Tips and Survival Advice for Beginners in ARK Ascended

Master ARK Survival Ascended with crucial tips and advice for beginners, kickstarting your journey in this mysterious land.

10 Tips and Survival Advice for Beginners in ARK Ascended
10 Tips and Survival Advice for Beginners in ARK Ascended Guide

The untamed world of ARK Survival Ascended, where every step could lead to your triumph or doom. While the game’s toughest moments can seem formidable, this challenge makes ARK so rewarding and captivating.

Whether exploring your first ARK or simply seeking to sharpen your skills, this guide provides essential tips and survival advice. By understanding these fundamentals, you’ll start your journey with a solid foundation and a firm grasp of the core mechanics that will help you survive in this unforgiving environment. So, let’s dive in and get you started on your ARK adventure!

10 Tips and Survival Advice for Beginners in ARK Ascended

The best tip and survival advice for beginners in ARK Ascended we can give you is: If you’ve been struggling to stay alive or constantly losing your dinos and items, don’t worry. You will improve your gameplay over time. Remember, every seasoned survivor once took their first steps in this dangerous land.

Secondly, in ARK, the harder the challenge, the more rewarding the experience becomes, offering better quality items and higher-level creatures. While ARK features various difficulty levels and settings, real fun adventures await those who dare to conquer the highest difficulty.

ARK Survival Ascended Frost Gorilla

Here is the most essential advice I can give you after over 1500 hours spent in ARK Survival Evolved.

Server Types, New Game, and Character Creation

Character creation and what character you pick or create in ARK is entirely cosmetic, so you won’t get any benefits from creating. The gender of your character does not affect the gameplay or the story of ARK: Survival Ascended.

Ark has various server types and game modes, but if you are new to the game, you probably need to familiarize yourself with base mechanics and gameplay first. For that task, the best is a single-player mode. In single-player, you are the master of your game, and you can decide the settings and adjust taming and leveling speed. Including difficulty and the resource gathering amount and many other settings will improve your first experience.

Server Types in ARK Survival Ascended

All official servers have high difficulty, so if you are new, you may struggle. However, if you play on an official server, you can learn the game from experienced players. If you like playing with others, a dedicated server with friends or an official server might be for you. PvP is far more advanced, and if that’s your first time, you probably should try single-player first and learn mechanics. Consider starting with PvE servers first.

How To Start a New Game in ARK Survival Ascended - Server Types & Game Modes

When you first start the game, you will be presented with a menu consisting of three options: “Survival of The Fittest,” “Join Game,” “Create or Resume Game,” and “Mod Lists.” The easiest way to begin a new game in single-player mode is to select the “Create or Resume Game” option, the third card on the screen. This will take you to the next menu, where server options, mods, mod settings, maps, and advanced settings can seem overwhelming. For a quick start, choose your desired difficulty level and click on the orange single-player button or the non-dedicated button if you want to play with friends. That’s it. You can enjoy the fantastic world of ARK Survival Ascended.

Spawn At the South and Don’t Wander around!

If you play on the Island, the base game is the first map in the ARK’s story. Spawn at green areas on the south first and build your first hut there. If you play on any DLCs, look for green spawn points to start your journey. Those regions are considered manageable, and you will have plenty of starting resources without the need to go far away from your base.

10 Tips and Survival Advice for Beginners in ARK Ascended - Best Spawn Spots

The worst thing you can do if you are new and don’t know your way around the game yet is wander further into the island with the most valuable items you possess. Jungels typically contain small carnivores such as raptors, Dilo, and Carno. Also, you can find Gigantosaurus, Rex, packs of Allosaurus, and sabretooths in the mountains.

Another area to stay away from until you reach the middle game or get better dinos and weapons is Red Wood and Swamps. Both have dangerous creatures at every step. From the top of the redwood trees, Thylacaleo can jump on you, and Carntaurus and Terrorbirds will chase you. You will fight Titanboa snakes, Sarco, and Kaprosuchus in swamp areas. Both are crocodile-like creatures that lock you or your small creatures in their jaws until you die. Then, there are snowy areas in the northwest. In addition to the pack of Direwolfs and Ytyranus surrounded by Carno, you will need to deal with extreme cold.

