June 29, 2017
'ARK: Survival Evolved' Xbox One Update Out, Split-Screen Has Arrived

The ARK: Survival Evolved 731.0 update just landed for the Xbox One on Friday. The previous, "few days" delay only turned into a two day delay as Studio Wildcard was able to push the latest patch out before the weekend. It's a big update, too, featuring some welcome fixes that have not previously been mentioned.

The 731.0 update released to the Xbox One weighs in at approximately 4.5 GB. The highlights of the patch include the addition of split-screen multiplayer for both offline and online play. There is a caveat to that, as well. Split-screen will only be available on non-dedicated servers. Official and dedicated servers are not currently supported.

Expect some issues to be present with split-screen. In a Twitch TV stream with IGN, Studio Wildcard stated that the UI may not scale properly and there may be some graphic issues, such as shadows not rendering properly.

ARK: Survival Evolved Community Manager Jat also shared the following issue that is causing the UI to not display properly on some TVs.

Until the fix is released, Xbox One owners should go into their TV settings to attempt to adjust the screen to fit the TV.

ARK Survival Evolved Splitscreen
[Image via 'ARK: Survival Evolved']The update also adds prehistoric beasts such as the Dung Beetle, Dimetrodon, and Gallimimus to the game, along with the ability to build a greenhouse. Beer brewing has arrived, as well, so players can throw their own in-game drunken parties.

There is new ARK gear to craft as well such as the Shock Prod and Riot Armor. The Shock Prod can be used to quickly knock out another human in a single blow along with many small animals. Larger animals will, of course, require more shocks to incapacitate. Meanwhile, the Riot Armor is excellent to use when assaulting or defending a base plus against animals that can poison a player such as the Titan Boa or scorpion. It is the highest quality armor in the game after all, surpassing the Flak Armor.

On the performance side of things, Studio Wildcard is reporting a 20 percent frame rate performance improvement with the 731.0 update. That's a significant jump for what has been an otherwise un-optimized game to this point. Frame rates can drop precipitously around large player builds, however, so it will be interesting to see how ARK: Survival Evolved performs with the frame rate improvement and the developer plugging a memory leak.

One quality of life fix is an on-going issue with the Xbox One controller. ARK: Survival Evolved would sometimes disconnect players who had their controller plugged into the console. That has thankfully been fixed. I've experienced disconnects when wireless as well, so that will be another item to watch for with this patch.

[Image via ARK: Survival Evolved]
[Image via 'ARK: Survival Evolved']Another quality of life fix is for those that play ARK on non-dedicated servers. The tether range has been increased by 33 percent. This is only an increase from 200 meters to 266 meters, but it is a start. The maximum amount of players has also been bumped up from four to eight, so that's possibly a reason for the limited tether increase as well. Expect these numbers to continually be fiddled with as Studio Wildcard continues to optimize the game.

Update: The new ARK: Survival Evolved server options were not exposed as expected with this update. Community Manager Jat explained on Twitter that they were not able to get them in with this patch. A new "Disable Tribute Downloads" option is available, but that is all.

Here is the complete list of improvements for Xbox One update 731.0 posted to the ARK website.

  • "All PC Content up thru PC version 234 (Beer, Dung Beetle, Dimetrodon, Gallimimus, Shock Prod, Riot Armor, Greenhouse Tileset, etc.)
  • SPLIT-SCREEN MULTIPLAYER for both Online and Local Play!!
  • Rendering Framerate improvements (~20%)
  • Non-Dedicated Multiplayer tether range increased +33%, Maximum number of players in non-dedicated sessions increased to 8!
  • All of the PC's Server options are now exposed to Hosting/Local Sessions (even options that were previously hidden in INI's), and all options have direct-input textboxes for using any arbitrary value. Including whether to allow Tribute Downloads
  • Fixed cursor erroneously resetting to "Favorites" button after attempting to join a server
  • Fixed a memory leak that would eventually crash the client over time
  • Fixed log-out when plugging in Play-&-Charge Kit
  • Fixed crashes when entering long text into Notes
  • Fixed inability to connect/reconnect sometimes after losing connection ('stuck at PrimalGameData loading screen')
  • Fixed duplicating dinos in singleplayer
  • Fixed losing Tribe Data
  • Fixed Host Settings not saving
  • Improved range & performance of 'Ground Clutter' effect
  • Fixed multi-colored Dimorphodon"
Studio Wildcard is still targeting this summer for the official release of ARK: Survival Evolved on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It is currently in Early Access on Steam and the Xbox One Game Preview program.

Update: Here is a list of known issues shared by Jat on Twitter:

  • UI Scaling is currently busted and will be fixed early next week when we're able to deploy the patch. It'll only effect some users but a current work around is to change the aspect ratio / zoom on your tellies and that'll make it appear. Your UI is there, just cut off for some.
  • A few of you are missing your skins, this will also be resolved in the next update - there was a merge issue when we were updating the content that'll take care of this.
  • Flak items are now in the smithy, this is intended!
  • Server Broadcasts Notifications - these are now resolved and you'll start seeing them properly in the next update, sorry about that guys - thanks for all the tweets giving us a head up!
  • Server connection issues - some players are having difficulties connecting to Official Servers and are receiving 3 different messages.
ARK Guides:[Image via ARK: Survival Evolved]

[Edit 1: Added information about issues with split-screen.][Edit 2: Added information about new server settings not being added contrary to the patch notes at the time this article was posted. Updated patch notes listed above to scratch out the erroneous information.][Edit 3: Added list of known issues.]