If you have logged into ARK since it launched into Early Access, you've probably felt the hot sting of dinosaur teeth ripping into you more than a few times. The first several hours of gameplay are a mess of trying to figure out how to survive in a dino-eat-dino world, where the beasts that roam are as fearsome as they've ever been.
After losing everything time and time again, the hard lesson of aggressive survival settles in. You need to be smart with your life to survive, and hold onto it like it's the last cookie you'll ever set eyes on.
Movement keys are W, A, S, and D.
Using a tool, melee or ranged weapon is left click (Iron Sights and Alt Fire are right click)
Left Shift - Run
Use/Interact - E
Jump - Spacebar
Reload - R
Toggle Crouch - C
Toggle Prone - X
Toggle Fists - Q
Toggle Chat Box - \
Toggle Weapon Attachment - N
Access Other's Inventory (Container, Animal, Person) - F
Extended HUD Info - H
Your Inventory - I
Tribe Manager - L
Map - M
Push To Talk - B
You can find all of the controls in the options menu when you hit ESC while in-game. Learning all the different whistles for when you start taming is a good idea so skipping the reading is definitely not recommended!
To toggle the console you press TAB. To turn up your gamma you must use the console. You can go through Gamma 1-5, 2 being the default gamma.
When you create a new survivor or die you get to choose which Zone you will respawn in. Make sure to keep note of which zone you spawn in if you do not have a bed so that you can quickly locate your body and get your equipment back when you die.
Beds are additional spawn points when you unlock and place them. Hide Sleeping Bags are a one time use spawn, good for things like exploring caves. Simple Beds are infinite use but have a four through five minute cool-down before you can spawn at them again.
There's not exactly an ideal spawn point, though it's advised to stay clear of spawning up north if you're new to the game. The north side of the ARK houses dangerous creatures such as giant, carnivorous birds, the unforgiving Tyrannosaurus Rex and hungry sabertooth cats.
Get a head start by picking up everything you can. Pressing the 'E' key will allow you to pick items from the ground, such as berries and fiber from the many bushes and tall grasses as well as loose rocks laying around.
You can gather thatch and wood by punching trees but don't go overboard, punching anything diminishes your health. As soon as you have the wood and thatch that you need, start crafting your tools.
There are two main tools in ARK, the Pickaxe and the Axe. You can use each tool to focus mining specific materials when gathering. Some early game examples you'll see include:
Pickaxe - Flint from Rocks, Thatch from Trees, Raw Meat from Bodies
Axe - Stone from Rocks, Wood from Trees, Hide from Bodies
Keep this in mind while you're seeking out certain materials for crafting.
Whether you're playing alone or with friends, you're going to need armor to survive in ARK. It's best to acquire a full set and not just the shirt and pants. It could very well be the difference between a Dilo's next meal and walking away with some extra hide/meat.
Armor provides protection not only from dinosaur teeth but from ARKs vicious bi-polar weather. Each tier of armor grants some type of weather protection while the higher up in tiers you go, the more physical protection you acquire.
Most of the high tier armor can get super heated and make you dehydrated so make sure you're wearing the right thing for the right mission!
What are Engram Points? When you level up and increase your stats, you unlock a certain amount of points each time and you use them to learn new crafting recipes. If you're waiting to join a Tribe, save your Engram Points for maximum versatility!
There are currently not enough Engram Points in the game to learn everything there is to make, so it's encouraged to divvy up the burden with your tribe members.
If you don't have tribe members or are simply flying solo, save your points until you know what you definitely need.
Here is a list of all craft-able items in ARK.
ARK features a persistent world that continues even when you're offline. Your body will stay in the server, as if it were asleep, until you log back on again or something comes along and kills you.
Our server is strictly PvE so you do not have to worry about someone killing you but you still need to worry about those dinosaurs! It's very likely that something will come along and kill you while you're down and out. In order to keep yourself safe, you and your tribe mates need to form a base to live in, preferably one that's not made of thatch (due to the low damage resistance).
Try to keep your beds around the most protected area of the base, to ensure your spawn point never gets destroyed. You wouldn't want to spawn on the beach only to figure out you can't find your house from where you're at.
If you are inactive on our server after a given amount of time (varies depending on what you built your base with) it will become PvE Demolish-able. PvE Demolish means anyone can come up and salvage your base/items for their gain. Newly implemented into the game is Dinosaur Claiming which follows the same timers as the salvaging. All you have to do to reset your timers is log into the server.
Dinosaurs are a pain in the butt to tame, as they should be, so make sure you're sufficiently prepared before trying to tame something.
Our server features higher leveled dinos but also three times faster than normal taming. The least you should have is a slingshot to knock out the animal and a few narcoberries to keep him down. Note that this strategy is for smaller dinos, don't go trying to knock out a T-Rex with a sling shot or you will be a pile of meat in no time!
Taming a Dinosaur is a long and tedious process that proves to be a challenge of its own. I will post a couple of beneficial links below for all the various dinosaurs in ARK that you can tame and what you should give them for the best taming efficiency!
Hopefully this guide can help you survive your first few days on the mysterious Island without being constant dinosaur chow. Once you learn the basics, the game becomes MUCH more immense! You will be able to do things like, cooking, farming, hunting beacons (supply drops), making dye to become more unique, artifact hunting in caves, or spawning the giant Broodmother!
My last note of advise is to make sure your computer can handle this game before you buy it! These are the settings I have found to work best for GTX 760 or any card close to it. (Higher cards can obviously have higher settings)
GOODLUCK AND HAPPY HUNTING!