Ark: Survival Evolved keeps getting better and better every year. The game started out as an Steam Early Access title (which can be like starting a race in quick sand for many games) and just after a year it launched out of it and into a full release. It wasn’t all good news though as the price rocketed from $29.99 to $59.99. It did gain some new platforms like PlayStation and XBox though, exposing the game to a much wider audience.
If you haven’t yet played Ark then you are seriously missing out, here are the top 5 reasons right now why that is:
The Premium DLC
Although some people may just see it as a money making exercise by the developers, releasing premium (paid for) DLC for the game is actually great news for players and developers. It means that if you like the game enough you will choose to pay another chunk of money for big game updates. If you don’t like the game then you don’t buy the updates. The additional income for the developers means they can then go and create more content and keep the game alive for longer.
The premium DLC for Ark has been very well received by the community and it seems that the guys at Studio Wildcard will be pumping out more content for a while. The premium updates to the game so far (as of early 2019):
Ark: Aberration (see on Steam Store:
The cave dwelling update for Ark: Survival Evolved that wows its players with amazing colourful landscapes. This update brings with a whole load of new biomes and creatures with huge underground networks to explore and try to survive in. A host of 50+ new items will also keep you busy crafting away.
Ark: Scorched Earth (see on Steam Store:
This is the desert based expansion that adds a new world covered in desert themed biomes and dinosaurs. As with the other updates you get a load of new craftable items to play with. The visuals in this update are incredible, the new flying dinosaurs (which make up the bulk of the new creatures in this update) are modelled incredibly.
Ark: Extinction (see on Steam Store:
The Ark: Extinction update is the return to planet Earth where players witness the damage done by a virus. Dinosaurs dominate the landscapes and its up to the players to build defences and retake our home planet using a variety of new craftable tools and weapons. The developers describe this as an “end game” title to finish the overall Ark game, but due to the popularity it seems unlikely they will stop here.
The Free Updates
If you aren’t a big enough fan to buy updates (or you have bought them all) then you should definitely check out the free content that Studio Wildcard have put out. Like the premium content, you grab it through Steam and it downloads it like a normal game. The packages you can currently add are:
Ark: Primitve Total Conversion (see on Steam Store:
This update can convert your Ark game into a much more realistic survival simulator by adding and removing certain elements. If you love a challenge and want to experience a harder game then you should check this out (it is free after all). The reviews are fairly good, the only downside seems to be the loading times with people claiming this version can take over 20 minutes to load!
Ark: Ragnarok & The Center Maps (links:
Its hard to see how a new map for a game could be called an “add-on” but these two upgradables for your Ark game are much more than that. They have added new biomes to each as well as enhanced the lighting effects. The maps are also massive in comparison to the original with over 144 square kilometres in Ragnarok and 70 square kilometres in The Centre.
The Ark community continues to flourish with many players sticking with the game even after 4 years. According to SteamCharts the game still manages to almost peak at 50k players per day. The Ark forum on the Steam community is still getting loads of new posts, around 50 a day on average.
The Console Versions
Bringing the game onto as many platforms as possible was a smart decision by Ark’s developers Studio Wildcard. It allowed it to be brought in front of millions of more players worldwide who perhaps don’t enjoy desktop gaming.
The Server Costs
Like most technical products and services the server costs have decreased over time. Originally the game was hard to host by private game server companies as the code was un-optimized and sapped the machines resources.
As the game code was streamlined and more game server providers started offering the title the price dropped dramatically. When the game was first released server costs were more than double this and put off players who resorted to joining public servers or hosting themselves on spare machines.
According to CompareGameHosting you can get a 20 slot server for Ark for $18 per month. It seems the best Ark server hosting is available from a company called Survival Servers who have been around for more than 5 years.