5 tips for not surviving on ARK: Survival Evolved

We’re really enjoying ARK: Survival Evolved at Double XP. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, making it one of those games that you can sink hours into, whilst convinced you’ve only been playing for ten minutes. But extreme amounts of fun aside, it’s a right bastard of a game. The game is all about survival, and survival is not so easy in ARK. I’ve died in all manner of ways in this game, so I thought I would share some of my top tips on how not to survive in ARK: Survival Evolved.

1) Compys, the little pricks.

If you’ve played ARK: Survival Evolved you’ll know what a Compy is. If you’ve not played it, let me elaborate. A Compy, or Compsognathus, is a small meat-eating dinosaur, about the size of a chicken. It’s quick, it’s vicious and it’s a right little arsehole, particularly when in a group (which they usually are). I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve been set-upon, gang attacked, killed and eaten by a pack of Compys. They’re ferocious little bastards, and avoiding them at all costs is always advisable… unless you’re a high level, there’s a lot of you or you’re actually good at the game. So, if you’re looking to meet your maker in ARK, picking a fight with a pack of ravenous Compys is a good way to do it.

2) Losing stamina in awkward places.

Much of ARK: Survival Evolved revolves around your efficient use of your stats. Be it health, food, water or stamina – which secures my second point for survival (or not surviving, as the case may be). It’s easy to drain your stamina on this game, sprinting, fighting, chopping down trees, mining rock, even jumping – all of these activities require stamina. Combine this with an empty belly or a dry mouth and you can be in some serious trouble. As your stamina hits rock bottom, you’re character will start to become weakened, the further you push them, the weaker they’ll get – until, eventually, they’ll pass out. In the game, this stat is known as Torpor, but it’s basically your level of consciousness. I’ve passed out in a number of awkward places on this game, because I haven’t paid proper attention to my stats or stamina, but the worst place to pass out is in water. If you try to cross a body of water with low stamina, or whilst being attacked, the likelihood is that you’ll drown. It’s not a pretty way to go, either. You don’t exactly lose consciousness, rather you float at the top of the water, close to the surface. You’re character slowly drowns, whilst the sweet air is just inches away – to be honest, it’s actually quite distressing. Mostly, though, it’s bloody annoying. I’ve also passed out next to a pack of Compys, near a Raptor and whilst fleeing a T-Rex. So there’s another top tip for dying ARK, drain your stamina at any opportunity and look for the most inconvenient place to pass out.

3) Berries.

Mmmm. Tasty berries. Is there anything more pleasant than sitting down with a handful of berries and a mug of beer, whilst watching a Spinosaurus roaming a nearby beach, murdering, butchering and eating all of the dinosaurs around it? But slow down there, Tex. What berries are you about to shove down your gullet? Knowing your berries is key to survival on ARK, and knowing the effect of berries on you as a player is incredibly important too. For instance, the Stimberry will help to reduce your level of Torpor, meaning that you’ll be less likely to pass out. But, Stimberrys will also decrease your water levels, meaning that if you eat a load away from water, you’ll probably succumb to dehydration. On the flip side, Narcoberrys increase your levels of Torpor, meaning that you’ll be more likely to pass out if you eat large quantities of them. But, at the same time, Narcoberrys will greatly decrease your hunger – so sometimes, eating some of those berries is the only way to survive. This one time, when I was being attacked by a Raptor, I decided to eat a number of Narcoberrys without actually knowing what they did. Eating means that your character’s health will regenerate quicker, but that’s a little counterproductive when your character passes out, and is then eaten by a Raptor whilst unconscious. So if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to die in ARK, ingest a load of Narcoberrys and go for a quick dip in the sea.

4) Assumptions FTW.

Just because you struggled to climb that big rock, it doesn’t mean that huge, meat-eating dinosaurs will have the same trouble. Just because the dinosaur seems small and harmless, it doesn’t mean that it won’t spit poison in your eyes and tear you limb from limb. Just because you’re in one of the easier zones, and the water seems clear, it doesn’t mean that a giant Piranha won’t swim up behind you and shred you to pieces. Just because a Megalodon is stuck on a rock, it doesn’t mean that you can punch it to death without killing yourself first (skip to 20mins for some Megalodon punching fun).

Just because… well, you get the picture. Making assumptions is a great way to get yourself killed in ARK, particularly if those assumptions are anything to do with the beasts that you find in the world. Sure, a large spider or an oversized dragonfly might seem harmless on their own – but those bugs often hunt in swarms, and it doesn’t take long for one or two to turn into five or ten. So, if you’re looking to get stung, bitten, pricked, starved, dehydrated, crushed, mauled, gnarled or beaten to death – making assumptions about the environment or the beasts that live within it is a great way to go about it.

5) Making friends.

It’s nice to be nice. My mum always taught me to be kind to my fellow (wo)man, that a friend is always around the corner and that if I’ve not got anything nice to say, it’s best to just keep quiet. Not so for other people, apparently. I’ve been dicked on by my fellow ARK survivors more times than I can count. I’ve been beaten unconscious, left for dead, poisoned by turrets, attacked by a guy riding a mechanised T-Rex, shot with spears, arrows and poison darts AND one guy actually came into my house and took a shit on my chair. In general, other players in the game – especially when they’re part of a group, are only out for blood. Obviously, there are some pleasant survivors to be found on the servers… assuming that they too haven’t been numbed by the nastiness of others. But, in general, I’d say that keeping yourself to yourself is a good way to play ARK. Unless you want to be knocked out by a tranq-dart and locked in a cage, of course.

And there you have it, folks, five simple and effective ways to ensure that your character meets their end on ARK: Survival Evolved. There are plenty more ways to certain doom on this game, so this is by no means a comprehensive list. They are the five most common ways that I seem to die, however, so hopefully you can heed them as warnings for your future endeavours in ARK. Have you died in ARK in even more obscure, fascinating or gruesome ways? Let me know in the comments below!