ARK: Survival Ascended is the official return of the dino survival game. Once again, it’s time to get lost in a vast, diverse world offering story-driven and non-story maps.
However, with so much content, figuring out the right order to play them is difficult. Contrary to popular belief, Ark does have a main storyline, which is told through 6 maps. But it’s also got some more non-canon maps to offer. In this guide, we’ll break down the order to play the main storyline canon maps for a cohesive experience and then explore the non-canon maps for fun.
ARK: Survival Ascended Main Storyline Canon Maps in Order
Just like Survival Evolved, ARK: Survival Ascended offers a multi-part storyline. Six installments, consisting of the main game and five DLCs, drive the narrative. The game’s story is about fleeing the ARKs, reaching Earth, and vanquishing Titans so the ARKs can return.
|Chronological Order||Ark Survival Ascended Map||Map Name||Map Description||Map Bosses|
|1||The Island||This is where your adventure begins. It’s a picturesque map with diverse biomes, rich resources, and various creatures. The Island is perfect for beginners. |
You’ll defeat bosses like the Brood Mother, Megapithecus, and more until it’s time for the second adventure.
|Broodmother Lysrix: A giant spider that can shoot webs and summon spider minions.|
Megaphitecus: A giant gorilla that can throw boulders and summon monkey minions.
Dragon: A giant fire-breathing dragon that can fly and summon wyvern minions.
|2||Scorched Earth||After mastering The Island, journey to this arid desert. Here, you’ll find unique resources and creatures like wyverns. ||Manticore: A giant scorpion with wings that can shoot spikes and summon scorpion minions.|
|3||Aberration||This map takes you underground and introduces new challenges like a lack of flyers. You can uncover aberrant creatures and unique materials like organic polymer and black pearls.||Rockwell: A mutated creature surrounded by a pool of molten elements.|
|4||Extinction||Now, you’re facing colossal Titans and corrupted creatures on Earth. Collect transferable and non-transferable elements.||King Titan: A giant robotic creature that can shoot lasers and summon minions.|
|5 & 6||Genesis Part 1 & 2||In this map, you’ll experience missions and get a robot companion. Discover new creatures and defeat a formidable boss: the Moeder.||Moeder: A giant sea creature that can shoot electric bolts and summon jellyfish minions.|
Corrupted Master Controller: A giant robotic creature that can shoot rockets and summon corrupted minions.
Noglin: A small brain-like creature that can control other creatures’ minds.
ARK: Survival Ascended: Non-Canon Maps to Have Fun
ARK: Survival Ascended’s non-canon maps provide fresh landscapes, creatures, and materials, deviating from the official storylines. There are no direct ties to the primary campaign, but they deliver an equally fun experience anyway.
|Non-Canon ARK Survival Ascended Maps||Map Name||Description|
|The Center||A visually stunning and expansive map with floating landmasses and unique underground caverns. It’s great for base building but lacks some late-game resources. |
It also features an arena in which both Broodmother and Megapithecus must be defeated.
|Ragnarok||This map offers a vast, detailed world with many unique biomes and DLC content, including ice wyverns, griffins, and lava elementals. |
It also features an arena where both Manticore and Dragon must be defeated.
|Valguero||Featuring a medieval theme and a massive valley surrounded by cliffs, Valguero includes resources from Scorched Earth and Aberration. It’s the best map for farming elements.|
It’s got a challenging, triple-boss arena with Megaoutgecus, Manticore, and Dragon.
|Crystal Isles||The most giant map in the game with tropical beaches, volcanoes, and unique biomes. It introduces new creatures and offers fantastic resources, especially organic polymer. |
You can face its exclusive boss, the Crystal Queen, a giant crystal wyvern that can shoot crystal.
|Lost Island||Lost Island is a community-designed map. This expansion introduces a sprawling ruined city, the formidable Dinopithecus King boss, and resource-rich landscapes. It’s got a diverse array of 150 creatures, including new species.|
|Fjordur||Fjordur boasts redwoods, snowy terrain, and swamp biomes. It’s got an interactive resource map revealing resource node locations, such as oil rocks in Balmir and oil veins in the redwoods. Plus, it features an explorer map pinpointing explorer notes, caves, artifacts, and runes. It’s definitely a keeper for explorers.|