10 Tips and Survival Advice for Beginners in ARK Ascended - Easy Area Spawn Spots

Try to restrain yourself and stay close to your spawning points in the game’s early stages, no matter how tempting that may be. As you progress and craft better weapons and tame dinos, make little trips each time a little longer to familiarize yourself with the area. Don’t take valuable items or weak creatures with you when you scout the area or go sightseeing. Also, be prepared that behind every corner is a danger you probably don’t expect. Ensure you have a spear, water, bola, food(cooked meat), a reliable weapon (bow or crossbow), and as many arrows as you can carry.

Leveling is Your Highest Priority

Leveling and fast access to crafting items from high-level engrams is the most critical task and priority for many veteran players when they start a game. You can lose items, base, and dinos. However, knowledge, better stats, and access to advanced weapons, armor, structures, devices, and saddles will make you truly powerful.

For example, if you have only level 20 and built a wooden hut. Rex or Giga came and destroyed everything and killed your raptor and trike that you spend hours taming, feeding, leveling, and grinding. As a result, you need to gather resources with your hand without access to any advanced tools, and the whole process feels like starting the game again from zero.

ARK Ascended - House Wood

But if you have level 70, you probably have much stronger walls in your base, and the base is not as easy to destroy. Even if you lose everything, you can quickly craft tranquilizer arrows, tame Ankylo, get an enormous amount of metal, craft a longneck rifle to get more tranquilizer darts, put Tierinosaurus to sleep, tame it craft saddle, and have sudden access to a high-level creature that can match with damage and speed Rex or Spinosaurus. Gather almost anything in the game, and with a blink of an eye, you are back at business. All you need is access to metal, and you can build high-level bas immediately.

Ark environment is harsh, but no crafted item, even if you lose it, is a waste. Crafting gives you much experience, so take every opportunity to level up. One of the easy ways that won’t feel like a waste is crafting Sparkpowder and Narcotic. Narcotics requires only five narcoberries and one spoiled meat, and sparkpowder is two flints and one stone. So, all resources are easy to get.

ARK Ascended - Explorer Notes

Another vital aspect of Leveling in ARK Ascended is explorer notes. You will find them in various containers, vases, or sci-fi-looking consoles scattered across the map. For a specific amount of time after finding the explorer note, you will get double the experience from all sources. If you open the explorer more while reading on a creature, your mount will get double the XP. So don’t skip any opportunity to open them. To open, you must run into the Explorer note container.

If you have weapons and ammo, you can also kill creatures, giving you experience. But if it’s your first playthrough, don’t try to speed level to max. Enjoy the game, learn the mechanics at your own pace, and remember nothing is a waste as long as you get more experience.

Essential Engrams

Essential engrams at the start are Bola, Bow, Arrows, Narcotic, Tranquersier Arrows, Bed, and Mortal and Paste. Later, you want to progress to unlock metal tools, crossbow, smithy, and forge. Those seem like a natural path of progression, but with so many engrams and limited points to spend, you can easily get easily distracted. Prioritize those engrams and saddles for crucial gatherers and strong carnivores that will protect you and your base.

Engrams - Ark Survival Ascended

Also, always take the next armor as soon as possible. Higher level armor can be for unique environments and tasks, like Fur Armor is only for extreme cold. Ghillie Gear is best to tame various creatures passively, and SCUBA suit to explore the deep oceans surrounding the island.

