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Ark Survival Ascended release date, upgrades, gameplay, and more

Here's when the Ark Survival Ascended release date arrived for early access, as well as the latest info on when you can expect a full 1.0 launch.

Ark Survival Ascended Release Date: A player can be seen with a dinosaur

When was the Ark Survival Ascended release date for Xbox and PS5? Ark Survival Ascended’s announcement sent shockwaves through the game’s community as it comes with the shuttering of the last-generation versions of the game and the need to repurchase the MMO which many have been playing for years.

Despite the controversy, there’s no denying that Survival Ascended is among the best PS5 survival games and best Xbox survival games. While it’s technically an upgraded remake of the original, it feels like a whole new Xbox game and new PS5 game. Here’s everything you need to know about it, including when it launched on each platform.

Ark Survival Ascended release date

Ark Survival Ascended is out now in early access across Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC. It had a staggered release across these platforms, but they all fell within a window of a few weeks between October and November 2023.

The PC version was first, arriving on October 25. The Xbox Series X|S version arrived just under a month later on November 21. Then finally, Ark Survival Ascended hit PS5 on November 30. The staggered release was due to a combination of last-minute technical issues and a wait to get the game certified on console platforms.

Developer Studio Wildcard says that it expects Survival Ascended to remain in early access until at least “late 2024”, so a full 1.0 release is a little way off yet.


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Ark Survival Ascended upgrades

Ark Survival Ascended’s upgrades and enhancements for current-gen consoles and PC include crossplay, anti-cheat, cross-platform modding, performance boosts thanks to Unreal Engine 5, as well as a visual overhaul utilizing Nanite, Lumen, and RTXDI technologies.

Visually, dynamic water, interactive foliage, and an overhaul of the game’s art are implemented. The game also adds a litany of quality-of-life improvements including a third-person camera, ping system, updated mini-map, queueing, balance passes, directional sprinting and walking, new structures, and more.

So, as you can see, Ark Survival Ascended is a fairly beefy upgrade when compared to Survival Evolved. Additionally, Survival of the Fittest is integrated into the main game, with dedicated balancing, improvements, bug fixes, etc.

The other DLC packs will be sold separately, however. So, you will need to rebuy them, including the Explorer’s Pass, which includes Scorched Earth and Abberation (arriving in Q4 2023) and Extinction (arriving in Q1 2024). The Genesis Pass will also be available with Part 1 coming in Q1 2024 and Part 2 arriving in Q2 2024.

Ark Survival Ascended gameplay

For those who haven’t played Ark before, Survival Ascended offers a survival experience set on an island with plenty of nasty dinosaurs. As well as trying to keep yourself alive (and un-eaten by dinos), base building is one of the core focuses of the game.  You can craft weapons to take on any dinosaurs you face, but another fun and unique aspect of Ark is that you can tame them as well.

You can see an hour of gameplay below from YouTuber ‘Syntac‘ at the start of the game. The playthrough also offers a look at the new third-person camera for Ark Survival Ascended.

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Expect to require lots of resources as you cook food, build bases, and become prey (or predator) in this beautiful Unreal 5 recreation of the beloved game. It’s an early access title, so expect major changes over the next few years before it becomes a full release.

That covers all the main info you need to know about Ark Survival Ascended. Be sure to keep an eye out for even more on the game and its upgrades as we approach the full release on Xbox and PS5. Why not take a look at some of the best Xbox Series X games and best PS5 games to play until Ascended launches?