set up your home as they offer excellent protection. With usually only a few concealed entrances, they make great locations for beginner players and tribes as you will only need to defend the entries. Although these areas are highly sought after by other players.

Taming Mechanics

Taming Mechanics

Taming dinosaurs is my favorite feature of the game. It’s incredibly rewarding as creatures have unique color patterns and stats. Furthermore, you can allocate stat points to your dinosaurs to tailor them to have better carry weight, speed for exploring, or just health and damage to go all out on DPS. Furthermore, the offspring of these dinosaurs will inherit stat traits allowing you to breed mighty dinosaurs.

Even though these creatures are much better designed for living in the Arks, they are not invincible and can be killed. Once they are dead, there is no getting them back. You can heal your dinosaurs by force-feeding them meat.

Before you start taming dinosaurs, you will need narcotics, food, and a suitable weapon. You can craft narcotics by combining Spoiled Meat and Narco Berries in the Mortar and Pestle.

You will need narcotics to keep the dinosaur unconscious and for crafting Tranq Arrows or Tranq Darts. However, you can opt for a primitive Sling Shot to knock out a dinosaur note that this is a lot harder, and I suggest you bring four or five Sling Shots in case they break. 

However, I’m going to focus on the most common form of taming creatures to get you started in Ark. The process is simple:

  1. Find a high-level dinosaur.
  2. Knock it out using narcotics or blunt weapons.
  3. Place its favorite food in its inventory and more narcotics.
  4. Defend the dinosaur as it tames.
  • The higher the dinosaur level, the better its stats will have. Once tamed, the dinosaur will be granted bonus levels and will require little experience to level despite its level. 
  • The taming process can be time-consuming depending on the creature, so make sure you have enough time to tame them. 
  • Some creatures will wake up from being unconscious fast, and therefore, you may need more narcotics to keep them knocked out.

Tips We Wish We Knew

Ark Raptor

  • Before you and your friends begin exploring the world and surviving together, you are going to need to set up a tribe. To do this, you will have to be within close proximity to each other. You can use the map function and the grid X and Y-axis to locate either your or your friend’s position on the map. If they are far away, kill yourself and respawn at a closer location to them.
  • Once you have formed a tribe with your buddies, I recommend that you delegate tasks to each member of the tribe. This can be either resource gathering, base building, or dinosaur taming. As this will make your tribe more productive.
  • Collect as many Explorer Notes as you can, as these will grant you a substantial amount of experience points and boost your experience gain for some time. I recommend searching on YouTube for all the locations on the map you are playing.

I highly recommend that you tame the following dinosaurs to give yourself a headstart in the game:

Raptor

The Raptor is a great first tame, nimble and aggressive this creature is perfect for exploring, collecting meat, and hide. You can easily tame a Raptor by trapping it with a bola. It then can be quickly knocked unconscious with a slingshot or club. Its taming process is fast. Forming a pack of Raptors will grant you solid protection. 

Raptors can jump on their prey and players, rendering them unable to move. Therefore they make great for raiding and for hunting. However, Raptors do not have much health, and if they are attacked by surprise, they can be easily killed. They are at their strongest when they are in packs or sprinting.

  • You can unlock a Raptor saddle at level eighteen. While mounted on a raptor, you will be able to attack. Note that you are vulnerable while stationary as Raptors has little defense.

Triceratops

The Triceratops, or Trike for short, is one of my all-time favorites tames, it truly is an iconic dinosaur. A high-level Triceratops is capable of dealing some severe damage and can easily take on predators. The Triceratops can be dangerous to tame as you won’t be able to bola them. Instead, you will either have to kite them or take the high ground. Trikes are pack dinosaurs and will protect their kin if attacked.

Triceratops are extremely versatile dinosaurs and can be trained for collecting resources such as foraging berries and collecting Thatch. Or as a tank for transporting your belongings over long distances, or as a battle Trike for sieging bases and defending.

Triceratops are fantastic at protecting your other tames when predators are nearby as they will buff nearby tames with health and damage. Trikes can also charge as an attack to deal a lot of damage and knockback creatures.

  • You can unlock a Triceratops saddle at level sixteen. Trikes offer lots of protection from enemies head-on due to their massive horns and shield-like plate on their heads.

Dilophosaurus

The Dilophosaurus, or Dilo, is a useful bodyguard early in the game. They are easily tamed by using a bolo and have good damage resistance for their size. The Dilo is fantastic in packs and will allow you to escape harm’s way. They are not fast but are capable of firing a projectile of goo at their enemies, dealing damage, and obscuring their vision.

