‘ARK: Survival Evolved’ Winter Wonderland Event Arrives, PC Patch Adds Underwater Caves And 5 New Dinos

ARK: Survival Evolved players on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC can now enjoy a Merry Christmas in-game. The Winter Wonderland event is now live across all platforms, although only the PC will get a visit from Raptor Claus. The new PC patch 253.0 is missing the promised Tek Tier, but it brings five new dinosaurs from a small thieving reptile to a giant squid. There are also all new underground caves to explore and a craftable camera to take in-game photos with.

Winter Wonderland

The Winter Wonderland 2 event is now live across all platforms, but it will be handled differently between PC and console. Studio Wildcard was not able to get Raptor Claus into the PS4 and Xbox One editions of the game in the most recent patches. However, all the cosmetic items will still be available.

PC players can expect to see Raptor Claus flying through the air on his sleigh, dropping beacons filled with gifts for those below. These gifts include Reindeer Costumes, Candy Cane Club Weapons, Santa Hats, and Coal. Those that collect enough Coal will be able to summon a holiday-themed DodoRex.

The Winter Wonderland event for ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Studio Wildcard]

On consoles, players will need to hunt down and slay certain animals to receive some of these gifts. Stags over Level 100 will have a Reindeer Skin, Yetis will have a Santa Dino Hat, and Penguins over level 50 will drop a Santa Player Hat. Unfortunately, PS4 and Xbox One players will not be able to summon the holiday-themed DodoRex.

Meanwhile, Xbox One owners will have a little something extra to celebrate the game’s one-year anniversary on the console. A collection of birthday themed items can be picked up after killing select dinosaurs.


  • Birthday Suit Shirt
  • Birthday Suit Pants

Wild Giganotosaurus

  • Birthday Dino Hat

Dilos over Level 50

  • Birthday Player Hat

Note that these items will not drop if you play on an unofficial ARK: Survival Evolved server or locally. The commands to spawn these items in have been provided by Studio Wildcard Community Manager Jat in an official forum post.

For an added bonus, Studio Wildcard enabled 1.5x harvesting, experience, and taming on all official servers.

PC Patch 253.0

One of the new underwater caves in ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Studio Wildcard]

As for the new PC patch 253.0, Studio Wildcard announced it decided it was wiser to delay the release of the new Tek Tier items until the start of the new year since much of the development staff will be taking time off.

“We believe the TEK Tier systems will require a lot of live iteration with you,” Community Manager Jat wrote in a Survive the Arkforum post. “We will need be highly active, available, and rapidly iterating throughout the hours, days, and weeks after its introduction. As we enter the holiday week, we believe we aren’t able to achieve this as players and developers alike are bound to be spending time with family and friends, issues may not get as much attention as we would like and therefore to avoid this problem we want to hold out this content a little further.”

While the patch is missing the new Tek Tier items, it does have some other welcome items. Two new full underwater caves were added to The Island for an additional challenge. Each features loot-filled Artifacts to open once the end is reached.

The new in-game camera in ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Studio Wildcard]

One surprising new addition is an in-game craftable camera. Survivors can now take pictures of other ARK: Survival Evolved players and turn those pictures into in-game paintings.

Of course, there is a new collection of dinosaurs too.

New Dinos

There are five new dinosaurs included in ARK: Survival Evolved PC patch 253.0. Two make the seas more dangerous while the other three are a unique collection of land-based animals.

The Giant Jellyfish, Cnidaria, in ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Studio Wildcard]

The Cnidaria is a giant and untamable jellyfish. While its bioluminescent body provides some light underwater, its tentacles can provide a deadly sting. They can be used as a passive underwater barrier by players or harvested for their venom, which can be used to create torpor darts.

The giant squid, Tusoteuthis, in ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Studio Wildcard]

The Tusoteuthis is a giant squid that will literally suck the life out of its prey. Its long tentacles can subdue and crush prey while its blood is drained. These can be tamed and used to harvest its oil, but it is not an easy catch.

The thieving Pegomastax in ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Studio Wildcard]

Meanwhile, Pegomastax is a somewhat ugly land dinosaur that is a bit of a kleptomaniac. This creature is a scavenger that can steal loot from other players, which may add a surprising new dynamic for Survivors that tame one.

The harvesting Therizinosaur in ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Studio Wildcard]

The giant-clawed Therizinosaurus is a harvesting machine in ARK: Survival Evolved. Those giant claws can also be used for defense as the creature is almost as powerful as a Rex. It is relatively passive, though, but don’t underestimate the taming difficulty.

The Toodon with a Dodo in ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Studio Wildcard

Finally, the Troodon is a unique animal in that it cannot be tamed, but its loyalty can be earned. These small, Raptor-like dinosaurs can be used to scout by ARK Survivors out on the hunt.

Here are the complete PC patch 253.0 patch notes via the official site. PS4 and Xbox One players can expect to see these updates in the next couple of weeks.

  • A special surprise Item! (Something really fun for the holidays)
  • New Dino: Cnidaria!
  • New Dino: Troodon!
  • New Dino: Tusoteuthis!
  • New Dino: Pegomastax!
  • New Dino: Therizinosaurus!
  • 2 New Full-Scale Underwater Caves (progression-oriented with Artifacts!)
  • Winter Wonderland 2 Event! Follow Raptor Claus around The Island, Scorched Earth, and The Center as he drops items, coal, and the occasional tough-as-nails creature to keep you warm at night! Lots of cosmetics and the DodoRex make an appearance, along with new items!
  • Additional networking performance gains of approximately +15%
  • BattlEye is now enabled by default for dedicated servers, use -NoBattlEye to run your server without it

[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]