Here is the list of essential engrams in Ark Survival Ascended. It would help if you always prioritized as you progress the following engrams:

  • Stone Tools (Hatchet, Pickaxe) – Level 1 & 2
  • Narcotic – Level 6
  • Sparkpowder – Level 6
  • Mortal and Paste – Level 6
  • Bed – Level 7
  • Bola – Level 9
  • Bow – Level 10
  • Arrows – Level 10
  • Next available Armor
  • Gatherers Saddles
  • Preserving Bin – Level 18
  • Smithy – Level 20
  • Refining Forge – Level 20
  • Metal Tools (Hatchet, Pickaxe) – Level 20
  • Tranquersier Arrows – Level 21
  • Crossbow – Level 25
  • Pike – Level 25
  • Sword – Level 30
  • Longneck Rifle – Level 35
  • Tranquilizer Dart – Level 62
ARK Ascended - Bed

Additionally, place a bed in your base as soon as possible, and it will work as your respawn point and fast travel point, so you can quickly and safely respawn in your base if you die.

There are a lot of crucial items, but those will give you a solid start. You will need them ASAP until you are ready to upgrade to more advanced weapons, devices, and structures.

Best Stats are What you Should Never Take

The best stats to invest your level points are Health, Weight, and, depending on whether you play on the official server or your single-player mode, movement speed. On official servers, movement speed is turned off, so you won’t be able to add points there, but if you play for the first time in single-player mode, I highly suggest you turn it on in-game settings. It’s a lifesaver to outrun predators and a convenient way around your base and the island.

ARK Survival Ascended - Best PVP & PVE Character Stats

Put points primarily into health and weight, but don’t forget to add stamina until you no longer struggle (around 200-250). Oxygen depends on where you play and what creatures and combat you like. Fortitude is another helpful stat, and you want at least 20 points there. If you play in unpleasant environments with extreme temperatures, you can put even more into a fortitude.

However, never put points into food and thirst. Those two are a waste and are not worth leveling.

Tools and Resources

In Ark Survival Ascended, specific tools are best suited to gather specific types of resources, and here are tips and advice on tools for beginners:

Hatchet will gather more:

  • Wood (from Trees)
  • Chitin (from Creatures)
  • Pelt (from Creatures Covered in Fur)
  • Hide (from Creatures)
  • Keratin (from Creatures)
  • Sand (Scorched Earth from Rocks)
  • Stone (from Rocks)

Pickaxe will get you more:

  • Flint (from Rocks)
  • Raw Meat (from Creatures)
  • Raw Fish Meat (from Fish)
  • Thatch (from Trees)
  • Crystal (from Crystal Nodes)
  • Metal (from Metal Nodes)
  • Raw Prime Fish Meat (from Fish)
  • Oil (from Oil Nodes)
  • Raw Salt (On Scorched Earth from Salt Nodes)
  • Sulfur (On Scorched Earth from Sulfur Nodes)
  • Raw Prime Meat (from Creatures)
  • Obsidian (from Obsidian Nodes)

As a result, if you hit a tree with a hatchet, you will collect primarily wood, and if you use a pickaxe, you will get more thatch. Using a metal hatchet will get a little more of the same resource as the stone hatchet. But the idea of what to use is the same. Ensure you use the proper tool for specific resources to be more efficient. Some creatures will gather resources for you, and many will do it better and faster than tools.

Additional tools:

  • Metal Sickle for collecting Fiber
  • Taxidermy Tool (Extinction) to extract taxidermy specimens
  • Whip (Scorched Earth) is decent in collecting Cactus Sap
  • Chainsaw (Scorched Earth) – good for everything

Metal, Crystal, and obsidian are located primarily in the mountains, where predators also spawn. Trees and creatures are scattered throughout the landscape. Similar to bushes and fiber, but a significant amount of the latter can be obtained from aquatic grass along the shores and in the shallow waters of ARK’s beaches.

Base Locations Best for You

Best End-game base locations are close to vital resources such as metal, crystal, and obsidian. In PvE, and mainly single-player mode, where you are the only player, there is much more freedom when picking a base location. PvP has its own rules for base building and base locations. Player vs. player servers are much more demanding in time and knowledge about the game to be successful.

The vital for the best base location is water. It will keep you alive and water your crops. In Ark Ascended, a new pipe and tank system significantly improved the ability to transfer water to places without natural water sources. Water is one of the reasons why, early in the game, it’s good to stay on the beach spawn point, so you don’t need to bother with complicated water mechanics.

