Beginner’s guide to Ark: Survival Evolved

You’ll probably die a lot.

Screenshot by DoubleXP

Ark: Survival Evolved is a game that takes you from your comfort zones and dumps you in the middle of a world filled with dinosaurs, death, and danger. The average newcomer to Ark will often find themselves unsure of what to do, where to go, and most importantly, how to survive. You will die a lot in the beginning. This could be by a random Rex munching on your house or being frozen to death when the sun goes down. The list of ways to die is plentiful in Ark: Survival Evolved. So this is a guide for beginners or anyone unsure of the best way to start.

Waking up and resource gathering in Ark

Screenshot by DoubleXP

Once you’re up and alive, your first task is to craft a set of tools. You’ll automatically start with the Pick Engram unlocked. Engrams are your blueprints for crafting, and every time you level up, you’ll need to spend your Engram points to learn more craftable items.

To craft your Pick, open your inventory by pressing “I” on PC, “B” for Xbox, and “O” for Playstation, head to your Crafting tab and select the Pick. These are the basic items you should craft and what they do:

ToolResources to craftMain resource collection or reason for using
Stone Pick1x Stone, 1x Wood, 10x Thatch.Flint, Thatch, Raw Meat, Crystal, Metal.
Stone Hatchet10x Thatch, 1x Flint, 1x Wood.Stone, Hide, Wood.
Spear2x Flint, 8x Wood, 12x Fiber.Killing everything. Can be thrown with alternate fire.
Cloth ArmourCrafted with Fiber.Protects you somewhat. Hide armor is better.
Bola10X Fiber, 3x Stone, 15x Fiber, 3x Hide.Stops two-legged dinos from running or flying away.
Bow and Arrow15x Wood, 50x Fiber for bow. 2x Thatch, 2x Fiber, 1x Flint per arrow.Kill things with range. Used for taming.
Campfire12x Thatch, 1x Flint, 16x Stone, 2x Wood.Cooks Raw Meat and keeps you warm.
Mortar-and-Pestle65x Stone, 15x HideCrafts Narcotics, Sparkpowder, Cementing Paste.

In Ark, home is where the storage is

By now, you should be able to craft thatch structures. These are the cheapest and least durable structures, but they’ll do the job. Ensure you have a roof, walls, and a door on because it provides some insulation against the elements. Sleeping Bags are single-use respawn points, and Beds are permanent respawn points.

Related: What is included in the season pass for Ark Survival Evolved? Answered

Small storage boxes don’t have the capacity of higher-tier storage but starting out, they’ll be great assets. Gathering metal is important, too, so you can craft higher-tier weapons and tools. Refining Forges turn Metal into Metal Ingots, and crafting a Smithy will allow you access to a Metal Pick, Hatchet, Crossbow, and Longneck Rifle.

Kill everything in sight in Ark

Screenshot by DoubleXP

Carbonemys, Dodos, and Dilos are frequently found around your base. These are simple to kill and provide needed resources. The Keratin from the Carbonemys will help you to make saddles. It also gives a lot of experience which grants levels, which grants Engrams.

Beginning things to level include Stamina, Speed, and Weight. Fortitude will stop you from freezing or overheating so easily.

Fly-by taming

The skies in Ark have far fewer dangers than the ground so a flying dino is recommended. If you can’t find one, here are the top dinos you should try to tame in the beginning based on what your maps are, their taming methods are generally the same:

ParasaurEasy to tame with a bola and club or tranquilizing arrows.
PteranadonEasy to find and tame. Cheap saddle.
Maewing.Easy to find and tame. Aquatic and gliding.
AnkylosaurusGreat for gathering metal.
Argentavis.Carries your Ankylosaurus around and has a lot of carry weight.
Wyvern.Crystal Wyverns can be tamed with Crystal passively, meaning you don’t shoot it and knock it out. Place their food in the lost slot of your hot bar. Otherwise, steal Wyvern eggs with your Maewing and fly away as fast as you can. They’re versatile mounts.

You’ll need to craft Tranquilizer Arrows in your inventory by combining narcotics made at a Mortar-and-Pestle, and stone arrows. To tame a two-legged dino, throw the bola at them and then fire the arrows at their head. If you’re using the club method, hit it in the head. Eventually, the dino will pass out. Next, open their inventory and place raw meat or berries if they’re herbivores in their inventory. They will eventually eat as their food bar drops.

Screenshot by DoubleXP

Your tames will automatically follow you once tamed, which you’ll probably want to stop. You can whistle, follow or stop. “T” and “Y” are the keys for PC users; holding “B” on Xbox or “Circle” on Playstation will open the command wheel. To ride the dinos you’ll need saddles, which are crafted either in your inventory or a Smithy and are unlocked at certain levels. You’ll have to equip them in the middle pane of the inventory menu.