Tips and Tricks to Enhance your ARK Experience

Post of helpful Optimizations and Client side bug fixes for our ARK Players:



  • OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit versions)

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2400/AMD FX-8320 or better

  • Memory: 8 GB RAM

  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 670 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or better

  • DirectX: Version 10

  • Storage: 60 GB available space

Mac OS X:

  • OS: OSX 10.9 or Higher

  • Processor: 2 GHz Equivalent CPU

  • Memory: 4000 MB RAM

  • Graphics: OpenGL 3 Compatible GPU with 1GB Video RAM

  • Storage: 20000 MB available space


  • OS: Ubuntu Equivalent Distro

  • Processor: 2 GHz 64-bit CPU

  • Memory: 4000 MB RAM

  • Graphics: OpenGL 3 Compatible GPU with 1GB Video RAM

  • Storage: 20000 MB available space



  • Right click ARK: Survival Evolved in your Steam Library

  • Open Properties

  • In the General tab, click Set Launch Options... Paste in: -USEALLAVAILABLECORES -d3d10

  • Use -nomansky -lowmemory if you are on a very low end pc.

  • Use -sm4 only if you are NOT having Brightness issues in some maps.

  • Click OK

  • Close the other window and try ARK again normally (do not launch in a special mode)

  • Reset Resolution

  • Launch the game with the option "Reset Resolution"

  • Otherwise, open GameUserSettings.ini located in steamapps\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor (or the equivalent for your OS)

Adjust the following settings (more details here) to your choosing: [/script/shootergame.shootergameusersettings] ResolutionSizeX=1920 ResolutionSizeY=1080 bUseDesktopResolutionForFullscreen=False FullscreenMode=1 bUseVSync=False

List of the all useful launch options with descriptions: -USEALLAVAILABLECORES - (the game will use all your CPU cores) -sm4 and -d3d10 - (runs game with DirectX 10) -nomansky (removes clouds and some sky effects) -lowmemory (the game will use only 4gb of your RAM) -w 640 -h 480 - (runs game in 640x480 resolution) -full - (fullscreen mode) -window - (windowed mode with borders) -noborder - (windowed mode without borders) -low - (runs ARK as a low-priority process) -high - (runs ARK as a high-priority process) -noaafonts - (removes fonts anitalising) -autoconfig - (return default settings) -novid (turns off some cinematics)


We’ll walk you through every option as many of them can impact FPS or boost/lower overall game performance: Please note that these options will not be the most optimal setup for all computers, but about 80% of them will see a huge increase in FPS from changing these settings. Open the Options Screen from your ARK Lobby Screen. After altering all of these settings, remember to save them! Resolution – change this depending on your device and CPU/GPU, desktop computers should not have any problems running 1920×1080 but on a Laptop it’s recommended to use the 1280×768 resolution. Window Mode– ALWAYS have this in full screen, Windowed or WindowedFullscreen will decrease your FPS and cause lag and/or frame tearing. Note full window is NOT compatible with alt tabbing. Resolution Scale – lowering it down will decrease resolution but increase FPS, only lower this as a last resort if you have lag even with other settings optimized. World Tile Buffers, View Distance, Anti-Aliasing and Post Processing – set these to medium or low depending on your computer. General Shadows, Terrain Shadows, Ambient Lightning – configuring these to the lowest setting will provide you with a nice increase to FPS and overall performance. Sky Quality, Ground Clutter Density, Ground Clutter Distance and Mesh Level of Detail – set these between lowest-middle, these will most certainly lower your overall FPS if you have them on max. High-Quality Anisotropic Filtering – ON This feature creates smoother looking objects from various points of view. Motion Blur – OFF An unimportant aesthetic. Film Grain – OFF Another unimportant feature. Distance Field Ambient Occlusion – OFF Triggers soft shadows for distant objects. Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) – OFF Triggers soft shadows for nearby objects. Dynamic Tessellation – OFF Distance Field Shadowing – OFF Another shadows-related feature. High-Quality Materials – OFF This option improves textures of in-game materials. Sub Surface Scattering – ON It affects light behavior and makes foliage more realistic. High-Quality VFX – OFF It affects all in-game water effects. Simple Distance Character Movement – ON It relieves CPU from animations of distant characters. High-Quality LODs – ON Improves the level of details. Extra Level Streaming Distance – OFF This will make map loading faster while moving fast. Color Grading – ON Slightly improves colors. It won’t affect FPS. Light Bloom – Personal Choice. Won’t affect performance. Can cause blinding bright spots. Light Shafts – Personal Choice. It doesn’t affect performance. Can cause bright Shafts of light. Mesh Level of Detail (LOD) – Again. you can choose to disable/enable it by your own preferences. It affects GPU VRAM marginally.


