What order to complete maps in Ark: Survival Evolved

With eleven maps to choose from, figuring out where to start Ark can be challenging.

Image via Studio Wildcard

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When first starting a game of Ark: Survival Evolved, figuring out where to begin can be overwhelming. There are twelve maps within the title, and nothing is guiding new players as to which maps need to be completed and in what order.

The eleven maps are typically broken into two groups: six maps are canonical, and six are not. Beyond this, however, the maps should be completed in a specific order to experience the actual campaign that Ark: Survival Evolved has to offer. Failing to complete them in order means that the story, as difficult as it is to get to, will simply not make a lick of sense.

Related: Beginner’s guide to Ark: Survival Evolved

Canonical Ark: Survival Evolved maps

Screenshot by Gamepur

The following canonical maps should be completed in order, to understand the story of the Ark:

  • The Island
  • Scorched Earth
  • Aberration
  • Extinction
  • Genesis: Part 1
  • Genesis: Part 2

For these six maps alone, players can expect to sink hundreds of hours to strengthen themselves and conquer the dungeons.

Non-canonical maps of Ark: Survival Evolved

Screenshot by Gamepur

The other six maps are just as enjoyable as the canonical six, yet they don’t necessarily have a story that ties into the main campaign. The six non-canon maps of ARK: Survival Evolved are:

  • The Center
  • Ragnarok
  • Valguero
  • Crystal Isles
  • Lost Island
  • Fjordur

It’s not uncommon to spend over a thousand hours in ARK without completing all maps. With the announcement of ARK 2, however, understanding the story as it stands thus far will likely give players a leg-up on the next iteration of the title. Progression through the individual maps is dependent on the map being played, but the overall idea stays the same:

  • Complete dungeons for trophies.
  • Turn those trophies into summon bosses.
  • Transcend the Ark.

Progression through the story occurs through the completion of bosses, and finding collectibles across the six canonical ARK maps.