Take a few moments and brush up on some basics that may greatly increase your fun while playing Ark, and perhaps decrease your frustrations!
Starting Out – Naked in the Sand
Naturally, you’ll begin this game, well, at the beginning!
Your character wakes up, arrives, or gains consciousness immediately upon connecting to a server, and from here its a fast-paced, mad dash to achieve two simple yet crucial things:
1. Remove your unclothed, ill-equipped self from any immediate dangers!
Although the spawn zones are classified from Easy to Difficult, even the Easy areas can pose an immediate challenge. Prepare yourself to hold down that sprint key and escape, but be mindful of your Stamina consumption — once this stat ticks down and depletes, you will be unable to move at top speed until you stop or slow down adequately enough to allow your Stamina to replenish.
Most Easy spawn areas will start you out on a beach — an area very desirable due to its lack of hostile and tough life-forms. However, you may find that sometimes even these “safe zones” have an occasional mean-spirited critter close enough to immediately aggro to you (“aggro” a shorthand term to describe a hostile enemy that has become aware of your presence and is actively causing you harm or pursuing you in order to do so).
It is recommended to quickly asses which direction to escape towards, and you can accomplish this by visually searching terrain at a distance in front you to ascertain any additional threats that may not have aggro’d onto you yet. Put simply – avoid running into woods, forest, or dense vegetation (these areas have higher populations of creatures and therefore an increased chance to encounter more and possibly meaner threats). The best course of action is to run along the shoreline (maintaining your presence in that lovely “safe area” and utilizing your abilty to spot distant threats before aggro). However, should you spot a distant threat in your path, the next best option is to turn and take a little dip in whichever body of water you’re next to — especially if more shoreline/land is a short swim away! Take caution, though, and DO NOT attempt to traverse deeper waters…danger is surely lurking there, and bodies of water can be your greatest relief or they can suddenly turn into just one more threatening environment for you to desperately maneuver out of! (And believe me, you definitely swim slower than the nasty marine creatures, and will not make it very far before you tire out and drown or meet a more grisly fate).
2. Find an accessible yet safe (and potentially defensible) location to begin your survival journey!
This location does not have to be (and most likely WONT be…) a permanent solution to the dangers of surviving the Ark, nor does it need to be ideal, so don’t be too choosy. Your main goal here is to establish a temporary outpost or staging area where you can safely and easily start to harvest and stockpile the basic resources you need — Wood, Thatch, Fiber, Stone, and certainly not least of all — nourishment! You will also (in due time) be laying down a sleeping bag close by to allow you to respawn at a pre-determined spot rather than a random spot in one of those zones. But, again, don’t feel pressure to have any sort of real attachment to this initial “Home” of yours — you will most likely abandon it rather quickly in favor of a more suitable, long-term residence.
Before you have even learned how to fabricate weapons and tools for yourself, you have to first gather some materials required to do so. This means wading through bushes and shrubs to gather berries to sustain your health, and fiber to (in the near future) create clothing and other fabrics to aid you in your journey. You will also need to gather Wood and Thatch from trees without any tools (the primitive tools you create first actually require these materials initially!), and this means some serious Tree Boxing shall ensue! And yes, I do mean this in the literal sense — run around and punch trees as well as logs and driftwood! For small amounts of Stone, you won’t be able to harvest it directly from boulders and rocks (no tools, remember? and your fists aren’t quite able to accomplish this task by themselves) so you’ll have to traverse some ground and keep an eye out for acquirable stones and rocks littering the ground. The best areas for this activity are again shorelines!