ARK: Survival Evolved Guide - Stats, Attributes, and Leveling Up Explained

ARK: Survival Evolved has a full-fledged leveling system with attributes that are a bit confusing, especially if you're not used to RPGs.

ARK: Survival Evolved is a survival game with dinosaurs that you can domesticate, and along for the ride is a fully fleshed out leveling system reminiscent of RPG-style games. This isn't just enchantment levels for Minecraft anymore; we're in the big leagues now.

Each survivor attribute serves its purpose, so there's no particular stat that wins out above the rest. At the end of the day, the stat builds for each character is completely up to each player.

Leveling Up in ARK: Survival Evolved

You gain experience slowly while spending time in the ARK. Day-to-day tasks like gathering materials, crafting items, and killing or taming dinosaurs are great ways to boost experience gain. No matter what, though, leveling is inevitable — you don't lose your level or experience points when you die!

ARK: Survival Evolved Stats Attributes and Leveling Up Explained

When your survivor is ready for a level up, the top-most icon on the bottom right will be flashing, prompting you to enter your inventory screen. Once you choose which attribute points to spec into, your level will display and you will receive a number of Engram Points to spend on learning crafting recipes.

What do the Attributes Effect?

There are 10 separate attributes that you can raise in ARK: Survival Evolved. Each of these attributes are useful in their own ways, and are all worth considering when leveling your survivor. Choose wisely!

  • ARK: Survival Evolved HealthHealth - This stat determines how many points of damage your survivor can take without dying. It starts at 100 and each level raises health by 10.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved StaminaStamina - Used to determine how much activity your survivor can take before becoming exhausted and eventually passing out. Starts at 100 with each level increasing stamina by 10.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved OxygenOxygen - How long you can breathe while underwater. This attribute starts at 100 but increases by 20 for every level. Increasing oxygen also boosts your swim speed.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved FoodFood - How much food your survivor can handle at a time. Starts at 100 and each point adds an extra 10. Regaining health and stamina quickly depletes food resources.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved WaterWater - This indicates your level of dehydration. Defaults at 100 with each level adding 10 more. Depletes quicker than Food on average.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved WeightWeight - How much weight a player can carry in their inventory. The survivor becomes encumbered when at 85% maximum weight and cannot move once the value exceeds max. Starts at 100 and increases by 10 per level.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved Melee DamageMelee Damage - A percentile base for how much damage your survivor dishes out in close-range combat. This does not affect ranged weapons, however, even if they naturally require physical strength like the Bow. This stat raises 5% for every point spent.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved Movement SpeedMovement Speed - The maximum speed a player can move at, represented by a percentile. Each point increases speed by 2%.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved FortitudeFortitude - Increases weather and Torpor resistance. Starts at 0 and increases by 2 points for every level.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved Crafting SpeedCrafting Speed - How fast your survivor can create or repair items. Useful for repairing in sticky situations. A percentile-based stat that increases by 10% for every point put into it.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved TorporTorpor - The level of your survivors consciousness or wakefulness. This stat rises when the player risks going unconscious. You cannot put points directly into Torpor, but Fortitude will increase your resistance.

This may seem like a lot to keep track of, but it all meshes really fluidly after you get used to it. There's a lot of attention to detail in these attribute points and it really makes the ARK sparkle.

ARK's Attribute System

Not many survival games go the route of the typical RPG with leveling and attributes to think about, but ARK seems to pull it off surprisingly well.

Let us know what you think about ARK's leveling system in the comments below! Also, if you're having problems with a certain aspect of ARK: Survival Evolved, let us know and we'll make a guide of it!

ARK: Survival Evolved Attention to Detail and Dodo Birds

Good luck surviving in the land of prehistoric monsters!

Published Jun. 17th 2015
View Comments
  • The Human Eating Comment
    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by this comment... rawr ^_^
  • Shane_2860
    There is now a dropdown menu when searching for a server called 'my survivors'. It lists all the servers you have a character on
  • lamo_7086
    tip: you become encumbered when your carried weight is 85% of your max weight, you can't move if you have 100% or more of your max weight in your inventory. This means each point added to weight only increases the amount you can hold without being encumbered by 8.5, not 10. (i.e you start getting encumbered at 85/100, then its 93.5(85+8.5)/110, etc)
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    Thank you for the info on stats, I will be editing this in!
  • Bob_3398
    I'd LOVE to have a good guide on where to spend my engram points if I play solo without a tribe!
  • Bob_3398
    go go go go!!!
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    Amazing Idea! We've actually already got that one planned! It's a bit more difficult to do with the devs constantly releasing new stuff (just today they added 3 new craftable items!) but I'll definitely review the entire engram system and find the absolute essentials in current gameplay.

    I need to ask, are you hosting your own local server to play on or do you play on a server online but alone?
  • Patrick_3641
    The game is so damn hard to save progress on. It is also glitchy and hard to find which map you have to be on to get your desired survivor back from. Saving doesn't always work. It needs to say the level and name of survivor for which map you have them on. Also some maps don't even show up.
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    I agree, it does need to say name of survivor and level. But in the game's defense it is early access and the devs have been adding requested features and optimizations left and right. And when the map's don't show up, it means they haven't updated to the current version yet. I've encountered this problem as well and it's annoying, but I believe they will optimize the whole process in the future.

    Try UnOfficial Servers if you haven't already. The names, for one, are more distinctive, and you have better luck of finding people more willing to co-op. Hope this helps!

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