The Xbox Play Anywhere version of ARK: Survival Evolved was supposed to be officially released to the Windows Store Thursday for Windows 10 PCs after nearly a year of delays. The open-world survival title can be download and played, but there are some issues with it that keep it from being an official release.
Windows 10 owners can download ARK: Survival Evolved now from the Windows Store but may encounter some problems along the way. The 86GB download errored out several times as we attempted to download but did finally finish hours later by keeping an eye on the download and clicking the retry button.
According to Studio Wildcard community manager Jat via Twitter, the ARK: Survival Evolved Xbox Play Anywhere version is not officially released due to a multiplayer bug that “only occurs in retail (meaning Wildcard has no way to solve it directly).” This oddly makes the game available to download and play but only locally. Online play is not currently available.
Microsoft is investigating the issue, but there is no timeline on when a fix is expected to be delivered. Coincidentally, Microsoft released the wrong version of the Aberration expansion initially, which caused issues for Xbox One players. This was eventually fixed later on the launch day for the ARK: Survival Evolved expansion.
How It Plays
The ARK: Survival Evolved Xbox Play Anywhere version is a mishmash between the Xbox One and Steam PC version. The default graphics settings look very similar to the console version, but the options settings allow players to pump the graphics up to “Epic” settings. The higher settings resemble the Xbox One X version of the game and put absolutely no strain on my modest gaming PC featuring an Intel Core i5-3570 processor, Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card, and 16GB of DDR3 RAM. For comparison, “Epic” settings in the Steam PC version on the same PC bring the game to a standstill.
Some settings and better explanations are still needed for the Xbox Play Anywhere version. ARK: Survival Evolved is locked to a bordered windowed mode currently. There are no options to select borderless window or fullscreen. Additionally, there is a “Resolution Scale” slider that doesn’t communicate what resolution is being used. The default setting on the slider appears to be closer to the base Xbox One’s 720p resolution while maxing out the slider appears to bring it to 1080p. It is still good to see other options available like being able to adjust the field of view (FOV) and turn off light bloom and light shafts.
Beyond that, the Windows 10/Xbox Play Anywhere version of ARK: Survival Evolved plays very much like the game does on the PC and console. Players have the option to use either the keyboard and mouse or a controller to get around. However, this is still not the Steam PC version, which means unofficial mods cannot be used.
Windows 10 PC users who already own the Xbox One version of ARK: Survival Evolved can download the game for free. Purchasing the game on either platform gives free access to the other.
Once Microsoft sorts out the bug preventing online play, crossplay will be possible between Windows 10 and the Xbox One but limited to unofficial servers and non-dedicated servers for the time being. This is due to Studio Wildcard needing more time to implement Microsoft’s anti-cheat service, TruePlay.