Therefore, if you are new to the game, start at the spawn point. It will not only allow you to quickly find your base after respawning, but also, you will avoid dangerous areas. Level up and familiarize yourself with the game. Don’t worry about the best base location when you start.

However, when you gather strong creatures and gear, you can move and create eng-game structures in a different spot, close to the metal, which usually involves living in a dangerous area. It’s a common practice to move the base around levels 30-40, depending on how fast you will level up.

ARK Survival Ascended PVP Character Stats

For the end-game base, you want to find a spot with plenty of flat space to expand your structures and build a fence for your creatures. Crystal, metal, and obsidian are considered end-game resources that can be found in the mountains. Living relatively close to them will spare you some trouble and save time. Similarly, oceans surrounding the island are full of resources, including metal, but taming water creatures is harder. A good strategy is to have two bases: one close to the ocean, where you build an underwater pool for your aquatic animals, and the main base. Sometimes, you can find a spot that has all of those.

Grand ARK Survival Ascended Trailer and Gameplay Reveal - Xbox Partner Preview

Finally, there is the matter of the location. ARK offers stunning views, lush jungles, towering cliffs, and enchanting waterfalls. Choose a spot where you will truly enjoy spending your time.

Best Tames and Creatures

Each player will have their favorite dinos and creatures. However, certain tames are best suited for gathering specific resources. There are some powerful carnivores and must-have creatures unmatched in their utility. ARK Ascended has dozens of creatures, making the game alive and giving you options.


The classic and typical way of taming creatures includes putting them to sleep with any weapon that increases their torpor. Even your fists will deal with a small amount of torpor and can knock out small creatures. But the better the tool, the less damage it will deal, simultaneously applying much torpor on the creature. When the creature’s torpor reaches max, it will become “unconscious,” and you can access its inventory. All you need to do is put their favorite food and wait until the taming bar fills to 100% while ensuring they stay unconscious during the process.

Tips and Taming Advice for Beginners in ARK Survival Ascended:

  • Taming Effectiveness can give your creature extra levels when fully tamed
  • If you or any other creature or player will deal damage to the unconscious animal, their taming effectiveness will drop.
  • Taming effectiveness drops each time the creature eats, but the better food (such as preferred kibble) you feed creatures, the less effectiveness they will lose with each bite.
  • You can extend the torpor with narcoberries, narcotics, and Bio Toxin and force-feed the creature with substances.
  • You can track creatures you try to tame from your player menu creatures tab.
Ark Chalicotherium - ARK Survival Ascended

Secondly, passive taming doesn’t require knocking out the creature. Some animals you can tame in a nonviolent way. For example, to tame Chalicotherium, you need to brew Beer Jars, put them at the last slot of your hotbar, and wear the Ghillie Gear. Next, crouch and slowly approach the Chalicotherium from behind until you see the “feed” action pop. Press the action button, take a few steps back, and wait until the creature is hungry again to repeat the process until you tame it. If the creature feels threatened by you, it may turn against you, and all your effort will be lost.

There are many unique taming methods, so always check details if unsure how to get a specific creature.

Best Creatures for Gathering Resources

With few exceptions, you need to craft a saddle with a level requirement to mount creatures. As a result, especially gatherers you tame will be more advanced. One of the best early-game berry gatherers you should get as soon as possible is Triceratops (level 16) or Stegosaurus (Level 26). The second one can reduce the weight of berries in their inventory, so Stego can carry more berries before you need to unload them. When you get more levels, no creature can match Brontosaurus (Saddle Unlocked at Level 63) or Therizinosaurus (Saddle Unlocked at Level 69), considered the best berry gatherers in the game.

