ARK: Survival Ascended

ARK Survival Ascended

ARK: Survival Ascended is a next-generation remaster of our beloved ARK: Survival Evolved that harnesses the power of Unreal Engine 5. It will be released in late August 2023 for Xbox Series S/X, PC (Windows/Steam) and PlayStation 5. The base game will include the island, SOTF, and all "non-canon" DLC maps (which will be added to ASA over time).

Look here for the latest Version: ARK Survival Asended!


Wildcard released a new port for the Switch console some time ago with ARK: Survival Ascended. In the process, the platform had to be converted internally from Unreal Engine 4.x to UE5. In the spring of 2023, Jeremy Stieglitz (one of the founders of Wildcard) was still very confident that this upgrade of the Unreal Engine could also be "applied" to the existing ARK Survival Evolved very easily. 

However, over the last few months it has become apparent in development that a little more time needs to be invested here, while also having the chance to rethink some design decisions from 2014 and find new, better solutions. For this reason, it was unfortunately no longer possible to ensure backwards compatibility. 

At the same time, a massive delay is looming with ARK 2 (end of 2024) and version 2.0 of ARK will also bring a much changed gameplay. This means, for example, a stronger focus on melee combat and generally more of a 3D perspective (where you can always see your character) rather than the familiar first-person perspective. Wildcard also had to admit that the new ARK 2.0 might be too big a break for many players of Wildcard 1.0 and they are not sure if the ~50'000 monthly online players of ARK will switch to the new version.

For this reason, they have decided to release a remaster of ARK 1.5 called "ARK Survival Ascended" (ASA for short). This is no longer just an upgrade to the latest engine, but will also get new features, animals, content, etc. This is to ensure that our beloved ARK 1 will remain playable and interesting for years to come.

In order to keep the existing ARK 1 servers compatible with the existing (and partly outdated) mods, Wildcard are freezing today's ARK so to speak and will only fix necessary bugs/crashes here.

New Creatures

With each released map, a new animal will be added (Scorchead Earth, Aberration, Extinction, Genesis 1+2).

Additional Wildcard features planned

Overhaul of the dynamic navigation network and creature wayfinding (AI wayfinding).

  • Unreal Engine 5 overhaul with Nanite, Lumen and RTXDI
  • Dynamic water 
  • Interactive foliage (Interactive Foliage)
  • Unreal Engine 5 performance enhancements: instance rendering (large bases, etc.), threaded server networking, and native physics engine
  • Photo mode
  • Nvidia DLSS
  • Dino/baby management QOL
  • Wild Babies
  • Character creation and customization improvements
  • Cross platform multiplayer
  • Cross-platform modding & full blueprint modding (I know we've mentioned this before, but we're serious, it will be on PC and consoles at launch, and we've made it work internally with Overwolf technology - dramatically changing the nature of the console experience).
    Updated mini-map (panning, zooming, pings, etc. - similar to the SOTF mini-map).
  • New structures (showcases, smaller TEK teleporters) and building quality improvements (snap fixes, improved foundation support, foundation height adjustments, and more)
  • Queuing system
  • New third-person camera (with the ability to turn it off)
  • Directional sprinting and walking
  • Ping system
  • Gamepad cursor
  • Chibi slot and skins tab
  • Balance passes (e.g. cave entrances, MEKs, aberration creatures, more breedable creatures, etc.)…

Geplante Veröffentlichung der zusätzlichen Karten

ARK: Survival Ascended is now being released as a standalone package for all platforms (PC Windows/Steam, Xbox Series S/X and PlayStation 5) priced at $59.99. The package will include the following content (which will not be sold separately), each remastered and reworked for the next generation:

  • Survival of the Fittest: The Island & Scorched Earth map variants (Released at launch).
  • Aberration (Release: Q4 2023)
  • Extinction (Released Q1 2024)
  • Genesis Part 1 (Release by Q1 2024)
  • Genesis Part 2 (Release by Q2 2024)
  • All community-created maps are also scheduled for release during 2024 (Fjordur, Ragnarok, The Center, Lost Island, Valguero, Crystal Isles)

No backward compatibility

Wildcard says: When we first started thinking about an Unreal 5 upgrade, we originally only intended to port the Switch version of the game and remove the "graphical" limitations required for that hardware. We didn't want to maximize the potential of the new technology, we didn't want to introduce new gameplay changes, and we didn't want to make critical design changes that would have impacted existing save data.

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