September 28, 2016
'ARK: Survival Evolved' Guide: The Center Map

ARK: Survival Evolved officially received the stunning The Center map as part of PC patch 241.0 and Xbox One update 734.0. The custom built map by modder Ben "EvilMrFrank" Burkart offers a larger game world to explore and settle than The Island and it is filled with caves, beautiful vistas, and some mind-boggling verticality. This guide will help you get started with the new map.

Note: This guide is a work in progress as you can see by the lack of underwater loot crates and incomplete ruins mapping. If you see anything missing or incorrect, please contact the author via email or in the comments below.

Survivor Spawns

A map of the major The Center locations for ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image via Studio Wildcard]

The Center enjoys eight different spawn regions for ARK: Survival Evolved players. You can see them mapped out in the image above. The areas highlighted in purple are the Survivor spawn areas for each region.

The Tropical Islands are the easiest starting points, but will require rafts, water mounts, or air mounts to explore further. The Northern island has a neat cove where Ichthyosaurus and Megalodon spawn and can be easily tamed.

The three Jungle islands are moderate difficulty starting points. The beaches are relatively safe, but the danger increases the more inland you explore.

The two Snow region spawns are difficult areas to spawn in with Dire Wolves, Sabretooths, Raptors, and T-Rexes likely nearby your starting point. There's also the chance to spawn right next to the swamp area where Titanboas and Sarcos lurk.

Lava Island is by far the most brutal spawn point. There is nothing other than deadly predators on this island combined with extreme heat and the lack of resources outside of Metal, Obsidian, and Crystal.

The Center's floating island does not have a spawn point and is surrounded by swamps. Redwood Island, Skull Island and Half-Burnt Island are other major areas that do not have spawn points.

Quetzals are not as particularly rare spawn and can be seen flying over most of the map. Gigas are not exceedingly rare either and can pop up almost anywhere.

Resource Spawns

Resource harvesting on official servers for The Center is set to 1.5x. This means a little more resources will come you way when whacking at something in ARK.

The resources on The Center are spread out fairly evenly, but Oil may end up being the most difficult to obtain. It is primarily found on the top of the peaks of the mountains in the two snow regions plus underwater. The occasional Oil node can be found in the waterways dividing the jungle islands, however.

Metal, Obsidian, and Crystal nodes can be found abundantly on the edge of cliffs, on top of archways, and some peaks. Skull Island is loaded with the stuff. Silica Pearls are also scattered around the map in the waterways between the Jungle islands and in the ocean.

Beaver Dams have become a hot commodity since they were introduced due the large amount of Cementing Paste they hold. These spawn in the small lakes and ponds you can see on the map for the Jungle Islands along with the Giant Beavers.

Those seeing Organic Polymer from Penguins will want to head over to North and South Snow mountains. They are available there as well as the iceberg sitting in the Penguin Pond to the west of the green obelisk, right up against the edge of the map. Penguins can also be found in the cavern on the Edge of the World around the Ice Palace.

Interestingly, the trees on Lava Island and Half-Burnt Island give Charcoal when harvested.


ARK: Survival Evolved The Center Caves Map (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via ARK: Survival Evolved]

The Center is replete with caves scattered throughout the map. Some have multiple entrances and all have their own special challenges.

Northern Ice Cave

ARK: Survival Evolved Northern Ice Cave (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via Studio Wildcard]

Located on the northern edge of the mountain in the North Snow Area biome at 35.5, 19.6, this cave presents an immediate challenge upon entering. Players will need to dive into the icy water to explore past the initial cavern. It is highly suggested you bring a SCUBA Gear or Lazarus Chowder. Mounts that can swim underwater and go on land, such as the Spino, Sarco, or Beelzlebufo, will be of great help as well.

There are two tunnels to explore in the Northern Ice Cave with a total of three different Loot Crate spawn points. The Artifact of the Clever and Artifact of the Devourer can be found here.

Creatures include: Dire Wolves, Spiders, and Sabertooth.

Resources include: Crystal, Metal, and Oil

Southern Ice Cave

ARK: Survival Evolved - Southern Ice Cave Entrance (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via 'ARK: Survival Evolved']

Located at 85.3, 10.3, the Southern Ice Cave does not require swimming like the Northern, but it is still brutally cold. Dress appropriately and be prepared for a frozen treat.

There are two yellow quality Loot Crate spawns to discover here along with the Artifact of the Skylord.

Creatures include: Dire Wolves, Spiders, and Sabertooth.

