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Beginner's Guide: How to claim victory in ARK: Survival of the Fittest

Learn how to survive against the best in Steams new free-to-play MOSA, ARK: Survival of the Fittest.

It's official, ARK: Survival Evolved's first total conversion mod is now a free-to-play game on Steam. ARK: Survival of the Fittest is one of the first M.O.S.A.'s -- Multiplayer Online Survival Arena -- to hit Steam, so it's a rather unique flavor of eSports. Not only are you forced to outlive enemy tribes and dinosaurs, but you must survive the untamed wilderness of the ARK.

With death at every juncture, you must be prepared if you hope to survive. In ARK: Survival of the Fittest, there are 3 things that can quickly kill you: enemy players and tribes, prehistoric beasts, and the elements.

Tips on Surviving Enemy Players and Tribes

Enemy players and tribes are the biggest threat -- namely because it's their goal to kill you before you kill them. If you hope to come out of ARK: Survival of the Fittest victorious, then you have to outlive all of your competition.

  • Hide in the woods. When the match begins, players all descend to the edges of the center ring. There's a pile of loot in the center of the ring (a la Hunger Games) just begging for players to fight for it. In most cases, however, you're better off running for the woods to avoid the brawl. The only time it's worth it to snag the loot in the center is if you're playing alone with a decent frame rate.
  • Never "break" materials. In order to survive, you're going to be doing a lot of crafting. To craft weapons, armor, saddles, or shelter, you'll need a lot of materials. When you harvest these materials, however, they will break after a certain number of hits. If the material breaks, it sends off an explosion, effectively giving away your position to other players.
  • Take cover before opening your inventory. Find a spot with good bush coverage and lay down before checking your inventory to equip and craft items. You don't want to be killed in the middle of crafting your weapon.
  • Never linger on the beach. The beach is a beautiful respite from the overgrown foliage of the jungle, but that's exactly the problem. Anyone can peek out from the cover of the jungle and spot players gathering rocks on the coast. Don't be that person.
  • Never build fires at night unless freezing. Are you noticing a pattern, yet? The best step you can take to surviving your fellow player is to make sure you're rarely found.
  • Kill or be killed. Craft ranged weapons to deal with players and make sure you kill them before they kill you. It's best to kill the enemy before they even see you, but when that's not an option, utilize every trick and trap you can. Don't be afraid to fight dirty.
  • Keep moving. Never stay in one place too long. You never know when you've been spotted, and you don't want your enemies planning on surrounding you. Stay on the move and kill anyone who finds you.

ARK: Survival of the Fittest Beginner's Guide

Tips on Surviving Prehistoric Beasts

The dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures of the ARK are a mixed bag of aggressive, docile, and downright nasty. ARK: Survival of the Fittest's predators are just as likely to kill you as the nearest enemy player, so keep your eyes peeled.

  • Craft some armor. When dealing with players, you're better off not getting hit at all. However, when dealing with dinosaurs that often move faster than you do, that's not always an option. Any armor is better than none.
  • Carry a knockout weapon. Most prehistoric beasts on the ARK can be tamed, but you're not going to have time to do it the nice way. If something attacks, try to knock it out before it kills you. You'll be glad for the extra teammate.
  • Keep a surplus of berries, meats, and narcotics. You don't want to be caught with nothing when you knock out a creature that will help your tribe win at the end.
  • Build a small shelter near the center. Building a house by the edge of the map quickly becomes a waste as the circle of death closes in on the arena. While some would never waste time on a shelter, there is no better defense against the prehistoric beasts that roam the ARK. Just don't get too comfortable around it.

ARK: Survival of the Fittest Beginner's Guide

Tips on Surviving the Elements

Starvation, dehydration, broken bones, and the weather are all as like to kill you as dinosaurs or enemy tribes. This is where ARK: Survival of the Fittest sets itself apart from other eSports as a M.O.S.A.

  • Never neglect basic food and water. Keep berries or cooked meat on the hotbar so you can eat them when you need them. Craft a waterskin or two and refill them every chance you get. The last thing you want is to be dehydrating in the middle of a fight.
  • Craft armor to protect against hot and cold weather. Cloth Armor will help with the heat while Hide Armor protects against the cold. It's far better to control your body temperature with armor than with fire or water.
  • If you break some bones, lay down. Panic is the death of reason. You don't want to be running around with broken bones -- that's a good way to get yourself killed. Lay down in the brush and stay still for awhile until you can recover.
  • Utilize Stimberries. Not enough people use Stimberries due to their unfortunate dehydration effect. Stimberries boost your stamina when it's low and even keeps torpor-inducing effects at bay. If you're pro at staying hydrated, Stimberries are your best friend.
  • Regularly repair your equipment. Repair your tools, your weapons, your armor. Repair everything that you use and do it regularly. You won't have time to fix your weapon when you're being shot at, and you want every advantage you can get.

If you're looking for more general survival tips, don't forget to check out our Beginner's Guide to ARK: Survival Evolved.

What do you think of the new Steam Early Access free-to-play M.O.S.A., ARK: Survival of the Fittest? Have you won any matches yet? Share your victory strategies in the comments below!

Published Mar. 24th 2016

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