ARK Survival Ascended new features – what’s new in ARK Survival Ascended?

ARK Survival Ascended new features – what’s new in ARK Survival Ascended?
Alex Raisbeck Updated on by

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If you’re wondering whether it’s worth getting over the older version, knowing about all the ARK Survival Ascended new features is a must before you try the game out. With the game providing a big update to the now six-year-old ARK Survival Evolved, fans are eager to see what new additions have been made to bring the game up-to-date with more modern titles. So we’re going to take you through everything new.

If you can’t wait for it to come out on consoles, check out the ARK Survival Ascended Xbox release date to find out more. And if you’re wondering about the ARK Survival Ascended maps release schedule, we’ve got a guide to that too. With that, let’s take a look at the new features in ARK Survival Ascended.

ARK Survival Ascended new features: The player standing next to a green triceratops.
Image captured by VideoGamer

What new features are there in ARK Survival Ascended?

On paper, ARK Survival Ascended is going to be the definitive version of the original ARK Survival Evolved, upgrading almost everything about the original game for this version coming to PC, Xbox and PlayStation. The most obvious of these from the get-go is the in-game graphical enhancements built from the ground-up in Unreal Engine 5, such as dynamic water and interactive foliage, giving it a much-needed update to put it in line with 2023 releases.

But it’s not just a fresh coat of paint, as there are a bunch of new gameplay features in the game too. Here’s all the new features in ARK Survival Ascended:

A new map

To give players a completely new experience, ARK Survival Ascended will feature a brand-new map, Crystal Isles. This map will feature unique biomes not found on previous maps, some challenging and unforgiving terrain to navigate, and new dungeons with some great rewards. This is a map made to challenge players and put them through their paces, forcing them to use the experience they’ve gained in the previous game.

New creatures

No new map would be complete without a bunch of new creatures to go along with it, and ARK Survival Ascended has loads of them. Whether that’s the Dreadnoughtus, Gigantoraptor, Shastasaurus or the terrifying, insect-like Rhyniognatha, there are a host of brand-new dinosaurs ready for you to tame and make your own. And thanks to more intelligent creature pathfinding, the AI for each creature is drastically improved.

New missions and challenges

As well as a new map, brand-new missions and challenges have been added to test players’ skills. The biggest of these additions is the Gauntlet, which pits you against a series of boss battles, rewarding you with new Tek items if you manage to come out on top. If you were worried about having nothing new to do, there’s plenty on offer.

ARK Survival Ascended new features: A small campfire on the sandy banks of a narrow river.
Image captured by VideoGamer

New items

Speaking of Tek items, Ark Survival Ascended adds a bunch of new items for players to craft and make use of. Plenty of new Tek items will let you build yourself a pretty high-tech base and deal some hefty damage with your brand-new weapons. 

Cross-platform modding

The developers at Studio Wildcard know how much modding brings to the game, and thanks to UE5, have made sure players will be able to mod their game across platforms. This improved modding experience gives players more freedom than ever to play the game the way they want to play it, whether that’s on PC or consoles thanks to the cross-platform multiplayer

As well as all of this, the game comes loaded with the Survival of the Fittest update, which had to be purchased separately from the original game. However, if you own any DLC in ARK Survival Evolved such as Scorched Earth and Aberration, you’ll need to buy it once again in Survival Ascended one those DLC become available. 

Furthermore, there will be plenty of nice quality of life changes for veteran players like dynamic navigation, pings, zoom, an improved mini-map, threaded server networking and cross-platform anti-cheat to improve quality of PVP on official servers from launch.

That’s it for the new features in ARK Survival Ascended. If you want to know more about the ARK Survival Ascended crossplay, check out our guide. If you’re wondering is ARK Survival Ascended on Game Pass, we’ve got all the info you need. And if you’re struggling with how to change to first-person in ARK Survival Ascended, we’ve got you covered there too.

ARK Survival Ascended new features FAQs

Is there new content in ARK Survival Ascended?

Yes, there is a new map, new creatures, new items, and more, as well as a host of new quality of life features.

Does ARK Survival Ascended support modding?

Yes, ARK Survival Ascended has plenty of mod support, as well as supporting cross-platform modding, letting you use mods on both PC and consoles.