Single Player – Solo Ark Survival Guide | PVE Server

Ark Survival Evolved Solo Guide

Ark: Survival Evolved is one of the most popular survival games on Steam.  Taming dinosaurs, exploring a difficult land, and fighting to live all make this game popular amongst players, or as they are called in Ark, survivors.  Starting your game in Ark online is hard, starting it without the help of another player can be even more difficult.  We have written this guide today to help you prepare for surviving the wild — Single Player guide.

Before Arrival


Before you arrive on the Ark, you will have the option to choose where you are going to start.  The island is divided into several different locations, from easy to hard.  Selecting the proper area can help you to determine exactly how difficult your start will be.  For most new solo players, it is recommended that you start in an easy location.

You will also get the chance to fully customize your character.  Ark is somewhat unique in the fact that you can manipulate different aspects of the body to create the image you are looking for.

Don’t worry about choosing the perfect location to start.  If you die early on in the game, before you start to get settled there is not much, if anything lost.  Many players die at least once in the beginning.

Time of Arrival

You wake up on a beach, with nothing.  Dinosaurs roam the land around you, and you are left to with many decisions on how to start the game, what to do, and where to go.  What do you do?

The first step should be to take in your surroundings.  Look around the beach and see what is near you.  One of the key things to look for is what dinosaurs are nearby.  If there are aggressive dinos in your vacinity, move down the beach in the opposite direction.  You are almost certainly not ready to take on a dinosaur with just your bare hands, unless of course, it is a dodo bird that will just run.


Now you need to start by crafting tools and weapons.  This is achieved by punching wood like in the image above and picking up stone as in the image below.


Once you have enough stone and wood you should build a stone pick.  After you have crafted that you can collect both stone and flint from any larger rock on the land.  This will get you the material you need to craft an axe and by now you should have leveled up.  If you haven’t leveled up, craft another pick or continue to gather resources until you do.

After your first level up you should unlock the engrams for the axe and the spear.  To unlock engrams, go into your inventory and find the second button.  You will be presented with a list of available engrams and their cost like pictured above.  This will allow you to craft both a weapon and the second gathering tool.  The stone hatchet is used to gather straight stone from a stone and wood from a tree.

Collect the resources needed to craft several spears and use the ones that you have already collected to craft an axe.  Now you are a little more prepared to take on the world.

Use your new spears to hunt a few dodos or other smaller, docile dinosaurs.  This will allow you to build up experience and gather meat from the dead bodies for food.  In Ark you will find yourself needing to both eat and drink.  Drinking can be done with a water skin or by walking into the water.  Besides meat, in the beginning of the game you can gain nourishment from eating berries.

A note about axes and picks: Axes are used to collect you basic resources such as wood and rock.  Picks are used to collect advanced resources such as metal, flint, and meat.  Use the tool that matches the resource you are trying to get.

Unlock the campfire and clothes.  Crafting the campfire will allow you to start cooking meats.  These meats lower your hunger level.  Clothes will act as armor and protect you from the elements.

Killing a lot of dodos up front will allow you to gather the meat you need to survive, as well as experience points.  These birds like to run after you hit them once but you can chase them to finish them off.  Meat will go bad so cooking it and doing things in between hunting sessions will allow you to not lose all of your meat.

Should you find yourself injured when starting out, cooked meat will help you to regenerate health.  Your health will regenerate naturally but it is faster if you supplement it with several pieces of good meat.  You can always go hunt more meat afterwards.  Note that eating berries will not regenerate your health.

Building Your First House


After you have gained enough experience to unlock the sleeping bag and thatch structure pieces, it is time to consider building your first house.  As a general rule of thumb, you want to have the house somewhere out of the way of large, vicious dinos.  You also want to have it somewhere relatively flat so that you can make additions and build all on a flat plane.

Building a house of at least 3 x 3 will give you enough room to place chests and a sleeping bag inside and still have room to grow.  As you level up there will be more that you need to place in your house.

A house gives you a base of operations and somewhere to store your goods.  With storage you don’t need to worry about having large quantities of supplies and becoming encumbered.  You can harvest wood and stone and store them in your small home.

The sleeping bag acts as a place to respawn so that if you die while you venture out, you will be able to start back at your house again.

Your Engrams

Unlocking engrams is an important part of Ark: Survival Evolved.  The engrams are schematics for higher level equipment.  However, you cannot unlock every engram by the time you max out your level.  Be careful and pick only the engrams that you think might be useful.

Later on in the game you can drink a potion that erases your engrams.  You can also find crafting blueprints around the world.  Blueprints are reusable for as many times as you want and you don’t need to spend points to get them.  You can loot them from various drops around the world.

When playing a solo game it is a good idea to avoid multiplayer engrams such as the syringe or the sloped roofs.  You can choose to unlock signs but they will do nothing but help you navigate the world yourself.  Some people like to show their bases off to friends and signs can be helpful at that point.

Leveling Up

We have already talked about experience and engrams when leveling up, there is another factor to consider, your stats/attributes.  With each level, you gain a point that you can put towards a stat such as health or melee damage.  Picking the proper stats will help you to survive.

At the beginning, we recommend that you look into raising your health so that you can take more damage.  If you live in an area that is especially hot or cold, you should also raise your fortitude.  The fortitude allows you to withstand the climate better.


