Ark is a brutal and unforgiving place.
You’re spat onto the landscape naked, bewildered, and alone. When night comes, you’ll also be cold, blind, and very vulnerable.
If you hit “I” you’ll open your inventory. Yes, learning how to use your inventory is one of those essential “Day 1” skills. There is a whole mess of stuff in here. Right now we’re interested in the “Inventory Items” section. Yep, those are all the things you have on you. Not much. Ignore that “Specimen Implant” for now.
Click on the “Craftables” tab. This is what you know how to craft at the beginning of the game. Just a “Stone Pick” and a “Torch”. Lets set out to build some tools!
Press the “E” key every time you come across something that you might be able to pick up. You should see plenty of rocks to grab and you can pick edible berries from the bushes. Berries right now are the only food available to you, so you’ll want to pick a lot of them.
Make your way over to a tree of some type. Punch that tree ala-Minecraft and you will be rewarded with thatch, wood, and a few injuries. To make a stone pick, you’ll need one stone, one wood and ten thatch. Flip back to your inventory by pressing “I”. Choose the “Craftables” tab again and hopefully the stone pick item is white now instead of red. Click on it and then click on “Craft Item” at the bottom of the window.
Now you have a tool! Click on the “Inventory” tab. Drag that tool to your quickbar at the bottom of the screen. I usually use slot “1”. While we’re at it, drag some of the berries to your bar to eat later as a handy snack. (Note: Do NOT eat the black Narcoberries they will really mess you up. You might as well stay away from the white Stimberries too.)
Hit escape a few times to get back to the default view. Press “1” and you’ll equip the pick. Pressing “1” again will unequip it.
Take your new pick and smack it on one of the big boulders laying around. It should make a satisfying “clink”. If it doesn’t try finding a different rock or hitting it somewhere else. Many of the largest rocks are just terrain and you’re unable to smash them. After mining away at a rock for a while you should have plenty of flint and stones in your inventory. Now you should be able to craft a torch for the coming nightfall.
By this time you’re probably thirsty, hungry, and a level higher. Solution: Eat berries and go to the waterfront and press “E” to drink. Don’t go for a dip yet because there are large fish with sharp teeth lurking near the shore.
Leveling has two facets. One is stats. Choose anything you want here, you’ll probably regret the decision later but that is for a later post.
Now it is time to choose an Engram! This is the other part of leveling, and a crucial one. Click on the words “ENGRAM POINTS TO APPLY” next to the blue flashing triangle. These are the crafting patterns or recipes that your character knows. Knowing how to make simple tools, clothing, and shelter is essential. I recommend learning how to make a “Hatchet” next. You can use a hatchet on trees like you did with your pick, but instead of an abundance of thatch you will receive mostly wood. A hatchet is also quite handy for killing things.
Other handy Engrams to learn next include a campfire and a spear.
By now it is probably getting dark so we’ll call this an end to day one. You can light up your torch and go berry picking if you’d like, or you can log out and come back later.
When you log out of the game, your body loses consciousness and falls to the ground. Before doing that, you’d better be sure you’re safe. Either find a cozy spot to bed down for a while or build a thatch structure. You’ll definitely want a campfire nearby both for light and for cooking food.
Day 2: Waking up naked and alone .. again.
You’ve probably discovered by now that when you die, you respawn in a somewhat random location. You have no gear, no clothes, no food, and you probably have no idea where you are. Not knowing where you are isn’t such a bad thing at this point in the game because you don’t have a place to call home yet.
First, you want to re-equip the same way you did yesterday. This should go a lot faster now that it is familiar.
After collecting berries, you probably have a lot of fiber. You can use this fiber to craft clothing that will protect you from the elements. Feel free to learn the engrams Cloth Pants, Cloth Shirt and Cloth Hat. When you craft them you can drag them from your inventory into the upper right area with boxes labeled appropriately. Cloth Boots and Cloth Gloves both require hide, and I’ll get to that part shortly.
Or you can take a different route and make a place to hang your hat and take these engrams: Thatch Foundation, Thatch Wall, Thatch Roof, Thatch Doorframe, and Thatch Door. When building a thatch hut the first and most important element is the foundation. None of the other parts can be placed until you first place a foundation. If you are inside a completed thatch hut with a functional door you are fairly safe from meddling by dinosaurs.
Once you have clothes and a house, the you’ll need to make it into a home. A sleeping bag will let you respawn at your home instead of randomly, but only once. A sleeping bag requires a lot of hide. To get hide you’ll need to go kill some animals. Dodos are harmless and they do give a bit of hide, but gathering hide is always risky. You will be attacked. You will probably die repeatedly. Eventually you will learn the surrounding area and be able to find your way back to the hut easily.
Use an axe to harvest hide from the dead. If you want to harvest meat instead, use a pick.
Now that you have a hefty amount of hide and meat, you should head back to the hut and craft a sleeping bag. You should probably get some of that meat cooking too, so that it doesn’t spoil. Pop the meat and some wood or thatch into the campfire and light it.
Now you can finally put your feet up and relax in safety with a full belly. Until tomorrow ..