Beginner’s Guide to Ark Survival Evolved

So, you just spawned on an island full of dinosaurs crawling in every corner. The worst parts? Dinosaurs aren’t the only thing trying to kill you on that island or the most dangerous either. Everything apart from your own character will attempt to kill you in this game which makes it extremely difficult to learn if you’re a beginner. It’s a survival game, so basic Minecraft instincts will kick in pretty soon.

But, what’s the best way to start this game? What do you need to know before you start this dinosaur-infested journey? That’s exactly what we’re here to talk about today. Our beginner’s guide will help you traverse through the first few hours of the game pretty easily. Let’s jump right into everything you need to know as a newbie!

Basic HUD Attributes

Health

Health is the most fundamental attribute you’re going to be looking at throughout the game. It’s just a physical bar that tells you how far away you are from dying. And, judging by the fact that you’re on an island full of dinosaurs, there are a lot of ways for your health to go from 100 to 0 really quick. This includes things like dehydration, starvation, falling from a big height, drowning, or just being mauled by some creature.

So, always try to keep an eye on your health bar to ensure that you’re in a good state. As soon as you hit the 25% mark, you are severely injured, and your mobility will be hampered. Your health will automatically restore over time. Alternatively, you could speed that up by eating up some meat or consuming a blood pack. To make sure you can go longer without dying, you have to upgrade your health attribute. It’ll allow you to take more damage from creatures, starvation, and dehydration.

Stamina

The game is pretty much a real-life simulator when we talk about stamina. If you’re running, jumping, fighting, or swimming, you slowly exert yourself. Your stamina keeps you active and keeps up your movement speed. If your stamina is drained, you’ll only be able to move at a fraction of your actual speed.

There are two ways to restore your stamina. You can either stop completely and let the bar fill up slowly. You could slow down too and walk slowly, but it won’t fill up your stamina that quickly. Alternatively, you could consume stimberries or a stimulant to fill your stamina up rapidly. However, both of these will start dropping your water levels and dehydrate you.

In the early stages of the game, it’s very tempting to constantly sprint around the map and gather resources as fast as possible. However, it’s is recommended to slow down every now and then. Farm up some points to throw into your stamina attribute until it’s at a respectable level. After that, you can jump around like Spiderman 24/7 without affecting your stamina much.

Torpor

Health, stamina, and the other attributes mentioned here are common to most survival and RPG games. But, torpor is something that Ark Survival does differently. Torpor is a measure of your consciousness. Unlike the rest of your attributes, you’re going to want to keep torpor at zero as much as you can. You won’t see it on the screen by default. Torpor will only pop up when the bar starts filling up.

There are lots of things on the island that will increase your torpor. Hunger and thirst are the first of them. Consuming narcotics or eating the narcoberries will increase your torpor. Getting attacked by fists and tranquilizer darts will also raise your torpor level. Once the bar is 50% full, you’ll be unconscious.

Torpor is one of the most annoying aspects of the game. When you’re unconscious, there’s nothing much you can do other than just wait patiently. In the PvE version of the game, it’s not really an issue. You can just wait out the torpor. But, in PvP, things can become pretty toxic. Since the bar is at 50%, players can continue to attack you and raise your torpor levels even further, keeping you incapacitated for a long time.

Oxygen

When on land, you won’t have an icon depicting your oxygen levels. You’ll only be able to see it when you dive underwater. If you’ve played any survival game before, you’ll know the concept of oxygen in this game. It allows you to stay underwater for a certain amount of time.

Moreover, in Ark, your oxygen also affects your swimming speed. Once your head is under the water, your oxygen levels will slowly deplete. Once the icon is completely empty, you’ll be forced to return to the surface, or you could die. If you run out of oxygen and stay underwater, the lack of oxygen will start ticking away at your health.

However, to stay underwater longer, you can increase your oxygen stat, which will slow down the rate at which your oxygen depletes and allow you to stay underwater longer. The basic oxygen stat will give you about 30 seconds underwater.

It’s also important to note that, eventually, you’ll be making items like scuba gear that will make underwater explorations a piece of cake by removing your dependency on the oxygen stat. So, you should definitely consider when you’ll be crafting underwater items and upgrade oxygen based on that.

