Ark: Survival Evolved - Dinos and Leveling Survival Game

Grats Kelan! You are a stone’s throw away from trying the big guys =)

Buddy is going to roll a server for us to play locally, can you guys sound off your essential mods for a vanilla-ish, but with improved QOL experience, maybe slightly accellerated if vanilla is too grindy. Will be a 2-3 person server on gportal.

I have around 30 hours in ARK, so not even scratched the surface…but I know you folk will have some essential mods up your sleeve!

Structures Plus (S+)

Beyond that, I think it depends on what you want out of the game. I want to build things and run around looking at, petting and collecting dinosaurs. So I’m single player futzing around with Fjordur at the moment.

For simple QoL-y stuff

  • Dino Storage v2
  • Homing Pigeon
  • Dino Tracker (I go back and forth on how cheat-y this one is, but its no-where as cheat-y as this next one)
  • Awesome Spyglass!

Changes to basic gameplay I have as eternal favorites

  • Immersive Taming is one I really like but makes it somewhat easier to tame a lot dinos since its not “trap it, beat it unconscious, force feed it until it likes you”.

  • Dino Hunger Meters is a bit of a ambience change - carnivores aren’t chasing and eating other dinos all the time. Occasionally you can even walk up to them, if they’re not too hungry!

Many thanks!

For all levels:

  • Structures Plus
  • (whatever your favorite spyglass mod is)
  • Some kind of dino save or revive mod
  • A dino tracking mod
  • A corpse recovery mod like Death Helper
  • Dino Bars - We’ve removed this on a lot of the servers but it really helps in things like boss fights to see the relative health of everything nearby. It can be a little much at times though.

For mid to upper levels:

  • I still love Upgrade Station even though we removed it from most servers a while back. I felt like it gave a good mid-high level grind for getting rid of things you collected to upgrade items, convert them to blueprints or break them down, like a mini grinder. It is fantastic for upgrading saddles, armor and weapons to prep for boss fights.
  • A clear sight scuba mask mod
  • Another fun one is Rare Sightings, which kind of drives players to go find the rares that have spawned around the map, and gives rewards or allows you to tame a very nice leveled creature.
  • Boss Wipe Recovery mod

If you’re playing a mixed map (multiple DLC technologies involved) or multuple maps:

  • Engram Unlocker (lets you get/access the engrams for prior DLCs like Scorched Earth, Aberration, Extinction, etc.)
  • Boss Packages or similar (lets you transfer things to summon a boss from one server to another)
  • On a multi-server cluster you’re also going to want a couple of .json files in order to get cross-server chat working.

If you also want to know our game.ini or gameusersettings.ini values, let me know @sharaleo, I can PM those to you.

Thanks @Skipper, it would be great if you could PM those ini’s so I can have a look!

Do you all tend to accelerate resource gathering for low pop servers?

We do and sometimes we don’t. It honestly depends on the map, some give easier access to certain things. But for sure we have accelerated gathering on.

As Skipper said, we have some increased rates for some resources on all the servers, but that is really only for the beginning stages of the game.

Once you learn the mechanics of the game, you can rapidly accumulate resources until you hardly even look at what you have.

Part of that is know what dinos to use for gathering what resource (like magmasaur is great for metal gathering, a power specced therizin for wood, etc) or another tip is Gacha’s. Get several snow owls to cough up owl pellets, feed those your gachas along with some stone (or grow Plant Species Y and feed the Plant Y traps to the gachas) and they have a lot higher chance of dropping crystals with gear in them. Use or grind (via the Industrial grinder or a Tropeognathus saddle) the gear and you will have an abundance of resources. The trick is to getting setup for the gacha gear grinding.

I always thought we had more resources gained per attempt and more total “health” per node so you gain a lot more resources per rock or tree or corpse. That always helps a great deal and reduces the grind a lot, especially with certain dinos as Ragan says. It also helps the early game before you get set up where you can reliably get your taming going.

Another one that I believe is really important is speeding up the taming times and breeding/incubation. Nobody wants to wait hours for a tame anymore, and I still have no idea why some of us ever put up with that in the beginning. Our current server settings are pretty fast for taming, but some of that is knowledge of the game and getting the proper kibble going too. It also helps for those first tames when you don’t have a good setup for kibble.

Glad to hear you are getting a server going. Ark can be a blast, especially with other people!

For sure taming but also breeding too. Though we tend to group up for some things, most of us solo tame and also solo breed dinos. It makes sense to not have that be the pain point like it is on official maps.

100% this. I just can’t play on a server where it would take me 2 days to tame a dinosaur. Who has that kind of time now days?

@sharaleo as an aside, I don’t mean to speak for @Skipper but I imagine you guys would be very welcome to join our cluster. You could then play on every map, in a friendly PvE environment that is already setup and have some help once in awhile if you needed it =)

Kudos to @Skipper and our admins as a second aside, because this is by far the most stable, reliable server cluster I think I’ve ever played on any game that was personally maintained =) You are awesome sir(s)! I disappeared for like a year and a half and still came back to find my guy and all my stuff all warm and comfy where I left it.

Totally agree!

I agree with this completely. I also posted over on the Octopus Overlords forum about the same (we had some players from there previously) but sadly, nobody was still playing Ark over there. Better to have the cluster put to use. Also, FWIW, there are entire servers on our cluster that see only very brief traffic. Sharaleo if your group wanted to have a specific mod/setting, etc, that would be easy to accommodate as well.

We should all thank @Ragan as he has volunteered a lot of time on our cluster ensuring things run well while I disappear frequently for work projects. Especially so in the backups, as I believe he’s had the files we restored from more than once.

Yes and along with that @Ragan is a font of Ark knowledge in game as well. I have learned much from the sage…

It looks like just the Fjordur server went down. I was in a cave over lava fighting some bats and it stopped and isn’t in the list now.

@Skipper or @Ragan if you have time to restart it sometime, that would be great. Thanks again you two!

Hey man, just saw this. Give me one sec.


It looks like it was both Fjordur and Lost Island. Fjordur showing up now, working on Lost Island as well.

EDIT: And that one up as well now. Sorry for the inconvenience, man.

Log in, enjoy, and thank you for flying ARK airlines this morning!!!

Thanks Skipper! No worries at all. We appreciate all that you do!

I was surprised to find out it actually saved right where it crashed and I fell to my death in the lava in the cave, lol. Won’t be getting that gear back, but I don’t bring stuff in there that I expect to keep so is all good. I guess I should find out if there is a way to summon people corpses like you can dinos.

Generally the saves on the servers are pretty frequent. They still miss things though, and I’m sorry for the gear loss, if you find anything irreplaceable, let me know, I can spawn in things as well, though it’s not perfect.

I thought we had a way to summon corpses though. Maybe that was on another server? Now I can’t remember the mod that does it.