ARK: Survival Evolved is a survival game in every sense of the term. Not only are you fighting against other players, you’ll also have to contend with literal dinosaurs, which sounds fun until you’re facing down a Carnotaurus with naught but a Stone Pick.
In ARK, you start with nothing, naked and afraid, and must gather resources to craft rudimentary tools. You then use those tools to build shelter, more efficiently gather materials, and craft weapons and advanced gizmos. In this guide, we’ve dropped a few tips and tricks to help you get the ball rolling on your perilous journey.
Gathering Resources 101
In ARK, there are a couple ways you can gather resources. The most common is to just pick stone up off the ground and punching trees to gather thatch. You’re going to want to fashion these into a Stone Pick ASAP, but note that in order to keep picking things up, you’ll need to unequip the pick.
Gathering nodes will yield different materials depending on what you use to harvest them. For example, using your fist or the Stone Pick on a tree will result in mostly Thatch, while using a Stone Hatchet will result in more wood. Conversely, a pick on a rock rewards flint, while a hatchet drops stone. You’re going to need to use specific tools in order to efficiently gather resources.
Think Carefully About Your Engram Points
As you level up, you’ll earn Engram points. You use these to unlock plans for new craftable items. Choose carefully, though, because you’ll only earn a set number of Engram points per character, and you won’t be able to unlock everything. Here are a few good starting choices:
- Stone Hatchet – A far more efficient way to harvest wood from trees, where using a Stone Pick or your fists yields far more thatch. This essential tool should be your first Engram.
- Spear – You start the game defenseless against potential dino attacks, so you’re going to need a weapon to fend off predators.
- Campfire – You’ll be collecting raw meat from animals soon, and you’re going to need somewhere to cook it up.
- Cloth Shirt and Cloth Pants – Clothing not only gives you armor, but it also insulates you from cold weather.
In addition to using Engram Points to learn new crafting recipes, you can also find Engrams inside supply drops that randomly appear on the map. For that reason, it’s best to use the Engram Points you earn when leveling up on the most essential recipes.
Set Your Food Expectations Low To Start
One of the things you need to manage in ARK is your character’s hunger, and early on there are a couple ways to do this. First, you can collect berries by gathering from the various plants that surround your starting point. You’ll also gain fiber by doing this, which is another important resource for crafting.
In addition, you can hunt. You’re going to need a spear for this, and your first targets should be dodos and fish. These animals don’t fight back, and they’re easy to kill. Once you’ve killed the animal, you can use a pick to get mostly meat from the carcass, or a hatchet to get mostly hides. Make sure you have a healthy stock of meat and berries before you get too far; you can’t fight dinosaurs on an empty stomach.
Prepare for Your First Night
When day turns to night, there are a handful of things you’ll need to worry about. One of the most important is heat. You need a way to keep warm during the night, which is one of the reasons we suggest that you make the Campfire and clothing Engrams a priority. You should also have a torch handy. This way, you can explore better and gather resources in the night.
Pick Up Your Bag After You Die
When you die in ARK, it does’t mean that your game is over. Instead, you’ll drop all of your possessions and then respawn. Choose a respawn point then make your way back to where you died. Be careful, though, because if you die again before picking it back up, then you’ve actually lost everything for good!
And there you have five tips for ARK: Survival Evolved! Did they help you out? Let us know in the comments section!