In your taskbar, find the NVIDIA GeForce Experience icon. Right click and then left click NVIDIA Control Panel. On the Left side of the window that opens find 3D Settings.

Adjust image settings with preview: In the window that opens, Change these Settings: Set Use my Preference Emphasizing: PERFORMANCE Click Apply. Click Use the advanced 3D image Settings: Click Apply.

Manage 3D Settings: In the window that opens, Change these Settings: Feature: Setting Image Sharpening: Sharpen (set to .50 and the Film Grain to .17 With GPU Checked) Ambient Occlusion: Performance Anisotropic filtering: Application-Controlled Anti-aliasing - FXAA: Off Anti-aliasing- Gamma correction: On Anti-aliasing - Mode: Application-Controlled Anti-aliasing- Setting: Application-Controlled Anti-aliasing- Transparency: Off CUDA - GPUs: All DSR - Factors: Off DSR- Smoothness: Off Low Latency Mode: Off Max Frame Rate: Off (in some cases if you want the best FPS possible match this to your monitors Hertz rate) Multi-FrameSampled AA (MFAA): Off OpenGL rendering GPU: Set this to your prefered Video Card Optimize for Computer Performance: On Power Management Mode: Prefer Optimal performance Shader Cache: On Texture Filtering - Anisotropic sample optimization: On Texture Filtering - Negative LOD bias: Allow Texture Filtering - Quality: High Performance Texture Filtering - Trilinear optimization: On Threaded Optimization: Off Triple buffering: Off Vertical Sync: Off Virtual Reality pre-rendered frames: 1

Configure Surround, PhysX: In the window that opens, Change these Settings: PhysX settings: Processor: Choose your Graphics Card from the drop down list. Click Apply.

On the Left side of the window that opens find Display.

Change Resolution: Go to your monitor and select it. (If you are on dual or triple Select the Main screen(s) you game on. Be sure to duplicate the settings that you can on the other gaming screens.) Select the highest NATIVE PC Resolution rate for your monitor. Then select the Highest Refresh rate for that setting. Click Apply and then YES. Repeat this for each of your monitors if you are running more than one.

Adjust desktop color settings: 1. Select your monitor. 2. Choose - Use NVIDIA settings. 3. Apply the following enhancements: Digital Vibrance: 75% (Or personal preference)

Adjust desktop size and position: If you previously setup in the 3D settings: These settings will be greyed out. Leave these settings Greyed for the best results. If you want to use one of these options instead, Go back into 3D settings and Turn OFF GPU Scaling to re-enable these settings. Tips: BEST FPS(using native resolution): NO Scaling. BEST FPS and VISUALS: GPU Scaling(IN 3D settings) Play lower res/pixel games: Set Integer Scaling Set your Resolution to Native Your Hertz to what your monitor uses Click apply.

On the Left side of the window that opens find Video:

Adjust video color settings: Select your monitor. Under How do you make color adjustments? Select With the NVIDIA settings. Click Advanced and set the drop down to: Full (0-255) Click apply

To ensure all settings are properly applied, Please restart your PC now! NOTE: If you start getting D3D errors in Game. Make sure that you reset the POWER OPTIONS to OPTIMAL and Change any THREADING filters to off.

