It’s birthday time for ARK: Survival Evolved and its players, which is just one of several announcements made on the game’s latest Community Crunch post, which outlines what’s happening for the survival sandbox’s five year anniversary and also confirms a community map’s arrival to official servers.
First, the anniversary event: From now until June 24th, players can mark the occasion with five new chibis to collect, a Pop-Out Birthday Cake structure, some party hat skins from prior events, and boosts to breeding, harvesting, taming, and player XP.
Next, the community crafted Crystal Isles map has been adjusted by the dev team and officially added to the servers as a selectable map. This new version of the community classic features 150 square kilometers of verdant, fantastical biomes and a number of new locations and features like three types of tameable crystal wyvern and a custom boss arena. This location will also be the home of the new jet-powered, flak cannon-equipped Tropeognathus pterosaur for PC players, while console players can tame one on The Island, The Center, Scorched Earth, Ragnarok, and Valguero.
If you’d rather keep yourself away from all of the high-TEK stuff, there’s also some new Timecapsule Servers, which lock the game in 2015-era features. Players are warned that these servers will not be seeing regular customer support or updates.
If all of this makes you curious to check out ARK yourself, you might be interested to know that the PC version of the sandbox is free on the Epic Games Store until June 18th. Unless, of course, you despise the EGS with the hate of a thousand suns. Or maybe you’ll install the storefront just this once for a free game on the sly. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your Reddit or Twitter mutuals.