Weight

If you’ve played Death Stranding, you’ll be familiar with how weight affects your mobility. Every item you carry in your inventory has a certain weight that will add on until you reach the point of encumberment. Encumberment in the game is defined as a point when the total weight of the inventory you’re carrying reaches 85% of your total overall body weight. When that happens, your movement will be severely hampered. If you keep on going and the weight of your cargo matches your weight, you won’t be able to move at all.

Encumberment is a huge no-no. It’ll slow you down, as we already discussed. Moreover, it makes you vulnerable to attacks from foreign creatures. Since you will be hauling around quite a bit of cargo throughout your Ark Survival career, it’s highly recommended to upgrade your weight stat as much as you can. Until then, make sure you don’t hit the point of encumberment during any of your trips. Taking two trips is always the recommended thing to do. Dying mid-trip because you’re moving slowly isn’t worth it.

Water

The water attribute and its purpose is pretty obvious. If you don’t consume water, your attribute will keep going down until you start losing health and increase your torpidity which will cause you to pass out. The water level depletes much quicker if you’ve been running around a lot and run out of stamina. Apart from that, if you eat some stimberries or get too hot, your water will run out much quicker.

Fortunately, it’s really easy to get your water level back up. You can either drink from some vessel or dive into a water source around you. It’s the easiest way to hydrate yourself. It doesn’t matter what the water source is. It could be a lake, an ocean, or even just standing in the rain will do the job. You could use pipes and create a water supply back to your camp. If you’re out and about gathering supplies, you can use a water reservoir like a water jar to hydrate yourself on the go.

Food

Food is really similar to the water attribute and will deplete if you don’t consume food for a certain amount of time. If you spend a certain amount of time without taking in any food sources, you’ll start depleting your food bad and increase torpidity as well. However, there are lots of ways to restore your food levels. The island has tons of ways to fill up that bar, though. Berries, vegetables, meat, etc., are all great ways to fill up your hunger bar.

These are all the stats that will appear on your screen. But, there are others that your main HUD doesn’t show. They can be upgraded as well, and we will talk about them below.

Movement Speed

The island has a pretty healthy amount of things on the island that is going to chase you. To keep yourself safe, you’re going to need movement speed. As you upgrade this stat, you’ll be able to run faster and farther without burning too much of your stamina. Movement speed is also going to affect your swimming speed as well. Increasing movement speed isn’t super important as some of the other stats on this list, but you should definitely think about putting in a point into movement speed every now and then.

Fortitude

Fortitude is one of the more important stats that definitely requires an upgrade or two whenever you can afford it. Fortitude makes you resistant to harsh weather conditions and makes you less likely to suffer from hunger or thirst. If you’re getting tired of constantly struggling from lack of food or water, investing in fortitude is a great idea. Other than upgrading the stat, you can also improve your fortitude by wearing a certain type of clothes. Fortitude also keeps you safe and sound from elements of the island that would increase your torpor.

Melee Damage

Melee damage is your bread and butter on the island. This stat affects the damage your fists, tools, and weapons will do per hit. Melee damage doesn’t affect the damage of your ranged weapons, however. So, if your weapon of preference is ranged, there’s really no point in increasing your melee damage. Upgrading this stat doesn’t just give you better damage against players and creatures. It speeds up the pace at which you farm resources.

Crafting Speed

Crafting speed is probably the last upgrade you should be getting. It’s not unimportant. There’s just more important stuff out there that you can upgrade. Increasing this stat will allow you to complete crafts quicker. You won’t need much of this stat anyways since most items in the game barely take any time anyways.

Tips Every Beginner Needs to Know

Stay Away from PvP

Jumping right into the game and beginning the PvP hustle is really tempting. Why would anyone find fighting the computer fun? Well, it might be a bit duller without the thrill of fighting one another, but going through the PvE (Player vs. Environment) is a bit difficult than most people might anticipate. It’s exciting, and it will get you accustomed to the game.

There’s not much difference between PvE and PvP game elements. The only addition is the factor of other players. However, going into PvP without good knowledge of the fundamentals of the game is like running a marathon with your shoelaces tied together. Make sure you get a decent feel of the game before you decide to dive into the PvP mode. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re just going to keep dying off spawn.

Do What You Want to Do

The first thing you need to know about Ark Survival is that it doesn’t follow a quest-based narrative. The game won’t tell you to do anything. You have to set up your own playstyle and survive according to that. Most sandbox survival games of this kind give you basic objectives saying craft this, craft this, find this, find that, etc. Ark doesn’t do that and is a sandbox in the true sense of the word.

