What is ARK: Survival Ascended?

what is ark survival ascended guide

In April 2023, Studio Wildcard, the developer of ARK, stepped out to reveal that ARK 2 would be delayed for more than a year. It also took the opportunity to reveal a massive remaster of the first game, bursting at the seams with new content, features, and a whole host of improvements. So, what is ARK: Survival Ascended, and how does it differ from Survival Evolved?

Is ARK: Survival Ascended Different?

It’s different, but the same – but still different. By way of a monumental apology for delaying ARK 2, Studio Wildcard revealed ARK: Survival Ascended, a full, next-generation remaster of the original title that kicked off the franchise back in 2015.

ARK: Survival Ascended is easily poised to be one of the biggest and most ambitious remasters ever, with the game having been rebuilt to harness ‘the power of Unreal Engine 5’, according to Studio Wildcard. It’s a gargantuan re-release that promises to bring everything fans could possibly want to fill the void left by the delay of ARK 2.

But what is ARK: Survival Ascended, and why should you buy it?

ARK: Survival Ascended is the entire base game of Survival Evolved, remastered and expanded umpteen times. It’ll feature The Island, Survival of the Fittest, and a whole collection of DLC maps that’ll be released over time.

It features more quality-of-live improvements and upgrades than we can even list, and with the Unreal Engine 5 overhaul, it’s going to look better than ever and boast ‘Unreal Engine 5 performance gains.’

Read More: Check out the next generation of another 2015 title and learn when Fallout 5 is coming out.

But What’s New in ARK: Survival Ascended?

what is ark survival ascended

If the remastered engine wasn’t enough, don’t worry – Studio Wildcard has plenty more to whet your appetite.

When ARK: Survival Ascended is released, it’ll boast:

  • Cross-platform Multiplayer, which includes cross-platform accounts and cross-progression, uniting the platforms and bolstering the community.
  • Cross-platform modding, featuring a reported ‘industry-first cross-platform modding experience’, with PC-based mods being delivered to consoles.
  • Cross-platform anti-cheat functions, to alleviate any worries that console-based players may have.
  • Survival of the Fittest being integrated as a new, fully-supported game mode
  • Hundreds of improvements, fixes, and upgrades (see below)

We can’t possibly list every improvement that’s coming in ARK: Survival Ascended because the list was so long that Studio Wildcard couldn’t even note it down. But here are some snapshot examples of some of the most impactful changes coming to Survival Ascended:

  • Better mini-map
  • All-new structures and building mode improvements
  • Queueing system for servers
  • New third-person camera mode
  • Pinging system for multiplayer
  • Gamepad cursor for ease of accessibility
  • Chibi slot and Skins tab in the menu

And that’s a non-exhaustive list.

But It Doesn’t End There

In June, ARK: Survival Evolved is set to receive its final content update, and then, it’ll start to wind down and head for retirement. It was confirmed that there will be no crossplay between Survival Evolved and Survival Ascended. On that note, Survival Evolved’s official servers for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC will all be closed when Survival Ascended launches.

But, players will still be able to enjoy the older title on single-player and unofficial servers.

There are planned holiday events, as well as a paid expansion dropping for ARK: Survival Ascended at the end of the year. Not only that but upgrades are actively being made to ARK’s Nintendo Switch and Mobile products.

So, what is ARK: Survival Ascended? It’s one hell of an upgrade and it’ll perfectly bridge the gap now opened up by ARK 2 being delayed.

When ARK: Survival Ascended launches in August 2023, it’ll be available in a bundle on Xbox X|S and PC that gives players access to both that game and ARK 2 (for $49.99) and on PlayStation 5, it’ll be a standalone product with a price tag of $39.99.

Read Next: 10 Games Releasing on Xbox This Year

  1. Ok so are we understanding this right will all of our tames and our character be downloadable to ark survival ascended or will we start at ground zero ?

  2. So…. everything the fan base has achieved in the way of creature mutations to bring stats up will now be reset.
    We’ll have to start again.
    that’s years of breeding …time and effort that everyone put in simply taken away.
    And we’re expected to buy the same game Ark 1 ..start from scratch and spend years again getting Dino stats back to where they were.
    Why would you do that and not just stick to the new game i.e Ark 2.
    I feel robbed and now don’t want to even log-in to reset timers.
    And given what there doing , I feel like I don’t want to even buy the remastered or Ark2 .
    I don’t want to waste my time and effort in a company that’s openly admitted to robbing us all of something we’ve been so passionate about since it’s first year.

  3. So, Ark 2 is delayed and the “apology” is to shut down the Ark servers, and ask us to buy the same game again, but without the DLC we paid for? hmm, no thanks.

    1. Not the same game…it’ll be on a new engine. Probably properly optimized as well. That and the fact that I loved the original game so much and for so long are reasons for me to pay up. I want more. I don’t want to see another thing I love die off because people get upset that nothing in life is free. Not supposed to be.

  4. I wonder how much the author was paid by Wildcard for this. The road map was an absolute joke and a middle finger to Ark players. They lied to us, and now expect us to fork out nearly 100 dollars for a game we ALREADY OWN, only with shiny Unreal 5 graphics.

  5. My dinos got deleted of the server when I didn’t play for 3 days my buildings was still up but every Dino I had out was deleted. It passed me off so bad I would love to know how being offline for 3 days deleted over 75+ dinos ark fcked me over big time. I still miss playing the game but they keep fcking up some of the most basic things and it makes me so fed up with the game.

  6. Would this not be considered fraud? WE spent over a $100 on a game with expansions where they never fixed the lag or anything. Then they release a new game that fixed the mistakes and they want us to buy that instead?! How about a 100% discount for those us that played since alpha release and bought all the xpacs?

    Fuck Ark.

  7. So what about the hundreds of hours invested into the game already? Do those of us that already own the game the remastered version free? Do all our tames transfer across? If not our whole tribe will walk away from the whole ark franchise.

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