Ark Survival Evolved Guide For New Survivors

A simple how-to guide for new survivors in Ark Survival Evolved.

September 9, 2016 by Felicia Miranda

Ark Survival Evolved is a vast open world game that can be slightly intimidating for new survivors. It’s because of this that I’ve put together this simple how-to on the very basics of surviving through your first day on the island of Ark.

Creating Your New Ark Survivor

If it’s your first time playing Ark, I suggest hosting your own server and starting with a single player experience. It may be a personal preference but starting with single player allows you to get acclimated to the environment at your own pace and truly learn to fend for yourself. Once you’ve initiated your single player campaign, you’ll be prompted to create your character. Keep in mind that a character’s gender and body mass are strictly cosmetic features. This was confirmed by the developer and means no matter your choice, your character will start on a level playing field.

After creating your character, you’ll have the option to select which part of the island you spawn on. This can be a great help to new survivors. Certain zones contain less threats and are more abundant in resources giving you a better start. The video above describes North Zone 1, South Zone 1, West Zone 1, and West Zone 2 as your best spawn points for avoiding pesky carnivores. Do your best to avoid swamps, rivers and mountainous terrain until you’re properly leveled and equipped.

Collecting Resources and Crafting

Once you’ve spawned on Ark, get to collecting as much stones, thatch, wood and berries as you can. Stones can be found scattered about the ground. Thatch and wood can be obtained by attacking trees. Berries can be found on bushes. Be wary of the Narcoberries and Stimberries. Narcoberries will put you to sleep, Stimberries will wake you up but have a dehydrating effect. Once you’ve gathered enough resources, you can begin crafting.

Access your inventory and select the tab that says craftables. It’s in this tab where you’ll find which engrams are available to you. Hovering over the engram will reveal the item's crafting requirements. Hopefully you’ve gathered enough resources to create your first stone pickaxe. You’ll know that you have enough resources if the engram is gray in appearance. Click on the engram to begin crafting. Once you’ve crafted your pickaxe, open your inventory tab and equip it.

Leveling Up Stats and Unlocking Engrams

Collecting resources should accelerate much faster now. The stone pickaxe is primarily used for harvesting flint and stone from boulders but can be used on trees to get thatch and wood (but will wear it out much faster). Once you’ve gathered more wood, stone and flint, you’ll be able to craft a torch which will come in handy at night. By this time, you should’ve leveled up. When you level up, you can upgrade one of your stats and unlock a couple of engrams. It’s at this point and time where you’ll begin shaping your own Ark Survival Evolved experience but I’ll still provide some suggestions.

In regards to stats, I’d focus on building your health and stamina early on, since they will come in handy when taking on carnivores. I suggest watching the video above for a more in depth look at stat building. As for engrams, I’d unlock the campfire and stone hatchet first. The campfire is a great tool for cooking meat and staying warm, while the hatchet will accelerate thatch and wood harvesting and can second as a starter weapon. 

Surviving on Ark

Once you’ve accomplished these key steps, you should be on solid footing and have the rudimentary things you need to make it through your first night. From here you can continue to collect resources, find an area to settle, level up and unlock some more engrams. Hopefully this How To for new survivors was helpful and be sure to watch our Let’s Play, demonstrating these steps on the Indie Obscura YouTube channel.

Check out Ark Survival Evolved on Steam.

For more guide content on Indie Obscura, be sure to check out our No Man’s Sky guide on starship maintenance, read up on the best class setups in Chivalry Medieval Warfare and check out these basic survival tips for Klei’s Don’t Starve.