Playing ARK: Survival Evolved For The First Time On Xbox One

Playing ARK: Survival Evolved For The First Time On Xbox One

Having somehow avoided playing surprise Early Access hit Ark: Survival Evolved since its Steam release back in June, this weekend I got my first taste of life among the dinosaurs on the Xbox One. It only hurt a little.

I honestly do not know why I haven’t played Studio Wildcard’s dinosaur-themed survival game until this weekend’s test session for the Xbox One version, launching on December 16 for the Xbox One’s Game Preview Program. It probably has something to do with the massive influx of PC survival games over the past couple of years overriding my passion for all things dinosaur related.

Playing ARK: Survival Evolved For The First Time On Xbox One

I am a dick to character creation.

For those of you in the same boat, Ark is a game in which the player wakes up nearly-naked on a tropical island and then immediately gets killed by one of those poison-spitting dinos from the first Jurassic Park. At least that was my initial experience. Spawning on a server for the first time in the darkest hours of the morning is not recommended.

Playing ARK: Survival Evolved For The First Time On Xbox One

Should you survive — which is kind of the point — you’ll find yourself lost in an island (at least in this case) paradise that’s so pretty you’ll want to punch a tree. You’ll need to punch a tree. Also pick up some rocks. Then make a pick axe.

Basically the game is human evolution at a relatively rapid pace with dinosaurs. Players start off with no clothes and crude tools. Slowly they begin to gather and hunt. They start forming tribes, building towns. Hunting becomes breeding and cultivating. Security brings new advances in technology. Eventually everyone is riding dinosaurs to the Apple Store to get in line for the new iPhone.

So far my experience has been pretty basic. After dying several times as I got my bearings, I started off on my crafting adventure. I built a lovely hut, which only one player tried to beat me to death in while I was away from my keyboard. I chased them into the woods and put a pick axe in their head.

Playing ARK: Survival Evolved For The First Time On Xbox One

I met a strange lady buried in the sand. Having not played the PC version of Ark I have no idea if this is a bug of a feature. Will I one day become a sand person? Frightening.

Playing ARK: Survival Evolved For The First Time On Xbox One

Meeting new people is the most exciting part of the game so far, which says a lot when there are dinosaurs everywhere. The tension of those first moments — are they friend or foe? Why are they taking out their spear? Did I just poop instead of emoting? Dammit.

Playing ARK: Survival Evolved For The First Time On Xbox One

As I wound up my time in the pre-pre-launch test I found myself a nice little island filled with nothing but friendly dinosaurs. We sang songs and told stories. It was a happy time.

Playing ARK: Survival Evolved For The First Time On Xbox One

The game runs relatively nicely on the Xbox One so far. The menus are a bit daunting for a game pad and the radial menu is a little over-sensitive, but all-in-all the basic functions work. I noticed a little hitching as I played — the game would briefly stutter now and then — but I’m sure that’s something that can be fixed in post.

Keep in mind that of this posting I’ve not played the PC version, which means I’m not coming into the game comparing the PC to console. The Xbox One is my first taste of Ark, and so far it tastes pretty nifty.

Playing ARK: Survival Evolved For The First Time On Xbox One

Again, how did I miss all of this? It doesn’t matter now. I won’t be missing it anymore once Ark: Survival Evolved launches as part of the Xbox One Game Preview Program on Wednesday, December 16.


  • Oh wow…. the textures in comparison to the pc (yes I know PC is more powerful) but they vary from very low on the pc to medium *at best*. Hope this improves in time but *damn* that’s…. yeesh.

    In the end its the gameplay though, Ark has it in spades. Enjoy XBO peoples.

    • Yer, the screenshots he’s got here remind me of when I was running the game on my GTX760. Capable, but yeah – no where near as pretty as a 970+.

      The last game that made me want to forfeit my life was ARK, before that it was WoW. This game will suck the hours out of your life, if you’re new to it. As Were said – Enjoy XBO peoples.

  • Mike, you kind of need to go check out the PC build.

    Having watched SL1PG8R in his play test I noticed unbearable screen tearing, totally absent sky quality, missing ground clutter, and yeah wonky controls

    Your sand-person is simply someone who has logged out

    1430 hours into the game for me and the bias is strong with me in loving the shit out of this game

    • Can confirm, I’m up to around 1100 hours or so. I’ve NEVER put that amount of time into a game. Can confirm, the bias is strong and gladly admit it too.

        • Was pretty much running the DRust server (Im still in charge of updating etc) but looking for a better one. They put dragons on and to be frank, Dragons are cool but INCREDIBLY imbalanced and ruin the game.

          • I’ve been on official 130 since I bought the game. I have a mistrust of private server owners. Lol

          • Played my first 600 or so hours on a vanilla server. Is your server 1x gather for everything and taming?

          • What does a primitive server mean? me and a mate have been playing on xbox on primitive we are now level 15 and 20 and are worried we might be wasting our time as we wont be able to craft guns or anything advanced.

          • Primitive is exactly that, no guns, no advanced stuff. Everything limited to hand to hand and later tiers of weaponry closed off.

          • @blackdahlianz Yep I believe so, however once you move up to simple pistol etc you’re getting into non primitive tiers. To be honest, I rarely ever use firearms in ARK except for tranquilising, (or C4 for raiding). But Turrets however are invaluable…

          • @weresmurf I’m only level 18 or so, have a full stone structure now with a bed, almost tamed my first dino but got attacked from behind, lost allot of gear I was carrying, I fly back to NZ today for a week so not sure the state of my camp when I log back in, I have another tribe member who should hopefully keep things safe.

    • it has come a fair way since then- however if your using dated hardware(like mine) you will still find that the fps can be a bit low at times. However this is to be expected of a game that is alpha development quality

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