Other gatherers you will need and you should tame when you hit the level requirement for the saddle are :

  • Ankylo to collect Metal, Obsidian, Crystal, and Flint.
  • Deoediculus to gather Stone.
  • Mammoth, Stegosaurus for Thatch and Wood
  • Megatherium or Sabretooth for Chitin
  • Basilosaurus to produce Oil and pick Bio Toxin
  • Therizinosaurus or Moschops can collect Fiber (Metal Sicle can match dino efficiency)
  • Any Predator for Hide and Fur

There are many more resources, especially in DLCs, but those above are considered the essential crafting items.

Good Creatures To Tame

Predators are best to keep you, your tames, and your base safe because they typically deal the most damage and have a decent health pool. One of the early mounts, fast protectors, and hunters can be Raptor. To tame it, immobilize Raptor with bola, put them to sleep, and feed them any meat.

ARK Survival Ascended Console Release Date

There are plenty of good creatures that will protect you even if you can’t craft a saddle for them. Such as Spinosaur, Rex, Sarco, Dire Wolf, Sabretooth, Carnotaurus, or Allosaurus. Some of them are hard to get. However, from my experience, even a brave giant turtle, the Carbonemys, with a significant health pool, can save you from dangers and be a great companion. You will want to upgrade later, but to start with anything that deals damage, even Dilo is helpful.

Why Everyone Should Be Stealing Babies in ARK Survival Ascended

Great Traveling mounts are flayers, Argentavis specifically. Although it’s slower than Pteranodon or Tapejara, they can carry a lot, and their saddle functions as a mobile smithy. You can unlock the Pteranodon saddle at level 38, and you should tame one and mount it as soon as you hit that level. Pteranodons are one of the fastest flayers, easy to tame with tranquilizer arrows, and perfect for scouting. The island will become much more familiar as soon as you start exploring on the back of your first flying mount.

Another creature worth mentioning is Thylacaleo and Direwolf. The first one is swift and can climb cliffs, vertical walls, and trees. The second doesn’t require a saddle to mount, and if you have a pack of wolves, they will get an alfa bonus to stats. Barynox is faster and smaller than Spinosaurus, with slightly less damage, and both can serve as land and aquatic mounts.

In Ark Ascendad, there are plenty of fantastic creatures with unique abilities; listing them all in one guide is impossible. Experiment and have fun with different mounts.


Avoid playing without sound. This might seem silly advice, but the ark is full of creatures. The sudden sound of heavy steps of Gigantosaurus might be the only thing that will alert you about this deadly carnivore approaching. Argentavis chirping from far away or sounds of the fighting raptor and trike can give you a good idea of what is happening around you.

Don’t wander around without food and water. Cooked meat is the best early-game food. Also, it will restore a small amount of your health immediately without waiting until your food bar fills, and your health will slowly return. Same with water, there are various containers that you can craft.

Avoid visiting Swamp Snowy Land and Redwood if you are an inexperienced, unprepared player on a low level. You should check those areas because they are beautiful and unique. However, be aware of the dangers waiting for you there. Don’t take valuable items with you, and stay safely on your mount back when you start. Also, prepare before the trip. The snowy area is freezing.

Extreme temperatures damage your character until you eventually die. You can recognize them by an ice cube or flame icon at the bottom of your screen. Freezing and Burning are two effects that will also deal damage in addition to losing food or water faster. The Cold or Hot status effect will also drain your food and water but a little slower, so there is nothing you should be concerned about in most scenarios if you have access to both.

  • Cold: Food decreases faster as the ambient temperature gets lower
  • Freezing: Food decreases much faster as the ambient temperature gets lower. You will also slowly lose Health Health while you are Freezing.
  • Hot: Water decreases faster as the ambient temperature gets higher.
  • Burning: Water decreases much faster as the ambient temperature gets higher. You will also slowly lose Health Health while you are Burning.
10 Tips and Survival Advice for Beginners in ARK Ascended - Supplay Drops

Don’t skip the opportunity to collect supply drops. Supply drops are advanced technology containers you will spot from far away, marked by colorful beams. The color of the beam tells you what level is required to open the supply. They can contain valuable resources, better-quality weapons, and gear.

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