PSA: ARK: Survival Evolved is free this weekend (and on sale)

    
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World of Warcraft isn’t the only online game that’s hoping to lure in players with a free weekend; ARK: Survival Evolved also is running a promotion this week to allow any and all wanna-be survivalists to jump into the Steam version of the game.

From now through the morning of November 10th, players can download and play ARK for free through Steam. Studio Wildcard would love to make converts during this time, offering the base game at 80% off and most of the DLC and season passes at considerable discount.

And if that’s not enough, on Saturday the dev team is pushing out a new patch: “The highly anticipated TLC Pass #3 drops bringing new visuals and abilities for the Stegosaurus and Woolly Mammoth, along with insect and wyvern breeding.”

So there you go: Bug sex incoming. Why wouldn’t you want to play?

Source: Press release, Steam
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Shakira Dodds

Okay so if I download the free version, once the offer ends it’ll basically become unplayable right? Or do I need to buy the 80% off version. I don’t mind either I just don’t want to waste money buying the game 80% off when I could just get it for free lol.

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Arktouros

I played ARK and it’s expansions for over 3000+ hours and I would say it’s an alright game.

Most of people’s experiences are going to come down to the settings they choose for it. I certainly agree that the game’s base settings are masochistic with elements like having to be there to nanny your babies all hours of the day or spend hundreds of hours trying to find boss capable stat dinos. However it’s very easy to get carried away and overtune the settings and basically eliminate all the challenge from the game. I’ve heard from people who set things like x40 gathering rates say that melee is “pointless” and it’s like of course it is with those settings.

Took a long time for me to work out settings I liked and worked for me. There’s a lot of issues that aren’t obvious from the get go from a server side thing. But once I got it right it was a pretty good experience where it wasn’t super easy but a lot of the tedium was gone.

Game play wise I found going through each map sequentially pretty enjoyable. Playing the base ARK, Ascending, then moving on to Scorched Earth, Ascending, then moving on to Aberration, Ascending then finally ending up on Extinction. Couldn’t beat the end boss on Extinction solo (it’s stupid hard) but the rest is pretty doable if you breed out some good dinos and learn the encounters.

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Evasive Dice

Epic store gave this away for free a bit back. Grabbed it then. Highly recommend people keep an eye on the epic store and their free games. 80% is good too on steam but I read somewhere they pretty much are in maintenance mode with the game right now with small updates? Maybe something changed idk. Few months back they shifted to semi maintenance mode and it upset alot of people.

Anyways got it for free on the epic store. Anyone on the ropes, it’s probably worth it for 80% off? Maybe. I thought it was okish. It’s controller support was extremely clunky. Fun dinosaur Minecraft though.

Small edit: the game is worth playing, it has near infinite replayability (thousands of hours, it’s Minecraft with dinosaurs, very buggy, feels semi unfinished still, minimal updates and support from the company for the future)

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Schmidt.Capela

Frankly, I would rather pay full price on Steam than get a game for free from Epic. Though that is for the most part moot, because just about every game Epic gifted for free that I had any interest in playing I had already purchased somewhere else.

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Evasive Dice

So you’d rather pay for a game on steam then get it for free on epic. Weird spite flex but you do you man!. Take a stand and show them who is boss.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Last I checked, the Epic version lacks mod support. Which is kind of an issue, since for some people Ark is “Bethesda Adjacent” in that they will only play with mods to fix all the things they feel are “wrong” with the game.

I do claim free games on Epic, though I’ve never installed the launcher. I do it for the sole purpose of being a drag on their bottom line. I figure I’ve cost them about $1500 in “free” games at this point, without ever spending a single cent.

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Schmidt.Capela

I will never purchase anything from Epic, or use their store, until they stop their unethical, anti-consumer practice of signing exclusivity deals. Heck, any game that has ever signed a timed exclusivity deal with Epic is a game I will only purchase on a 60% off sale or better, because I don’t think the greedy jerks that accept what is effectively a bribe to cut out rival business deserve any better.

Besides, right now Ark would cost me about $3.50 (I live in a country with regional pricing). It’s not like it would break the bank. I also have about two thousand games across multiple digital storefronts, so I really don’t miss anything by avoiding Epic’s player bribes.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Steam is the only version with mod support, if that’s a thing that matters to anyone. And the Steam version is getting exactly the same updates as the other versions. I don’t know where rumors about “maintenance” mode might have come from.

In fact they’re dropping their “TCL 3” patch tonight/tomorrow morning as part of their Extra Life stream. It completely revamps stegosaurs and mammoths, along with allowing breeding of many of the insect type critters. Which is a big deal, a Mantis with access to Mastercrafted tools is the best *collector* in the game, though you’ll need something else to haul for them. Breeding means you can combine the best health, melee and weight stats, and not just rely on the super expensive Cloning chamber to copy the best one you find. It’s also going to make normal Wyverns breedable, which will have a similar effect there.

There’s one more DLC planned, Genesis Part 2. Beyond *that* might be maintenance mode, but it’s hard to be certain. They were apparently betting pretty hard on Atlas to be the “next big thing,” and Atlas struggles to have 3000 concurrent players most nights. Which is kind of an issue for a game that seemed designed around having huge numbers of people playing in giant server clusters.

(Atlas is honestly not even worth installing if you want a single player experience, in my opinion. Singleplayer clearly isn’t a mode they care about, and is buggy even compared to Wildcard standard. Crew and pets can cease to exist when you cross the boundary between maps, resource collection is clearly scaled to require a whole team to grind materials, and the “nutrition” system just sucks. Rather than try to balance *four* different food meters it’s far less hassle to just put your stuff in a barrel and go punch a shark.)

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2Ton Gamer

Ark is a good game. Yes it has bugs and I would say that if you’re PvP orientated it has frustrating issues, but if you like survival games, like to build and want to tame and breed dinos/animals, it is a good time with thousands of hours.

Now, of course YMMV, but playing either single player or even on a home server or rented server with friends and using mods can greatly add to your fun. Yes the company is a mess and yes the game does have issues, but overall it can be very fun and something me and my family do at least once a year.