How to Optimize Nvidia Control Panel: The Ultimate GUIDE 2020


Below is the Global profile which will provide the best performance/quality ratio across most titles. Yet, there may be times that you will still be searching for even greater performance (i.e higher frames). When this situation presents itself, there is a primary setting that should always be tested first to see if performance is increased when adjusted via Radeon settings. Everything else would remain the same. Tessellation Mode: Override Application Settings/ None To access these options, open AMD Radeon Settings by right clicking on your desktop, and select AMD Radeon Settings.

Anti-aliasing Mode: -Use application settings (Off in game) Anti-aliasing Method: -Multisampling (Off in game) Morphological Filtering: -Off Anisotropic Filtering Mode: -Use application settings (Off in game) Texture Filtering Quality: -Performance Surface Format Optimization: -On Wait for Vertical Refresh: -Off, unless application specifies (Off in game, unless your frames are able to be maintained, never dropping below your monitors refresh rate) OpenGL Triple Buffering -Off Shader Cache: -AMD optimized Tessellation Mode: -AMD optimized Frame Rate Target Control: -On [Set to your monitors maximum refresh rate - EX: 60 is using 60Hz, 75 is using 75Hz etc..]

How to Optimize AMD Settings For GAMING & Performance The Ultimate GUIDE


General Troubleshooting

  • Ensure your system meets the Minimum System Requirements mentioned above.

  • Ensure you have an audio output device connected.

  • Restart your computer and try ARK again.

  • (Windows) Complete steps below for Redistributable Issues

    • (Windows) and Redistributable issues:

    • Ensure you have a 64-bit operating system

    • Run windows update and download all critical updates

    • Download and install Visual C++ 2013

    • Download and install DirectX web installer

    • Restart your computer and try ARK again

  • Delete your LocalProfiles folder (\steamapps\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\LocalProfiles)

  • Verify ARK through Steam

    • (Instructions)

  • (AMD GPU) Install PhysX System Software from Nvidia's website.

  • Update your video drivers (for Mac ensure all system updates are installed).

  • Update your chipset drivers from your computer/motherboard's website.

  • Restart your computer and try ARK once again.

  • Use the launch option "Launch ARK (Reset Total Conversion)" and try again.

  • Complete steps above for Mod Installation Problems.

  • Try ARK again.

  • (Optional) Backup your single player game (\steamapps\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\SavedArksLocal)

  • Delete local game content through Steam (same location as verify)

  • (Important) Delete the entire ARK folder (\steamapps\common\ARK\) Reinstall ARK through Steam and then try ARK again

There are no servers in browser:

If you cannot see any servers listed in the browser, make sure that the Map, Game Mode, & Sort By lists are set to All. The Session Filter should be set to Unofficial if this is a new toon, Or if you are a past player use My Survivors. If the settings are correct, but you still can’t see any Ark Survival servers, then you may still use the Steam Server List Tool:

  • Open the main Steam client

  • Click View > Servers

  • Select your desired tab

  • Use the Internet tab for a list of official and unofficial ARK servers

  • Use the Favorites tab to manually add servers using the server's query port

  • Use the History tab to find and manage the list of servers you have connected to before

Click "Change Filters" and change the Game to "ARK: Survival Evolved" (each tab has its own filter)

Long Load Time / Fatal Errors on load

Anytime you experience either Exceptional long loading times or Fatal errors on loading. EXIT STEAM, and then re-enter the game lobby and try again. If it repeatedly loads slowly or errors, try doing a Re-Verify of your game files.

How to reduce the size of ARK Survival and save some DISK SPACE.

Method #1 You can compress the installation folder.

Go to the ark directory, find "content" and "seekfreecontent", and enable NTFS file compression from the "properties" menu. It can take an hour or two to complete depending on your CPU speed. Most games come pre-compressed. ARK does not, because the devs are inept.

Method #2 Unsubscribe and clean Mod Files out.

Unsubscribe from all your mods, (while doing this "favorite" any of the mods you do want to keep or you are intrested in, so you do not loose them.) delete all workshop folders in this location: ARK>ShooterGame>Content>Mods Then resubscribe to the mods that you actually use now, and then exit steam and restart it. This should trigger the steam download to start.

