How to Play ARK Survival Evolved Today

By | January 21st, 2018 | Categories: ARK Survival Evolved

You’ve just bought your game, spawned on the beach, wandered around a little bit and figured out you have no actual idea How to Play ARK Survival Evolved. This quick and short guide will equip you with all the knowledge you need to beat and survive through the early levels of ARK: Survival Evolved.

PvE or PvP?

ARK: Survival Evolved features both the PvP (Player vs. Player) and PvE (Player vs. Environment) servers. Obviously, things get heated and hostile much more and often on PvP than on PvE servers. Unless you really crave some violent human interaction, it’s best to start out on PvE. While players can still troll and grief on PvE to some extent, it tends to draw in a much more docile crowd.

Fresh Spawn

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to pick The Island as your starting ARK: Survival Evolved map. Scorched Earth and Aberration don’t even sound newbie-friendly, so it’s best to avoid them for a while. You will spawn on the beach. It’s best to stick to the shorelines for a while, as they are generally safer than inland in terms of carnivore population.

You should start by immediately collecting stones lying around, and punching trees to get wood and thatch. These materials are what you need to craft your stone pick. The pick is used to gather flint from nearby rocks. With flint, you’ll be able to craft the stone hatchet.

These two tools are the backbone of low-level play. Each one is better suited for its own set of activities (i.e. hatchet for woodcutting, pick for rock mining), but for the moment, don’t even worry about this. You will figure this out very quickly on your own as you play the game.

Bushes and Dodo Slaying

With all the necessary tools in hands, it’s time to go foraging. Everywhere you look around in-game, you will see green bushes. These contain various types of berries and fiber.

Fiber, together with flint and wood, is used to craft your stone spear. Use it for defense and to kill wandering dodos and other harmless animals. With your hatchet, harvest the slain critters to get hide. Make sure you keep all harvested meet, you will need it later.

Hide and fiber is the most important early game resource you can get. You will need them to craft your full cloth armor set, which will provide a much-needed protection from heat and cold.

Another important thing to craft are sleeping bags. They can be used as consumable spawn points, as well as fast-travel locations, saving time during re-spawn, travel and exploration.

Base Building

When you’re just starting out, it’s good to have a base of operations as soon as possible. Don’t spend too much time designing grandiose quarters though.

Early on, you will only be able to use wood as your construction material. Wood Tier is easily destructible, so try to hide your base as best as you can. Later on, when you unlock Stone Tier (level 20), upgrade your base immediately for added protection.

Put down a Bed (permanent spawn point), couple Forges (smelting metal), a Smithy (crafting better items) and a couple of Mortar and Pestles (Narcotics for Tranq Arrows and taming) as you level up.

Character Progression

Obviously, as you level up, you will unlock more crafting options. However, what’s even more important, you will be able to upgrade your character. Each new level grants you a skill point you can use to increase various character attributes.

At the beginning, it’s best to invest these into Weight, to be able to carry more, and Melee Damage, which increases the amount of resources you harvest and damage you inflict. Other than that, Movement Speed is always good. You can also increase your Health a bit, but don’t overdo it.

One way to level up quickly is via so-called Explorer Notes, which give you a temporary boost to XP gain. You can then go out and harvest materials to craft Storage Boxes and Wooden Rafts, as they give substantial amounts of XP. The Island has the highest density of Explorer Notes, which is another good reason to start there.

Make sure you craft your bow and arrows as soon as you reach level 10 – it’s much easier kiting hostiles from the distance than risking going in melee every time.

Once you reach level 15, you will be able to craft a bola, which can be used to immobilize both humans and smaller dinos in place. You will also be able to craft Hide Armor. It provides better cold and damage protection but makes you a bit more susceptible to heat, so be careful while wearing it.


Level 20 means Tranq Arrows. They allow you to take down and tame pretty much anything. Once you have enough of these, go out and find a low-level (faster tame) Triceratops, known as a Trike. This is one of the best early game harvesting tames. Try to aim for the head as Trikes get more damage from Tranq Arrows when hit in the head. Once it’s down, put Mejoberies and Narcotics on it to keep it unconscious and speed up the taming process. Don’t forget to craft a Trike Saddle to be able to ride on it once it’s tame.

Raptors are another good early-game tames to have. Make sure you catch and tame a couple of these as they’re very fast and enable you to preserve your own stamina.

Got It! What Now?

Once you reach and go past level 20 in ARK: Survival Evolved, it’s time to start exploring further inland. Also, you don’t want to spend too much time in Stone Tier. You’ll want to reach Metal Tier as soon as possible, so keep leveling up. But, more importantly, it’s time to start looking for a tribe. If you’re lucky and find one very early on, you’ll learn and progress at a much faster rate than going solo.

Tribes offer a much-needed protection and support, especially on PvP servers. After all, ARK: Survival Evolved is a multiplayer survival game, so you can’t avoid the social aspect even if you wanted to. Unless you’re the only person playing on the server, someone will always find you. It’s better to have some backup when that happens.

Read another related article here: Here’s What We Know About ARK Survival Evolved DLC Aberration

Tips N4G

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