Those who like to spend a lot of time crafting or don’t want to have a dinosaur carry all of their supplies, leveling up their weight is a good idea.  The weight allows you to carry more before you become encumbered and before you stop moving all together.  Crafting skill is another attribute for those that like to build and make things.  It determines what quality your crafted items take on and how quickly you craft them. 

Stamina helps you to move longer and keep fighting for longer.  For those that like to get in fights with bigger, stronger dinosaurs, stamina is a must.  Movement speed is also critical as it helps you to dodge, run, and maneuver during the fight. 

Tame Your First Dinosaur


Almost every dinosaur you see around you in the world can be tamed.  You have spent some time leveling up and getting a house built, it is time to get your first dinosaur.  For many purposes, having a pet turtle (Carbonemys) is a great option for a first pet.  They tend to be able to carry a lot of weight and have a large amount of health.

While you are looking for a Carbonemy to tame, make sure that it is a relatively low level.  Between 1 and 10 should be good.  Also make sure that it is alone.  If another Carbonemy is nearby, the others will come to its defense.  The same applies most other enemies.

To tame the turtle, you will need to knock it unconscious with a club, fists, or narcotic arrows.  Once the turtle is out you should place berries into the turtle.  Mejoberries are the fastest for taming dinosaurs Kibble and vegetables (which you don’t have yet) will tame the dinosaur faster.  You will also need either narcoberries or narcotics in order to keep the dinosaur unconscious during taming.  Timing the use of narcotics perfectly is imperative because the more that you use, the slower the taming will go.

When hitting the turtle you should make sure to step back with every hit.  The Carbonemy can do a large amount of damage with each bite.  It can quickly dole out damage but if you manage the attack right, you can have a Carbonemy of your own.

Don’t forget to give your new pal a name!


Just like you, your dinosaur needs to eat!  Keep its preferred food in its inventory to make sure that it always has something to eat.  For the Carbonemys, the food you want to keep at hand is Mejoberries.

Upgrading Your Base

Thatch is the weakest of all structure materials out there.  Should a wild dinosaur come to attack you, your home will quickly become mincemeat.  If you are online, people will destroy your house.  With the help of your Carbonemy you can quickly gather the wood and thatch that you need to upgrade your house from thatch to a wood structure.

Over time your base will need to become bigger and bigger in order to accommodate the additional crafting equipment and storage boxes.

Upgrading your base also means adding to it.  By this time, you probably have at least a couple more dinosaurs that are either tamed or that you want to tame.  Having a safe place for them is important.  Building a dinosaur pen will help you to give somewhere for them to go.  Hostile dinosaurs that walk by your house will attack your dinos and potentially kill them.  Having a two tall or more wall around your pen will keep your pets safe.  The dino gate is a blueprint that allows for a large doorway to get every size of dinosaur out of your pen.


As you explore around the island, it is important to be watchful.  There are a variety of dinosaurs that will gladly gobble you up without a moment’s hesitation.  Even your boat is not a safe place.  Watch out for these Megalodons pictured above.  They will eat your boat and then you.


While exploring you will also find large beams of light that reach up into the sky, as pictured above.  These beams are drops of loot that can really help you in the game.  Everything from structure pieces (walls, doors, frames), to saddles and blueprints can be found in these drops.  In fact, if you are looking for blueprints to save yourself from learning an engram, this is how you find them.


Throughout the world you will encounter random drops of different colors.  The color corresponds to the level of drop that you are picking up.  The higher the level of drop, the higher you need to be to open it.  Here are what the colors correspond to:

  • White: Level 3 and above
  • Green: Level 15 and above
  • Blue: Level 25 and above
  • Purple: Level 35 and above
  • Yellow: Level 45 and above
  • Red: Level 60 and above


Tips and Tricks

You are now on your way to becoming a strong Ark player.  We are now going to go over some general tips and tricks to help you make more out of the game.

  • Remember dinosaur movies when you see the herbivores running from predators? The same thing happens in Ark.  If you see a large number of herbivores running, you should also start running.
  • Shelter will protect you at night and with a campfire inside you can cook your meat and stay warm. This can also be helpful if you have an especially cold or rainy day.
  • Avoiding deep water will help you to avoid the megalodons that are mentioned earlier in the article. However, even in shallower water you can run into piranha, be careful where you swim.
  • Dilos hunt in packs and spit acid. When their fins start to show, don’t be directly in front of them so that you avoid getting hurt by acid.
  • Farms give you a good supply of food over time. Crafting growing boxes and protecting them with a fence, will give you a steady supply of various foods.  Look at your custom recipes to see what specific food items you should grow.
  • Adventurers would be wise to have a source of food and water on their dinosaur friends when out and about. Should you end up in need of food or water in a hot or cold area, or even just in general, you will have it on you.  No need to worry about tracking down and cooking food in the wild.  Some explorers will also carry a campfire in their dinosaurs to cook food as they go if it is needed.

Ark: Survival Evolved is very much a game of skill.  The more that you play, the more that you learn.  Using this guide will help you to get off to a good start.  You will have a home, dinosaur, and an understanding of the game by the time you finish.  Should you need anything else, you can ask questions in the comment section and help each other out.

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