If you want to hunt and tame dinos while building up a society with a group of bloodthirsty raiders (or friendly wanderers), then Ark: Survival Evolved is really your go-to game.
Granted, it has been a polarizing game lately with some negative aspects like say, releasing paid DLC while its still in Early Access (or simply the fact that it’s somehow still even in Early Access at all), but there’s no doubt Ark has got one of the most engaging crafting systems around.
Weapons are of course a large part of that crafting system, since you’ve got to stay alive long enough to start figuring out how to craft anything else. When getting started you’ve got nothing but your fists — you will literally be punching trees and rocks to get materials — so a beginner will want to craft several critical weapons as quickly as possible.
While you should be crafting like crazy by mining materials with this tool from the beginning, don’t discount it as a weapon! It’s a lot more useful than your fists, even if it in the overall scheme of things the pick is among the worst weapons available. While you are just learning the game and don’t have any engrams, this will save your life.
The club is primarily for knocking out dinos to tame, as it doesn’t death lethal damage, but it’s also just as importantly for knocking out aggressive players! The wood club affects the Torpor stat, which isn’t affected by most armor, so thwack away at those griefers who like killing newbs and deserve a little comeuppance!
A must-build as soon as possible, the spear is a much better option than early weapons like the axe and is available starting at level 2. The spear does plenty of damage in melee for such a low level option, but also offers versatility as it can also be thrown at range.
Make a few all at once though, because they can break when you use them either in melee or ranged combat. Don’t forget you can pick up spears you’ve thrown and return them to your inventory.
This very nifty ranged weapon can daze both dinos and enemy players and keep them paralyzed in place for a few seconds while you get away (or pull out a more deadly weapon to finish the job). This can be a serious life saver when a much higher level dinosaur is chasing you.
Although it doesn’t daze enemies immediately like the bola, don’t discount the slingshot weapon, which also deals Torpor damage and can eventually knock out enemies. This lets you wear down dinos (or aggressive players) from a distance and uses stone for ammo, so you won’t run out anytime soon. If you don’t want to get close with a club, the bola or slingshot are excellent for taming.
Easily the best option for a newer player, the bow gives you range with more reliability and less weight than either the spear or slingshot, and it deals decent damage to boot. As soon as you hit level 15, learn this engram and get to the high ground and rain down death!
Obviously this won’t help out if you’ve gone and annoyed a flying beast, but for many of the large, slow moving dinos, you can effectively kill them from above while clambering up on rock formations without them being able to retaliate in any significant way.
These are the five weapons we find most critical for the beginner — what’s your preferred melee or ranged option in Ark?
For those just getting started with the game, patch 253 (yes, that’s two hundred and fifty-three!) goes live on December 22nd and brings some significant changes — check out our overview of all the new dinos, areas, and game upgrades set to arrive!