‘ARK: Survival Evolved’ Caves Getting A Refresh, Xbox Play Anywhere Update Targeting December

Studio Wildcard revealed information on upcoming ARK: Survival Evolved updates that PC and Xbox One players could look forward to. A pair of PC patches will be released in November with all-new caves added to The Island, four new dinos, and more. Meanwhile, Xbox One owners seeking cross-play experience via Xbox Play Anywhere might not have to wait too much longer.

The PC version of ARK: Survival Evolved will receive patch 250.0 on November 6 to conclude the Fear Evolved 2 event on the platform. As previously covered, Studio Wildcard is bringing the Halloween-themed event to the Xbox One, and it has been submitted to Microsoft for approval, per a Twitter post from Lead Developer and Studio Co-Founder Jeremy Stieglitz.

In addition to ending Fear Evolved 2, the next PC patch will also bring a 20 percent performance improvement, a new Explorer Note to discover for each character, and an “Ignore all Whistles” option for tamed dinosaurs. The experimental Procedurally Generated ARK feature is also receiving a touch-up with fixes for crashes and improvements to map generation and load times.

A procedurally-generated map in ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Studio Wildcard]

The big patch comes on November 23 with patch 251.0. This update will replace the existing caves on The Island with “proper shipping-quality layouts and graphics” and an “increased challenge.” Cave rewards have been a sore point for ARK Survivor, so it should be interesting to see how they are updated.

It is worth pointing out the cave refresh will wipe out all player-built structures that currently exist inside the caves. Survivors should go ahead and start making plans to move any valuables out.

Meanwhile, four new animals are planned for this release. This includes the giant snail, Achatina, another two-legged carnivore with the Megalosaurus, the Triceratops cousin, Pachyrhinosaurus, and the four-legged lizard, Moschops. This will bring the total number of in-game creatures to 111 if Studio Wildcard can get all four out with this patch.

The oft-delayed Breeding Phase 3 mechanic is also on the list to be added. This is to add random mutations to the mix or breeding tamed dinosaurs along with family trees. What this entails remains to be seen.

Studio Wildcard also mentioned doing more work to clean up ARK: Survival Evolved prior to a full release. The cave refresh is part of this work, but it is unclear if the developer still plans to release the game in December or if it could slip into early 2017.

The Gigantosaurus from ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Studio Wildcard]

Stieglitz referenced the official release a couple of times in an ARK Digest Q&A session posted to the official site. Dinosaurs will get a “TLC pass” to improve their character models. Animals referenced include the Rex, Sabretooth, Spino, and Raptor. These are all creatures that have been around since ARK: Survival Evolved first hit Early Access, so they don’t seem nearly as clean or vibrant as recently released animals. Additionally, the “entire UI will be getting an overhaul.”

Xbox One owners who are curious about when Xbox Play Anywhere support will be added finally received an update too. Stieglitz stated that it is being worked on as a side project, but it currently looks like it will be released in December.

The work “requires reformatting ARK’s application handling to work with Universal Windows Platform,” according to Stieglitz. “Hard to predict exactly when it’ll be ready to release at the moment, but it’s looking like December!”

ARK: Survival Evolved supporting Xbox Play Anywhere will allow owners of an Xbox One copy to play the game on console or PC. Additionally, it is a step towards allowing players to run their own game servers using a PC instead of an extra console.

So, it does indeed appear Studio Wildcard is setting its sights on moving ARK: Survival Evolved out of Early Access soon. The game was originally released to Steam Early Access for the PC in July 2015 followed by Xbox One’s Game Preview Program in December 2015. It’s been a bumpy road for both the developer and the title, but fans should expect to see continued support post-release.

What do you think of the upcoming updates to ARK: Survival Evolved? Sound off in the comments below.

[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]