Location for Your First Home

You can construct a home for your character practically anywhere on the map. However, you should look for a location that has two main qualities: sufficient resources and some cover against dinosaurs. If you can find a location that has both, you’re A-okay. Having trouble finding the right place for your home? Well, you can go to a section of the map called South Zone 3.

There’s a cliff in that section of the map that has big rocks to keep you safe from the creatures while having enough building materials nearby to keep you up and running for a long time. This is just one of the places that can be used as a place to build your home. As long as you keep the two requirements in mind, you should be fine.

While we’re on the topic of your home, it’s important to know that you should never, ever start a fight near it. Some dinosaurs have a tendency to become pretty angry and will fight anything around them. If it’s you, they’ll kill you off quickly. If it’s not you, well, that’s the worst-case scenario. The creature will go on a rampage and destroy your hut and all the hard work you’ve done. So, pro-tip, never fights in the same place as your belongings. If a fight does come knocking, try to draw away the creature until they’re at a safe distance away before you start fighting them.

Dying is a Part of the Game

What do Ark Survival and Dark Souls have in common? You’ll die a lot in both games. But, the important thing to remember is that this is perfectly fine. In the beginning stages of the game, literally, everything will be killing you. Death will be waiting for you at every corner of the island. It can be frustrating but don’t let it get to you. However, do make sure that you go and collect your stuff after you respawn.

The game has a Minecraft-ish system, and you drop your inventory at the location you’re at when you die. It’s not a big issue, though. You can just go and pick up your items. But, before you go, do remember that creatures that kill you tend not to leave the area after they kill you. Players, on the other hand, might camp your body on purpose and wait for you to come and kill you again. Moreover, you have to keep an eye on your surroundings and try to remember landmarks.

Fortnite Farming Simulator

Half of the time you spend playing this game will look like the early game in Fortnite. You’re just going to keep beating away on everything around you to gather resources. As soon as you begin playing the game, start hacking away at the nearby rocks.

After that, move on to the trees. Once you do that, move on to making a pickaxe and progressing through the rest of the game. Collecting materials is something you’re going to be doing the entire game. Get used to spamming that E button!

Your Easiest Victims

In the earlier stages of the game, practically anything will kill you. You’re really weak, and due to the lack of weapons, you’ll need to pick your fights very carefully. In the midst of all the creatures that can kill you, the easiest victim you can prey on are the dodo birds.

They provide some decent raw meat that you can use as a source of nutrition as compared to berries. Apart from that, you also get hide which can be used to craft equipment. So, before you can get your hand on the necessary Engrams, farm dodo birds to your heart’s desire.

Taming an Animal

Tired of mindlessly killing everything you see around you? You can divulge in a fun aspect of the game called taming. Taming animals is a bit difficult, but it’s a necessary part of the game. Let’s talk about how you can tame a creature.

Firstly, you’re going to need to knock out the creature (animal or dinosaur, it doesn’t matter). To do so, you’re going to need a strong weapon. Be careful, though. If the weapon is too sharp, you’re just going to end up killing the creature instead of knocking them out. Get a weapon that has a dull edge. It’s important to know that the more damage you give to the creature, the harder it will be to tame.

Next up, you’ll have to get your hands on some food and sedate it. Narcoberries are necessary to tame the creature. Once you start gaining their trust and the progress bar starts to fill up, you’ll be able to tame them and control their every move.

Try Not to Take a Swim

Jumping into the water and taking a swim may be tempting. But, in the early stages of the game, it’s really not a good idea. Just like there’s a ton of stuff on land to kill you, there’s a lot of stuff in the ocean as well. Megapiranhas and megalodons are just a couple of the things waiting to take a bite off your body.

The worst part is that the water does hamper your moment quite a lot, so it’ll be difficult to escape the puddle of water you’re stuck in. They can kill you off pretty quickly, and you’ll end up dropping your items in the water. Either stay away from water altogether or try to take a peek under the surface before you head in.

Closing Thoughts

Ark Survival Evolved is one of the most enjoyable survival games you’re going to find. Its immersive gameplay paired with its threatening creatures is a match made in heaven, and you’ll definitely enjoy the time you’ll spend in this environment. But, starting off can be difficult. Keep the tips mentioned in this list in mind, and you should be good to go.

Omer Nadeem Awan

A university student that makes games during the day and plays them during the night. I've been a gamer from the day I got a PS2 and have stayed loyal to the habit ever since.

Recent Posts