Recently, Ark: Survival Evolved has experienced a surge in popularity like it never has before. The open-world survival game surpassed its all-time concurrent player count on Steam thanks to a free period following the Xbox Games Showcase. As the game is attracting a horde of new players, there’s going to be a plethora of adventurers with questions about how Ark works. Set in a world where dinosaurs run rampant and there’s danger at every turn, newcomers don’t have much time to learn the game’s mechanics and intricacies.
With this in mind, we thought it would be prudent to go over a few beginner tips that can help players during their first few hours in Ark: Survival Evolved. These tips won’t be too useful outside of the beginning of the game but they will serve as a basis for the more advanced mechanics players will learn the more time they spend in-game. Below, see all 10 tips we compiled for players just starting out in Ark: Survival Evolved.
1. Stay away from the water
Once you begin your journey in Ark, you will likely be spawned near some water or on the beach itself. The beach is one of the safest spots in the early game and it’s where you should stay for the majority of your first few hours (more on that later). However, even though it might be tempting, we advise every new player to avoid going into the water at all costs. While it looks inviting, the water is extremely dangerous. It’s filled with fish and other predators that would love nothing more than to snack on you during your first few minutes on the island.
2. Build a bed or two
While you’re going to be crafting a flurry of different tools and other useful things to help you survive, we recommend building a bed as quickly as possible. Like in other survival games, a bed serves as a spawn point for you if you end up dying out in the world. Once you sleep in a bed, you’re given the chance to spawn there after dying. If you don’t have a bed, then you’ll leave your spawn point up to chance. You can also build additional beds along your travel routes so you can spawn closer to where you died.
3. Spawn in the right spot
If you don’t have a bed or just forget to craft one after destroying a bed, then you aren’t necessarily out of luck. You will have the choice of respawning in different areas across the map. Most of these areas are dangerous and not meant for a newcomer. However, there are safe zones across the map that you can spawn in to remain safe after you come back to life. Choosing the safe zone closest to where you last died or near your base is preferred.
4. Craft a Pickaxe
As you begin to pick up resources and other items, Ark: Survival Evolved will recommend you craft various tools and recipes. While you’ll have your choice among some starter items, you want to craft a Pickaxe above all else. The Pickaxe is a versatile tool that can mine for stone, flint, and metal while also gathering wood and thatch as well. The Stone Pick in Ark should be your first tool followed by the Hatchet.
5. Stay near the beach
As we said earlier, the beach is one of the safest and best spots you can be during your first few hours of playtime. It has few threats, except in the water, and is close to enough resources that you can get started with a simple base and tools to be able to survive in other areas. You’ll want to stay on the beach until you’ve leveled up a few times at the very least. Going past the beach can be a dangerous endeavor, especially if you’re alone. The dinosaurs you’ll run into on the beach aren’t carnivorous and you’ll be able to get the hang of things in no time at all.
6. Avoid glowing dinos at all costs
If you do decide to venture beyond the beach, you might run into a glowing dinosaur. This glow will be orange and surround the dinosaur’s middle section. If you see this, run in the complete opposite direction as quickly as possible. An orange glow on a creature means that they’re an “alpha,” and they won’t stop to say hello. You can’t tame these creatures and they’re extremely difficult to kill. If you’re just starting out, though, they’re basically impossible to deal with. All you can do is run if you see one out in the wild.
7. Tame a Dodo
Speaking of taming creatures, you’ll be introduced to this feature relatively early. However, at a starting level, you won’t be able to tame many creatures. The one animal you can and should tame is the Dodo. These flightless birds are common in the starting areas of Ark: Survival Evolved and aren’t too difficult to tame. All they’ll do is deal slight damage to you until you knock them out with your fists. Once they’re out, feed them some berries and they’ll become your best friend when they wake up next. You can also tame a lystrosaurus if you come across rare flowers, fresh barley, fresh wheat, etc. This dinosaur can be hand-fed, so it’s much easier to tame them than even the Dodo.
8. Build a modest base
After you’ve gathered enough resources, you will be tasked with building a base. This helps immensely with fending off any wandering creatures and gives you a place to put your bed and any valuable resources you might have acquired. Your first base shouldn’t be anything extravagant, though. You want to preserve as many resources as possible since it’s likely the location you build your first base won’t be a permanent spot. Make it big enough to walk around in and store a bed and other items.
9. Watch out for pickpockets
As you continue to gather resources, you’ll actually become a target for certain creatures in Ark: Survival Evolved. Even in the beginning areas of the game, there are a couple of dinosaurs you need to watch out for. The pegomastax is a small little dino that has a furry back and yellow mouth. It runs on the ground, jumps at you, and can actually take items out of your inventory. You need to watch out for these little annoyances and chase after them if they manage to get the jump on you. Alternatively, you also need to watch the skies. The icthyornus is a flying dinosaur that can swoop down and steal items from your inventory as well. Additionally, the icthyornus will eat whatever they take, so you won’t be able to get whatever they stole back.
10. Begin unlocking Engrams
As the game will point out fairly early on, Engrams are a key piece of your progression in Ark: Survival Evolved. Essentially, they are ways to upgrade your character, base, armor, weapons, and other tools. The more Engrams you unlock, the stronger you will become. There are different Engrams for all of the game’s items, so you’ll need to prioritize what you’re unlocking. If you want a stronger base, then focus on the Engrams that improve your base and give you additional items to build. However, if you want to improve your armor, then you can unlock better pieces to craft and equip. We recommend focusing on unlocking Engrams for tools and weapons to start, as these will allow you to gather more resources that you can use to craft additional items.
Those are our 10 beginner tips for new players in Ark: Survival Evolved. We hope that your first few hours are enjoyable and not full of deaths.
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