There are lots of activities to get involved with in Studio Wildcard’s ARK: Survival Evolved. You can build bases, explore a vast open world and pet dinosaurs, among other things. The world is your prehistoric oyster. It’s hard to know where to begin.
Arguably, the first thing you should do is to start leveling up your character. Leveling is incredibly useful in the game. It allows you to increase how much weight you carry, the amount of damage you take and how much you give out. It also gives you engram points that you spend on unlocking brand new recipes to craft. This means that you can build more impressive stuff the higher level you become.
There are multiple ways to acquire experience in ARK: Survival Evolved, but some methods are better than others. Below I’ve listed some of my best tips for speeding up the process.
A great way of leveling up early on in ARK: Survival Evolved is collecting Explorer Notes.
Explorer Notes are found throughout the map near stone ruins inside chests. They inform you about different creatures you’ll encounter in the wild, and tell you more about the survivors that came before you.
They also give you tons of experience and double the amount of XP you earn for a brief period of time. This makes them worth seeking out fairly early on in your play-through, to take advantage of this temporary boost.
Each explorer note can only be found once, but don’t worry. There are many to find out in the world and they’re relatively easy to spot. They stand out from player structures and the rest of the environment, so always keep an eye out for them.
Another useful technique for obtaining XP quickly is killing dinosaurs and other creatures.
At the start of the game, try to pick on smaller prey like Dodos and Lystrosauruses and mash away on the left mouse or the right trigger to beat them to death. They won’t fight back, but they’ll attempt to run away. If they do this, hunt them down and finish them off.
When you get access to better equipment, like spears or bow and arrows, then you can move on to targeting the bigger creatures like Dilophosauruses, Oviraptors and Iguanodons. These dinosaurs will retaliate, but they shouldn’t give you that much of a challenge. Just strafe behind them and attack.
Keep moving up the food chain like this, and you’ll soon make some hefty progress. Just be careful not to target any of the larger predators too early, as they’ll make mincemeat of you.
Taming dinosaurs won’t give you that much experience, but it will enable you to take on some of the stronger dinosaurs that you won’t be able to tackle on foot, helping you to grind.
Aim to tame something like a Raptor. Then use it to kill a bunch of Stegosauruses. Stegosauruses usually spawn near water sources and on the south of the Island map, so head there as there’s bound to plenty you can farm. Keep repeating the process and you’ll be surprised by how far you’ll progress in a short space of time.
One of the easiest ways to progress in ARK: Survival Evolved
More importantly, they’ll grant you bonus experience, if you’re within 100 metres of another member while they’re earning XP. This means you can ascend levels fairly quickly, if you coordinate with a bunch of other tribe members. Reach out on chat and see whether anyone’s recruiting. Trust me, it’s worth the effort.
Collecting resources is another activity you can do for leveling up. You just need to build a bunch of chests and keep filling them up with wood, stone, flint and fiber and any other materials that are easily farmed from your surroundings.
There are a couple of benefits to this approach. Not only will it give you adequate resources for crafting in the future, but it will also boost your XP quicker. It may not be the most exciting way to level up, but it pays off in the long run.
You can also exploit crafting to earn experience. Certain equipment you build will earn you more XP than others, so it’s a good idea to take advantage of this.
Craft items like sparkpowder or torches in bulk early on. These are both relatively low cost items and give you large amounts of XP over time.
Alternatively, another method is to build tons of thatch or wooden foundations. This is a good system, as you can then demolish these once they’re placed to get a fraction of the parts back and then make them again anew.
Repeat either tactic and pretty soon you’ll earn more points to spend on new engrams and attribute boosts.
When not glued to the latest release, Jack Yarwood spends his time writing and talking about videogames online. You can follow what he’s up to on his Twitter and on his blog.