Ark: Survival Evolved rolls out Unreal Engine 4 mod support

Ark: Survival Evolved editor

So you're riding on the back of a stegosaurus and you're thinking to yourself, "Yeah, this is pretty cool, but it'd be really cool if I had a quad-50 strapped to the back of this thing." You will therefore be happy to hear that Ark: Survival Evolved now supports modding through the Unreal Engine 4 mod tools.

"The Ark Dev Kit is a simplified version of the Unreal Engine 4 Editor specifically compiled to streamline the process of creating Mods & Maps for the Unreal Engine 4 game Ark: Survival Evolved, and to upload them directly to Steam Workshop for other users to download and play," the Ark mod tutorial explains. The dev kit doesn't provide access to the game's source, but it does "does contain all of our editable source art for the game, as well as our editable maps and blueprint classes."

The editor will allow for the creation and modification of various aspects of the game including items, weapons, structures, AI behavior trees, and game logic. The tutorial site also offers instructions for playing mods or customized maps, for dino-riders who would prefer to just horse around with the strange creations of others, and of course there's a new Ark: Survival Evolved modding forum, where creators can find help and exchange tips.

"We'll have more tutorials in the upcoming days about how the specific features of Ark level design are put together, but for now, feel free to explore and modify 'TheIsland' map to poke around at how things work, including the stream sublevels and the zone area spawners," the studio wrote. "If you have any questions about the Mod Tools, feel free to post on this Forum. We encourage intrepid mod makers to help each other out here, the more the community can collaborate to build exciting new content, the better it’s going to be. Stay tuned to our Steam page, Twitter feed, and here for more information on upcoming ARK modding news, including a major initiative to mobilize the mod community that will be announced soon!"

I don't know if you can actually mount four M2 machine guns onto the back of a dinosaur (although I'm not sure what the point is if you can't) but Ark: Survival Evolved is already an indie hit, and full-on UE4 mod support is bound to make it even bigger. Tom spent an hour playing the game last week with Ark co-creator Jesse Rapczak, which you can still catch now thanks to the miracle of our Twitch page.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.