Resources include: Crystal, Metal, and Oil

Small Lava Cave

ARK: Survival Evolved Small Lava Cave (PC, Xbox One)
That's a cave entrance, honestly. [Image via 'ARK: Survival Evolved']

The only reason to refer to this as the "Small" Lava Cave is because the entrance is so tiny you'll likely miss it at coordinates 32.5, 44.4. You will be unable to take in any dinosaurs in that are larger than Direwolves or Sabretooth. Pteranodons can fit, too, and are necessary to reach some areas, though Grappling Hooks can be used too. The cave has a beautiful interior spot to discover and is worth exploring for that reason alone.

Of course, there are plenty of yellow quality Loot Crate spawns to find as well. There are 7 spawn points scattered throughout the cave along with the Artifact of the Hunter and the Artifact of the Pack.

Creatures include: Titanboas, Scorpions, Spiders, Bats, Arthropluera

Resources include: Crystal, Metal, Obsidian

Large Lava Cave

ARK: Survival Evolved Large Lava Cave (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via 'ARK: Survival Evolved']

This cavernous lava cave is located on the eastern side of the east volcano on Lava Island at 27.7, 64.9. Flying via Pteranodon, Argentavis, or Quetzal is the best way to get in to the cave, but those skilled with Grappling Hooks and Parachutes can manage as well.

This cave has multiple branches to explore and five red quality Loot Crate spawn points. You can also find the Artifact of the Devious and Artifact of the Massive inside.

Creatures include: Titanboas, Scorpions, Spiders, Bats, Arthropluera

Resources include: Crystal, Metal, Obsidian

Southeast Cave

ARK: Survival Evolved Southeast Cave Entrance (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via 'ARK: Survival Evolved']

This cave located on the Jungles Southern island has multiple entrances to enter through. A cave opening sits near the beaver ponds at 78.5, 59.6, a water cave opening across from the blue obelisk at 74.4, 70.00, an underwater entrance at 67.7, 60.6, and another underwater entrance located at the ruins at 69.7, 59.6.

This is an easier cave with four blue quality Loot Crate spawns and a single yellow quality spawn. It also holds the Artifact of the Strong.

Creatures include: Titanboas, Scorpions, Spiders, Bats, Arthropluera

Resources include: Metal and Crystal

The Center

ARK: Survival Evolved The Center Floating Island Cave Entrance (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via 'ARK: Survival Evolved']

The Floating Island contains multiple entrances to the cave system located there. There are entrances on the underside of the island at 62.0, 20.0 and 56.6, 26.5, plus a walk-up entrance at 56.4, 25.2.

Survivors can find the Artifact of the Immune here.

Creatures include: Bats, Spiders, Scorpions

Resources include: Metal and Crystal


ARK: Survival Evolved The Center Ruins Map (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via ARK: Survival Evolved]

The Center has ruins scattered across the map. On top of looking extremely cool, these areas are excellent for base building and a few hold extra secrets to discover.

Here are the locations of a few of the known ruins:

  • Jungle South (84.4, 61.1) - Across from Skull Island
  • Jungle South (77.0, 37.0) - Across the waterway from the swamps. Reasonably close to Snow South.
  • Jungles South (75.0, 65.0) - Holds the underwater entrance to the Southeast Cave. Ideally situated next to a Beaver spawn.
  • (70.2, 51.34)
  • (74.2, 52.6)
  • (77.6, 68.0)
  • (71.1, 62.1)
  • (69.9, 61.4)

Underground World

ARK: Survival Evolved The Center Underground World (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via 'ARK: Survival Evolved']

The Center has areas similar to those in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth with its massive underground world. There are dinosaurs there, along with most of the primary resources and the ability to build. It is not easy to reach, though.

Two entrances that can be accessed with a Pteranodon or Argentavis. The first is on the surface at 55.4, 62.9 and is a hole in the ground at the top of the peak on the northern side of the Jungles Mid island. The other is a hole in the ground entrance located underground at 67.5, 56.4.

The daring can also swim, but be aware there is no way back out through these entrances without taming a flyer underground or building lengthy ladders. One is located at the end of the waterway between Jungles North and Jungle Mid at 54.7, 48.4. The other is between Jungles Mid and Jungles South at 66.6, 53.4.

Underwater Bubbles

ARK: Survival Evolved The Center Underwater Bubble (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via 'ARK: Survival Evolved']

ARK: Survival Evolved players have two places to explore and possibly build their own Atlantis. The Center has two underwater bubbles where Survivors can walk on dryland and breathe. The bubble at 40,89 has the rudimentary resources such as stone and wood, but will require importing metal and other high-end items. The second bubble is at 93, 60 near Skull Island and Metal, Silica Pearls, Crystal, and Oil nodes can be found there.

Note: The 6x damage penalty against player-built structures is in effect in the underwater bubbles.

ARK General Guides:

ARK Map Guide:ARK Taming Guides:[Image via Studio Wildcard]

[Update 1: Redid spawn, caves, and ruins maps. Added more resource spawn information.]