A couple of weeks ago, we asked for your top questions about Astral’s plan for ARK Survival Ascended.
We want to emphasise that while its release is imminent, the developers have not shared an extensive amount of information about the game. Therefore, our responses are based on the available information and our intended direction for the SA servers. Please keep in mind that these answers are subject to change and should not be regarded as guarantees.
What is ARK: Survival Ascended?
ARK: Survival Ascended (ASA) is a next-generation remake of ARK: Survival Evolved (ARK SE), harnessing the power of Unreal Engine 5. It’s an entirely distinct game, much like the difference between ARK SE and ARK 2.
What happens to our progress on the ARK: SE cluster?
ASA is a separate game, so its development is completely independent from ARK SE. As a result, the choices (rules, settings etc.) we make for ASA will not affect ARK SE, and your progress on the ARK SE servers will remain unaffected.
Will you be hosting PVE, PVP or both game modes?
At launch, we plan to offer at least one PVE and one PVP server. As only The Island will be released initially and transfers will not be supported at launch, these servers will operate independently, without clustering.
How will you handle player influx?
We have several ideas to address this issue. If the server frequently reaches its capacity, we may consider allowing ASA supporters to be whitelisted, granting them access to full servers. There may also be an option to launch additional servers, although we cannot confirm this yet. These options will depend on the tools and systems available at launch and the performance demands of ASA.
Will Astral ARK launch Steam-only servers, or will you enable crossplay?
We are still awaiting confirmation regarding crossplay for unofficial servers that are not hosted through Nitrado. If it becomes an option, we will strive to provide broad crossplay support on our servers. However, it’s essential to note this feature will not be enabled for Steam at launch, whether on official or unofficial servers.
As a side note, we do not allow bypassing bans or actions taken on accounts by our staff. Bans issued on Steam accounts will still be considered for other account or platform types.
What will the rates be? / Will you enable or disable X setting?
Upon launch, we intend to use official rates and settings wherever possible. And yes, this includes enabling the map marker if it is active by default in the game! This approach allows us to experience the game as originally intended by the developers. Rates and settings may change later down the line as needed.
Will the servers follow the same ideology as before?
We are aiming to maintain a strong survival focus on the SA servers, and to create an environment that challenges players to stay alert. The most veteran members of our community might remember how our original ARK SE server was set up, and we are keen to create a similar experience this time.
Will we be able to build in artifact caves on PVP?
Upon launch and if the developers have not made changes to this aspect of the game, it is likely that we will prohibit building in artifact caves to provide everyone with a fair opportunity for progress. This will be reviewed as we gain a better understanding of PVP dynamics and the settings we have in place. Having it disabled on launch will serve to minimise, or even eliminate, losses to player progression and would open up new areas for building if enabled in future, rather than restrict and destroy a tribe’s progress.
Are there going to be other build rules/restrictions/increases of current limits from ARK SE?
It is highly likely that we will implement build rules, which may differ from those in ARK SE. However, we cannot confirm these rules yet, as they will depend on performance and will only be determined after ASA’s release, once we have a better idea on how demanding the game is.
What mods, if any, will you add to the servers?
Currently, we do not have plans to add any mods to the servers. This includes the Auction House due to critical issues we have discovered and the mod being abandoned in ARK SE. The only exceptions would be our own mods.
What changes will you make to enable cryopods, as they won’t be available at launch?
We do not intend to add mods to introduce cryopods to the servers. The primary reason is that the developers will be actively iterating on the game in its early stages. The addition of mods could increase the risk of players losing progress due to game development, updates, and potential issues. We aim to minimise progress loss as much as possible. Moreover, the developers have stated that they would review cryopods once the game is released, and that they will decide what direction to take from there.
The tamed dino cap, like structures and build restrictions, will be reviewed after the game is released, based on performance.
As servers will be standalone, how do you plan to host events?
The tools and possibilities for hosting events are yet to be determined. We hope to continue hosting events similar to Arena, a favourite among the community, if feasible.
How will you prevent offline raiding? / Will there be full ORP?
At this stage, we cannot provide definitive answers to these questions. If the developers offer a built-in ORP, similar to ARK SE, we will initially enable it for testing purposes and to assess its fit for our needs. Various ORP solutions and settings will be considered if and when they are released.
Should we expect full wipes?
For both PVE and PVP, there is a high possibility that we will need to wipe the servers from time to time during the early stages. Similar to what happened in ARK SE, this could be a result of changes pushed by the devs, but also changes that we need to make to the servers.
For PVP, a regular wipe cycle is uncertain at this point, pending our understanding of PVP dynamics on ASA.
How long after the game is released will you launch the servers?
The timeline for server launch depends on when the developers plan to release the game and what hosting tools will be available to unofficial server owners. No official release date has been announced yet, and unofficial server owners have yet to receive details about server hosting.
Additionally, for those who might not be aware, the admin team work full-time jobs and we are not based in the same time zone as the dev team. This contributes to potential delays depending on when they announce things. However, we are committed to launching the servers as quickly as possible, ideally within a few days.
Do you plan to advertise the servers?
This brings us to the end of this FAQ. We greatly appreciate the questions and interest you have shown in our upcoming ARK Survival Ascended servers. As we jump on this new adventure together, your support and understanding are invaluable. We are dedicated to providing you with the best possible gaming experience, and look forward to seeing you continue your journey with us!