Ark: Survival Evolved's latest patch brings new caves, giant squids, and Raptor Claus

There's no place like home for the holidays, and if you've made a home on Ark: Survival Evolved's incredibly dangerous dinosaur-filled island, here's a present for you. Patch 253 has arrived, and with it some new dinosaurs, some new locations, and a new item: the camera. Plus, you might catch a glimpse of Raptor Claus as he flies above the island dropping presents for the next week as part of Ark's second annual Winter Wonderland event.

The patch, which is now live, adds two new underwater caves containing artifacts and challenges. You may find an additional peril in visiting them, however, due to some dangerous new sea creatures like the Cnidaria Omnimorph (a large glowing jellyfish) and the fearsome Tusoteuthis Vampyrus, a giant squid capable of grabbing you with its crushing tentacles and sucking the blood out of you.

There are a few new land-based dinos as well, such as a T-Rex-sized herbivore called Therizinosaurus Multiensis that promises to be useful for harvesting greens, and the Troodon Magnanimus, which may be a bit smaller than a raptor but is reportedly much smarter.

If you spot one of the new dinos (or Santa), you can now snap a photo. A camera has been added to Ark, allowing you to take pictures and apply the image to an in-game canvas, for a lovely keepsake of your adventures.

In less joyful news, Studio Wildcard has confirmed that the sci-fi themed TEK Tier update has been delayed until patch 254, which is currently planned for January. So those lasers you were planning to mount on your T-Rex's head? You're gonna have to wait a little longer for 'em.

For those who aren't playing but want to, though, there is good news in that Ark is currently part of the Steam Winter sale and can be had for $12.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.