Method #3 Using a third party application to compress files.

Use this Third party app if you are on win10: Visual Interface for the Windows 10 Compact Function You can cut a brand new install by 60GB with zero perceptible change by compressing the filesystem (e.g. removing duplication)

Black Screens -Dual Monitors - Max FPS

Sometimes your graphic card will overheat when running two monitors, while in ARK Survivor. This applies where one monitor is 144mhz and the other is 59-60mhz. Set the newer monitor to 60mhz to stop the black screen issues. Then in ARK Survivor, open your tab bar and type t.maxfps 60. This command limits the FPS to 60FPS which in turn keeps the graphic much more stable and much cooler. And the plus, NO MORE BLACK SCREENS.

Some Current Solutions to Graphics quality in ARK after GENESIS.

1. Using -SM4 into set launch options 2. Tab to open up console ingame and type R.Shadowquality 0. This one will turn off shadows completly and give you a huge FPS boost. 3. Change some INI Files in your CLIENT SIDE settings. You will find the files here: \SteamApps\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Config LOOK FOR DefaultEngine.ini file "make a copy of this one So you always have it somewhere."

Find this section below:

[/Script/Engine.RendererSettings] r.MobileHDR=True r.AllowOcclusionQueries=True r.MinScreenRadiusForLights=0.030000 r.MinScreenRadiusForDepthPrepass=0.030000 r.PrecomputedVisibilityWarning=False r.TextureStreaming=True Compat.UseDXT5NormalMaps=True r.AllowStaticLighting=False r.NormalMapsForStaticLighting=False r.GBuffer=True r.GenerateMeshDistanceFields=True r.Shadow.DistanceFieldPenumbraSize=0.050000 r.TessellationAdaptivePixelsPerTriangle=8.000000 r.SeparateTranslucency=True r.CustomDepth=0 r.DefaultFeature.Bloom=False r.DefaultFeature.AmbientOcclusion=True r.DefaultFeature.AutoExposure=True r.DefaultFeature.MotionBlur=False r.DefaultFeature.LensFlare=False r.DefaultFeature.AntiAliasing=1 r.EarlyZPass=2 r.EarlyZPassMovable=True r.ClearSceneMethod=1 r.MSAA.CompositingSampleCount=0 r.WireframeCullThreshold=5.000000 ;PRIMAL - DS r.SSAOSmartBlur=0


For HIGH/EPIC Settings.

resolution scale = 100 World tile Buffer = EPIC View distance = HIGH Anti-aliasing = EPIC Post Processing = EPIC General Shadows = LOW Terrain Shadows = LOW Textures = EPIC

For MEDIUM/HIGH Settings.

resolution scale = 100 World tile Buffer = HIGH View distance = MEDIUM Anti-aliasing = EPIC Post Processing = EPIC General Shadows = LOW Terrain Shadows = LOW Textures = HIGH

For LOW Settings.

resolution scale = meter all the way to left World tile Buffer = LOW View distance = LOW Anti-aliasing = EPIC Post Processing = LOW General Shadows = LOW Terrain Shadows = LOW Textures = LOW

Snapshot_ # (Can be 10 or 16) Fatal error Load.

Snapshot_16, or _10 or whatever, is a set of updates to the server you're logging into. If you interrupt getting that copy by failing to load Ark in time, and getting dropped off the server, the next time you try to get it Ark appears to hang up hard on loading Snapshot_#.

Windows 10 doesn't handle Ark like other programs, by automatically increasing the swap file size so it can unload more stuff to let Ark load. That's why Ark can usually join a clean server, but not one with heavy mods. And if you fail to load Ark fast enough when trying to log in, you timeout your login and generate the Snapshot_# error.

One fix for this is, if possible, moving your ARK mods to a SSD. The SSD will then load the mods much faster and you should not time out. But as most SSD are small in size this is not always a possibility. Try following the steps outlined below, and if they do not work , Our next step would be to make a larger Virtual Memory Allotment.

