One of the more extensive ARK: Survival Evolved updates hits the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Wednesday. Studio Wildcard has gone beyond the usual content update of new dinosaurs to also introduce the first major refresh of the user interface, nerf flying creatures, add aquatic animal breeding, underwater bases, and much more.
ARK: Survival Evolved update 506 is now available for the PlayStation 4 while Xbox One update 753 is not far behind, with a release planned for around 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. The size of the update on both consoles is around 5 GB, so console owners should plan their download time and hard drive space accordingly.
New UI and Sounds
The user interface in ARK: Survival Evolved finally receives its first makeover, and Studio Wildcard is starting with the inventory menus. This includes player inventory, storage inventory, crafting station inventory, and animal inventory. The menus were given a Tek-themed look and reorganized for better usability.
The initial response to the UI changes on the PC were negative. However, Studio Wildcard has done more than a dozen updates since the 256 patch to address complaints and improve readability. For example, smaller patches made the font bolder and changed the font colors to make them easier to read.
Inventory icons received a touch-up while a tool tip toggle option has been added to show additional details about highlighted items. Additionally, clicking on the right thumbstick will switch between the inventory and crafting screen while the left and right bumpers will page through the inventory, engrams, tribe manager, and other menus. Clicking the left thumbstick will toggle the text over inventory items on and off.
While PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Survivors have missed the bulk of the growing pains with the UI overhaul, expect console specific issues to crop up with this release. Studio Wildcard has promised additional updates based on player feedback.
In addition to the UI changes, ARK has received a “massive sound effect” and “audio design overhaul” with this update. This includes new creature sounds for the Dodo, Raptor, Quetzal, Parasaur, Rex, Trike, Pteranodon, Dilo, Direwolf, Compy, Dung Beetle, Argent, Pachy, and Mammoth, plus new character sounds for when players access the inventory, build structures, craft, and wield some weapons.
The Equus is a large zebra-like horse. It can be tamed, but Survivors will have to mount a wild one and break it in like a real horse to make it their own. A tamed Equus can have saddlebags mounted on it to not only allow for more to be carried in its inventory but also turn it into a mobile research and crafting station.
Studio Wildcard decided to have a little fun with the Equus by adding an extremely rare Unicorn variant to ARK: Survival Evolved. The all-white creature comes with a horn, of course, but only one can exist on the map at a time. That gives bragging rights to the Survivor lucky enough to find and tame one.
The Leedsichthys will be the largest creature in the sea with the ARK 256 patch. The wild giant fish is not known to attack humans in the water, but it is not particularly fond of rafts. The creature is big enough to sink the hardiest of boats.
Tamed versions of the Leedsichthys are extremely unique in Survival Evolved. Players can carve chunks of meat from the fish without causing death or serious damage.
Like the Equus, there is a unique version of the Leedsichthys. A white alpha will spawn in the oceans even larger than the regular version. Prospective Captain Ahabs who kill the Moby Dick-like alpha will be rewarded with a ton of fish meat and a special cosmetic skin.
The Iguanadon (pictured at the top) is a new addition to the herbivore family in ARK: Survival Evolved. The creature walks on all fours or its hind legs. A tamed Iguanadon is highly effective at gathering fruit in-game and can carry quite a bit.
Another ARK creature that can be mounted on a Survivor’s shoulder as a companion is the Ichthyornis. The Ichthyornis’ hook is that it can be sent to catch small animals like fish, dodo, and compys. This makes the bird potentially extremely useful as the prey it brings back will harvest far more meat than if killed by the player.
New Tek Tier Items
ARK Survivors will finally be able to construct underwater bases. This will require crafting multiple items to create a water-proof structure, such as oxygen providing ventilators and airlocks to allow safe entry and exit.
Tek Power Generator
An upgraded power generator capable of powering other Tek or electrical structures wirelessly is also coming. Similar to the Tek forcefield, players can adjust the range at which the generator powers other items. The larger the range, the faster it will consume the Element power source.
Star Trek dreams become reality in ARK: Survival Evolved with the Tek Teleporter. Players will be able to move swiftly around the island, but not without cost. The components to build the teleporter are expensive.
Tek Mosa Saddle
It’s not quite a shark with a frickin’ laser on its head, but its close. Similar to the Rex Tek Armor, players can now equip the Mosasaur with a hi-tech saddle with blasters mounted on either side of its head.
Flyer Balance Changes
Balance changes are always controversial, but ARK: Survival Evolved players should expect to see plenty as the game gets closer to its official release. Patch 256 takes a shot at re-balancing flying dinosaurs in the game like Pteranodons and the Quetzal. This is to address the dominance of flyers in the game with an across the board decrease to base stamina for all flying creatures, except the Moth. Additionally, stamina recovery was removed if players were riding or standing on the creature and the ability to upgrade a flyer’s speed when they level up was removed altogether.
Studio Wildcard’s goal is for each creature to have a role and not to have players depend on one to do everything. So, expect more tweaks to flyers and ground animals as well.
Ground Creature Carry Weight
A number of ground creatures saw bonuses added to their carry weight for certain items. This is similar to what was added to the Beaver last year and increases the usefulness of certain animals when harvesting and hauling resources. These changes include the following.
- Mammoth reduces weight of wood by 75 percent
- Ankylo reduces weight of raw metal by 75 percent
- Doed reduces weight of stone by 75 percent
- Beaver and Thorny Dragon adjusted to 50 percent resource weight.
The addition of underwater bases comes with the bonus of the breeding mechanic finally being introduced for aquatic and amphibious creatures. There’s a catch, however. Underwater eggs cannot be taken out of the water or else they will die. Fortunately, there are no temperature requirements to hatch eggs, but it will require players to prep themselves with scuba gear at the very least to raise the young.
Missing Primitive Plus saddles for the Allo, Baryonyx, Basilo, Chalico, Kapro, Megalosaurus, both Mosas saddles, Pachyrhino, Tapejara, Therizino, Thylaco, and Tuso have all been added, per patch notes provided by Studio Wildcard’s Mod Director, Cedric. Several other issues have also been addressed and more is on the way. The developer needs more time to optimize new items and features for the console.
The ARK: Survival Evolved Eggcellent Adventure event is also live with this update. This event will randomly drop bunny eggs from mate boosted Dodos. The bunny eggs can then be placed in the cooking pot to craft the following items:
- Bunny Ears Skin (25 bunny eggs)
- Dino Bunny Ears Skin (25 bunny eggs)
- Procoptodon Bunny Costume (70 bunny eggs)
- More than 20 new Explorer Notes.
- Ponytail hairstyle and Mutton Chops facial hairstyle.
- Vaults are now paintable, have been increased in size, and have more health.
- C4 limited to only one at a time capable of being placed on a creature.
- Scuba tanks will provide oxygen if a player gets knocked offline while their character is underwater.
- Underwater mines have been buffed with 33 percent more damage, 100 percent increase to targeting range, and 100 increase to movement speed.
- The speed buff from boosting the Oxygen stat on dinosaurs has been decreased by 80 percent.
- Turrets can be placed underwater, but will not target anything above water.
- Tek structures give the correct insulation amount on Scorched Earth.
Per-pixel painting did not make it in with this update. Studio Wildcard needs more time to address the unique challenges bringing this PC feature over to consoles presents. Additionally, there is still no word on Windows 10 version of ARK: Survival Evolved meant to be cross-playable as part of the Xbox Play Anywhere initiative.
[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]
[Edit: Added Eggcellent Adventure information and console relevant details to the new inventory UI.]