GameSpot may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and from purchases through links.

Ark: Survival Ascended Tips For New Players

Ark: Survival Ascended drops you in the middle of an island with no bearings, so here are some tips to help you not get eaten alive.


Ark: Survival Ascended is a fresh take on the original Ark: Survival Evolved, and presents players with many of the same challenges when first starting out. You're dropped into as hostile of an environment as possible and must find your own way to survive the perils of your surroundings. The game offers extremely little in the way of any tutorials, so you basically need to figure everything out for yourself if you want to make it through your first night unscathed.

To avoid any classic beginner mistakes and ensure you survive in Ark: Survival Ascended, we have put together a list of eight tips you need to know to make it through your first few hours.

1. Pick the right starter location

The Island presents you with several spawn points.
The Island presents you with several spawn points.

When you first boot up a game in Ark: Survival Ascended, you will be presented with a map that allows you to pick where to spawn. These spawn points won't have any obvious traits about them, as you're looking at a map that is completely unknown to you. However, the one trait all spawn locations do have is a rating of how difficult they are.

If you want an easy-going experience to start out in Survival Ascended, then you want to pick a starting location with an easier difficulty. Just like it was in Survival Evolved, the southern island locations are much safer spawn points than other locations. The southern spawns have non-aggressive dinosaurs and other creatures that won't get in your way as you're trying to assemble a base and craft tools for survival.

2. Use your surroundings to your advantage

Once you have selected a spawn point, your journey in Survival Ascended will begin. Most of the spawn locations have a bountiful selection of objects you can use to aid your survival, especially for the first few hours. You're able to take advantage of these objects to make tools, which should be your first goal after spawning.

By picking up resources such as stone and fiber and punching trees, you are able to gather the necessary materials to make basic tools such as a stone hatchet and pick. These allow you to collect resources faster, as well as collect resources you couldn't gather with your bare hands. You can also find food items on the ground, such as berries, that allow you to keep your health up. Basically, be on the lookout for any and all kinds of loot around your starting location.

3. Allocate your stats properly

The stats screen offers different ways to progress your character.
The stats screen offers different ways to progress your character.

As you continue to gather resources and learn the basics of Survival Ascended, you will eventually level up. Leveling up comes with the ability to put a single point into a number of stats, which you can access through your character's main menu. There are stats like health, water, food, and melee damage, among several others.

While you eventually need all of the stats available to you, there are some you should prioritize earlier than others. For example, health and stamina are always going to be needed for survival while something like weight or oxygen isn't truly important until you're farther in the game. Leveling up stats that you need early on is the best way to ensure you progress in the most efficient way possible. The best stats we suggest prioritizing in your first several hours are melee damage, food, health, stamina, and fortitude.

4. Don't worry about a shelter (too much)

One of the biggest mistakes that I made during my first playthrough of Ark: Survival Evolved was trying to make a massive shelter as one of my first tasks. That's simply not practical with the resources you have available to you early on, though. As such, when I started Survival Ascended, I simply made a small structure that was able to fulfill all of my basic needs, such as cooking, crafting, and sleeping.

That's all you need for the first part of the game, as you likely won't be able to find the resources to build anything bigger regardless. It's also recommended to pick a base location that isn't too deep into the map. Your first shelter should be near the beach, in a cave, or on the outskirts of a forest so you can avoid more aggressive creatures.

5. Collect every berry you find

There are different kinds of berries in Survival Ascended.
There are different kinds of berries in Survival Ascended.

It was one of the best beginner tips for Ark: Survival Evolved and it's back in Survival Ascended. Berries are by far the best food source you can acquire early on and you always want to have some in your inventory for any sticky situations. Berries are great since they restore a decent amount of health, can be found virtually anywhere, and don't need to be cooked. They are also used to tame certain kinds of dinosaurs. However, berries do go bad if you don't eat them within a certain timeframe.

You can easily find berries in Survival Ascended by going through green bushes and interacting with them over and over. There are several different types, but most of them offer similar benefits.

6. Make a bed

One of the first objects you need to make after you get a basic base in place is a bed. Not only does this serve as a fast travel point and a way to pass the night, but a bed is also where you spawn if you happen to die. If you don't have a bed and die out in the wilderness, then you will spawn back at your initial starting location, which is not something you want to have happen if you already have a base set up.

To build a bed, you need to be at level 7, which gives you access to the Simple Bed Engram. Once you're level 7, you need eight Engram Points to spend on the Simple Bed. It's also required to have the Hide Sleeping Bag Engram as well, which is unlocked much earlier. If you have fully unlocked the Simple Bed, it can be crafted with 30 Fiber, 40 Hide, 80 Thatch, and 15 Wood.

7. Avoid PvP Servers

You can choose to play solo or on a dedicated server.
You can choose to play solo or on a dedicated server.

While the idea of a PvP server might be enticing to you, even if you're a new Ark player, it's strongly recommended to start out on a solo server first. PvP servers tend to be filled with veterans of the series that could easily grief you as you're simply trying to learn the different elements of the game. On a solo server, you're able to get your bearings and learn in a (somewhat) controlled environment.

Once you feel you have some decent game knowledge, a PvP server should be fine to join. However, even then, the Ark player base can be ruthless to newcomers on a server, so be warned.

8. Don't stress out about dying

This tip doesn't have much to do with gameplay, but more with your overall state of mind when playing Ark: Survival Ascended. It's important to remember that quite literally everything in the game wants to do you harm and there's virtually no escaping death. You will die at some point or another, and then you'll die several more times. My best advice when trying to learn the ins and outs of Survival Ascended is to accept this fact and simply focus on mastering the mechanics. If you spend too much time avoiding death and hiding away from certain dangerous elements, you won't learn nearly as fast.

As long as you have some basic tools, a shelter with a bed, and plenty of food, you should be able to get your feet off the ground. Ark: Survival Ascended takes dozens, even hundreds of hours to master, though, so die as many times as you need to figure out all the mechanics you need.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are no comments about this story