Ark Survival Evolved is a very complex and detailed game. Leveling in Ark is also complex, which means there are so many ways to which you can level up. You should first off understand that everything you do in Ark(for the most part) gives you XP points. There are quite a few factors to account for when estimating your experience gains and what is the most beneficial at your current stage to get you leveled.
Things to take into account
- Tribe Members – This is huge factor because if you are playing solo, well, straight up, you are going to level way slower than someone in a big tribe, heck even a tribe that only has two people. This is because when you are within range of your tribe members they share XP with you, and it’s a good bit of it. Now imagine you have a tribe of 10 people, all in the base crafting walls, narcotics, metal parts, etc. it can add up fast.
- Server Type – The XP will also vary depending on if you play on an official server or an unofficial server. Unofficial server hosts can set the XP multiplier to fit their needs, and I personally enjoy this feature because after playing originally on official servers, it just takes too long in my opinion. Some unofficial, like the one I play on have 20 x multipliers for experience points.
- Engram’s available – If you are only level 10, well you don’t have everything you need to start producing high quality items which will grant you more XP.
- Dinosaurs – If you have a high level Dino you can ride, you can go on trips and just kill everything in sight. This is an easy and fairly safe way to level and also gather materials on the way. There is much more to this topic but it will have to be covered in another post.
Now that we understand how XP is gained, we have a good understanding of what needs to be done to maximize the amount of levels or experience points we gain per hour. I wish there was a certain item I could tell you to create to just get to max level in 4 hours, but that isn’t possible or realistic, and it also ruins the point of the game. I am going to give you an understanding of how to play, which will benefit the leveling process for the long term and also keep the game fresh and exciting for you.
Starting out – When you first join a server, I would suggest finding a good base location, but on the way constantly farm bushes as you run by tapping the E (interact) key. Craft your basic tools, axe, pick, some spears, bow/arrows, armor etc. Usually by the time you have located your new base location you will have gained a good bit of level to make everything a bit easier. Now it is time to build your first shelter or base. Depending on the size you choose to build it, it will level you up super fast. Start chopping down trees, continue to gather berries and fiber from random bushes and set the item you want to craft on your hot bar. You can craft items as you move around and gather more materials. You will have to walk slowly while crafting but if you are in the forest etc it shouldn’t be too big of a deal. You can also just gather / craft as you go and then once your weight is maxed, drop your inventory and continue on. Everything in your hot bar will not be dropped when you do end up dumping your entire inventory so you shouldn’t have to pick as much/if any items or material out of the dropped bag.
Mid level – Once you are fairly leveled and have learned some more Engrams, you can move on to better items which will produce more XP with the downside of costing more materials. The sweet spot is finding an item you can farm the materials for fairly easy, seems to give good XP and you can use for something productive, in this case I would say wood/stone building components. The bigger you decide to build you base, the more levels you will get, so be creative and just enjoy the game and keep on crafting and the levels will start to roll in without you even noticing.
High Level – Now that you have a base and safe location with a bed, chests, etc, you can start taming Dinosaurs. Dinos are great because depending where you put their stat points, the better they get which also enhances how fast you can run, gather and kill other Dinos. You don’t get the full XP value when you kill or gather while riding a your tamed dinosaurs, but you get a good percentage of the XP they receive. It’s still faster on a tamed Dino than manually running around shooting 30 or more arrows into a Triceratops. If you are REALLY high level and ALSO your Dino, you can start searching for Alpha Dino spawns. Alpha’s give tons of XP but at the cost of having crazy health and damage percentages so be prepared, you will probably die a few times until you understand what you can and cannot take down.
That is the general concept of the game. I’d love to give you a spreadsheet that has all the listed values, and it may be out on the internet somewhere, but who really cares. Craft what you need, keep advancing and staying productive and most of all have fun with the game.
Personal Tips – There are some items you can just never really have enough of, or at least for me they seem like my go to items everyday when I log in to craft at least a few to get me rolling.
- Cementing Paste
- Weapons / Arrows / Ammo
You can set up multiple mortar and pestles to craft tons of batches of Narcotics/Cementing pastes and the XP from each can stack and really start to level you fast, but this takes time to stock all your fridges with spoiled meat, narco berries, stone and chitin or keratin. I believe, unless they changed it, that you need to stay within a semi-close distance of your Mortal and Pestles to still receive XP. I start a few batches and while they are crafting and giving me XP, I do the daily tasks like feed my dinos, refresh my fridges with gas or spark powder or just fix up my base with my already full cabinet of neatly sorted supplies.
That’s all I have without rambling on but hopefully if you are new to the game this can be helpful. Check back often for more Ark Survival Evolved guides and much more! Thanks for reading.