Find the DefaultEngine.ini file, \ARK\ShooterGame\Config on the client and \%arkserver%\ShooterGame\Config on the server if possible. Make a backup of these file(s). Locate the lines [/Script/OnlineSubsystemUtils.IpNetDriver] InitialConnectTimeout=300.0 ConnectionTimeout=300.0 and change "300" to "600".

Reduce the DinoCountMultiplier to be no greater than 1 in your GameUserSettings.ini (\steamapps\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor or the equivalent for your OS)(Singleplayer only)

Consider using the launch options mentioned in the Launch Options section and try ARK again.

Launch ARK in Low Memory 4GB mode and try again.

Launch ARK in Extremely Low Memory mode - otherwise see General Troubleshooting.

Fatal Error Containing "steam_api" or "steamclient" or "steamclient64" Refresh your Steam client files using steam://flushconfig (Instructions). Try ARK again - otherwise see General Troubleshooting

Mod Installation Problems Close ARK Unsubscribe from all your ARK mods at (Feel free to favorite them to keep them in a list) Delete your \steamapps\common\ARK\ShooterGame\Content\Mods folder Delete your \steamapps\workshop\content\346110 folder

Use the launch option "Launch ARK (Reset Total Conversion) "(Multiplayer) Reconnect to your server (You will be timed out while the mods are re-subscribed and re-downloaded) Return to the main menu Wait until all messages on bottom right of your screen go away Try playing again - otherwise Try Increasing Virtual Memory on your OS.

DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine.

This is a common error message that users experience when they’re playing games like ARK:

This error message is usually caused by a missing or outdated graphics card driver, or an issue with DirectX. And you should be able to fix it quickly and easily. You see the error DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine when your computer doesn’t have the required Direct3D hardware feature level. This means that your game is unable to use Direct3D feature level 10.0.

Another reason why you might see this error is an issue with the graphics card driver, so you should make sure that your graphics card driver is working properly.

Fix 1: Install the latest patch.

Since many technical problems can be resolved by restarting, it never hurts to restart your computer and your game. Often this will be enough to fix the error.

Game developers always keep releasing patches to improve their games and fix any issues, so you should check for updates of your game in Steam or from the official website. Then install the latest patch to keep it up to date.

Fix 2: Update your graphics card driver.

A missing or outdated graphic card driver can cause the error. So you should update your graphics card driver or reinstall it to fix the DX11 error.

Fix 3: Install the latest DirectX.

As the error message suggested: DX11 is required to run the engine, you should install the latest DirectX in your Windows to support the game, if you don’t know how to check the DirectX version, you can try this:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time, to start the Run box. 2) Type dxdiag and click OK. 3) You can see the DirectX Version under the System tab.

4) You can check the feature levels by clicking Display. 5) While you’re in the Display tab, make sure DirectDraw Acceleration, Direct3D Acceleration, and AGP Texture Acceleration are enabled.

How do you update DirectX and Feature Level?

DirectX version

Generally speaking, for Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, you can directly update your Windows to the latest version to install the latest DirectX on your computer. However, for Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP, you may need to install an update package to install the latest DirectX in your computer. You can go to the Microsoft website for more information about how to install the latest version of DirectX for different versions of Windows. After installing the latest Windows update or update package, restart your computer and try the game again to see if the error disappears.

Feature Levels

You should make sure that you see the Feature Level your graphics card driver requires. If the Feature Levels displayed in the DirectX Diagnostic Tool don’t meet the requirement, or they’re blank, there are two possible reasons: 1) Your graphics card doesn’t support the required Feature Level. In that case, you should double check that with the manufacturer, or buy another graphics card that supports Feature Level 10.0; or 2) Your graphics card driver has an issue, or may be missing or outdated. In that case, you should update your graphics card driver as mentioned in Fix 2.

Fix 4: Update Windows

A lot of the time, updating Windows will resolve this issue. You should check for Windows updates on your computer, and install the latest available updates. After updating Windows, restart your computer and launch your game to see if the problem is resolved. These are the best solutions to fix DX11 feature errors.