Their current mode makes them great guards and support for defending your base, especially when holding tight angles inside, such as doors. Dilos are at their best when a bigger dinosaur such as a Trike or Stego tanks damage allowing them to fire ranged attacks from behind.

Common Mistakes and Solutions

Ark: Survival Evolved Guide

The Tribe Log is a brilliant feature that allows you to keep track of your tribes tames and members its accessed in-game on the inventory menu as a separate panel.

I recommend that you check it every time you log in, as this gives you a peek into events that have happened while you’ve been offline. The Tribe Log will record all information regarding your tames, tribe members, and structures owned by the tribe. It will inform you if a tame has killed anything, been killed and who by, as well as the date and time.

It can sometimes be tricky to control all over your tames, as they can often fight wild creatures and players which can sometimes leave them in dangerous locations and far from your base.

I recommend that you utilise the tame wheel to control your tames as it offers functions that allow you to change their behaviours, for example aggressive, passive, neutral, or even guard areas and other tames, and even resource gathering.

Sometimes your flying tames will get locked into a dog fight this can cause a lot of hastle as the two creatures will spin up into the air fighting until one dies. However, they sometimes will not come back down and hoover at the top of the map. To fix this acquire a back up flying tame and fly into the sky and spam the whistle button. You can craft a dinosaur tracker to further help you locate them.

All creatures including you feature a stamina stat that is spent when swimming, flying, attacking, and sprinting. You will want to keep a close eye on this because you can easily drown running out of stamina while swimming, and flying creatures will slowly flutter to land when tired. This can spell disaster if there are unwanted predators waiting below.

Eating berries unaware of there effects is a common mistakes made by beginners here is a breakdown of the berries found growing in the world.

  • Narco Berries – These berries are filled with narcotics, and eating them will quickly send you unconscious. They are incredibly valuable for crafting narcotics to knock out dinosaurs in the taming process. 
  • Stim Berries – Stim Berries are the opposite of Narco Berries. Eating this type of berry will grant you a burst of energy to your stamina. But it will drain your hydration stat significantly. You can use these berries to wake up fellow tribe member that is unconscious. 
  • Mejo Berries – Supperior to Azul, Amar, and, Tinto berries to eat and use for taming and feeding plant-eating dinosaurs. 

Long Term Goals of Ark Survival Evolved

  • Survive the Arks by growing your tames and tribe to become the most dominating tribe on the server, whether through peace or war.
  • Make friends and build alliances between tribes, and create your own narrative.
  • uncover secrets and story of the Arks by collecting explorer notes and learning about the Arks fuana and flora.
  • Defeat the Ark Guardians to beat an Ark.
  • Breed your tames to raise powerful creatures.

FAQs

Question: How Can I Speed Up Crafting Narcotics in Ark: Survival Evolved?

Answer: By splitting a stack of Raw Meat when it is close to spoiling, you can quickly spoil every piece of meat that was in the stack. This is faster as the spoil timer resets once an item has spoiled in a stack. Consider building more Mortar and Pestles to speed up crafting Narcotics. Plant-eating dinosaurs such as Diplodocus harvest hundreds of berries in a short amount of time.

Question: Is it Worth it to Tame a Troodon in Ark: Survival Evolved?

Answer: This is a hot topic as in order to tame a Troodon, you must let it kill your tames. Troodons attack with a strong narcotic and are very fast due to their small size. They can be extremely annoying to deal with as they can knock out humans in just a couple of attacks. Therefore this makes them great for PVP.

Question: Can you Transfer Dinosaurs to Different Servers?

Answer: Yes, you can transfer dinosaurs between official servers by uploading your dinosaurs at the giant obelisks. However, you cannot transfer dinosaurs from single-player to multiplayer or unofficial servers. 

Conclusion

Ark: Survival Evolved Guide Conclusion

In conclusion, Ark: Survival Evolved is a great survival game that is best played with friends. The game can be slow and frustrating at times due to the hardcore environments combined with the sometimes toxic and aggressive player base that can make Ark a hard game to get into.

However, I highly recommend giving this game a go with a bunch of friends. As your gaming group will work together unlike any other game. You’ll laugh as you watch your friend’s goofy characters run around the map and feel tense and focused as you fend off giant predators.

As well as excitement when waring with other tribes. Activating the Explorer Notes should be at the forefront of your list as you level up. The game continues to expand. You’ll start to have a lot of fun taming new dinosaurs and discovering their unique abilities.

Continue reading more Ark: Survival Evolved guides:

Scroll to Top